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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Deborah L Pierce
HONORS 394
Seattle Campus

Honors Interdisciplinary Study IV

Develops ideas, concepts, or institutions that cut across the arts, humanities, and social sciences. For University Honors Program students only.

Class description

Music can be heard all over our planet. It finds its place in the chants of a shaman healing their patient, accompanies television commercials to help sell a product, helps create an atmosphere at social events, and accompanies societal rites of passage. Its inspiration can also be found in nature, for example, as a bird singing in our back yard or in the Amazon rainforest. Academically, music weaves its magic into many fields, making it an interdisciplinary powerhouse. It is present from the hard sciences through the most esoteric arts. Examples include recording technology in engineering; the use of music for healing in medicine and psychology; the study of sound production and building of musical instruments in physics; copyright and performance rights in law; and its use as a teaching aid in education.

In this experiential course we will examine some of the universal themes emerging from the use of music and its influence on humanity and our world. Our ten week journey will utilize various lenses through which we will explore the topic, including scientific and academic research, observation of collective human experience, and your own personal experience both in and outside of class. Our time together will be partially modeled on the goals and objectives of collaborative teaching/learning communities. Activities will include class visits from guest experts and group and individual research opportunities along with weekly musical explorations facilitated by the instructor. During this process we will also examine how it affects and empowers our own lives.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Deborah L Pierce
Date: 10/15/2012