Music Appreciation

Tomball Star Academy’s Dual Credit Music Appreciation course follows two main veins: that of the Western historical and classical styles, and that of the evolution of modern popular music, allowing students a better understanding and appreciation of the classical styles by viewing them through the more accessible lens of the modern popular music of which they are undoubtedly more familiar, while also making them more informed about the roots of their own favorite music.

Both aspects of this course revolve around the push and pull between classicism and romanticism in culture and philosophy and how the extended prevalence of one almost inevitably and invariably leads to the reemergence of the other.

The course begins by introducing a variety of musical concepts, such as melody, harmony, rhythm, dynamics, timbre, and texture, to provide a contextual basis for the rest of the course. From there, academic units will alternate between classical and popular styles, discussing the characteristics of the styles, the composers and performers who contributed to these styles, and the cultural, historical, artistic, and sometimes technological context in which these styles were able to emerge and flourish.

The Music Appreciation course is designed for musicians and non-musicians alike. Students interested or proficient in various disciplines beyond music, such as visual art, literature, history/philosophy, and the sciences will have opportunities to explore the subject matter in the manner each individual student will find most emotionally and intellectually fulfilling.





3-ring binder

Marble notebook




Aside from the typical and necessary glossary definition worksheets and readings with attached discussion questions and other similar items, twice per unit students will complete a Major Project. The Major Project will revolve around student-centered learning. Students will have the opportunity to explore the course material and express their understanding of the subject matter through their choice of musical composition, visual art pieces, creative writing, historical analysis, and more (depending on the particular unit). Class time will be provided for students to learn in their own way at their own pace.

Students will also have the opportunity to explore relevant music on their own, in a collaborative setting. Twice per marking period, students will each be given a song and asked to perform research on both the song and its composer/performer. They will then discuss the music within their groups, comparing and contrasting each piece according to the musical terms we’ve been discussing. They will then present their findings to the class.

Students will write in their journal at the beginning of each class period while listening to a piece of music. The journal will be either based on a prompt or freeform, depending on the piece of music.

Beyond this, quizzes and exams will be administered each unit, testing both their intellectual and aural/musical understanding of the subject matter.

Grading Structure

Major Projects (2 per marking period)                   100 pts each

Group Projects (2 per marking period)                  100 pts each

Exams (2 per marking period)                                 100 pts each

Journals                                                                       100 pts (combined for all entries)

Quizzes                                                                        50 pts each

Homework/Classwork                                              10 pts each