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MUSIC 189 - Individualized Music Lessons - William Macpherson

Course:Individualized Music Lessons
Professor:William Macpherson
  • OnlineLive
Course Length:
  • 16 Week


Portrait of William Macpherson

Hello.  Here is a little background on me.  Officially my first name is William but I go by Bill. I was raised by medical missionary parents in Congo, Central Africa. My classmates in the boarding school I attended were from all over the world so I had an unusual and multi cultural upbringing.   Along the way I learned to speak French and two dialects from Congo, Lingala and Kituba. Upon graduation from high school I moved back to my home state of California to attend university. I received my undergraduate degree from The Berklee College of Music (Boston) in Professional Music and then did a Master’s in Jazz Performance at San Diego State University.  I have been a professional musician for over 40 years and have recorded and toured extensively with my band Native Vibe. Native Vibe plays all original African/Latin jazz fusion music. I also play other styles like blues, rock, pop, soul and other styles of World music. Much of what shapes me as a music teacher was learned from playing those styles in all different kinds of bands.  I also learned from the ground up the Music Business.  I have my own record label and publishing company and continue to perform and record in Southern California.

Course Description

Emphasizes technical development and the learning of musical repertoire and the development of concert presentation skills. Individual instruction is provided by appointment. An audition through the Department of Music is required; contact William Macpherson for date, time and other details for the audition. The audition will be the 1st week of Spring 2021 via video submission. Lessons will start the second week of the semester.

What to Expect in this Course

You will receive weekly private lessons via with your designated tutor. You and your tutor set those times and the material you will work on.
Attend MUSIC 190 on Wednesdays to demonstrate the repertoire you are working on with your tutor.
Video a performance of one piece of music at the end of semester juries.
Participate in the ensemble you signed up for. Keep a weekly log of your practice hours.

Types of Assessments

Weekly log sheet of hours spent practicing your instrument.
Demonstrations of the material your tutor has assigned you to work on.
Being on time to your lesson
Being prepared
Progress on your instrument
Video yourself performing an assigned piece for the end of semester juries

Textbook Information

Materials will be provided by your tutor as needed

Other Relevant Course Information

Course Syllabus

1 hour lesson per week arranged between the student and tutor via zoom

INSTRUCTOR: William Macpherson 818 679 2423 Email:, Office hours: by appointment via phone, email, text or zoom

REQUIRED TEXT: Materials will be provided by the tutor as needed

An audition with Music Faculty and concurrent enrollment in Music 190 and a COC Performing Ensemble. There are no exceptions.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Your instrument, a binder to keep lesson materials, a recording device such as your phone. Students must maintain a weekly log of the hours they have practiced.

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES: Develop improved performance skills such as style, phrasing, articulation, intonation, breathing, and music literacy.

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Organize effective rehearsal strategies in a manner that demonstrate progressive instrumental growth. Demonstrate increased technical expertise on his/her instrument. Demonstrate increased artistic expression in his/her instrument. Gain confidence in one’s own musical skills. Increase and improve performance skills. Increase technical facility on one’s instrument.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Units: 1.00 Emphasizes technical development and the learning of musical repertoire and the development of concert presentation skills. Individual instruction is provided by appointment. An audition is required the Department of Music; contact for date, time and other details.

LESSON ACTIVITIES: Lecture/Discussion via Zoom video conferencing. Listening and analysis of repertoire. Listening/Watching Instructional videos. Performances during lessons via zoom Assignments

LESSON ATTENDANCE POLICY: A complete record of attendance will be maintained for the entire semester and you will be accountable for your attendance. Participation and promptness to all lessons is mandatory!
Lessons are 60 minutes long.  Your lesson minutes begins at the start of your assigned lesson time, not when you arrive.  
Students are expected to be on time to their lessons.  
If you must cancel a lesson you must do so at least 24 hours in advance.  Lessons will be made up in these cases when 24 hours advanced notice is given.  If you do not show up for a lesson, that will be considered an unexcused absence. There are no makeups for unexcused absences
In cases of extreme emergency or illness, you will receive a make up.  (Please do your best to notify your private tutor and Professor Bill Macpherson.
It is your responsibility to make up the lessons you have missed. If a lesson is missed due to the music tutor absence, it is their responsibility to make up the lesson.

LATE POLICY: If you are more than 10 minutes late to class you will be marked tardy. Two tardies equal an absence. After 3 absences you will be dropped from the course.

MAKE-UP POLICY: There will be no make-ups for missed lessons unless by prior arrangement with your tutor.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Students are expected to do their own work as assigned. At College of the Canyons, we believe that academic integrity and honesty are some of the most important qualities college students need to develop and maintain. To facilitate a culture of academic integrity, College of the Canyons has defined plagiarism and academic dishonesty. Due process procedures have been established when plagiarism or academic dishonesty is suspected.

At COC, we define plagiarism as follows: PLAGIARISM is the submission of someone else’s work or ideas as one’s own, without adequate attribution. When a student submits work for a class assignment that includes the words, ideas or data of others, without acknowledging the source of the information through complete, accurate, and specific references, plagiarism is involved. This may include dual submissions of a similar work for credit for more than one class, without the current instructor’s knowledge and approval

GRADING: Grading is at the discretion of your tutor and Professor Bill Macpherson, Professor of record. Grading is based on weekly grades for lessons, a written log of hours spent practicing outside the lesson, jury assessment, recital and instructors input and these following items.

Practice hours outside of the lesson. Minimum 5 hours per week. Students are required to maintain a weekly log of the hours they practiced. This must be turned in at the end of the semester to the instructor of record, Bill Macpherson
Participation: Your participation is first and foremost the most important. Showing up and working hard will be your life as a musician.
Knowledge of repertoire and repertoire preparation
Memorization! (if appropriate)
Completion of assignments when given.
Jury participation

A = 90-100
B = 80-89
C = 70-79
D = 60-69
F = 59 and below

JURIES:  Students will video themselves performing one piece of music determined by the tutor. At the beginning of the video students will introduce themselves and their piece of music. Then they will video themselves performing it.  This video must be turned in one week before finals week to Bill Macpherson. Videos will be presented at juries.

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: 10/25/2021 Sub#: 990