Sample Syllabus Course Title Semester 20XX

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1 Sample Syllabus Course Title Semester 20XX Semester Hours: Instructor: Phone: Office: Office Hours: A. COURSE DESCRIPTION The course begins with a review of elements of pitch, elements of rhythm, and progresses to the introduction of scales, intervals, and tonality; notation of rhythm and meter, rudiments of harmony; and the concept of musical structure and form, taught from a sound to symbol approach. Sight singing and ear training are pursued concurrently with keyboard and written theory. Musical materials to be studied will include selected multicultural folk music and art music examples. This is a performance-based class; in order to succeed in this class, students MUST sing and perform on instruments. The use of a broad range of individualized musical materials, active exploration, and personal discovery will lead the student to grasp the nature of the interactions and relationships that bring meaning to music. B. Outcomes For COURSE TITLE 1. Students as Stewards of their Cultural Heritage History and Repertory To develop a student's sense of historical perspective. To enable students to understand a core of selected multicultural, popular and art music examples 2. Students as Performers Performance To provide the opportunity for students to improve performance skills through singing, playing instruments, movement and conducting. To enable students to sing, play on the piano and conduct melodies using basic rhythms in both simple and compound meters To enable students to sing, play and conduct pentatonic, diatonic melodies using treble and bass clefs. To enable students to develop accuracy of intonation, a sense of phrasing and beauty of melodic line through the singing voice. 3. Students as Critical Thinkers: Developing Music Literacy Skills Aural Skills and Analysis To develop a student's aural ability to discern and describe the design, proportion, and patterns of music. To develop a student's ability to hear music and determine how it will sound. To enable students to identify both aurally and visually and label the basic units of rhythm and pitch with rhythmic syllables, and numbers, with solfege syllables, scale degree numbers and letter names. To develop students inner hearing and music memory. To enable students to aurally detect errors in pitch and rhythm. 1

2 To enable students to write known and unknown unison and two-part melodies 8-16 measures in length. Theory and Analysis To develop a student's visual ability to discern and describe the design, proportion, and patterns of music. To enable students to identify visually and label the basic units of rhythm and pitch with traditional notation and read music with rhythmic syllables and numbers and with melodic syllables, scale degree numbers as well as letter names. To enable students to write known and unknown unison and two-part melodies 8-16 measures. To develop students ability to use finalenotepad to compose using pentatonic and diatonic tonalities. 4. Students as Creative Human Beings: Developing Improvisation and Composition Skills Composition/ Improvisation [Meeting National Standards 3 and 4] To enable students to improvise and compose using pentatonic, diatonic tonalities reflective of American, African American and European Folk Music. To enable students to improvise and compose part music using period structure and the main functional harmonies reflective of American, African-American, and European Folk Music. 5. Students as Informed Audience Members To develop a student's ability to discern and describe the design, proportion, and patterns of folk, art and recently composed music. To develop a student s ability to assess a performance of music C. COURSE OUTLINE The sequence begins with the fundamentals of music explored through rhythmic and melodic patterns. Each rhythmic and melodic pattern is prepared, presented and practiced separately. This approach opens the ears to the possibilities of hearing and reading modal, diatonic music, chromatic and modulating music. Students will be provided ample opportunity to read, perform and compose music. Numerous exercises for the practice of all theoretical concepts will be provided for the students. The following is a general outline of topics covered throughout the semester. It is meant to give you a general idea of course content and is by no means inclusive. Class size will dictate performance time. Because much of the course is based on in-class performance, we need to be flexible. Please note: I reserve the right to change the syllabus if necessary. 1 2 Lecture Orientation to Fundamental Rhythmic Concepts Chapter 1 Basic Concepts Associated with Pitch Chapter 2 More Advanced Music skills to be developed Duration; Pitch; Phrase; Form; Pulsation/Beat; Tempo; Meter; Bar lines; Measures Basic rhythms in simple meter. Orientation to the keyboard; Performing Familiar songs; intervals; staff; accidentals Keyboard performance 2

3 /14 Rhythms Chapter 3 Orientation to the Major Scale: Major pentachord and hexachord Melodies and Patterns Chapter 4 Major Hexachord Melodies and Patterns; More advanced Rhythmic concepts Pentatonic Melodies and Patterns. Chapters 3 andd 4 Assimilation Extended Pentachord, Hexachord and Pentatonic Patterns and Melodies Chapter 4 Minor Pentachord Melodies and Patterns Chapter 7 Minor Hexachord Patterns and Melodies Chapter 7 Major Melodies and Patterns Chapter 5 and 6 Assimilation Advanced rhythmic concepts Compound Meter Chapter 10 Minor Scale Melodies and Patterns Chapter 8 and 9 Introduction to Harmony (Triads) and Harmonic Memorization of repertoire, singing in groups, singing songs and playing the harmony on the piano, sight singing, 3

4 15 Progressions Chapter 11 Composing a Song D. COURSE REQUIREMENTS As a courtesy to your peers, and myself please turn off all cell phones and ipods. To take advantage of the opportunity and to meet your responsibility you are to: 1. Attend and actively participate in class. Students will be docked one letter grade for every two unexcused absences. Officially authorized absences from the Office of Academic Advisement and Information are required prior to scheduling make-up examinations. 2. Complete all assigned homework. Late assignments will receive a zero grade. All make-up work will be the result of authorized absences only. 3. Master the basic concepts and pass the spot quizzes, quizzes and examinations. E. REQUIRED TEXTS AND MATERIALS Mícheál Houlahan and Philip Tacka. From Sound to Symbol: Fundamentals of Music. (New York: Oxford University Press 2011). Bring a pencil (NOT A PEN), small straight edge, texts, and manuscript paper to each class. Your Language of Music binder F. ASSESSMENT: CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING STUDENT PERFORMANCE Attendance is required for this course. Each student is expected to be prepared, participate, and stay for the entire class period. I will take attendance. I will learn your names. I will call on you in class. I will record grades for your written assignments as well as your performance assignments. Poor attendance, that is missing two or more classes, will be reflected in your final grade. Students need to contact me in advance if they are unable to attend class or will be late to class for any reason. Grades will be based upon the quality of the following: 1. Active participation: This class requires active participation of all students. The goal of class discussion is to develop and express thoughts and work toward an understanding of musical concepts and issues related to the learning process. I believe that it is important to express what you believe and why you believe it. Part of the university experience is one of discourse. That being said, I expect you to be respectful of thoughts and opinions expressed in this class. 2. Homework Assignments. I will spot-check homework assignments. If you do not have the assignment completed I will deduct 10 points from one of your three examinations. 3. Written and Performance Evaluations: All performance and written evaluations will be based on homework assignments. Attendance Policy Due to the skill-building nature of the listening techniques employed in this course, participation is mandatory. Students will be docked one letter grade for every two unexcused absences. Exceptions are made for: (1) illness; (2) death in the family; (3) participation in out-of-theclassroom educational activities and (4) participation in intercollegiate athletic contests. Officially authorized absences from the Office of Academic Advisement and Information are required prior to scheduling make-up examinations. 4

5 Students with Disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Please contact the instructor during the first two weeks of this course to discuss any such accommodations for this course. G. GRADING Model 1 Individual Performance Testing and a Written Examination Students and professors alike realize that grading may often be subjective. I will also ask you to participate in the evaluation of your work. The grading standard, as explained below, will be applied to the entire class and any grade will be explained upon request. Students with learning disabilities are encouraged to identify themselves. You must pass each section of the course to secure a passing grade. Class participation is expected. There will be spot quizzes and class assignments. Late assignments will receive a zero grade. Points will be assigned for the creation of performance and written tests by students. Class requirements and grading policy may change. There will be a comprehensive test every four weeks during the course. The test will include evaluation of the following: Performance of Music Literature (100 points) All materials performed must be phrased and include dynamics. You will receive a zero grade if this material is not phrased. You will be required to sing all material with solfege and rhythm syllables as well as scale degree numbers as well as counting with numbers. You must be able to conduct all materials. Sight Singing (100 points) There will be prepared as well as unprepared examples in your exams Sing and Play (100 points) I will assign sing and plays for each lecture. You must be able to sing one line in solfege or rhythm syllables while playing the other line on the piano. Music Theory (200 points) In this section you will be asked to demonstrate your knowledge of music theory through written assessments based on Section 2 of each chapter. Model 2 Traditional Written Examination Write the main melodies associated with each chapter (and found on the Audio CD) in given meters and keys. Write scales in given keys without a key signature (major pentachord, major hexachord, major pentatonic, major diatonic, minor pentachord, minor hexachord, minor pentatonic, natural minor, harmonic minor and melodic minor). Go to 3 of any chapter and select melodies. Have students identify intervals within the melodies or have them rewrite the melodies in different keys, clefs and meters. Identify and/or define terms and concepts. Create a composition using the newly learned rhythms and melodies from the chapters. 5

6 The following guidelines are used in determining a student s grade for each evaluation: Level 4 A 95% (475 points): Outstanding work and effort. An A represents excellent work in many aspects. The assignment goes beyond relating accurate information. It is creative, skilled and neat. A 94% (470 points) Level 3 B+ 87% (435 points): Very good. The assignment shows mastery of the information in a clear and precise form. Some of the finer points of could be explained or presented with greater precision. B 83% (415 points): Above average work and effort. A B represents good work but there is also room to advance. The information presented could use a clearer presentation and/or further development. B- 80% (400 points) Level 2 C+ 77% (385 points): Good work. The assignment indicates that the data has been learned, but it was done in haste. C 73% (365 points): Acceptable. A C is acceptable work but it needs some form of reconstruction. The assignment records the basic idea but gives no specific focus as required. Omissions or errors may have undermined the exercise. The assignment may be the product of haste. C- 70% (350 points) Level 1 D+ 67% (335 points): Below average. The assignment demonstrates less than the required effort. D 63% (315 points): Barely passing. The assignment indicates a minimal understanding of material and is a product of haste. D- 60% (300 points) F 59% (295 points): Failure. The assignment is inaccurate and inadequate showing no effort or knowledge relating to the task. Examples of Scoring Rubrics for Outcomes Sight-singing Criteria 4 Sight-singing skills are evident 3 Sight-singing errors occur but do not detract from the performance Comments 6

7 2 Sight-singing errors sometimes detract from the performance. Sight-singing errors consistently detract from the 1 performance. Attendance Policy Due to the skill-building nature of the listening techniques employed in this course, participation is mandatory. Students will be docked one letter grade for every two unexcused absences. Exceptions are made for: (1) illness; (2) death in the family; (3) participation in out-of-theclassroom educational activities and (4) participation in intercollegiate athletic contests. Officially authorized absences from the Office of Academic Advisement and Information are required prior to scheduling make-up examinations. Students with Disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Please contact the instructor during the first two weeks of this course to discuss any such accommodations for this course. 7

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