The Music Department is offering the following dynamic courses that will immerse you in the world of Music.

Registration is easy and you spend an unforgettable Janplan learning about Jazz Improvisation, African Music, Acoustic/Electric Grunge/Rock Songwriting, Graphic Design in Music, and Music as Therapy.

See the schedule below and learn a bit more about what each class is offering.


MU114J Jazz Improvisation

Eric Thomas MTW 10:00am-1:00pm&R 3:00-6:00pm Bixler Band Rm 219

Basic jazz theory and improvisation, including melody-, scalar-, modal-, and chord-based improvisation. Introduction to arranging for jazz groups and interactions between soloists and background musicians; jazz style and performance practices. Includes semiprivate instruction and performances in large groups and smaller combos. Listening assignments include jazz greats. Instrumentalists and vocalists welcome. Prerequisite: Ability to sing or play major scales. Three credit hours.

MU116J  Acoustic/Electric Grunge/Rock Songwriting: A Composition Seminar  

Philip Fournier TRF 1:00-4:00pm Bixler Rm TBA

Students will engage in intensive and sustained listening exercises in order to develop an understanding of form, melody, harmony rhythm and text in a wide range of contemporary and commercial musical genres: grunge, crossover, rock, trance, among others. Students will use their developing knowledge/musical skills to complete multiple small-scale composition projects in preparation for a a recording and public performance of one completed composition for multiple musicians. Prerequisite: Basic knowledge of music terminology and concepts. Three credit hours.

​MU118J African Music

Jordan Benissan ​MTWR 12:25pm-3:15pm Bixler Given Aud. Rm 178

An introduction to the music of Africa, an integral and defining aspect of the culture of Africa. Hands-on experience with various instruments (e.g., drums, rattles, bells), as well as singing and dancing, to provide important insights into the cultures of Africa. Various African music themes will be explored through films and recordings. Culminates in a final performance by the class. Nongraded. Three credit hours.

MU218J Graphic Design Music

Gordon Jee TWF 1:00pm-4pm Bixler Library Computer Lab Rm 132

Seeing, Then Hearing: Graphic Design for the Music Industry While it may seem counterintuitive, visual attraction is a central concern in the business of music. Getting music to the attention of the widest possible audience demands an increasingly refined, international visual fluency. We will look at and listen to well-known releases with an eye to the differences in the visual publicity and packaging in the European, Asian, and American markets for albums by Katy Perry, the Rolling Stones, Kanye West, and Kiss. Students will use readings in world and art history, ethnomusicology, and cultural theory, and hands-on work with Adobe Photoshop to formulate and debate answers to a number of complex multicultural design problems. Previously listed as Music 297J.

MU223J  Perception of Music   

Patricia Helm MTWR 10:00-12:00pm Bixler Rm

An inter-disciplinary exploration of music and psychology. We will consider some of the predominant theories of how we perceive music, including ideas about memory and music. We will draw upon concepts central to cognitive psychology, including aspects of auditory memory, brain processes, melodic and rhythmic grouping, schematic frameworks, and hierarchical structures in music. Students will actively experience music and relate what they are hearing to the theoretical models. Central to the class is discussion of each student’s individual responses to music and exploration and development of ways to map their experiences.


MU226J  Music as Therapy: Across the Life Span   

Mark Wittenberg TRF 1:00-4:00pm Bixler Rm TBA

Music therapy is an integrative therapeutic approach increasingly used as complementary health care in treating autism, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other medical/psychological issues. Students will 1) acquire an historical, philosophical, musical and ethnomusicological perspective of music (as) therapy, 2) gain a knowledge of the broad background of the clinical practice music therapy, 3) learn how music as a creative art and as therapy is utilized by various populations and cultures, and 4) gain a broader appreciation of the potential for interdisciplinary uses of the creative arts. Includes an off-campus visit to observe a program that utilizes music therapy in the treatment of populations with special needs. Three credit hours.

Music Lessons are also available during JanPlan. Please visit our music lessons page for more information.