Classroom Press with Jess: MU100 – Taking Notes on Music Appreciation

Jessie Trudell

Even if music is not your forte, tune in and take note on all MU100 has to offer. Music of all genres gets the appreciation it deserves in this class, while also serving as an arts and humanities credit.

This week I sat down with Dean Klinkerman, freshman business major, so he could bring me up to tempo about what has been going on inside MU100 – Music Appreciation. Denise Apodaca is the conductor of Klinkerman’s class section.


“I wanted to take music appreciation because I thought it’d be interesting, and because I thought it’d be kind of easy, if I’m being totally honest,” Klinkerman said. “But it has easily turned into my favorite class.”

Klinkerman, though studying business, also holds a lot of interest in music. Klinkerman plays guitar and sings.

“A regular class consists of some lecture, but mostly of students giving presentations on music or performing musically for extra credit,” Klinkerman said. “Sometimes we even end class with a spontaneous karaoke session.”

Klinkerman has performed numerous times in front of his class, as well as learned about various artists and their contributions to the world of music. He said both experiences have helped him to develop his own personal sound as a musician.

“In class it’s a really mellow environment, and Apodaca is one of my favorite people I know,” Klinkerman said. “It’s a class that’s a really great ending to any kind of day I have because it always puts me in a good mood.”

Klinkerman said that the class is currently learning about traditional music styles from around the world. They have studied everything from European to Asian music, including the origins of music from a specific culture, and where the trends and styles are likely headed in the future.

“So basically, pretty much everything that has any sort of percussion comes from some sort of African music,” Klinkerman said. “For example, Asian music doesn’t tend to be influenced by African music so it doesn’t tend to have a lot of percussion.”

Klinkerman also said the class has listened to songs by artists such as Jimmy Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. After listening, the students can analyze the songs and their specific tones to figure out what the lyrics mean.

“If you learn about an artist’s background, it can help you understand why they’re performing what they’re performing,” Klinkerman said. “Granted, most of the rock artists are on drugs, but still.”

Community and respect are two of the largest aspects of this class, according to Klinkerman. He said it is a valuable class to take because students also learn that performers put a lot of work into what they do and it should be respected, whether pleasing to the listener or not.


“It’s one of those things you come into college and don’t expect,” Klinkerman said. “I’m a business major so I expected management and finance classes, but music appreciation is one of those really good surprises.”

So, if this class sounds like music to your ears, then take it on your own ac-chord … please laugh.

Collegian Reporter Jessie Trudell can be reached at or on Twitter @JessieTrudell.