I'm taking a class in the history of jazz this summer. That's not a correct statement: I'm learning about the history of jazz by listening to a series of excellent podcasts created by Dr. Gordon Vernick, Associate Professor of music and coordinator of Jazz Studies at Georgia State University and produced by WMLB 1690 Atlanta 'Voice of the Arts.'
I play jazz but I've never studied it at a university or college. I've learned from listening, playing and working with fellow musicians. The universities I attended did not have and still do not have jazz programs. But I now have the opportunity, through podcasts and other internet sources, to learn from some of the best academics and musicians in the world.
I discovered this series yesterday and have now listened to several programs on my iPod while I worked in my garden. It's a very complete series and I'm looking forward to hearing all of the podcasts.
All of us have learned most of what we know by informal learning. There are no exams, no accreditation, and, in most cases, no fee. We learn what we want when we want to learn. Podcasts allow us to learn from some of the best lecturers and experts in many fields.
Georgia State offers History of Jazz and many other series on iTunes U. Thanks to Georgia State, Dr. Gordon Vernick and WMLB for making these programs available.