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Online Music Courses




Find out more about our online music courses


General Information

Online learning through the department of music is growing every year. We invite you to explore our online courses, courses that you can take when ever from wherever!

Online courses offered by the department of music are entirely online. There are no lectures to attend or registrar scheduled final exams. Instead all content is available online and you work through the material at your own pace. It is a form of distance education that uses computer, video, audio, and networking technologies to deliver course information and allow interactive discussions. There are weekly deadlines for assignments and quizzes to help keep you on track as well as your instructor and teaching assistant.

Our courses were developed and designed by professors, musicians, and instructional designers. Our learner-centered approach produces a rich learning experience for you.

Interaction is a key attribute of well-designed courses. Through live online chats or discussion forums, you can discuss issues or debate ideas with your instructor and fellow classmates. For live chats, both students and the instructor are online at the same time. With discussion forums, the instructor and the students are usually not accessing the course site at the same time, providing time to think and reflect on answers prior to responding online.

Online courses are presented through a web-based format. Our courses are delivered through a password protected website using BlackBoard Learn 9. The course website contain the majority of the content, research resources, expected readings, as well as discussion forums and assignments. In essence, the online course becomes your classroom with built in opportunities for interaction as well as support. Contact with the instructor is through email or videoconference.

Participation is not optional! To learn online, you have to be actively involved in your course. Imagine a face-to-face class discussion where no one said a word. Online discussions would be just like that if people did not participate. Our online courses have large discussion components that rely heavily on your input at specific points within the course.

Music 101.3

Music 101 is a concise introduction to music theory that aims to develop both your practical and intellectual fluency with musical skills and concepts. Through weekly assignments, exercises, and online discussions, you will develop your ability to hear basic musical processes and will acquire concepts and terminology to help you understand and describe fundamental aspects of both art and popular music. Musical materials used in this course range from Western art music from the baroque period through the twentieth century, popular music repertoire, and music of the non-western world. Course topics include: rhythm and metre, pitch, major and minor scales, intervals, and triads.

This course is designed for students with little to no previous training in music.

By the end of this course, you should acquire the following:
• A basic fluency in music literacy including reading and writing musical notation
• A basic understanding of musical process and structure
• An ability to apply musical terminology to describe musical process and structure
• A heightened awareness of musical aesthetics, what goes on in music, and how it affects your hearing of a musical work

There is no textbook or additional software required for Music 101.3.

Music 111.3

This course provides an introduction to popular music of the United States and Canada. Organized chronologically, the course examines popular music from 1840 to 1990 in a historical context. Previous music knowledge is not necessary, however the course does include a directed listening component, where the student will be required to provide commentary on specific musical elements on various recordings.

Music 111 is open to all students without prerequisite. Students majoring in music may not take this course as an open music elective, but may take this course as an Art elective.

By the end of this course, you should be able to:
• Recognize key figures throughout the history of popular music, and be able to discuss their significance and contributions.
• Listen to and differentiate between musical styles presented throughout the course.
• Formulate opinions about the significance of social, cultural, and economic factors that influenced the development of various styles.
• Compare and contrast musical styles from various periods, and identify specific characteristics of each.
• Discuss the cultural significance of popular music in society.

There is a textbook required for MUS111.3 as well as about 40 complete songs and an equal number of song clips. Please visit the university bookstore for information about ordering the textbook.

To help you access the music, songs are linked to an iTunes playlist (one list for each module) from the iTunes store. You are not required to use iTunes if you have other sources for the music. However, the playlists will make your listening easier. You can make the purchase with a credit card or an iTunes purchase card. These cards are available at 7-11, Wal-Mart and other convenience stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

I have no previous musical training. Can I take these courses?
Our courses are designed for those with no previous musical training.

Can I complete these courses using the University's computers?
Yes, all of our courses can be completed using a computer on campus.

Are there labs or lectures that I must attend?
No. Music 101 and 111 operate completely online, including assignments, quizzes, and exams.

Where do I find the course content?
As soon as you are accepted as a U of S student, you will have access to PAWS (Personalized Access to Web Services), the University's internet management system. Log into PAWS, and then click on the Course Tools icon. All of the course content is online. Once you have access to the course, you will be able to read all of the text, have access to quizzes, assignments, and so on.

Do I have to purchase a textbook?
Each of our courses have individual requirements. Please see the respective course descriptions for textbook requirements.

How will I know when to start?
Our online classes follow the regular university calendar. Courses will be available to you on the first day of classes in any term.

Can I work on the course whenever I wish?
Yes, but keep in mind that there are deadlines and due dates. Assignments and quizzes must be submitted on time. There are assignments and quizzes in each unit, which means that there are small assignments and quizzes due each and every week.

What if I have questions or don't understand the material?
This class has an instructor, the same as any other class. Your instructor is available through e-mail, through a chatroom, or, online using videoconferencing software. If you have any questions about your class be sure to contact your instructor as soon as possible.

I have no experience with online learning. Can I get some practice before I start the course?
Once you log into your course you will see various types of help. You will find help documents, videos, common FAQs, Tips & Tricks. You can also visit BlackBoard Help for Students

What if I have to go away during the term?
If you are working on a laptop, take it with you. You can work on our courses from anywhere in the world.

Do I need high speed Internet or is a dial-up connection good enough?
High speed is definitely recommended. It is possible to do this course through a dial up connection, but only if you have a great deal of patience.

What special things do I need on my computer?
You can download many of the things you will need for free (or is already installed on most computers).

Flashplayer , Quicktime player and iTunes allow you to see and hear video and audio material.

How can I make sure my computer will work for these courses?
Visit BlackBoard to make sure your computer is supported by BlackBoard.

How much work is involved?
Our courses are three credit classes, so as much work as any other university level three credit class. Because of the nature of the material, there are many small assignments rather than one or two large ones. It is essential that you keep up with class work throughout the term. During the regular term, you should allow for about 12 hours/week per course.

I know very little about computers. What if I am having a technical problem?
If you are having any difficulty accessing the course material, you should contact the University Help Desk first. This is a music class, not a computer programming class, and you are not expected to be a computer expert.

Contact the Help Desk

Are online music courses offered every term?
Yes, Music 101 and 111 are usually offered both in the fall and winter terms of the regular school year, and in one of the spring or summer sessions depending on enrollment.

Will I be able to contact other students in my class?
Yes. You will be able to contact them via in-class e-mail, through discussion groups and through the class chatroom.

Who do I contact if I have other questions?
You can contact our online learning coordinator by clicking here or the department of music office by clicking here.

Additional Links
Centre of Continuting and Distance Education (CCDE)
Information Technology Services (ITS)
University of Saskatchewan Bookstore
University of Saskatchewan Campus Computer Store


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