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Music, Life, and Knowledge 

Department: Music

Instructor: Michael Jones
Instructors' Emails:
Prerequisites: none 
Dates: July 11 - July 29, 2022
Schedule: 9am - 4pm (Lunch from 11:30am - 1:30pm)
Location: UC San Diego Extended Studies, 9600 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037
Room: 103

Course Description

Music, Life, and Knowledge is a course designed for high school students interested in art and music. In compliment to existent courses that focus on the technical and physical aspects of music (AP Music Theory for example) or the historical progression of music as it exists in Western culture (general Western musical history courses), this course seeks to provide students with the language and reflective capacity to discuss music as they encounter it in their daily lives. Drawing from phenomenology, epistemology, hermeneutics, and affect theory, this course seeks to situate music as something bodily and performative, and therefore something that is universally accessible, though historically contingent. Students will emerge from this course with an introduction to how music shapes them and how they in turn shape music, and will develop reflexive knowledge of the ways their acts of interpretation build, affirm, and deny certain knowledge regimes. This course believes music should be empowering and affirming, and actively seeks to undermine any tendencies towards exclusivity or gatekeeping.

Course Goals / Learning Objective

  • students will be able to write meaningfully about their experiences with art and music
  • students will be conscious of perceptual activity that may have been taken for granted
  • students will be able to transform perception and reflection into creative work to be shared
  • students will be empowered to become engaged consumers and creators of art in their community

Course Topics

  • How to listen to music
  • How to interpret art
  • Philosophy of art and perception
  • How to share ideas about art with others
  • How to build community around shared experiences and ideas


*Courses vary by experience and exposure to content. Instructors have the ability to change content and pace to serve the needs of students. Courses have been modified for online teaching.