This blog post will stay at the top of the Mu 101 class page for the rest of the term as a catch-all “Ask Dr. J.” forum about anything: music, assignments, other big picture stuff, etc. Because I anticipate that many of you will have similar questions, I want to make responses available to everyone as easily as possible.If you have a question you’d rather not ask in a forum that others can see, you can always email me (

I’m “seeding” this forum with a couple of questions in the comments below — tips and techniques you’ve learned in other online (learning) situations, your concerns, and requests you have for me to make this process easier for you. Please reply to those questions, add your own, and discuss freely.

Nothing is off-limits here — it’s most important that you get a chance to learn as much as possible from this experience, and that means about music, about online learning, about our community, and about yourselves.

Updated info, as of March 28

Based on what I’ve heard from you in terms of resources you have available and demands being placed on you, here is how the rest of Mu 101 will work. All prompts, dates, and instructions are also available here.


The course from here on out will consist only of 7 online discussions, 3 peer critiques, Exam 1, and the Writing Portfolio. Dates are listed in the new calendar/grading outline, and everything will conclude by May 10. 

Basically, we’re just nixing everything that would have happened in class from here on out. I do not have the personal capacity or a reliable enough Internet connection to do video lectures, and there is enough substance in the online discussions to be worthwhile.

I’ll weight all informal writing completed so far as 30% of your final grade. If you only completed half of the informal writing we’ve done so far, you’ll earn 15 points towards your final grade. If you completed no informal assignments so far, that’s 0 points towards your final grade.

Exam 1 will be completed in a Google Doc. I have not completed the process of creating this form, but it will be available within 48 hours. Exam 1 is due by April 6, and you may complete it twice to allow for any technical glitches that occur.

Extra credit is still available here:

Writing portfolio

If you cannot submit writing by the due dates on the revised calendar, simply tell me what your new due date will be. I will return writings to you with feedback by Friday of each week. Depending on the file format you send me, these will be comments/tracked changes in Word docs and scanned/typed feedback for PDFs.

Concert essays (Writing 4) — You can still “attend” a concert, even though venues are all closed. I’ve added links of various organizations that are broadcasting livestreams or their performance archives for free to the concerts page.

The Writing Portfolio is due by 11:59pm on May 2. It will still be your preferred 10 pages of revised writing (approximately 5,000 words), plus your Reflection 3, that you submit as a blog post to your section website — the same process that you used for your Peer Critique postings. Designate each piece within your Portfolio using different headings (titles of each piece). Everyone who submits this revised portfolio will earn full credit for this assignment. If you need an extension, just tell me. 

10 thoughts on ““Ask Dr. J.” pinned post, Spring 2020

    1. Am a very old school person and I have trouble navigating from one page to another I prefer having someone lecturing in front of me. However am going to work hard, read carefully and follow instructions to pass this class since it’s my objective. Also too I know I missed a lot of class discussion online but my problem is that I took too many subjects this semester and it’s become overwhelming, in addition am very slow with using a computer. I have learned how to navigate using a computer with the help of my other class and is ready to do well in your subject. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree, I have trouble navigating from one page to the other and keeping track of everything with a large course load and a rapid transition into this online learning environment.


    1. I’d like to keep this upcoming week’s peer critiques as planned (you submit your writing by Saturday), and then I’ll share a new calendar for all other writings down the line. You have all the prompts already, so you can continue working on Writing 3, which was to be due in 2 weeks. If it looks like that will be unreasonable, I’ll move it. Exam #1 will not be due next week, as there are a few more logistics I need to sort out, and I will give you at least 2 weeks after I’ve figured out the best format for it. How does that sound?

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Will there still be a writing portfolio? Also I’ve done fully online classes. Once you have notifications to notify you of everything you’ll be fine. Just stay on top of it and check every day at least 2-3 times a day to see if anything is posted


    1. Yes, we’ll do a Writing Portfolio in some format — a collection of at least pages of writing that you get feedback on and revise. I’ll be able to say more clearly next week exactly what that will look like, but you have all the prompts for possible writing already.


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