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Took him Fall Quarter for 50A, which was a breeze. The class consists of 1 midterm, 2 papers, and 1 final. Send rough drafts of your papers to your TA to edit; I did so on my first paper and got a 99% on it. If you have friends in the class, you don't even need to go to lecture because all his tests are based directly off his lecture notes. I didn't go to a single class after the midterm, and didn't have the notes to study from, but still pulled off an A in this class. I recommend taking it if you want an easy A class.
I am a freshman and I signed up for this class purely based on bruinwalk ratings. I'm going to give you an honest account of my experience with this class....
Lecture: Boring. Just plain boring. Half of the kids did not pay attention during class, and half of those were on facebook and the other half were sleeping. And the other half of students who attended lecture were struggling to stay awake. But in the end, barely anyone came to lecture. If you don't feel the need to be there, then just copy the notes from your friends.
Discussion: What we talked about in discussion was pointless, but going is crucial because it's part of your grade. The 9:00 Friday morning class was not exactly my favorite. Your T.A. decides a portion of your grade (2 essays and 1 concert report each worth 10% of your grade), so make sure to go to their office hours to get specifics on what they want for your paper.
Textbook/Course Reader: The textbook doesn't help for the tests or anything, but for the essays it helps you better understand the concepts you have to write about. You can use the course reader on your essays as a source but that is pretty much the only benefit of wasting $30 on it.
1. Get going on your papers early so that you can bring them to your TA's office hours. Also, the sooner you check out books from the music library and do your research, the wider selection there will be.
2. The movies/clips Harrison shows are interesting so don't just bail on those class days.
3. Memorize songs/musicians because they really matter for your test.
4. Pay attention to the study guides if you get them from your TAs.
I ended up with an A+ in this class and had the hardest TA. It's not that hard of a class, just make sure to really cram for the midterm and final and you'll end up with an A.
this class was ridiculously easy. don't worry if you have no musical background; it's pretty laid back where you can just sit there and play around. the TAs type up the notes during lecture so all you have to do is copy it down. my TA was Kate; super nice, easy, but helpful at the same time. the listening quizzes is really nothing; all you have to do is listen to the songs over and over...these quizzes were actually helpful because it was prep for the midterm and final. speaking of that, these were the easiest tests ever. professor harrison practically gives you an outline of what is on the test so you should go to the lecture before the midterm and final. overall harrison was a great professor because he actually knows his subject. an EASY A.
Do not take this class if you want to learn anything academic. You won't come out any dumber, but you will probably loose some respect for UCLA. The class is an opportunity for Harrison to fulfill his teaching requirement, tell stories on stage, and get kids to learn the names of a few jazz musicians.
Guide to an A+++++:
1)Show up to lecture. Don't bother buying or reading the book.
Or 2)Read the Hasse book, the Tirro book (from the library) and watch Ken Burn's Jazz documentary.
I suggest number one. It takes four hours a week--2 watching a movie--to get an A++++ in this class (plus writing two essays graded on grammar).
I loved this class! Professor Harrison is so passionate about jazz and really wants his students to do well. You learn so many interesting things and listen to a lot of great music in this class. Whether or not you are a fan of jazz music to begin with, you will leave this class with a much better appreciation for it. I highly recommend taking this course, because it's fun, interesting, the essays/exams are not too stressful, and Professor Harrison is an awesome teacher! If you attend class regularly, you should do very well!
This class was very easy, in my opinion. There was a midterm, a final both multiple choice and he tells you the entire format and what to focus on. There were also two papers, 4 pages each as well as 2 listening quizzes. The listening quizzes were really easy. There were 16 songs to be memorized/recognized for each quiz. Very doable. Overall, I liked Prof. Harrison, he seemed like a cool guy. Really helpful.