Basic Guitar

MUS 141 001, Fall 2009

Instructor: Herbert Midgley

Email : (Please use this email not WebCT or my gmail account)

Phone: Office 468-1197 or leave a message at 468-4602

Office: Room 310 A Fine Arts Building., 3rd Floor inside the MIDI Lab

Department: Music

Office Hours : MWF 11&1 T TH 12:15 & 4

Class Time and Place : M-F 10:00-10:50 Room 170

Text: Bay, Mel, Guitar Class Method Volume I required Materials: Guitar, Notebook, Pitch Pipe or Tuner and a Pick.

Course Description:       Class instruction for beginning guitar students. May not be taken by majors or minors for degree credit.

Class Goals: The goal of this class is for you to learn how to enjoy music by playing basic guitar.

Class Attendance: I expect you to be present, and on time at all class meetings. You may miss three classes unexcused without a penalty. On the fourth and each other unexcused absence I will lower your grade by one letter. If you are late to class three times, this will equal one unexcused absence. There will be a few unannounced daily quizzes that will average together and count as one major grade. No make-ups on these daily quizzes. You are responsible for all notes, power point presentations, recordings, films/videos presented in class. Due the size of this class, no talking, sleeping, eating, reading newspapers, text messaging or cell phone use during class will be tolerated. All of these activities disrupt the educational process. If these common courtesies are not observed, you will be invited to leave the class. NO CELL PHONES OUT DURING CLASS!


Grading:                                                                                                       Grading Scale:

Quizzes and Journal Notebook-10%                                                                     90-100 =A

Class participation - 10%                                                                          80-89      =B

6 Performance and Written exams 10% each                                                    70-79      =C

Final exam - 20%                                                                                         60-69      =D

                                                                                                                              00-59      =F

Performance Exams- This is where you or a group plays a prepared piece for me or in front of the class.

Written Exams- These exams test your knowledge on music theory, notation and other important topics that are important to play guitar.

Final Exam- It will be part written and performance.

Quizzes- These will be either written or performance quizzes.

The Journal Notebook- It should contain any notes that you have taking during the semester from class room instruction. It is also a place for you to reflect on your progress in this class. You could write down what times you are practicing, what problems you are having, what successes you are having etc. This journal notebook will help you focus in on your goals in music. I will check this Journal Notebook at various times during the semester, so make sure that you bring it to class so that you do not lose any points! At the end of the semester, I will grade them, either during dead week or on the day of the final.

Class participation: You are required to participate in this class to show me what skills you are developing.

Attendance, Quizzes, The Journal Notebook-                                             -10%

Class participation                                                                                                               -10%

6 Performance and Written exams                                                                          -60%

Final exam                                                                                                                                     -20&__


Please do not hesitate to contact me if you are having a problem in this class. Everyone is at a different level, so I will do my best to let everyone learn at his or her own rate. My job is to help you learn how to play guitar, read music notation and enjoy music. I will help you in any way to attain these goals.


I will cover new material week and give a test during dead week.

Students with documented disabilities who need course adaptations or accommodations please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.

The syllabus may be amended at anytime due to the overall performance of the class.

Test Dates (This is subject to change if we are moving at a different rate than I have planned)

Note Reading                                                 September 18

Playing Test                                                    October 2

Note Reading                                                 October 16

Playing Test                                                    November 6

Song Writing Test                                   November 20

Blues                                                                    December 9

Final Exam                                                      December 14 10:30-12:30 Finals week (Note different time)

Student/Learning Outcomes: What students should know or be able to do as a result of this course:

1) Through the study of guitar, students will learn how to enjoy music by playing basic guitar compositions.

2) Through group performance projects, students will demonstrate the ability to perform for an audience.

3) Through group performance projects, students will demonstrate the ability to perform with other musicians.

4) The student will demonstrate the skill of reading music.

5) The student will demonstrate the skill of improvising with the blues scale.

6) The student will demonstrate the skill of composing a song.

7) The student will demonstrate the skill of playing both parts of a lead sheet.

8) The student will be encouraged to develop confidence in one's self.

9) The student will be encouraged to develop the skill of time management by practicing for class.

10) The student will be encouraged to develop computer skills to find guitar software and guitar tabs.


Program Learning Outcomes

This is a general education core curriculum course and no specific program learning outcomes for this major are addressed in this course.


Academic Integrity (A-9.1)

Academic integrity is a responsibility of all university faculty and students. Faculty members promote academic integrity in multiple ways including instruction on the components of academic honesty, as well as abiding by university policy on penalties for cheating and plagiarism.


Definition of Academic Dishonesty

Academic dishonesty includes both cheating and plagiarism. Cheating includes but is not limited to (1) using or attempting to use unauthorized materials to aid in achieving a better grade on a component of a class; (2) the falsification or invention of any information, including citations, on an assigned exercise; and/or (3) helping or attempting to help another in an act of cheating or plagiarism. Plagiarism is presenting the words or ideas of another person as if they were your own. Examples of plagiarism are (1) submitting an assignment as if it were one's own work when, in fact, it is at least partly the work of another; (2) submitting a work that has been purchased or otherwise obtained from an Internet source or another source; and (3) incorporating the words or ideas of an author into one's paper without giving the author due credit.

Please read the complete policy at

Withheld Grades Semester Grades Policy (A-54)

Ordinarily, at the discretion of the instructor of record and with the approval of the academic chair/director, a grade of WH will be assigned only if the student cannot complete the course work because of unavoidable circumstances. Students must complete the work within one calendar year from the end of the semester in which they receive a WH, or the grade automatically becomes an F. If students register for the same course in future terms the WH will automatically become an F and will be counted as a repeated course for the purpose of computing the grade point average.


Students with Disabilities

To obtain disability related accommodations, alternate formats and/or auxiliary aids, students with disabilities must contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS), Human Services Building, and Room 325, 468-3004 / 468-1004 (TDD) as early as possible in the semester.  Once verified, ODS will notify the course instructor and outline the accommodation and/or auxiliary aids to be provided.  Failure to request services in a timely manner may delay your accommodations. For additional information, go to