Aural Skills I

MUSI 1116

Instructor:  Deanna Erxleben



Phone:  Ext. 9245



For week by week description of requirements, assignments, and exams, refer to the Course Outline at the following link:




Course Description

  • Singing tonal music in treble, bass, alto, and tenor clefs. Aural study, including dictation, of rhythm, melody, and diatonic harmony

  • Prerequisite:  a passing grade on the placement examination in aural skills.



Required Texts and Materials

  • Bruce Benward and J. Timothy Kolosick, Ear Training: A Technique for Listening, (7th ed.). (Do NOT buy a used book or an eBook)

  • Robert W. Ottman, Music for Sight Singing (9th ed.).   (This book can be used, but do not get an eBook)

  • Music staff paper.  Go here  to print staff paper with keyboard and here for various other configurations.

  • Notebook:  it will not be graded, but returned assignments will be your exam study materials

  • Pencil and eraser.  I will not accept any assignment written in ink.  Mechanical pencils are a good choice. 

  • 3X5 cards

  • Bring these materials to every class session.


Course Work Includes


  • In-class lectures, discussions and analyses

  • Written assignments

  • Practical exercises in sight-singing and ear-training

  • Individual work on computer programs



  • All homework assignments are due at the beginning of class on the due date specified in the Course Outline. Specific instructions for assignments will often be listed in the Course Outline which will be updated on the course web page.  It is important to refer to this page often.  Modifications to the schedule will be announced in class or posted in the Course Outline.

  • Late assignments will only be accepted with prior approval and then at a penalty of ten points per calendar day.

  • In case of building closure, students will be notified by Tarleton email through Blackboard of alternate online assignments.



Grading Will Be Based On


  • 40%  Sight-singing Exams

  • 40%  Ear-training Exams

  • 10%  Computer lab assignments

  • 10%  Class Participation

Grade calculator


Note:  Music exists in time.  It is important for music professionals to be able to perceive and identify musical elements quickly or they will be of little use.  For this reason, proficiency in the areas of music theory and aural skills includes speed as well as understanding and assessment will include both.

Some assignments are based upon answers that are right or wrong and will be graded objectively.  Other assignments will have subjective content.  In grading those assignments, students do not begin with a 100 percent and lose points for infractions.  Rather, these grades are judgments about overall performance.  That is to say, students who have earned an 85% did not necessarily "lose" 15 points through error, but were judged to have performed at a B level.  These levels are basically described as:

A:  Excellent

B:  Good

C:  Average

D:  Below average

F:  Unsatisfactory

A grade of C or above is required to pass the course.

Tarleton differentiates between a failed grade in a class because a student never attended (F0 grade), stopped attending at some point in the semester (FX grade), or because the student did not pass the course (F) but attended the entire semester. These grades will be noted on the official transcript. Stopping or never attending class can result in the student having to return financial aid monies received.  For more information see the Tarleton Financial Aid website.


Attendance Policy

  • Attendance is required. Absences will only be excused with proper written documentation on letterhead. This includes a note from a healthcare provider in case of illness or a form signed by a sponsor (presented in advance) in the case of a University sanctioned activity.  Attendance at funerals and court appearances will also be excused with proper documentation and advance notice.

  • Class will begin on time according to the clock on the Course Outline.  If you are late and have already been marked absent, it is your responsibility to check in at the end of class to have the absence corrected to a tardy.  Use this link to set your watch.

  • A student's absences will not change any deadline or assignment requirements.  You are always responsible for any material you miss, so check the Course Outline and/or a fellow classmate for announcements, assignments, and requirements.


Classroom Policy

  • No food in the classroom.  Drinks in hard-sided containers with lids are allowed.

  • Turn off your cell phones and put them out of sight - mine and yours.  Text messaging is prohibited in the classroom.  Please see me if you have a special emergency situation requiring this type of communication.

  • Attention will be given to the lesson at hand, or you will be excused from the classroom.  (In other words, no working on other homework, personal business, sleeping, etc.)

  • Keep your backpacks and other personal belongings out of the aisles for the sake of convenience and safety.

  • Do not leave the room during class except for an emergency as this disruption is almost always (except for an emergency) avoidable.  Although it may not be disruptive to slip out, coming back in is always distracting.

  • If your conduct for any reason is unacceptable, you will be asked to leave.  Do not return to class until you have made an appointment to see me and the situation has been resolved.

  • Leave your space better than you found it.



This course moves quickly. If you begin to experience problems, consult me right away. Do not wait until you are hopelessly behind or lost.  My office hours are posted on my door, but if the door is open, please feel free to knock and come in any time.  Extra help (including tutoring) is available at no cost to you, so don't hesitate to inquire.


Academic Conduct

Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person's materials or ideas as one's own), or doing work for another person who will receive academic credit are all impermissible.  This includes the use of unauthorized books, notebooks, or other sources in order to secure or give help during an examination; the unauthorized copying of examinations, assignments, reports, or term papers; or the presentation of unacknowledged material as if it were the student's own work.


Any student caught cheating or plagiarizing will receive a grade of "F" for the class.  Further disciplinary action may also be taken beyond the Department of Fine Arts.  This decision will be mine in consultation with the department head.  Cheating is serious business and the penalties for engaging in this sort of activity will be severe.  Consult the following link for further information on academic conduct as specified in the TSU catalog.



Students With Disabilities Policy

It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact the Center for Access and Academic Testing, at 254.968.9400 or  Student Disability Services is located in Math 201. More information can be found at  or in the University Catalog, or at


Health and Wellness Policy

It is the Department of Fine Arts' policy to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for students, faculty, and staff, and to accept responsibility for the health and safety of others, including visitors, who may be affected by our activities.  This policy applies to all activities and areas of the department, including performance spaces, classrooms, studios, practice rooms,, faculty and staff offices, and communal areas. 


Academic Affairs Core Value Statements

Academic Integrity Statement

Tarleton State University's core values are integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence, and service.  Central to these values is integrity, which is maintaining a high standard of personal and scholarly conduct.  Academic integrity represents the choice to uphold ethical responsibility for one's learning within the academic community, regardless of audience or situation.


Academic Civility Statement

Students are expected to interact with professors and peers in a respectful manner that enhances the learning environment.  Professors may require a student who deviates from this expectation to leave the face-to-face (or virtual) classroom learning environment for that particular class session (and potentially subsequent class sessions) for a specific amount of time.  In addition, the professor might consider the university disciplinary process (for Academic Affairs/Student Life) for egregious or continued disruptive behavior.


Academic Excellence Statement

Tarleton holds high expectations for students to assume responsibility for their own individual learning.  Students are also expected to achieve academic excellence by:

  • honoring Tarleton's core values
  • upholding high standards of habit and behavior
  • maintaining excellence through class attendance and punctuality
  • preparing for active participation in all learning experiences
  • putting forth their best individual effort
  • continually improving as independent learners
  • engaging in extracurricular opportunities that encourage personal and academic growth
  • reflecting critically upon feedback and applying these lessons to meet future challenges


Academic Affairs Service Statement

Tarleton faculty, staff, and students are expected to model responsible citizenship through service activities that promote personal and academic growth while enhancing the university, local, regional, national, and global communities.  These activities will foster a culture of academic/public engagement that contributes to the achievement of the university's mission and core values.


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