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Music Appreciation: Classical MUS 235 Summer 2019 CRN 50893 

Instructor: Dr. Michael Walker

Welcome to the Distance Education section of Music Appreciation: Classical Music.

I want to thank all of you for making this course possible and to welcome you to an incredible world of music history and to the lives and music of some of the most influential musicians of all time during this summer term.

Who Is Your Teacher?

A long time ago I was a student at Cuesta College where I took my first music course just after graduating from San Luis Obispo High School. After Cuesta I attended Humboldt State University obtaining a BA in Piano Performance and the University of Oregon where I graduated with a MA and Ph.D in Music Theory with a secondary in Music History. After teaching for 3 years at the University of Texas – Pan American, I came back home to SLO and have been teaching at Cuesta College for the last 9 years. During this time I have been active as a composer, performer, author, and father.

Classical music has always been a strong passion of mine and I look forward to sharing my excitement about the music and composers we will study this summer!  

Instructor: Dr. Michael Walker

Email: michael_walker1@cuesta.edu  

Office: SLO Campus, Room 7167, Performing Arts Building

Office Hours: By appointment only

Contact:  Please contact me via email. I will generally

respond to your emails within 24 hours

Class Begins on June 17th, 2019

On Monday, June 17th, check your myCuesta.edu address for an email that will provide you with login procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content. The syllabus and first introductory assignment will be posted on Canvas at that time.  If you would like to learn about Canvas now, hereLinks to an external site. is a quick start pdf that explains the basics and a series of videosLinks to an external site. that can acquaint you with the Canvas LMS environment.

About a week before the first day of class I will send an email to each of you inviting you to familiarize yourselves with the course content, modules, assignments, and syllabus. 

Course Overview:

This course is designed to inspire passion for classical music from any age or style, and to gain sensitivity to its musical characteristics and social context through listening, online lectures, videos and documentaries. While the focus is on Western art music (“Classical”), other influential music styles will contribute to our class discussions including Jazz and Rock and Roll.

There are two parts to this course: part 1 is an introduction of the basic elements of music (notation, harmony, form, etc.) and the principle instruments of the orchestra (woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings). Part 2 covers the 6 style periods of music – medieval, renaissance, baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th century. This comprises the bulk of the class where we are introduced to great composers who helped shape music history, as we know it. Not only will we learn about their lives and the music they wrote, but we will also learn to become sensitive to the characteristics of each musical style period. Moreover, we will learn about the great forms of music such as fugue, sonata, concerto, opera, and symphony to name a few.

Course Packet

This summer term we will be using Course Materials For Classical Music Appreciation MUS 235 that I wrote for this course. It is only available at the Cuesta College Bookstore at a very low price.

Course Requirements

For each chapter, students will be required to read the course packet, watch the videos and documentaries posted, and listen to audio materials that will accessible from the Canvas site.  Additionally, for each chapter, students will be required to participate in the discussion forum and various assignments that are particular to each chapter (watching audio/visual presentations, etc.)  There will be short multiple choice quizzes for each chapter and short listening quizzes where you will need to identify the composer, style period, and title of each music example played for you. The listening examples will be posted on the first day of class so you can enjoy and prepare for the listening quizzes way in advance! More detailed information will be included in the course syllabus.

Is Online Instruction For You?

In an effort to assist the online student, Cuesta College’s Distance Education home pageLinks to an external site. provides a solid overview to distance education and resources to assist the online student.  On that page is a tutorial for students taking online courses for the first time, and technical requirements to check that you can succeed in the course with the computer you are accessing it with. Taking the Self Assessment SurveyLinks to an external site. will help determine if an online course is right for you.  Please access these materials before the course begins to prepare for success.

Online Communication

Most of our communication for the online class will be through the written word. Please use the same respect and courtesy you would when speaking to a classmate or instructor in a face-to-face class. You may notice that the written word sometimes comes across harsher and you may be at a loss as to how to communicate a point. A term which may be new to you is netiquette which refers to internet etiquette please visit http://www.albion.com/netiquette/corerules.html Links to an external site.for further explanation.

Computer Requirement

Browser requirements/minimum computer specifications http://www.cuesta.edu/student/aboutacad/distance/faqs_technical.htmlLinks to an external site.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering a DSL, cable or satellite (not dial-up

modem) internet Connection

➢ A myCuesta Gmail address.  All students receive this after registration. If you need assistance with your myCuesta.edu account please contact Admissions and Records on the San Luis Obispo campus.

Software: Microsoft Office Professional 2011 (Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint) or Google Docs You may purchase the Office software at a discount through the California Community College FoundationLinks to an external site.

Sound Card, speakers or headset.


Cuesta College Policies:


If you have a disability and might need accommodations (support services) in this class, please contact Disabled Student Program Services in Building 3300 as soon as possible to ensure that you receive the accommodations in a timely manner. http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/dsps/Links to an external site.


Student Academic Policy, Student Code of Conduct, and Student Computer Technology Access Agreement:

http://academic.cuesta.edu/president/2008BP/BP5000/AP%205500_Standards%20of%20Conduct.pdfLinks to an external site.

I look forward to working with you!  Please email me with any questions!

Best regards,

Dr. Michael Walker


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