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Stanford online creativity course featuring Warner Music artists begins April 2

Tina L. Seelig, Ph.D.
Photo Credit: Kris Cheng

Stanford University announced the launch of “Creativity: Music to My Ears,” a free, massive open online course (MOOC) teaching creative problem-solving skills through the lens of music. Taught by Stanford Engineering Professor Tina Seelig, the innovative online course features contributions of Warner Music Group artists, songwriters and executives. Participating artists include Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park, Nate Ruess from fun., Tegan and Sara, Jason Mraz, Josh Groban, Lily Allen, Kerli and more. The course begins April 2, and registration is currently open at: or

Bringing a taste of Stanford education to participants from around the world, “Creativity: Music to My Ears” combines individual and team-based challenges and interviews with artists, executives and Stanford faculty experts for a one-of-a-kind online learning experience. To officially launch the course, Nate Ruess and Cameron Strang, CEO and Chairman of Warner Bros. Records and Warner/Chappell Music, joined Seelig in a discussion of the creative process and the music industry at the DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Seminar at Stanford (view discussion on video here).

“Music crosses borders and languages, so it is the perfect lens for unlocking creative potential on a global scale,” Seelig said. A highly-regarded author and educator, Seelig is the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, the School of Engineering’s entrepreneurship center in the department of Management Science & Engineering.

“Creative problem solving is crucial for those who will tackle the challenges of this century,” Seelig said. “This requires a multidisciplinary approach to teaching and learning, which is strongly encouraged at Stanford.”

Musical talent is not required to participate in the course – just an interest in exploring factors that influence creativity, such as reframing problems, challenging assumptions and working on creative teams. Music provides a universal context to put these skills into practice, which is where the legendary experience of Warner Music Group comes in.

“The music industry is in a state of constant evolution, and everyone involved – from artists to executives to technologists – must have the skills to both adapt to a rapidly shifting landscape and to forge exciting new creative paths," Strang said. “Warner Music Group is honored to be collaborating with Stanford and Professor Seelig in this unique online course, which we hope will give students creative skills and real insight into how our business spearheads innovative commercial models and develops the next generation of extraordinary talent."

Chalkboard Music, run by Bruce Roberts and Greg Mertz, is a partner of Warner Bros. Records and worked with Strang and Seelig to facilitate Warner Music Group’s participation in the online course. “Creativity: Music to My Ears"is offered through Stanford Online and hosted on NovoEd, a leading social, collaborative online learning platform. Seelig has taught creativity and innovation for more than a dozen years, and this online course is a natural extension of her work at Stanford.

“Technology provides new tools that have the potential to greatly enhance teaching and learning,” said John Mitchell, Stanford’s Vice Provost for Online Learning. “By enabling Stanford faculty to follow their creative instincts and engage in online teaching initiatives, we can transform education for students, both at Stanford and beyond. "Creativity: Music to My Ears" is a fitting example of Stanford’s creative approach to online learning and one more example of Stanford’s contribution to open-access education.” [from Creativity: Music to My Ears press release]

TINA L. SEELIG, PH.D: Dr. Tina Seelig is Professor of the Practice in the Department of Management Science and Engineering (MS&E) at Stanford University, and the Executive Director for the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP), the entrepreneurship center at Stanford University's School of Engineering. She teaches courses on creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in the department of MS&E and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design ( at Stanford.

Dr. Seelig was awarded the 2009 Gordon Prize from the National Academy of Engineering, recognizing her as a national leader in engineering education. Dr. Seelig earned her Ph.D. from Stanford University Medical School where she studied Neuroscience. She has worked as a management consultant, as a multimedia producer, and was the founder of a multimedia company. She has also written 16 popular science books and educational games. Her newest books, published by HarperCollins, are inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity, and What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20.

NOVOED: NovoEd, is a leading social, collaborative online learning platform launched April 2013 by Stanford professor Amin Saberi. NovoEd's focus remains on strategic collaboration with institutions and organizations in order to connect learners and executives with high-quality instructors in an environment that supports interaction and connectivity. Each NovoEd partner integrates its interactive learning model into the NovoEd online social learning environment. The platform enables students to connect with one another and work together on projects with real-world applications. In most courses, students create original work to fulfill their assignments. Between 35 percent and 65 percent of students who complete the first assignment in project-based MOOCs on NovoEd complete the course, according to the company.

View "Creativity: Music to My Ears" course video teaser here.

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