MUS 236 World Music Appreciation F2F

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Music 236  

Music Appreciation: World Music (Face to Face Course)

Dylan Johnson

Office Hour: By Appt.


Welcome to the on campus (face to face) section of Music Appreciation: World Music!

My name is Dylan Johnson and I will be your instructor for the 18-week in person version of MUS 236.  I am an active professional musician in SLO county, and a Cuesta College professor since 2008.  I look forward to sharing my excitement about this music with you!  

Instructor: Dylan Johnson


Office: SLO Campus, Room 7167, Music Building

Office Hours: By appointment only online or in person

Contact:  Please contact me via messaging in Canvas. I will generally

respond to your messages within 24 hours except for weekends and busy times of the semester when it may be up to 48 hours. 

Class begins on August 14th, 2023.  Our course is on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:30am to 11:50am.


Course Overview

MUS 236 surveys the music that is unique to different parts of the world.  There will be emphasis on the fundamental elements of each kind of music, the instruments, form, style and the role that each music plays in its society.  Transfer: CSU;UC.

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of the elements of world music using appropriate terminology.
  • Identify musical instruments and styles of different kinds of music.
  • Analyze and evaluate live music performances.
  • Discuss major world music forms in their historical context.


Required Materials for Course

World Music: Traditions and Transformations 3rd edition, written by Michael B. Bakan  

First Day Ebook Edition or print version (Cost is approx. $35 for Ebook)


Five small Scantron Quiz sheets

Two large Scantrons for midterm and final


Recommended Reading 

Students are encouraged to keep up with music in the community by researching online and reading New Times, SLO County’s arts and community newspaper (this will also be necessary for your concert reviews) and  



Quizzes will be given at the end of most chapters, and will be based on lectures, listening, and reading assignments.  Most quizzes are announced: however, students should be prepared for occasional pop quizzes which my involve writing or listening. 



There will be a midterm and a final exam, both of which are a requirement for passing the class.  The midterm and final exam dates will be announced early in the semester. There will be no make-ups unless discussed BEFORE THE EXAM with the instructor.


Academic Progress

Per school policy, students are required to maintain academic progress in classes at Cuesta College.  Students who consistently receive low grades on quizzes/exams will be dropped from music appreciation classes.



There will be no make-ups unless arranged ahead of time.  If absence during a test or quiz is unavoidable and if the exam is ready, the test can be given ahead of time when prearranged with the instructor.  In class assignments can not be made up.

Concert Attendance Requirement

Music appreciation students are required to attend one live world music performance during the semester.  A written evaluation (critique) is then completed and handed in.  The evaluation form will be on our course homepage in myCuesta. You may choose your own concerts, however, please have your concert selections approved by the instructor beforehand.  We will discuss opportunities in class.

A concert is a place or event that you attend to specifically listen to live music.  Here are some examples that do not count as a concert. 

You are walking down Higuera St. and someone is playing in front of The Gap.

You are at a wedding and a band happens to be playing.

You are barhopping and you happen to hear a band playing.

You are at a club and it happens to be karaoke night.

If you turn in a concert report on something that does not qualify as a concert, it will not be accepted.

Important!   It is required that proof of your attendance be attached to the evaluation.  Here are some examples.

A ticket stub/receipt


Signature of musician

Photo of you clearly at concert (can be shown in class)

Concert evaluations will not be accepted without proof of attendance.  Refer to the concert evaluation forms in your packets. Also, not completing concert reviews will drop your grade significantly!



We will have occasional surprise pop-quizzes that will consist of a short written quiz or a listening quiz.


Audio/Visual Reviews and Listening Analysis Worksheets

Students will be expected to turn in a review after all audio/visual presentations.  This is a major portion of you grade, as there will be A/V presentations for nearly every class.  If you leave class before the presentation ends, you will receive a zero for that review and will be deemed absent for that class. 


Grading Policy

Classwork/Pop Quizzes/etc. 5-10pts each  

Quizzes 15pts each

Midterm 50pts 

Final Exam 50pts

Concert/Album Report 30 pts 



Attendance in class is required and is an important component of the student’s progress.  Due to the listening nature of the course content, it is difficult to make up missed work.  Accurate attendance records are taken at all class sessions. If a prolonged absence is unavoidable, be sure that the instructor is informed of the situation as soon as possible.  In the case of an unavoidable absence, students are encouraged to obtain lecture notes, announcements, due dates, test dates, or any other information from other students and/or the course website on  Absences due to medical and dental appointments are not excused in the college environment. Students who miss more than six class hours (4 classes) may be dropped from the class.  After the drop deadline, students will lose 10 class points for every absence over two classes.


Withdrawal Policy

Cuesta College Policies:

It is very difficult to track students who have abandoned online courses due to the volume of students and the lack of face to face interaction.  To insure you do not recieve a failing grade, please drop the course yourself on myCuesta if you decide to discontinue.


Late Work  

Late work will not be accepted in this class unless you are absent and turn in the assignment the following class meeting.  If you will be unable to attend class for a prolonged period, please check with the instructor.


Attendance Sheet

Attendance in class kept with an attendance sheet.  This sheet will be passed around on a clipboard at the beginning of class.  Please sign the sheet legibly. Please do not have other students sign for you.  Your signatures will be periodically checked for forgeries. If you do not sign the roll sheet, you are deemed absent from class.


Leaving Early

Early departure from music appreciation course sessions is disruptive and unsettling to the students and the instructor.  This practice is not allowed in class. If you have an emergency, let me know before class. Leaving class early after you have signed the roll sheet is considered an absence.


Active Listening

An integral part of the course is active listening.  Under no circumstances are students to be engaged in any conversations during the playing of music or during documentaries.  


Cell Phones, etc.

 Cell phones are to be off and put away in class (go outside!).  No texting!! No eating or drinking in class, unless it is water.  If you have a unique circumstance, communicate with me.



Students are required to arrive to class on time.  If a student arrives late they risk missing the attendance sheet and will be deemed absent.  Quizzes/tests in progress may not be given to students who arrive after quiz is handed out.



This syllabus and forthcoming class schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.  If you are absent from class, it is your responsibility to check for announcements made while you were absent.


Paragraph Form

All written communication in this class is to be in paragraph form.  At no time will one word or one sentence responses be given credit for any writing in this class.


Academic Honesty

Academic honesty is demanded at Cuesta College.  If you are caught cheating on tests, quizzes, or reports you will fail the assignment with no possibility of a make-up.  See the Cuesta class schedule for more details. 


Examples of Academic Dishonesty:

  • Copying from another student’s exam
  • Giving answers during a test to another student
  • Using notes or electronic devices during an exam when prohibited
  • Taking a test for someone else
  • Submitting another student’s work as your own, e.g. copying a computer file that contains another student’s own work
  • Knowingly allowing another student to copy/use your computer file(s) as his or her own work
  • Completing an assignment for another student
  • Plagiarizing or “kidnapping” other people’s thoughts, words, speeches or artistic works by not acknowledging them through proper documentation


DSPS-  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.

DSPS/ADA Accessibility Challenges:
I believe that a diverse classroom offers us opportunities to learn from each other’s experiences.  For this reason I try to make my class accessible to all students. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, there is important material in this class that is inherently inaccessible and critical to achieving our Student Learning Outcomes. If you are experiencing accessibility difficulties, especially hearing impairment, you should contact me and we can work together utilizing resources available at DSPS for possible help.

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

Student Support at Cuesta
During this time many students are struggling financially, emotionally, and academically with all of the changes we are going through.  Cuesta has resources for you.  See below.

***Food Resources for students  can be found at 
Food Bank Distribution:
***Cuesta CaFe Centers****
CaFE Centers Cuesta College  Short description:  The CaFE Center provides comprehensive support, services, and resources to CalWORKs, foster youth, and EOPS/CARE students in order to empower, motivate and encourage them to reach their educational, career and life goals in a welcoming and safe environment.

CalWORKs at Cuesta College is a program designed to assist student cash aid recipients navigate an educational pathway to a successful career so that they can transition off cash aid. We are here to work with CalWORKs students to achieve long-term self-sufficiency for themselves and their families through career planning and educational opportunities.

What is CalWORKs?
Services include: Guidance in applying to the college, financial aid, and registration for classes, Academic and career counseling to determine educational pathways, Coordination with Social Services for educational supplies and supportive services targeted toward your educational/career goals., Assist students to ensure compliance of your Welfare-to-Work (WTW) or Self-Initiated (SIP) plan through a career oriented Educational Plan, One-on-one case management services available online or in-person to assist in problem solving school/life issues, Help with the Cuesta Scholarship application and resources to PAY for school,  Advocacy supporting resources and achievement toward school completion, Subsidized employment, work study and internships centered around your career, Development of a resume and a job search portfolio to facilitate long-term employment, Referrals to additional supportive services, on or off campus as needed, Advocacy and education regarding Rights and Responsibilities issues.

What is EOPS?
Extended Opportunity Program and Services (EOPS) is a California state-funded program that provides an accessible and rewarding college experience to low-income students facing social, economic, and educational disadvantages. The program was established in 1969 by the California Legislature with the goal to provide access and educational equity for community college students.

Final Note
I am committed to acknowledging, confronting, and actively striving to eradicate all forms of racism and ethnic oppression. Thus, this course operates from the belief that racism is real, is present, and is something that Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color face daily. Part of my objective for this course, therefore, is to create a safe and brave space that enables all of my students to engage openly, safely, equally, equitably, and honorably with their education. In taking this course, you are expected to do your best to embrace these values. I also expect that we will work together to engage with all of our classmates and with the material through thoughtful respect of everyone and their individual truths.

I look forward to working with you!  Please email me with any questions or message me in Canvas!
Best regards,
Dylan Johnson



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