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MUS 100 - Fundamentals of Music - Dr. Shanon Zusman

Course:Fundamentals of Music
Professor:Dr. Shanon Zusman
  • Online
Course Length:
  • Applies to All Course Lengths


Dr. Shanon Zusman

Thank you for your interest in my course! I'm a classically-trained bass player who loves all types of music and enjoys introducing music theory to students every semester.

I have written my own Workbook and Answer Key (which is free for you to use in this course), and I hope to de-mystify the language of music, making it accessible to all. Even if you have never tried to read music, you can start at ground zero and work your way up! I'm here to support you and give you the tools you need to succeed.


Course Description

Here's what we do in Music 100 (from my syllabus): 

This course is designed to familiarize students with the rudiments of music notation, including scales, modes, intervals, triads, and seventh chords. Students will become fluent in musical notation in both treble and bass clefs, in addition to understanding basic meter and rhythmic patterns in simple and compound meters. Students will learn to notate all major and minor scales, memorize all key signatures, as well as identify by sight all intervals, triads, and seventh chords. In the process, basic musical terms and formal analysis will be introduced. You will have an opportunity to develop your writing skills in a concert report, describing your experience observing a rock music concert online.

The course is asynchronous. So you move at your own pace through the material, contact me if/when you have questions, and take the exams (+ do Discussion posts) on (or by) specific dates as noted in Canvas.

What to Expect in this Course

Each week you have a short video lecture to watch and a set of exercises in the Workbook to complete. 

The five exams require you to:1) print out the test at home and fill it out in pencil; and 2) scan the test and post it on Canvas as a single PDF.

If you are not able to print out the exam, then you need to do so at a nearby Staples or Kinkos, etc. on the day of the exam, and I will allow 30 extra minutes if this is pre-arranged.

The only other option is to use a tablet/stylus (but you must be very neat and precise with your stylus).

Types of Assessments

You take four extensive exams, along with a comprehensive final exam.

Your weekly exercises do not count toward your course grade, but you really must complete them (and check with the Answer Key) in order to succeed in the class.

You are also required to do five short Discussion board posts and comment on five of your classmates' posts (which count as your "participation" in the course).

There is one written online concert report of a rock concert online. I give you a list on YouTube, and you select the one that piques your interest the most.

Textbook Information

I provide a free Workbook and Answer Key for you to use throughout the semester (downloadable on Canvas).

Each week you complete specific exercises in the Workbook and check with the Answer Key. Short video lectures are posted for each chapter to reinforce the material in the Workbook.

Other Relevant Course Information

This music course is challenging and more like a math class at times than a creative arts class! It requires working through exercises, memorization, and patience. It can all be quite abstract at times, and you'll no doubt learn to appreciate the language of music as a science!

But once you have completed it, you will be ready to embark on further studies in musical composition/theory and feel more confident in other music courses.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


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Last updated: 08/04/2022 Sub#: 1438