Welcome Letter MUS238 Spring

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Music Appreciation: Jazz MUS 238 Spring 2018 CRN #31541


Welcome to distance education at Cuesta College. My name is Dave Becker and I will be your instructor for the online version of MUS 238 – Music Appreciation: Jazz. This letter is to inform you of some of the important details prior to the commencement of this class.


Instructor:     Dave Becker

Email:             dbecker@cuesta.edu   Monday through Friday

Office:             SLO Campus, Room 7167, Music Building

Telephone:     (805) 546-3100, ext. 2444 Monday through Friday

Office Hours: By appointment only

Welcome Video: Select the link to view the video- (This video is not available at this time)


Instructor Contact Expectations:  The best and fastest way to contact me is email.  I will generally respond to your emails within 24 hours during weekdays only.  During busy times of the semester, the response time may increase to 48 hours.  On weekends, I will do my best to get back to you ASAP but I cannot guarantee an expeditious response. 


Class opens: On the Friday prior to classes starting, January 12th, 2018, or possibly sooner, you will receive an email to your my.Cuesta.edu address providing you with log in procedures for Canvas, the learning management system (LMS) used to deliver course content.  Once logged into Canvas you can select the option below which best suits your needs and/or schedule:


Logging into Canvas - There is NO orientation meeting for this course. Once you log into Canvas please complete ALL components of the Course Navigation module by Friday, January 19th,

2018 at 11:59pmPST to retain your enrollment in the class. Included in the module will be:

  1. Read the File called ‘Navigating Connect’ (located within the Canvas course)
  2. Update your profile page to include a picture of yourself
  3. Send your instructor a message within Canvas
  4. Post to the discussion forum titled Getting to Know You and respond to 2 students


If you are having difficulty logging into Canvas after January 16th, 2018 and need assistance please email me at dbecker@cuesta.edu.  If you have never taken an online class or this is your first experience with Canvas, please be patient with yourself. 


Course Overview: MUS 238 is a Music Appreciation course specializing in Jazz, specifically surveying the music that is unique to the United States, where it was born. There will be emphasis on the elements of each kind of jazz, the instruments, form, style and how each style of jazz fit into society. 

After successful completion of this course, students will:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of musical styles, forms and influential artists that have contributed to the soundscape of jazz music
  • Increase active listening skills by focusing attention on various musical concepts such as melody, rhythm, harmony, texture and tone color
  • Analyze stylistic tools that convey emotion
  • Gain a greater understanding of the cultural influences on jazz music and jazz musicians

Textbook: Jazz: 12th edition by Paul Tanner & Megill ISBN 9781260119749  (this is a loose-leaf text with a ‘Connect’ access code included) This textbook is required for the first day of class and, Links to an external site.can be purchased online at the Cuesta College bookstore http://bookstore.cuesta.edu/ Links to an external site.or from McGraw Hill. Please purchase your textbook early in an effort not to miss the first assignments.


Is Online Instruction for YOU? Cuesta College has a strong desire for all students to be successful in their educational endeavors. In an effort to assist the online student, Cuesta College’s Distance Links to an external site.Education home page Links to an external site.provides a solid overview to distance education and resources to assist the online student. I recommend that you take the Self Assessment Survey” Links to an external site.(if that survey does NOT describe you, then taking this class online is NOT for you and I strongly suggest that you drop the online class and enroll in a traditional classroom section.


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.


Course offered using Canvas: This online course will be using a Web-based Learning Management System Canvas as the method to disseminate information. Canvas provides the framework for the MUS 238 class including PowerPoint presentations, student data files, the tools to receive and send course materials, and a grade book. Using the communication tools, you can communicate using e-mail, and you can share materials and ideas with other course participants via the discussion forums and group. Please click the link below to watch the ‘Intro to Jazz Appreciation’ Video- (This video is not available at this time)  Please check out the instructor’s website in the meantime:  davebeckermusic.com


Computer Requirement: Links to an external site.Browser requirements/minimum computer

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


Ø Reliable Internet Service Provider (ISP) offering DSL, Cable or Satellite setup.(not dial-up modem) Internet Connection


Ø A my.cuesta.edu e-mail address. If you need assistance with your my.cuesta.edu please contact

Admissions and Records on the San Luis Obispo campus.


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


Ø Sound Card, speakers or headset.


Cuesta College Policies:


First Assignment: Please check your my.cuesta.edu email account the Friday before the semester begins for the Navigating Canvas assignment. The course syllabus will be available in the LMS site at the beginning of the semester and contains a schedule for all homework, group project, and test dates.


If you have any further questions prior to the first day of class, please feel free to email me at dbecker@cuesta.edu.  Once again, emailing me is recommended!


Thank you and I am looking forward to having you in my class.


Dave Becker


Jazz Appreciation

Cuesta College

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