Fundamentals of Music Syllabus for 2021-2022
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Instructor Information

Office Location

Music Building 308

Office Hours

Monday & Wednesday 8:30-9:30 AM; summer hours by appointment

Course Information

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MUSI-1303-001 Fundamentals of Music


Course Description

Introduction to the basic elements of music theory, including scales, intervals, keys, triads, elementary ear training, notation, meter, and rhythm.  Course does not apply to a music major degree.

Student ResourcesStudent Resources Website

Department Expectations

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Notice to Students enrolled in an educational program for preparation of issuance of certain occupational licenses:

Students enrolled in an educational program in preparation for obtaining certain occupational licenses are potentially ineligible for such license if the student has been convicted of an offense. For further information, please contact:

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Justice Involved Advocate
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Make appointment at

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(3 sem hrs; 3 lec)

Class Type

Online Course

Syllabus Information


uTHEORY Student Pack  Required

purchase at

You will need your own Student Pack on the first day of class to complete assignments.


  • reliable and consistent internet access
  • reliable and consistent daily access to computer, laptop, and/or smartphone to view lessons and practice skills

Student Performance

Upon successful completion of this course, students will: 

  1. Construct all major and minor scales and key signatures. 

    • Identify and construct all major and minor scales.

    • Identify and construct all major and minor key signatures.

  2. Construct simple and compound intervals, triads and seventh chords of any quality.

    • Identify, write, and sing simple intervals.

    • Identify and write triads and seventh chords. 

  3. Identify and perform basic rhythmic and pitch patterns common in tonal music, and properly notate basic rhythms in simple or compound meters. 

    • Read and write traditional pitch notation in treble and bass clefs.

    • Read and write traditional rhythmic notation in simple and compound meters.

  4. Identify fundamental musical elements aurally and/or on the keyboard. 

    • Identify basic elements of musical form.

    • Sing simple melodies using moveable do.

    • Sing simple rhythms using the 1 E & A counting system.

  5. Use appropriate musical vocabulary to describe theoretical concepts.

Students Rights and Responsibilities

Student Rights and Responsibilities

Log in using the AC Connect Portal

In order to receive your AC Connect Email, you must log in through AC Connect at .

If you are an active staff or faculty member according to Human Resources, use "Exchange". All other students, use "AC Connect (Google) Email".

Expected Student Behavior

Students are expected to log in and being completing assignments on the FIRST day of this class, and continue working within the class daily throughout the semester. If you anticipate a day or two interruption to your classwork, it is your responsibility to work ahead to ensure you do not get behind in your skill development and course submissions.

All assignments are available and open for students to complete for a time period of no less than three days to allow ample time for submission of materials.  Students are accountable for planning their time wisely and submitting work well before deadlines to avoid last-minute technical or human complications.  Course deadlines will NOT be extended.

The structure of this course is pretty fast and furious. Some of the concepts may seem fairly basic, but will quickly build into ideas that will be completely new to you.  KEEP PRACTICING, and keep at it. For incoming music majors, when you come across something that feels overwhelming, please know that these are the terms and skills you will be using throughout your four-semester Music Theory and Aural Skills and Sightsinging courses.  IT WILL GET EASIER, but you must keep working.  Setting a daily routine of practicing these skills (and your instrument!) is the foundation of every successful musician.

Grading Criteria

UTheory has video lessons, skills practice, and checkpoints. The most effective approach to learning is to practice every day, and I’ve set up UTheory with due dates to keep you on track. However, I highly recommend you work several days ahead of the due dates - our goal is not only to meet course competencies, but to recall these skills quickly and accurately. 

Your final grade will be an average of the following:

  • Start Here Activities = 1.5%

General Class Discussion Board Introduction

Syllabus Quiz

Set Up Your uTheory Account

  • UTheory Grade = 99%

UTheory lessons and skills will provide automatic feedback and grading.  Remember, you are expected to repeat these activities until you know the material well -- there is no excuse for not making an A in this course.  Keep in mind that it is common to be over-confident if you do well at the beginning, so be careful to take this seriously and keep up with the checkpoints!

  • UTheory Lesson Completion = 10% of UTheory Grade

Watching the lessons will be tracked to make up a portion of your final grade.

  • UTheory Skills Competence = 60% of UTheory Grade

Practice the skills for each lesson until you feel confident with your knowledge of the material, and your grade for the skill.  The more you practice, the higher your grade will be.  A minimum score of 80% must be reached in all rhythm lessons and skills.

  • UTheory Checkpoints = 30% of UTheory Grade

These skills are crucial to your success as a student and professional. You therefore must demonstrate fluency in order to pass this course. Please pay close attention to these strict grading policies for the UTheory checkpoints: 

  • There are five course ✔️ checkpoints, each worth 6% of your grade.
  • You may take each checkpoint up to fifty times to improve your score.
  • To get credit for a checkpoint, you must complete it with a score of 85% or higher by the due date listed to access the next set of course materials. DO NOT WAIT until the due date to take the checkpoint. 
  • To pass the class, you must achieve a score of 85% or greater on each of these checkpoints.  You will not pass the course if you have less than 85% on any checkpoint.
  1. Pianos, clefs and accidentals (due July 12)

  2. Major scales and keys (due July 19)

  3. Minor scales and keys (due July 22) 

  4. Intervals (due July 26)

  5. Triads (due August 9) 

Grade scale is as follows:

  • A = 90-100.5
  • B = 80-89
  • C= 70-79
  • D = 60-69
  • F = -59


Students are expected to spend approximately 3-5 hours per day (8-week and summer terms) logged into the course. The entire course takes place on the web.


INTRODUCTION - THE BASICS (no longer than 2 days)

Objectives:  By the end of this module, you will navigate this course, identify course expectations, obtain materials needed, and demonstrate how to submit assignments.

  • Class Bulletin Board (due July 7)
  • Read Me First
  • Dive Right In!
  • Syllabus Quiz (due July 7)
  • Set Up your UTheory Account (due July 7)

After these steps are complete, go ahead and start in on the next set of Lessons and Skills!


Objectives:  By the end of this module, you will, with 85% accuracy on all checkpoints

  • identify and notate pitches on the piano and on the staff
  • identify and construct major and minor scales
    • Checkpoint 1: Pianos, clefs and accidentals (due July 12)
  • identify and construct the twelve key signatures for major and minor scales
    • Checkpoint 2:  Major scales and keys (due July 19)
    • Checkpoint 3:  Minor scales and keys (due July 22) 
  • indentify and write various intervals in music
  • recognize pitches and intervals when played
  • recognize scale degree names
    • Checkpoint 4:  ​​​​​​​Intervals (due July 26)
  • sing simple patterns using solfeg syllables


Objectives: By the end of this module, you will, with 80% accuracy in all skills

  • identify and construct durational symbols in music
  • apply terminology related to rhythm
  • identify simple and compound time signatures
  • count simple rhythmic patterns with 1 ee & a system
  • demonstrate rhythmic accuracy in reading patterns in simple and compound time signatures


Objectives: By the end of this module, you will, with 85% accuracy on all checkpoints​​​​​​​

  • spell and identify major and minor chord types
  • spell and identify all chord types
  • construct triads and seventh chords in major and minor
  • construct triads and seventh chord in root position and in inversions
    • ​​​​​​​Checkpoint 5: Triads (due August 9)


Objectives: By the end of this module, you will

  • identify and construct scale degrees
  • use roman numerals to identify major and minor triads
  • translate figured bass and lead sheet symbols
  • recognize notes in C Clefs

Additional Information

Instructor Communication

  • For questions about course materials, timelines, content, how-to's, or "what the heck did Mrs. Nies mean by (fill in whatever I was weird about)?", please post to the General Class Discussion Board in the class Blackboard shell.  If you have the question, chances are that others will have the same questions.  I am usually able to respond to posts within 48 hours, but go ahead and help each other out when you know the requested information - don't wait on me.
  • If you have something for my eyes only, please email me at  Again, please expect a response within 48 hours.   

Syllabus Created on:

06/13/22 1:30 PM

Last Edited on:

06/13/22 1:30 PM