I'm currently in a five-day workshop to become certified as a W-instructor. DePauw has three competencies required of all its students: W (writing), Q (quantitative reasoning), and S (oral communication). Various courses across the disciplines fulfill these competency requirements, based upon some basic course content and the certification of the professor. After this workshop I will be able to offer W courses. I plan to offer my Film Music course as a W in the future, probably in three years.
But I am also taking the workshop to get ideas for my First Year Seminar (Writing About Music). Thus far I have decided that the students should all read the same materials for the major writing projects, so they can discuss those readings better. I'm also going to have them blog about those readings before class, to make the in-class discussion more fruitful. And finally, I know that the capstone project must be changed. Previously, I've had the students construct a portfolio of their writings. I think I'm going to force them to take one writing project and expand it into a 6-8 page essay, with at least one draft turned in for feedback before the final product.
To bring some music into this post, I'm currently enjoying the 30 years at the Lincoln Center special on PBS. Beverly Sills is showing what a real coloratura sounds like, and looking simply adorable while doing so (The Barber of Seville from about 1965). Wynton Marsalis, however, should stick to the trumpet. His phrasing is good, but his voice is missing that body which would give it real character.