Tuesday, May 20, 2008

First day of class

I love teaching Music Appreciation in summer session. On the first day of class, I come in early and sit in the class, posing as a student. I chat with the members of the class, ask them why they're taking it, what their major is, and, what they've heard about the professor... heh. Then I start to bitch loudly about the professor being late... after a while, then, I get up and start handing out the syllabus... surprise!! I can only do this on the first day of the class. What fun! (I'm in the center of the photo, staring at the camera).

This is my only opportunity to interact with a class of students that are not music majors. I love the curriculum. We cover music elements and basic music theory, and then so many styles... folk, religious, jazz, pop, blues, Native American, Latino, Klezmer, Cajun, Indian, Japanese, to name a few... and then after all that, we tackle European Art Music from the Middle Ages and Renaissance to the present. A lot of stuff. With the help of youtube, the Naxos Listening Library, and various videos, the class really is fun. (and ... it's quite good extra $$$$ too ! )

I've noticed some interesting phenomena about the students in general and myself as an instructor over the years of teaching this class. First, the students in general seem to lack a broad vocabulary. (Almost no one knew what the words 'prolific', 'vernacular', or 'virtuosic' meant). Second, international students writing in their second language often write better than many American students! And... I always seem to learn the names of the female students much more quickly than the male students. Hmmm....


Anonymous said...

haha, i have never had a teacher do that!
I just took music appreciation last semester..
How is the running going?

cheers, Jacob Carrigan

William said...

hey Jacob,
Just starting to run again after about 5 weeks off. I had a slight acl strain but it feels ok now, still not 100%. I probably won't race again til fall. I'm now just running every other day a few miles, keeping the pace around 7 min/mile which for me is a good hard run. Someday I want to be able to keep up with you and Lovell (after the first mile)

Lisa said...

So, what did they say about you?

"Oh, I hear he ONLY does 5k races and he's too chicken to try anything longer." ha ha!!!