Music is, for me, like a beautiful mosaic which God has put together. He takes all the pieces in His hand, throws them into the world, and we have to recreate the picture from the pieces. —Jean Sibelius
reading and writing Western musical notation fluently
recognizing fundamental rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic structures in Western music (such as scales, intervals, basic triads)
developing familiarity with basic keyboard and sight-singing skills
energizing a deeper appreciation for the seemingly infinite creativity God has given us
We will cover these goals through a variety of activities that could include lectures, guided active listening, practice exercises in and out of class, and maybe even some simple composition.
Among our many academic goals, we will also pursue a number of more humanistic ones. William Cronon has listed the ten qualities he admires most in people who embody the values of a liberal education. Of these ten qualities, the following describe equally well the qualities of a good student of music—I value them as broader goals for our class:
They listen and they hear [music].
They can write clearly and persuasively and movingly [about music].
They can solve a wide variety of [musical] puzzles and problems.
They respect rigor not so much for its own sake, but as a way of seeking truth.
They nurture and empower the people around them [through their music].
Of course, some of these points will apply to our class to a lesser degree, but they are worthy goals nonetheless. I hope you are here because you love music and are fascinated by the possibility of better understanding how it works. Ludwig van Beethoven shared this passion with you: "Don't only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the Divine." We are here to unlock some of those secrets.