I am Aman Hassan, and I was part of the first graduating class of DIME ONLINE’s JTC Degree.
I grew up listening to a lot of Eastern/Western classical music, so from an early age there was a lot of music that was heard in my house and I absolutely loved all the different sounds and textures.
During the path to my own self-discovery in music, I fell in love with Heavy Metal, Jazz-fusion and Progressive Rock/Metal. I knew from an early age that I wanted to play the guitar.
When I was about 3 or 4 years old I went to a music store with my father and I saw an acoustic guitar there; the moment I touched the guitar I felt an instant connection with the instrument. At that point I knew I wanted to learn the instrument.
Finally, when I was 12 I got my first guitar and in a couple of years started to practice seriously. Some of my earlier influences have been Steve Vai, Steve Morse, Al Di Meola, Allan Holdswroth, Shawn Lane and John Petrucci.
I knew I wanted to pursue my passion seriously so initially I attended the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and then did my master certificate in Arranging and Orchestration from Berklee College Of Music’s online school.
I really enjoyed my time with Berklee and found the online world of music education to be very effective for me personally.
I was really hoping that at some point music colleges would start implementing degree programs into their online platforms.
From what I recall I saw the JTC Degree advertisement on Youtube in 2014 and my wishes were answered. The program seemed logical, effective and with really good tutors.
I was initially going to Germany to do my bachelors in music performance, but not only did this program seem to be effective, it was economical and I could also focus a lot more on my own personal work as well.
I do freelance work and work on my original music from my home, so DIME was a really good deal for me, a lot of my work is online based because there isn’t a huge music scene in Pakistan and because of my previous online experience this wouldn’t have been a completely new thing to me in terms of work ethics.
I would definitely recommend this program, because within 2 weeks I started seeing improvements and changes in my playing. Martin Goulding and Jon Bishop are top notch guitar players and teachers; they really helped me hone in on my sound, found the holes in my playing and gave the best advice to me in order to eradicate the shortcomings that I had.
One of my greatest achievements throughout my course of study was that I started working on my album for my project/band (Eccentrics). Studying with DIME made me more confident about my playing and it pushed me to get things done that I may have contemplated for a very long time.
If you’re really serious about your music education and you want to work at being the player that you want to be, then this is the most comprehensive guitar degree out there. I have been to physical schools and seen other degree programs and DIME’s curriculum is cutting edge, and it really gets right in to the subjects that would benefit you as a player immediately.
My advice for future students is that you should be organized, hand in your submissions on time, post as much as you can weekly and make sure you communicate with your cohort.
The online education world can be isolating and lonely at times but my cohort was so amazing and helpful that I didn’t feel like I was doing a distance-learning course. Most of us who graduated are still friends and regularly in contact.
Knowing your guitar won’t be enough; you have to have other skills as well. Make sure you know how to record your videos and edit them properly and have some knowledge about mixing and mastering your music.
At times it may feel that you have a lot of time for your submissions but if you’re giving the right amount of practice hours, any time would be little time. Just make sure you’re prepared for everything that you’re undertaking. A decent knowledge of midi and virtual instruments would make your life easy.
This is the most comprehensive bachelors degree out there in music. It’s creative, it’s really challenging and it would turn you in to the player that you wish to be.
I had a great time at DIME online but since we were the first class there were a few minor hiccups in the canvas platform, which I am certain, are resolved by now.
Don’t forget to have fun and believe me when I say this, you’ll get a lot of value out of this course and make some truly great and like-minded friends for life.