From the beginning, I've felt that the class is intrinsically difficult to teach. I dislike that it turns into a run of the mill survey lecture course after we finish learning about the elements of music. Each semester I tweak the format a bit, but I have yet to land on something that I feel is entirely successful.
So, this semester I'm going to try a Teaching Artist approach, as much as possible. I know that I can't teach college students the same way I teach 3rd/4th graders, but I also can't help but think that if elementary school kids can understand and love the evolution of the symphony, certainly young adults can get there too. To that end, I'm asking that everyone buy recorders and music paper so we can compose regularly. (75 college students in one room playing the recorder; what could go wrong?)
The idea will be to avoid the passivity of the lecture hall while promoting the discovery of music through in-class projects and playing (in both senses of the word). We'll still do out-of-class assignments from the textbook, but I'm hoping to stay away from lecturing directly from the book. Any monkey can do that, and I'd like to think I'm capable of offering something more. Through experimentation with the music we're studying each class, I hope to pique an interest and comprehension that the traditional powerpoint presentation simply can't broach.
With any luck, the class will turn into an adventure.