Joyful Noise! A Celebration of Music


    “My mother was a piano teacher, and I don’t remember a time when there was no music in our house. From childhood on, I studied piano, flute, recorder, harpsichord, harp, oboe, guitar, and voice. Over my lifetime, I have performed classical, jazz, folk/Americana, and popular music. Each time I learned new music, I learned more about the history of music. As I went into academics, I realized that studying the history of music tied together other disciplines that interested me. I love cross-discipline learning for that reason. In this course, I hope to help students—musicians and non-musicians alike—to connect music to the world around them. I hope they come away with a broad sense of where music has been, how it has interacted with human culture, and where it might go next.” ~ Instructor, Prof. Suki 



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    InstructorProf. Suki Wessling
    Content LevelsGrades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays, 8:00 - 8:50 AM Pacific - 8/17/23 - 10/14/23

    Like language, music is one activity essential to all human cultures. What makes music so important to our cultures, our sense of community, our shared storytelling, and our history?

    We’ll start right from the beginning and trace the roots of human musical expression to early hunter-gatherer communities. Then we’ll look at the development of more complex music as humans settled on farms, in towns, and then in cities.

    We’ll look at instruments as they evolved in different places and times. We’ll see how different musical traditions developed around the world and changed when they came into contact with each other. We’ll look at everything from traditional to esoteric musical traditions, from classical to modern pop.

    And finally, we’ll also share the music that we make and listen to in our daily lives.

    A word from the instructor:

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • Several pages of our required text will be assigned each week.
    • Students will listen to examples of the music covered in the text.
    • Students will post their observations about the historical and musical exploration in interactive forums.
    • Students wishing to complete this as a high school-level course will find specific assignments and requirements that will add appropriate depth and breadth to the coursework.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for asynchronous students and students with schedule conflicts.
    • Students will take part in the live discussion via text chat or microphone.
    • Students will be required to complete a live or recorded 3-minute presentation during the session.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 7th-grade level or above.
    • Be prepared for an active, participatory environment.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Be prepared for the webinar by completing weekly readings and listening.
    • Actively participate (via the microphone and chat) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.

    Required books & materials:

    • Music: The Definitive Visual History (Dk Smithsonian) (ISBN: 978-1465442468)
    • Assigned listening will mostly be through YouTube.
    • Optional: Students are encouraged to have access to a streaming service such as Google Play Music or Spotify in order to listen to a variety of music. They are also encouraged to use their public library to access music on CD.