Composition Syllabus

Baylor University Spring 2023 course syllabus for MUS: 1107, 1108, 2207, 2208, 3207, 3307, 3308, 4307, 4308, 5207, 5208, 5209.


​Dr. Ben Johansen​


  • regular weekly lessons will be scheduled at the beginning of each semester
  • some lessons may be virtual and some may be in-person

Required Attendance Outside of Scheduled Weekly Lesson

Non-composition majors are not required to attend any events outside of scheduled weekly lessons. Composition majors are required to attend or view all of the following:
  • Comp Forum: (traditionally last Sunday of each month @ 8pm, but we are looking at the possibility of meeting in the daytime during the week like other studios)
    • TBD
  • New Music Concerts:
    • 02/17/23 - Jones Concert Hall @ 7:30pm
    • 03/30/23 - Jones Concert Hall @ 7:30pm

Weekly Lesson Attendance

See Baylor's COVID Policy =​
The following is straight from the School of Music Undergraduate Handbook:
School of Music policy requires that to earn credit in a course a student must be officially enrolled by the end of the second full week of the semester and attend at least 75% of all class meetings. Faculty members may establish additional attendance requirements as outlined in course syllabi. Any student who is not present for at least 75% of the scheduled class sessions for any course will automatically receive a grade of “F” in the course. Any University-related activity necessitating an absence from class will count as an absence when determining whether a student has attended the required 75% of class meetings.

Course Objective

Create an original composition complete with edited score and parts (if applicable). I will assign projects as seen fit to meet this goal. Projects can range from reading and listening assignments, to creativity building exercises. You may also be required to get your piece performed (depending on your portfolio needs).


  • 50% Weekly *progress* + weekly lesson attendance (see above)
  • 50% Projects and Original Composition assignment(s)

Academic Success

I believe every student who has been admitted to Baylor can be successful, and I want to partner with you to help you thrive academically. Be sure to take advantage of the many resources available for academic success, including coming to see me during my office hours. Students who regularly utilize the great resources in the Paul L. Foster Success Center such as tutoring, Learning Lab, and Academic Mentoring are among my most successful students. If your academic performance in this class is substandard, I will submit an Academic Progress Report to the SuccessCenter so that the team of coordinated care professionals can ensure that you get the help you need.

First Generation College Students

Baylor University defines a first-generation college student as a student whose parents did not complete a four-year college degree. The First in Line program is a support office for first-generation college students to utilize if they have any questions or concerns. Please check out First in Line, visit us in the Basement of Sid Richardson West Wing or email: [email protected].

Academic Integrity

Plagiarism or any form of cheating involves a breach of student-teacher trust. This means that any worksubmitted under your name is expected to be your own, neither composed by anyone else as a whole or in part, nor handed over to another person for complete or partial revision. Be sure to document all ideas that are not your own. In addition, you must not provide course materials to other students, whether individually or generally (such as online) that would enable them to gain an unfair academic advantage. Instances of plagiarism or any other act of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Honor Council andmay result in failure of the course. Not understanding plagiarism is not an excuse. I expect you, as a Baylor student, to be intimately familiar with the Honor Code at: http​://​/​

Students Needing Accommodations

Any student who needs academic accommodations related to a documented disability should inform meimmediately at the beginning of the semester. You are required to obtain appropriate documentation and information regarding your accommodations from the Office of Access and Learning Accommodation (OALA). Stop by the first floor of Sid Richardson, East Wing in the Paul L. Foster Success Center or call (254) 710-3605 or email [email protected].

Baylor University Title IX

Civil Rights Policy and Sexual and Interpersonal Misconduct Policy
Baylor University does not tolerate unlawful harassment or discrimination on the basis of sex, gender, race, color, disability, national origin, ancestry, age (over 40), citizenship, genetic information or the refusal to submit to a genetic test, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal, Texas, or local law (collectively referred to as Protected Characteristics).
If you or someone you know would like help related to an experience involving:
  1. 1.
    Sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual assault, sexual exploitation, stalking, intimate partner violence, or retaliation for reporting one of these types of prohibited conduct, please visit, or contact us at (254) 710-8454, or [email protected].
  2. 2.
    Harassment (excluding those issues listed in #1) or adverse action based on Protected Characteristics, please visit, or contact us at (254) 710-7100 or [email protected].
The Office of Equity and Title IX understands the sensitive nature of these situations and can provideinformation about available on- and off-campus resources, such as counseling and psychological services,medical treatment, academic support, university housing, and other forms of assistance that may be available. Staff members at the office can also explain your rights and procedural options. You will not be required to share your experience. If you or someone you know feels unsafe or may be inimminent danger, please call the Baylor Police Department (254-710-2222) or Waco Police Department (9-1-1) immediately.
Except for Confidential Resources, all University Employees are designated Responsible Employees and thereby mandatory reporters of potential sexual and interpersonal misconduct violations. Confidential Resources who do not have to report include those working in the Counseling Center, Health Center and the University Chaplain, Dr. Burt Burleson.

Military Student Advisory

Veterans, active duty military personnel, and dependents are encouraged to connect with the VETS program, a space dedicated to supporting our military-connected students. Please communicate, in advance if possible, any special circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployment, drill requirements, disability accommodations).

Health Resources for Students

Baylor University is strongly committed to addressing the mental health and wellness needs of students by providing access to on-campus healthcare resources.

Crises and Emergencies:

  • BUCC Crisis Line: (254) 710-2467 (Business Hours/Non-Business Hours/Weekends)
  • Baylor Police Department: (254) 710-2222
  • MHMR Crisis Center: (254) 867-6550
  • MHMR 24-Hour Emergency/Crisis Number: (254) 752-3451
  • When home during academic breaks, when the counseling center is closed, please call your local resources.Some national numbers for support during a crisis:
    • National Hope Network Hotline: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)
    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)

Students’ Basic Needs (food & housing)

Food insecurity is defined as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for you to live an active, healthy life.” At Baylor, we want all students to have access to food resources that will support their holistic well-being and success. If you or someone you know experiences food insecurity at any time, you can find information on campus and community food resources by visiting The Store. You can also contact Store staff at (254) 710-4931. For additional basic needs assistance, please reach out to CASE or the Care Team.

Physical Health and Wellness, Psychiatric Evaluations, Pharmacy: Baylor Health Services Department

​Baylor Health Services includes Primary Care, Psychiatry, Physical Therapy and Pharmacy and is staffed with fully certified and licensed physicians and nurse practitioners, as well as nurses and administrative staff. Appointments may be made by calling our main number or by logging into the health portal located on our website.
Contact Information: (254) 710-1010; [email protected].

Baylor University Counseling Center

​The Counseling Center seeks to foster wholeness for every student through caring relationships, cultural humility and integrated mental health services.
Located on the second floor of the Student Life Center.
For an appointment, go to our website to schedule an Initial Assessment or call (254) 710-2467.

Substance and Behavioral Addiction: Beauchamp Addiction & Recovery Center (BARC)

​The Beauchamp Addiction Recovery Center aims to support students in recovery from substance and behavioral addictions through an all-encompassing level of support approach that includes one-on-one mentorship, support groups, and social events open to all Baylor students.
Located in the East Village Residential Community (bottom floor of Teal Residential College).
Contact Information: (254) 710-7092; [email protected]​

Spiritual Life: Baylor University Office of Spiritual Life

​The Office of Spiritual Life offers programs, persons, and resources to nurture theological depth, spiritual wholeness, and missional living.
Located on the corner of 5th and Speight Street in the BoBo Spiritual Life Center.
Contact Information: (254) 710-3517; [email protected]​