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MUS 100, Section 57600 - FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC - Julie Lawson

Professor:Julie Lawson
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Hi Everyone,

My name is Professor Julie Lawson and I hope you will join me as we weave through the joys and tribulations of music theory.  It will be challenging but I'm here for all of you, every step of the way.  You will leave this class at the end of the semester with a much deeper appreciation for music and most especially, the music makers, the musicians.

I have two degrees in piano performance and my college education was one of the best experiences of my life.  There is nothing better than creating music with fellow musicians.  To connect so deeply with a piece of music, with your friends and colleagues, and your audience is such pure joy; I want to give you the basic tools so that you too can have such an experience.  I hope this class will nurture your interest in music and that you'll study an instrument when all is said and done.  Which comes first, the theory, then the instrument, or vice versa?  I began with the instrument first but I think either combination works.  Once you have learned the basic fundamentals of music, picking up the instrument of your choice will be a lot easier for you.

I hope you will take this journey with me.  Music theory is fascinating and you won't be disappointed.

Course Description

MUS 100, Fundamentals of Music, introduces the students to the theoretical elements of music through rhythmic and pitch notation.  The students will learn to read notes in treble and bass clef, and will learn to recognize not only all of the notes on the staff but many of the notes beyond the staff through the use of ledger lines   The students will study the Circle of 5ths and will learn to maneuver the circle to learn all of their major and minor scales and key signatures.  From there we will move on to intervals, triads, inversions and 7th chords.


What to Expect in this Course

Students can expect two to four theory worksheets per week. Quizzes will happen every 2-3 weeks and will always cover just the material for those few weeks.  Some quizzes will be on Canvas; others in the classroom.  There is a lot of overlapping information.  What you learn one week carries over to the next week; what you just learned always becomes the catalyst to the next chapter.  Music is a series of building blocks.  By the time we reach the end of the semester, your stack of blocks will be pretty high.

Types of Assessments

1. Classwork/Homework assignments (graded)

2. Quizzes (graded)

3. Class Discussions

Textbook Information

There is no textbook for this course; only worksheets. However, if you would like any additional help, please feel free to check out these free online educational resources OER's). Understanding Basic Music Theory, edited by Catherine Schmidt-Jones, CONNEXIONS, Rice University, Houston, Texas.


Understanding Basic Music Theory, ( is an online educational resource (OER) developed to help students learn the basics of music fundamentals so thoroughly that the interested student will then be able to easily pick up whatever further theory is wanted. Music history and the physics of sound are included to the extent that they shed light on music theory.


OPEN MUSIC THEORY, ( is an open-source, interactive, online “text”book for college-level music theory courses. OMT was built on resources authored by Kris Shaffer, Bryn Hughes, and Brian Moseley. It is edited by Kris Shaffer and Robin Wharton, and is published by Hybrid Pedagogy Publishing. If you want an interactive experience with music, you can check out these sites:

Other Relevant Course Information

If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to stay current.  If you don't stay on task you will find yourselves slipping quickly.  Like I said, every concept builds on the previous concept so if you check out for a week or two, it will be difficult to plug back in.  If you stay current, turn in your assignments and take the quizzes on the given dates, I will make sure to help you every step of the way.  I want all of you to be successful.

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:

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  • 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.

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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.

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Last updated: 08/01/2021 Sub#: 301