Exploring Music

Hybrid Online
(3 credits)

Section 001 MWF, 1:00 - 1:50 PM
(as scheduled below)

Cultural Arts Building, Rooms 1059 & 2041
Fall, 2012


Text and Materials

Course Description

Course Goals

Policies & Procedures



Course Schedule

Attendance and Participation


Online E-Learning Enhancements

Academic Honor Code




Daniel C. Johnson, Ph.D.


Cultural Arts Building, Room 1056

Office Hours

M – F, 10 - 11 AM by appointment


(910) 962-7559


Note: you will receive email announcements and other communication from your instructor through your official UNCW email account. Check your official UNCW email by visiting the OWA site (Outlook Web Access). It is very important to check the course website and your UNCW email regularly for announcements and other information. For security and confidentiality reasons, course correspondence will not be sent to other email addresses.


Texts and Materials:



Course Description:

This course explores the creative process of making music while developing an understanding of basic musical concepts. It is designed for students with no musical background who wish to increase their understanding of music. Emphasis is placed on music listening, playing classroom instruments, group singing, improvisation, and music literacy. This course partially satisfies University Studies II: Approaches and Perspectives/Aesthetic, Interpretive, and Literary Perspectives.

Exploring Music is a general survey of the basic materials of music, including the study of musical notation, listening experiences, the piano keyboard, and related topics. This basic studies course is intended for the student with little or no musical training. However, it is expected that students with some musical training will find in the acquisition of aural ear-training and in the depth of theoretical study involved in this course challenging. 


Course Goals:

  1. To understand music in terms of its seven rudimentary elements.
  2. To demonstrate rudimentary music literacy skills relating to rhythm.
  3. To demonstrate rudimentary music literacy skills relating to pitch.
  4. To demonstrate rudimentary music literacy skills relating to harmony.
  5. To describe music listening examples and understand their impact on listeners as a part of everyday life.
  6. To experience the seven elements of music through active participation in classroom exercises.

More detailed than the above course goals are the course objectives. In each chapter, the specific course objectives are spelled out as an introduction and review.



There will be several assessments throughout the semester for you to demonstrate your achievement in this course. The four types of assessments are: quizzes, tests, surveys, and a final exam. The quizzes are designed to preview or review course material and may be taken two times; the higher score will be factored in your final grade. All quizzes are timed (lasting only five minutes) may be taken from any computer but are due according to the course schedule. Surveys are not graded but are required as another way to track your progress in this course. The tests and final exam may only be taken once and must be taken in the designated computer classroom (usually CAB 2041). See the course schedule for specific dates. When taking these assessments, be sure to have a pair of earbuds or headphones so you can hear the audio files.

To address the content of the syllabus and the required materials, you will have a syllabus test. The syllabus test will be administered near the beginning of the semester. Since I consider the syllabus a contract between myself and my students, its review is paramount. Major concepts, policies, and procedures indicated in the syllabus will be included on the test. Also, basic features of the textbook and other required materials will be included on the syllabus quiz. Before taking the Syllabus Test, you need to do three things: (1) complete the online Blackboard Orientation, (2) complete the Listening Survey I, and (3) get your own copy of the textbook. The Blackboard Orientation is an online guide to Blackboard 9 available via a link on the course homepage. The Listening Survey I is a way to establish your current listening skills; it is not graded but important as a comparison for the follow-up Listening Survey II. Also, each student needs to present his/her own copy of the textbook at the time they take the Syllabus Test. See the course schedule for that date.

Quizzes on chapters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are given periodically throughout the course to either preview or review course material. All quizzes are due by 11 PM on the dates indicated in the course schedule. To prepare for these relatively easy quizzes, read through the chapter and be able to explain the main ideas of each chapter. Chapter quizzes are due on Friday evenings by 11 PM. As indicated above, the quizzes are designed to preview or review course material and may be taken up to two times; the higher score will be factored in your final grade.

The Assessment Tool will close quizzes immediately after the due date/time. You cannot take quizzes after their due date/time. Do NOT wait until the last minute to take your quizzes--the BlackBoard clock controls the dropbox. "But I forgot my. . .” and “The BlackBoard clock must be fast because. . .” are not acceptable excuses.

There will be three content-based tests, organized by chapter. Also, there will be one cumulative final exam. Although anything is "fair game," I will ask questions to allow you to demonstrate your knowledge of the important content. Before each scheduled assessment, there will be an ungraded, practice test offered for self-study online as part of the online enhancements in this course. The quiz and tests will be made available for a limited time, on the dates indicated in the course schedule. There will be no make-up opportunities for these assessments, so make arrangements to take these assessments on time.


Online Course Enhancements:

Review and supplemental material relating to course content are posted by textbook chapter. These include web site references, stand-alone applications, and sites for online listening.

·       Learning Modules

For each chapter, click on the icon from the Course Content Home Page to open the associated Learning Module. Here, the study guide, associated assessments, and other links are posted.

·       Assignments

Assignments are usually submitted in class in hard copy. Students absent from class may submit assignments at my office or via email. See the late work policy on earning credit for submitted assignments.

·       My Grades and Progress

Using the My Grades and My Progress tools, you will be able to track your own work in this course. This feature is often slow; instead, you can navigate to the Assignment and Assessment tools to track you scores on individually. You may also monitor your assignment grades using the Assignment tool.

·       Assessments

There are four types of assessments in this course: Quizzes, Tests, Surveys, and the Final Exam. The quizzes and surveys will be available online in one of the UNCW computer labs, from your home computer, or from any other computer with an Internet connection. Tests and the Final Exam will be delivered online only in the designated computer classroom (usually CAB 2041). All assessments will be available for a limited time according to the course schedule. Electronic assessments save time, reduce grading errors, allow for rapid feedback, and provide in-depth item analysis.



In-class and online assignments will be assigned to accompany class lectures. To monitor your progress and assist you in learning the material, you will complete numerous in-class and take-home assignments to reinforce the content of each chapter.

You will receive full credit for complete, correct assignments submitted on time. (At my discretion, I may excuse minor errors and award full credit.) You will receive partial credit awarded on a sliding scale for incomplete assignments containing substantial errors submitted on time. You will receive no credit for missing assignments.


Attendance and Participation:

Most required class meetings are scheduled on Mondays and Wednesdays, with some Fridays reserved for online work. In addition, attendance at three concerts outside the normal class meeting times is required. The tentative schedule is listed below, and your instructor will announce any changes to the schedule in class at least one week before they take effect.

While your attendance and participation factor into your final course grade, your musical skills do not. In other words, do not worry about becoming a recorder virtuoso or master drummer in this course. Just do your best and engage with the classroom activities to make music.



Calculation of the final course grade is as follows:

Syllabus Test


Chapter Quizzes 


Tests (3)

45% (15% each)

Final Exam








For the final course grade, a ten-point grading scale will be used as follows:














Course Schedule (tentative)

The textbook reflects the major course goals and objectives. Your instructor will address them according to the tentative calendar (below). Your instructor will also announce more specifics about assignment due dates during the course of the semester.

Week of:




Welcome, Syllabus, & Chapter 1



Chapters 1 (cont.) & 2
Last day to add/drop a class (8/29)

Syllabus Quiz, Friday Aug. 31
Quiz 2 Due Friday Aug. 31


Chapters 2 (cont.)

Quiz 3 Due Friday Sept. 7


Chapter 3



Review for Test 1

Test 1, Friday Sept. 21
Quiz 4 Due Friday Sept. 21


Chapter 4



Chapter 4 (cont.)

Quiz 5 Due Friday Oct. 5


Fall Break (10/8 & 10/9)
OctubaFest 10/13 – Extra Credit Concert
Chapter 5



Chapter 5 (cont.)

Concert Report 1, due Monday Oct. 15


Review for Test 2

Test 2, Friday Oct. 26
Quiz 6 Due Friday Oct. 26


Chapter 6

Quiz 7 Due Friday Nov. 2


Chapter 7



Chapter 7 (cont.)

Quiz 8 Due Friday Nov. 16


Chapter 8
Thanksgiving Break (11/21 - 23)

Concert Report 2, due Monday Nov. 19


Chapter 8 (cont.)
Tuba Christmas 12/1 – Extra Credit Concert

Test 3, Friday Nov. 30


Comprehensive Review
Last Classes (12/5)

Concert Report 3, due Monday Dec. 3


Final Exam

Final Exam, Monday Dec. 10
11:30 AM – 2:30 PM


Assessment Schedule

The online assessments for this course are listed below. Quizzes may be taken twice, while each test and the final exam may be taken only once.

The Assessment Tool link will close immediately after the due time. If you cannot take an assessment, it is after the due time. Do NOT wait until the last minute to take assessments--the Web CT clock controls this tool. "But I forgot my. . .” and “The Web CT clock must be fast because. . .” are not acceptable excuses.

Tests and the exam may ONLY be taken in the announced computer classroom (usually CAB 2041). The quizzes and surveys, however, may be taken from any Internet-enabled computer. Prior to each assessment, it is recommended that you take the Practice Quiz or Test online which will be available at least two days before the assessment date. Although not required, these practice assessments serve to review the material and are designed to improve your assessment grades.

Note: Students with an "A" or an "A-" average (90% or higher) on the last day of classes are not required to take the final exam. Those students will receive their pre-final grade as their final course grade. All other students are required to take the final exam.

*Prerequisites for the Syllabus Test are: completion of the Blackboard Orientation, completion of the Listening Survey I, and having your own copy of the textbook.

**Prerequisites for the Final Exam are completing the Listening Survey II and the Course Survey.


Late Work Policy:

Assignments are due on the date assigned by the beginning of class. Students absent from class may submit assignments as hard copy at the instructor's office (room 1056) or as scanned file (electronic document) via email. Late work submitted by the beginning of the next class meeting will receive up to 50% credit. Assignments submitted later than the beginning of the next class meeting will not be graded.


Policies & Procedures

•     Read your syllabus (repeat this three times).

•     I believe in being fair to EVERYONE. That means that I don't cut much slack. After all, how can it be fair to the students who turn assignments in on time if I am asked to allow someone else to turn assignments in after the due date/time without point penalty?

•     I am not a big fan of "excuses." I have heard nearly every possibly excuse for why students can't complete assignments or make it to class and would prefer not to hear another story. If you there’s a catastrophe, tell me. In this case, it is not better to not complete an assignment and ask for forgiveness later. I appreciate honesty far more than a story about your great aunt Matilda who died twice and fried your hard drive so you can't do your homework.

•     Even though this course has a traditional face-to-face component, the online e-learning enhancements are a major part of this course. These features enhancements provide a greater sense of freedom and flexibility. With this freedom comes a responsibility to manage your own time when not in class.

•     Read course announcements, e-mail, the textbook, and all online course information THOROUGHLY (including this syllabus). There is nothing more annoying and a larger waste of time then to repeat the same instructions multiple times. Let me know if you have any trouble accessing this information; remember you are responsible for all assigned information posted online or in the textbook.

•     If you decide to complete assignments online, keep a copy of each assignment on your computer as a "back-up." I have innumerable disks crash every semester and the data was irretrievable. I have also heard the excuse of a missing/lost disk. I will not give you extra time if your disk crashes or you have a missing/lost disk and you do not have a back-up copy.

•     Finally, I have three big DON’TS:

  1. Don’t expect me to be available 24/7. Just because this course is enhanced with BlackBoard features that are available 24/7 doesn't mean that I can be available for all students, all the time (because I am only human). I promise--I will get back with you promptly regarding questions. Just as if you were in a traditional class and sent an email, you have to give me time to respond. Please ask questions if you have them...but give me time to answer them.
  2. Don’t panic. It goes along with all of the others that I've mentioned. Think. Breathe. Relax. Sure, I have rules, but I am fair. If you would like to meet with me, drop by my office or call me during my conventional office hours or make an appointment.
  3. Don’t forget to read! This syllabus is detailed for a reason. Have a question about an assignment? Have you checked the syllabus first? Have you re-read the chapter? Have you checked the course announcements and your email? All of this comes FIRST before you send an email or post a message. Please think before you post.



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DePaolo Hall 1056 & 1003, first floor

The University Learning Center’s (ULC) mission is to help students become successful, independent learners. Tutoring at the ULC is NOT remediation: the ULC offers a different type of learning opportunity for those students who want to increase the quality of their education. ULC services are free to all UNCW students and include the following: --Learning Services (University Studies) --Supplemental Instruction --Writing Services


University-Wide Policies

Academic Honor Code
All members of UNCW’s community are expected to follow the academic Honor Code. Please read the UNCW Honor Code carefully - as covered in the UNCW Student Handbook and available
online. Academic dishonesty in any form will not be tolerated in this class.
Religious Observance Policy
In accordance with NC SL 2010-211, you are entitled to two excused absences for religious observances per academic year. You must inform your instructor in writing the first week of class if you will be missing any classes due to religious observance and using one of the two permissible absences for the academic year. In addition, please inform the Registrar the first week of class who will then confirm your intentions to miss class with the impacted course instructors. Any absence for religious purposes will be considered unexcused unless you submit the request in writing the first week to either your instructor and the Registrar.
Zero Tolerance Policy
UNCW practices a zero tolerance policy for violence and harassment of any kind. For emergencies contact UNCW CARE at 962-2273; Campus Police at 962-3184; or Wilmington Police at 911.  For University or community resources visit: Violence prevention information and resources available at We will focus several class discussions on the importance of reducing violence and increasing tolerance in schools and at UNCW.
Cell Phones, PDAs, Laptops
Please silence your cell phone and do not make calls, access applications or text during class. If you have a personal, urgent matter for which you need to be on call, please let your instructor know in advance. In addition, please do not have active any PDAs or laptops/netbooks/iPads open and active unless the activity warrants.
The UNCW Statement on Diversity in the University Community
As an institution of higher learning, the University of North Carolina Wilmington represents a rich diversity of human beings among its faculty, staff, and students and is committed to maintaining a campus environment that values that diversity. Accordingly, the university supports policies, curricula, and co-curricular activities that encourage understanding of and appreciation for all members of its community and will not tolerate any harassment or disrespect for persons because of race, gender, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, or relationship to other university constituents. Students with Disabilities information and resources available at


The above syllabus for this course is subject to change by the instructor. In the event of any alteration, written changes to the syllabus will be provided at least 2 days (48 hours) before they take effect.