Music Around World
Spring 2020 - Professor Mathias did a really incredible job with this class. It is so interesting, so unbelievably well-organized, and so fun. I have always been interested in music, but I came in knowing dang near nothing. I had no idea what to expect, and I was especially worried concerning the switch to online classes right before spring quarter. However, Professor Mathias handled this transition better than any other professor I have. She did a fantastic job and it was seamlessly done. The lectures were asynchronous to accommodate all students. The discussions were done in person, and the TAs were both great. The only thing we had to do other than the lectures were weekly fieldwork journals (listen to great music of your choice for about 20 minutes and submit notes) and a book report, which was split into multiple different parts to lower the workload and keep students from procrastinating too much. Professor Mathias cares deeply about student learning, and she was extremely accommodating. When it appeared the pandemic was going to make things difficult, she made it so that late completions of lectures would not be penalized, one missed discussion would not be penalized, one missed fieldwork journal would not be penalized, and late submission of one part of the book review would not be penalized. Then, when more issues erupted towards the end of the quarter, she made the book report "no-harm" so that those who were impacted would not be overly stressed. All in all: an amazing class with super interesting content, very little work, and an extremely fair professor. I highly recommend it.
Spring 2022 - This class was very interesting and a great experience if you want to diversify your knowledge of music and cultures. Professor Helen Rees was very understanding and genuinely cared about student learning. It's very common for students to have little to no experience with music before taking this class, and that is completely okay! Though her lectures were hard to stay attentive to, the PowerPoints themselves told you everything you needed to know about the cultural region you were studying. My favorite thing was that in each slideshow, Professor Rees concluded them with a "What you need to know for exam purposes" which included key terms and names to come back to by the time you needed to study. Rees always encourages student participation, bringing in many guest performers and inviting students to come up and play the instrument during the lecture. The class itself is fairly easy if you do the work when you need to. With my experience, I stopped going to lectures by Week 3 and only would go to discussions. As long as you took notes on the lectures and actually listened to the listening examples, you should be good to go. The papers are subjective so as long as you hit all the points/questions asked for, it will be light work. Most people got screwed over with the midterm but all you need to do is mainly study the listening examples (my best tip is to find a distinct factor in each example) and then familiarize yourself with different instruments and artists that are mentioned in the lectures. I also got COVID during finals and was unable to take the final in person, and she was more than willing to accommodate my situation and make the final accessible in a virtual setting which I am very thankful for! Grade Breakdown 10% - 1 open book, in-section reading quiz 20% - midterm 20% - final (not cumulative) 10% - 2 pg musical autobiography 20% - 4 pg concert report 20% - 4 pg textbook chapter critique