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First-Year Seminar (101-6-22)


Music and the Mind


Harry David Smith

Meeting Info

University Library 4670: Tues, Thurs 9:30AM - 10:50AM

Overview of class

For many, music serves a valuable function in everyday life. Music can serve as a mode of artistic expression, a method of relaxation, a means of influencing mood, and an avenue toward transcendence. This course will focus on the human experience of music by integrating research and theory from cognitive, social, and developmental psychology. Special attention will be given to topics such as the perception of music, the development of musical expertise and creativity, the effect of music on cognition, the emotional impact of music, and effective musical instruction.

Registration Requirements

Registration Requirements
Attendance at 1st class mandatory

Evaluation Method

Students will be evaluated based solely on written work. NUMBER OF WRITING ASSIGNMENTS AND THEIR LENGTHS Introductory paper to be assigned the first week: Why Music? (2-3 pages) Research paper : Top musicians: What does the evidence say about the role of nature vs. nurture? (3-4 pages) Reaction paper based on attending a musical performance (2-3 pages) Final paper based on research project. (8-9 pages)

Class Materials (Required)

Class Materials (Required)
Primary text: Levitan, Daniel J. (2006) This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession. Dutton, New York. ISBN-13: 9780452288522 Plus a list of readings: TBD

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only
Add Consent: Department Consent Required
Drop Consent: Department Consent Required