If you take this course, you must read and agree to the following policies.
Work in this course takes several forms: assignments, VoiceThread responses, quizzes, and a final project.
- Assignments are creative projects oriented around a particular set of technical concerns. You make music while fulfilling requirements that help you learn the software. Assignments are given a letter grade.
- VoiceThread Responses constitute your response to a weekly lecture and prompt for musical activity. VoiceThread is a module within Canvas that holds video, audio, slides, and other media and allows you to comment in text and submit files in response. The responses are graded pass/fail.
- Quizzes test your comprehension of the course web pages and interactive applications, as well as topics available in instructor videos. The topics include acoustics, the MIDI system, synthesis and sampling, digital audio theory, and various functions of the software we use. You take the quizzes outside of class. They are “open book.”
- The Final Project will be a musical work that employs the skills learned in the course. There are fewer technical requirements and constraints for this project than for the assignments, so this is your chance to branch out. Most people will want to continue with Reason, but I permit those with access to other software to do some or all of their work on the project using it. The project is due at in the last week of the course.
Course work handed in after the due date may be assessed a late penalty.
The VoiceThread responses are graded pass/fail. Each failing response will lower your final course grade by 2 points.
Assignments generally list some technical and musical requirements. How well you satisfy these requirements forms the bulk of your grade. In addition, there is a subjective component of your grade, based on my judgment of the musical quality of your submission.
N561 students have additional requirements.
You do most of the work for this class asynchronously — or outside of the regular synchronous group meetings via Zoom. But these meetings are very important, so you are required to attend. Attendence will be taken, and any unexcused absence will result in a lowered final grade.
Each unexcused absence reduces your final grade by 1 point. For example, if you have 2 unexcused absences, and your final grade would otherwise be 91 (A-), then factoring in your unexcused absences would give you 89 (B+). If you have more than 2 unexcused absences, then each absence over 2 costs you 2 points.
Absences will be considered excused only in the following cases:
- Illness. If this lasts for a week or less, no documentation is necessary. If it lasts long enough for you to visit a health care provider, please provide a note from this person.
- Family emergency.
- Religious holiday.
- School-sanctioned event, for which excuse letters are written.
- Travel for a reasonable number of job interviews or auditions, cleared in advance with the instructor. Please avoid scheduling Zoom (and the like) meetings at the same time as our synchronous group meetings.
In all these cases, please notify the instructor by email before the missed meeting begins, unless there is a good reason why that is not possible.
The same goes for being consistently late to meetings. Three late arrivals equals one unexcused absence. If you arrive after the instructor begins the meeting, you are late. In that case, it is your responsibility to see that the instructor has recorded your attendance by asking right after the class is over.
Leaving a meeting early without having a very good reason and notifying the instructor in advance is equivalent to a late arrival.
There is no way to make up for unexcused absences. I do not offer extra credit assignments.
Computer files are fragile things, and working successfully with them means backing up frequently to several types of media: a USB drive or a cloud service, such as Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox. You should have multiple versions of every file you’re working on. You should have at least two recent copies of anything irreplaceable. Don’t keep them all on a single disk or cloud service. Doing this is a critical part of making music (or doing anything else) with computers.
Catastrophic loss of files is not an acceptable excuse for a late project!
I assign web page readings, tutorial videos, quizzes, and interactive applications. You must do these activities before the due date.
We provide remote access to Reason licenses. That means you can install Reason on your own computer (Mac or Windows), and authenticate to a service at IU. You must be connected to the Internet continuously in order for this to work!
A MIDI keyboard of some kind is highly recommended. This can be as simple as a $50 two-octave keyboard.
Students in this course have a wide variety of backgrounds: some are music majors, some are music minors, some have been making music for a long time, while others have little experience with music beyond listening to it. Whatever your background, I expect consistent progress and effort throughout the semester. This means you should not simply fulfill the minimum technical requirements of the projects, but also challenge yourself musically and creatively.
As in all your other courses, you will be held to Indiana University standards covering academic misconduct, as outlined in the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct.
Every attempt will be made to accommodate qualified students with disabilities (e.g., mental health, learning, chronic health, physical, hearing, vision, neurological, etc.) You must have established your eligibility for support services through the appropriate office that helps students with disabilities. Note that services are confidential, may take time to put into place, and are not retroactive. Please contact Disability Services for Students at disabilityservices.indiana.edu, or 812-855-7578, as soon as possible if you need accommodations. The office is located on the third floor, west tower, of the Wells Library, Room W302. Walk-ins are welcome 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. You can also locate a variety of campus resources for students and visitors that need assistance at www.iu.edu/~ada/index.shtml.
As your instructor, one of my responsibilities is to create a positive learning environment for all students. Bias incidents (events or comments that target an individual or group based on age, color, religion, disability, race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, or veteran status) are not appropriate in our classroom or on campus. What should you do if you witness or experience a bias incident? See it? Hear it? Report it by submitting a report online at biasincident.indiana.edu, or by calling the Dean of Students Office (812-855-8187).
As your instructor, one of my responsibilities is to create a positive learning environment for all students. Title IX (federal policy) and IU’s Sexual Misconduct Policy prohibit sexual misconduct in any form, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking, and dating and domestic violence. If you have experienced sexual misconduct, or know someone who has, the University can help.
If you are seeking help and would like to speak to someone confidentially, you can make an appointment with:
- The Sexual Assault Crisis Service (SACS) at 812-855-8900 (counseling services)
- Confidential Victim Advocates (CVA) at 812-856-2469 (advocacy and advice services)
- IU Health Center at 812-855-4011 (health and medical services)
It is also important that you know that Title IX and University policy require me to share any information about potential sexual misconduct brought to my attention with the campus Deputy Title IX Coordinator or IU’s Title IX Coordinator. In that event, those individuals will work to ensure that appropriate measures are taken and resources are made available. Protecting student privacy is of utmost concern, and information will only be shared with those who need to know, so that the University can respond and assist.
I encourage you to visit stopsexualviolence.iu.edu to learn more.
Course content is copyright ©2013–2020 John Gibson