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Introduction to Technology for Musicians

Baylor University MUS1331 Fall 2023 course syllabus and online course-guide.



Graded Assignments Due Dates (10 @ 10points each)

  1. 1.
    One Minute Story (due Sept. 20/21)
  2. 2.
    Mock Audition Video (due Oct. 2/3)
  3. 3.
    Music Video Proposal (due Oct. 11/12)
  4. 4.
    Still Photo - headshot (due Dec. 4/5)
  5. 5.
    Notation Project (due Dec. 4/5)
  6. 6.
    Music Video (due Dec. 4/5)
  7. 7.
    " (music video)
  8. 8.
    " (music video)
  9. 9.
    Website (with portfolio of projects) (due Dec. 4/5)
  10. 10.
    Final Exam (Dec. 4/5)

Course Description

This technology course, designed specifically for musicians, balances quantitative technology knowledge with practical technology experience.
There are no technological skill prerequisites, so I do not assume you have any technology skills or knowledge.
This course includes fundamentals of: computer hardware, software, networks, analog and digital audio, notation software, virtual instruments, photography & film (analog), photography/graphics & video (digital), electroacoustic music, and music rights with the means to empower musicians with digital and media literacy.


  • Section 1 = Mon./Wed. 3:35-4:50 PM
    • No Class:
      • Sept. 4 (Labor Day)
      • Dec. 6 (due to our exam schedule)
    • Final Exam Dec. 4 during class
  • Section 2 = Tue/Thur 12:30-1:45 PM (Final Exam May 4 during class)
    • No Class:
      • Sept. 5 (due to Labor Day)
    • Final Exam Dec. 5 during class

Yearly Rotation:

  • Section 1 = Mondays and Wednesdays 1:00-2:15 PM
  • Section 2 = Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-1:45 PM
  • Section 1 = Mondays and Wednesdays 3:35-4:50 PM
  • Section 2 = Tuesdays and Thursdays 2:00-3:15 PM


The Moody 311 Creative Lab in the Arts and Special Collections Research Center (3rd floor of Moody Library)

Required Attendance Outside of Scheduled Class Time


Course Materials

You will not need to buy a textbook for this class, but you may want to purchase the following USB drive for the all the large media files you will be working with this semester = (or equivalent drive with around 400MB/s read speed).
Note: USB drives can occasionally fail, so using Box as a backup is highly suggested. Also, be sure to properly eject USB drives or data could get corrupted.

Course Objective: Empower musicians with digital and media literacy.


Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Oxford University Press) as:
The quality, condition, or state of being literate; the ability to read and write.

Digital literacy

Defined by a 2013 American Library Association (ALA) Digital Literacy, Libraries, and Public Policy, Report of the Office for Information Technology Policy’s Digital Literacy Task Force as:
the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, understand, evaluate, create, and communicate digital information, an ability that requires both cognitive and technical skills.

Media Literacy

[providing] a framework to access, analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms — from print to video to the Internet. Media literacy builds an understanding of the role of media in society as well as essential skills of inquiry and self-expression necessary for citizens of a democracy.
The following quotes are from Bauer, William I. "A Conceptual Framework for Technology-Assisted Music Learning." In Music Learning Today: Digital Pedagogy for Creating, Performing, and Responding to Music. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2014. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890590.003.0001. Chapter 1, pg. 6.
Like every other facet of life, music too has been greatly affected by technology. Technology is an integral part of the way much music in today's world is created, performed, preserved, and consumed, and it can be an authentic aspect of the expression of individual musicianship. Performing musicians use instruments, both digital and otherwise, that have been enhanced through technology. Popular musicians in particular have taken advantage of digital technologies to utilize unique sounds and effects in their concerts. Performances are recorded using sophisticated software and hardware that enable the captured sound to be easily mixed and edited. Composers and arrangers use sequencing and notation software to create printed notation and compositions. Some of these applications have experienced a remarkable transformation; as they grow more and more powerful, they also become easier to use—for example, professional-sounding recordings can now be created in basement music studios.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to confidently, judiciously, and skillfully use technology hardware and software to:
  • Record a variety of visual and aural content [digitally]
  • Edit a variety of digital content
  • Create a variety of digital content
  • Collaborate with others on digital projects
  • Share a variety of digital content
  • Teach musical skills and concepts


  • Computer hardware
  • Computer software
  • Computer networks (& website development)
  • Audio synthesis
    • Physics of sound
  • Analog sound reinforcement
  • Notation software
  • Audio (recording/editing)
  • Video (recording/editing)
  • Copyright and licensing


Your final grade will be calculated based on your 9 creative technology projects and 1 final exam (each of the 10 assignments will receive up to 10 points so that your final grade is the total of all the points you receive during the semester). While your grade is based on technology experiences (creative technology projects), a final exam will act as a quantitative measurement to ensure you retain important information past this semester course.
Late assignments will receive half credit (so the max amount of points a late assignment can receive is 5 points).

Grade Scale:

  • A = 90-100
  • B+ = 87-89
  • B = 83-86
  • B- = 80-82
  • C+ = 77-79
  • C = 73-76
  • C- = 70-72 (note: this is failing for a music major)
  • F = 0-69


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.
Missing 20min of any portion of a class meeting during the official class meeting time, will result in a 1/2 absence (for example, leaving a class meeting 20min early).
Attendance is not calculated in your grade, but you must attend at least 75% of class meetings in order to be eligible pass the course.

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 Success Center 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 work submitted 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 and may 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:

Students Needing Accommodations

Any student who needs academic accommodations related to a documented disability should inform me immediately 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 Equity, Civil Rights, and 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 provide information 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 in imminent 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 physical wellbeing and mental health of students by providing access to on-campus healthcare resources. 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 their main number or by logging into the health portal located on their website. Contact Information: (254) 710-1010; [email protected].

Telehealth Services for Students

All Baylor students also have access to medical and counseling services via telehealth in addition to the on-campus services. Medical services include virtual urgent care, psychiatry, and nutrition counseling. Counseling services include 24/7/365 in-the-moment support and ongoing mental health counseling. Access to care is available in the evenings, during weekends, and when the University is closed. All services are free and unlimited to Baylor students. Please visit for more information.

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)

Food Insecurity for Students:

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.

Facing Struggles as a Baylor Student

The Department of CARE Team Services is a group of dedicated and caring case managers who work with students struggling with mental health issues, financial struggles, and anything else affecting a student’s ability to be successful in the classroom. You can find them on the second floor of the Student Life Center, suite 207. Contact Information: (254) 710-2100 ; [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 (BARC) supports 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 Wellbeing

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]