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How to get the best out of the course

A quick overview of how to approach this course

The course is designed so that you can work through it independently and at your own pace.

We have designed each week to take around 3-4 hours to study in total, with this study time broken up into approximately 14-16 steps. The four topics that we are going to study build on each other, so it’s important to do the course steps in order, but you can divide these up according to the time you have. We would recommend doing no more than one activity at a time (consisting of around 4 individual steps) and taking regular breaks.

For the listening exercises, we recommend that you first listen through each example, taking notes of elements that you find interesting or which stand out to you. Then read the notes that accompany the exercise, before listening to the recordings a second time, and then responding to the questions provided. While this might be a little bit more involved than your normal listening practice, this will ensure that you are able to recognise important details in the music that you might not pick up on the first time around.

We’ll be drawing on some basic music terminology. Depending on your background, some of these terms and concepts may be familiar, or entirely new. If the latter applies to you, don’t worry. You may find it helpful to take notes and there are opportunities to follow up on key information with further reading, if you wish.

There will be lots of opportunities to apply what you have learnt in listening activities and musical analyses. We’ll also be inviting you to contribute to discussions and to chat to one another about your experiences of texts. We know from our teaching that this kind of interactive, social learning can be the most rewarding. Remember, you don’t need to be an expert to be able to think about and discuss music!

It’s important to remember that learning should be fun! To that end, below are some tips on how to get the most out of the course.

Familiarise yourself with the FutureLearn platform

If you’re new to FutureLearn, you’ll find some good tips on using the platform here and here. Use the back button in your browser to navigate back to this page.

Contribute to the discussion

Lots of the tasks on the course ask you to add your comments to the discussion at the bottom of the relevant page. Basically, the more you contribute, the better your experience will be. Do reply to each other’s comments too. You can often learn as much from talking together as you can from listening to a tutor. We are looking forward to reading your comments and will respond to as many as we can!

(Note: this course runs on an ongoing basis, so outside of specific periods, we may not always be checking the comments regularly enough to respond in a timely fashion. If you have any questions about the course, feel free to get in touch via Twitter.)

Engage with us on Twitter

If you’re a Twitter user, feel free to tweet your thoughts. You can also follow us: • Monty Adkins • Sam Gillies • Heritage Quay • Department of Arts and Humanities, University of Huddersfield

OK, let’s get started!

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