Creating online content and participating in an online discussion forum (a blog) are easy ways for people on the Internet to share ideas, engage with communities of people with common interests, and do so from the comfort of their own home—it’s the cliché interconnected global world in action!

Computer literacy and fluency in online forums (fora) are important skills to have, and participating in these online discussions is an easy way to ensure that you’re thinking about music more often than just during our once-weekly class meetings. Therefore, online participation is a significant portion of this class. At the same time, it’s also a task in which you can easily earn full points. Think of this portion of the course as an opportunity to engage in a lively conversation, learn from each other, extend or expand our in-class work, and practice your writing skills in an informal setting (with your peers and graded for participation).

Reference handouts, provided in class:

Creating a WordPress account

Following the first class meeting, you’ll receive invitations from WordPress.  Accept and create a WordPress account (if you don’t have one already). Remember your email/username and password for logging in.

Email me your username so that I know who you are online—do not hit “reply” to the invitation email (it’s a do-not-reply email and I won’t receive it)!

In the past, some students have found it helpful to download the WordPress app to their smartphones or tablets so they can participate in the blog without sitting at a computer.

How to comment on online discussions

Instructor-led online discussions are located at (scroll down past the navigation header, and the first blog post you see will be the one assigned for the week).

Make sure you’re signed into WordPress using the username and password you created, and make sure you’ve emailed me your username—I cannot give you credit if you have not told me who you are online!

Read the blog post and any comments that have been made on it so far. You can leave a comment by typing in the comment box at the bottom of the page marked “Leave a Reply.” You can “reply” to other students’ comments by clicking “reply” next to their comment or using @ + username to specifically respond to another student, just as you would on other social media platforms.

Dates and topics

Jan 28-Feb 3: Our best practices
Feb 4-10: Defining the ethos of now: What makes 2019 “2019”?
Feb 11-17: Music and the brain
Feb 18-24: Music educations
Feb 25-Mar 3: Instruments and voice types
**Mar 4-10: Peer critique #1 — Student blogging (see below)
Mar 11-17: Music and gender
Mar 18-24: Music and disability
Mar 25-31: Musicking
**Apr 1-7: Peer critique #2 — Student blogging (see below)
Apr 8-14: Sound migration
Apr 15-28: Voyager Spacecraft 2019 – N.B. This discussion lasts for two weeks**
Apr 29-May 5: Music and violence

Student blogging

Each student will publish at least two pieces of writing online, and each student has the option of adding blog posts each week for extra credit in response to a set of readings. We’ll go over the process of creating your own blog posts in class on W Feb 27 / F Mar 1, but instructions are available here:

Section websites:

Your pieces for peer critique are due online by 11:59pm on March 2 and March 30. During the following week, you will provide constructive feedback on your classmates’ writing, and they will provide it for yours.

Extra credit, weekly (optional)

Instructions are available here.