Kadenze brings arts education to the masses
Columbia University and Berklee College of Music are the latest schools to join forces with the innovative arts education site.
In May 2015, the first graduates of Berklee College of Music’s online bachelor’s degree program walked across a (real, not virtual) stage in Boston. At the time, the program was one of the first arts-education degrees that could be earned entirely online, making music education accessible to a wider audience. But what about other types of arts education?
Enter Kadenze (pronounced “kah-denzay”), a for-profit online portal that unites the best arts education classes, resources and professors on one website. Pulling from universities around the globe, Kadenze offers MOOCs (massive open online courses) in coding, visual art, music and art history. The website partners with 26 schools including Princeton University, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Pratt Institute and, most recently, Columbia University and Berklee.
Kadenze co-founder Ajay Kapur notes the important role the two most recent additions have played in the growth of online education. In a 2013 study, Teachers College at Columbia found that roughly a third of all college students were enrolled in online courses, a sizable increase from 2010.
The high cost of a creative education
Kapur says the idea for Kadenze stemmed from two problems in arts education: the growing cost of higher education and that the influx in research about online education had been mostly geared toward online classes for math and science students. That college education is increasingly expensive isn’t news to most people, but Kapur especially noticed the detrimental effect of rising costs within the arts. Courses may be taken for credit by students working toward a degree, or simply as résumé-builders.
“We are seeing a lot of users who already have a college degree, and we’re entering this age where people just really want to continue learning — some of our most popular courses are in the areas of design and creative coding … it helps them push people to where they want to get to in the next phase of their career,” Kapur says.
A hands-on arts education online?
Classes on Kadenze are conducted through video-based lectures and collaboration on group discussion boards. “The thing that’s very special about Kadenze is that it’s not only the teacher that you learn from; you end up learning from the global community that is submitting assignments and is really part of the discussion, and that’s what makes it so fun,” Kapur says.
Premium membership to Kadenze is $10 a month and allows students to receive grades, college credits and build an online portfolio, while free membership allows students to take classes in a more passive manner.
All of the courses Kadenze offers focus on harnessing individual creativity.
“Being creative, being a designer, being a creative thinker — these are all things that are necessary for innovation and leadership in the world,” Kapur says.
Kadenze brings the best arts education classes, resources and professors together into one website.