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Why Music Matters

What is music? Why do we make music? And how can our collective experiences of physical distancing and online connection teach us about what it means to be musically present?

In this course, we'll focus on questions of presence, liveness, and community, and what these ideas can illuminate about music-making in multiple cultural contexts. We’ll bring together active listening and creative sound-making as we explore the fundamentals of music in multiple sociohistorical contexts, from concert halls to water-tanks to online jam sessions. We’ll explore what it means to make music from what we can find in our immediate surroundings, whether that’s a public park or a kitchen, and what this can teach us about listening beyond those boundaries. Our final project will draw on our new critical and creative listening skills to create a collective virtual ecosystem of sounds and words through which each of us will articulate our own answer to the question of why music matters.

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Session Two
Course is Full
at the time of application
on the first day of session
Scheduled Class Time*
04:00 PM - 07:00 PM (PDT)

*The course will meet for two hours daily (Monday–Friday) for a live class during this window of time. The exact time will be set closer to the program start. In addition to the live meeting times, students will engage in out-of-class learning assignments such as assigned readings, group work, pre-recorded online lectures, and more.