Technology for Musicians

Dr. Mark Snyder
duPont 306
(540) 654-1959

Office Hours M 5:00-7:00 PM, TR 11:00 AM -12:30 PM and by appointment.

Welcome to Technology for Music Majors. The course will introduce you to the tools you will need to be successful as a musician and as a student in the Department of Music. This course provides a basic understanding of notational tools, sound reinforcement, recording, sequencing, video capture/editing and music specific web design and social media.

Foundations of Music Technology by VJ Manzo

Tech How-To:

Additional Required Materials

  • Memory Stick or Hard Drive for storing & backing up your projects.
  • Studio quality headphones. Pick a pair from the list below. They don’t need to be from Sweetwater.

Course Goals

Students will learn:

  • How to use Finale to notate music for composition, analysis and research papers.
  • How to configure and operate a concert recording system.
  • How to configure and operate a simple home studio.
  • Basic digital video recording and editing applications.
  • How to configure and operate a basic MIDI/audio system using computers, interfaces, and peripherals.
  • How to design basic web pages with music-specific content including a web presence on social media.

Class Participation & Attendance
Education is partially experiential and therefore class attendance is critical.

Absences and Excuses
Each student is directly responsible for absences and for making up missed work.

Assignment Descriptions

This is a project based course. Some projects take less than 5 minutes, some will take 3 weeks to complete. The projects are referenced in the schedule.

There are 3 tests that cover class lectures and the readings.

Students are expected to participate in the critiques of the projects that occur when these projects are played in class. Failure to do so will lower the grade of your project. Critiques are designed to offer insights, suggestions for improvement, support to encourage you to improve your work. Each of you will provide an affective grade for each of final projects that is averaged in with my affective grade and feedback.

In addition to the above requirements, participation will be measured against the following criteria:

  • Contribute original thoughts or ideas to the critiques.
  • Give relevant reasons to validate points.
  • Demonstrate openness to divergent points of view.
  • Be respectful of the perceptions of others.
  • Integrate material from previous units to formulate ideas and generate dialogue.

Projects will be graded by timeliness and the fulfillment of the requirements as well, but grades of A and B will be reserved for students going above and beyond the requirements and overall quality.

Students will be expected to spend an average of 6 hours per week outside of class on these assignments. All work will be completed and turned in on time. Late work will not be accepted.

Week 1: Domain of One’s own & Introduction to the course

Set up domain of ones own accounts


(First is a bit old but is most comprehensive, Last is to look at TOC for ideas)


Week 2: Website/Social Media/Streaming Sites (cont.)

Website Shell with social media accounts due to course blog and canvas.

Week 3: Sound Reinforcement

Read Manzo Chapters 1 and 2 and complete exercises.

Also read manuals for gear you’ll be using on canvas.

Watch videos on cable wrapping and PA set up.

Meet in groups to set up PA

Week 4: Sound Reinforcement (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 8 and complete exercises.

Grade based on participation in PA Set up.

Week 5: Digital Audio Workstations

Read Manzo Chapters 3 & 5 and complete exercises.

Start working on 30 second spot.

PA Test

Week 6: Digital Audio Workstations (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 4 and complete exercises.

30 second ad due to course blog and canvas.

Start working on Pop Song.

Week 7: Digital Audio Workstations (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 7 and complete exercises.

Continue working on Pop song.

Midterm covering course materials and Manzo chapters 1-5 & 7.

Logic Meetings

Week 8: Digital Audio Workstations (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 9 and complete exercises.

Logic Meetings

Week 9: Engraving Notation

Read Manzo Chapter 6 and compete exercises.

Pop Song due to course blog and canvas.

Week 10: Engraving Notation (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 12 and complete exercises.

Lead Sheet due to course blog and canvas.

Week 11: A/V Performances & Recordings

Read Manzo Chapter 11 and complete exercises.

Engraving Analysis due to course blog and canvas.

Group Meetings for recordings in studio.

Week 12: A/V Performances & Recordings (cont.)

Read Manzo Chapter 13 and complete exercises.

Group Meetings for recordings in studio.

Bach chorale due to course blog and canvas.

Week 13: A/V Performances & Recordings (cont.)

Group Meetings for recordings in studio.

Week 14: Bring all materials together to put onto website for final presentation.

All work complete and draft website on Blog for in class critique.

A/V Performance video due to course blog and canvas.

December 13th: Final Exam

Final Website due to course blog and canvas.

***The above schedule is approximate. We may be ahead or behind a day or two. Check the Assignments on Canvas for due dates***

Projects         60%

Tests  (2)        20%

Final Project  20%

Disability Resources
The Office of Disability Services has been designated by the college as the primary office to guide, counsel, and assist students with disabilities. If you receive services through the Office of Disability Services and require accommodations for this class, make an appointment with me as soon as possible to discuss your approved accommodation needs. Bring your accommodation letter with you to the appointment. I will hold any information you share with me in strictest confidence unless you give me permission to do otherwise.

If you have not made contact with the Office of Disability Services and have reasonable accommodation needs, (note taking assistance, extended time for tests, etc.), I will be happy to refer you. The office will require appropriate documentation of disability.

Honor Code
Please conduct yourself in accordance with the Mary Washington honor code for this class and write and sign the pledge, (or an abbreviation of it), on all written work. If you are unsure if what you are doing or want to do is a violation of the honor code, ask. Appropriate actions in accordance with the Honor code will be taken as warranted.