All Ratings and Reviews for M J Tramo


Overall 1.7
Easiness of class 2.0
Workload 1.8
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 1.9
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 2.1
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MSC IND M103, taken Fall 2020 Submitted Jan. 4, 2021 Grade Received: A-

Tramo is the worst professor ever. DO NOT TAKE THIS CLASS! It sounds interesting, yes????? BUT SOMEHOW IT'S NOT. HE SOMEHOW MANAGES TO MAKE IT AWFUL. It's a 3 hour seminar 630-930 on a Thursday and he ALWAYS goes over, completely ignores the syllabus and rambles about the Beatles incoherently for hours. I would do anything to go back in time and not take this class.

MSC IND 103, taken Spring 2019 Submitted June 1, 2019 Grade Received: NR

This is for the music and the brain seminar for Cluster 73. Tramo is terrible – he did not have a syllabus until week 6, never created slides, and he didn't know the class was a writing 2 course. This class was supposed to be seminar style, but instead he lectured for three hours straight every day. Usually the lectures were about how great he was (once he mentioned that he went to Harvard 14 times in 30 minutes). He's more interested in telling first years how great he is as opposed to actually teaching them. This guy is smart, he just doesn't know (or doesn't want to ) teach. I can't stress this enough – do. not. take. this. class. No matter what requirement you need filled, no matter how interesting it sounds, don't do it. You will hate yourself if you take this class.

MUS IND 103, taken Fall 2018 Submitted Jan. 6, 2019 Grade Received: A

Professor Tramo is a really smart guy but an awful professor. There is no organization at all to his class and this makes paying attention in a 3 hour lecture extremely difficult. The homework questions are convoluted, vague and don’t seem to relate to anything relevant or talked about in class. The homework is due every week online before class and the final was also done online with about 70% of the questions exactly the same as the homework. I have an extensive music background but the material was presented so poorly that I had a hard time following what he was talking about most of the time. Even though the final was take home, it took me about 5 hours to complete. Overall I dedicated about 4-5 hours per week including the 3 hour lecture. Overall the class was an easy A but I wouldn’t take it again since i didn’t learn anything of value and did not enjoy it.

ETHNOMU 163 Submitted Sept. 16, 2012 Grade Received: N/A


At first, I thought he was a really awesome guy with a super interesting class. The class was small so I really was expecting to learn a lot. However, he tried to fit too much random things into the class, such as physics of music and the definition of creativity. The class was very unorganized and most of the time I had difficulty following because of the lack of a real base for the info.

That being said, there are MANY really interesting moments to this class also (be cautious, he avoids all topics of psychology of emotions in music and focuses on the neuroscience behind listening to music). Also, the homework and grading is very easy... take home multiple choice test. My friends and I got A-'s however. I was expecting an A because I attended all the classes.

ETHNOMU M130 Submitted July 11, 2015 Grade Received: N/A

Music Industry 103

Ditto the person below me. The syllabus description seemed cool and the professor seemed to know his shit at the beginning.

Turns out there is no rhyme or reason to his teachings, the lectures are long and boring. The man just likes to hear himself drone on and on.

Additionally: warning to all students interested in this class. You may think its an "easy A". There is a cost. He is rude, inappropriate, abuser of his power, hostile, and totally unprofessional. He has publicly shamed students in the classroom for "not looking at him" when he speaks. And when I asked for a grade breakdown so I could know what I got on the final and the presentation, he sent an email back accusing me of being too interested in my grade (well he used worse words than that) and refused to tell me... What the actual fuck? Is it against the law to know your grade?

I took this up with the Dean of Students and the department chair. UCLA is great but the bureacratic nonsense is bullshit. Nobody could do anything to discipline him, nor investigate on my behalf. Bullshit class with a fucked up man who will abuse his power if you appear to "challenge" him.

Consider yourselves warned.

MUS IND 103, taken Spring 2017 Submitted Feb. 14, 2018 Grade Received: A

NOTE: a background in music theory does help in understanding some concepts for class but isn't completely necessary
Dr. Tramo is a pretty fun professor to have, can go on and on on tangents occasionally but for one seminar a week it isnt bad. Dr. tramo likes to bring in professionals from the industry which make lectures fairly interesting, and the majority of the class involves reviewing studies on the cognition of all aspects of music from rhythm and pitch all the way to creativity.
Exam was not difficult (he usually gives question/answers out during the seminars)

MUS IND 103, taken Spring 2018 Submitted June 10, 2018 Grade Received: I

I'm a huge fan of the topic of music and the brain; however, I felt that this class really wasted my time and was a let down for someone like me who was eager to learn and interact with other students who wanted to learn.

This class is supposed to be a seminar - class based solely on discussion that is generated from weekly readings, or, in this case, scientific papers. We never had engaging student discussions due to Professor Tramo letting in 20+ more students than a typical seminar group. And so, it ended up being lecture style which was not great because Professor Tramo is a terrible lecturer. He goes off on tangents way too much, interrupts student presentations, (is monotone, for those of you who have trouble with monotone professors,) and is redundant. The class is 3 hours long and I find that the those 3 hours are not used efficiently; he isn't quite wary of time and I know it's not just in class because I've gone to one of his talks at a conference and he went over by 30 minutes. If it was actually a seminar, I think the class could have gone a lot better since students would have control.

Attendance counts. He actually memorizes people's names and keeps track.

Some cool things about him though is that he has connections in both music industry and UCLA Health and he likes to play the Beatles during breaks.

To conclude, if you really want to go in depth and learn about the material for music and brain, this class might not be so great. This class does provide a lot of material for scientific papers and if you are motivated to go out of your way to read all of them without getting the opportunity to discuss in class, then I'd say go for it. But then again, you could literally just go to his website and read all of those instead of sit in class for 3 hours being on Facebook.

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