For the Fear of Music

by John Armitage | Nov 27, 2012
Rumor has it, many students dread taking MUS 127 Appreciation of Music, and put it off until the last possible minute. Fear no more!
Rumor has it, many students dread taking MUS 127 Appreciation of Music, and put it off until the last possible minute. Fear no more! The course has undergone significant changes, and Virginia Kleeberg’s knowledge, efforts, and passion for the subject has students feeling a change of heart. A private music instructor in her hometown of Muncie, Kleeberg earned a master of arts degree in music history and theory from Rutgers University in New Jersey, as well as a master’s degree in music, choral conducting, from Ball State University. Kleeberg enjoys the study of ancient cultures and the connections between these and biblical or scriptural accounts. She realized that with a music degree, she could cover it all, as in her words, “music has been so connected to society throughout the ages.” Kleeberg wants to encourage students to discover how the present is influenced by history, and help them realize they can appreciate their favorite modern music more fully if they have exposure to music of the past. With these goals in mind, Kleeberg has worked diligently to fine tune the music course over the last few months, including changes that will help students make connections between the music encountered in the classroom and the music they enjoy. She has added activities to help students recognize what they hear and incorporated review activities prior to tests and quizzes. Kleeberg offers encouraging words of advice: “Students do not need to have any background in music; the musical experience of most of the students in this course is listening to the radio. A medium, such as music, that requires educating our hearing, may seem daunting, because we are so used to learning visually. The course is designed to help students learn to actively listen to music much as they would actively look at a work of visual art. I have never had a student fail this course who made an effort to do the reading, listening, and writing assignments.”

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