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I hope professor Kendall is not the only one who teaches Ethnomusicology 172A. If he is, it would serve you best to avoid the class.
Professor Kendall certainly "knows his stuff," but he doesn't know how to teach it. He's constantly going off on tangents that have nothing to do with the course material. His lectures are like jigsaw puzzles that you have to put together when you get back to your room/home/apartment/dorm. He also sounds intelligent, but says very little. This makes it extremely difficult to study for the two quizzes that were 6th and 10th week for us.
Speaking of which, his website is full of information that he says you are responsible for. And it's true. Luckily the first quiz was graded easily (mean was 97, no curving in this class). The second was about the same difficulty as the first. But you don't KNOW that until you actually take the test. Meaning, he has you sweating until you're about to die from studying up until test day. For the first quiz, there were over 50 vocabulary words to memorize with ANNOYINGLY LONG definitions that went with them. The web material itself is also dense and pompously written. It wasn't even written by Kendall! It was written by one of his grad students from long ago, so expect a lot of it to be out of date/incongruent with lecture. Unfortunately, when the first quiz comes around and you realize your notes are absolutely worthless because of Kendall's teaching style, the website will be all you have going for you. SO STUDY IT LIKE MAD.
Professor Kendall can be intimidating. Both in person and through e-mail. Don't bother asking him questions that require more than two words. He will always be curt in his e-mails to the point of being unhelpful. My friend asked him for help about the audio examples on the webpage. His reply? "Realplayer." Nothing else. I've sent paragraphs of information to him, expecting him to read it and answer the same. His reply? "Yes." NO elaboration, NO help!
He also likes to talk about himself, and he drops names like crazy. "I know so and so, I've helped with this research, it was because of my friend that we have MP3," and so forth. It gets annoying. His lectures are heavily "research oriented," meaning you will be responsible for lots of names like Dianna Deutsch and Carl Seashore. Lucy for you he tells you which names are important.
The final project is also a pain. It's either a 10-page research paper about any topic covered in class, or a 10-page experimental proposal on any topic concerning music. My recommendation is to talk to him EARLY and IN PERSON. Though he answers e-mails fast, it is really easy to get annoyed with his arrogant attitude and curt replies. He's a little better face to face.
There was a 5% extra credit assignment involved. And what a coincidence, it was to participate in one of his very own studies. It was an easy way to get bonus points though, so do it if you have time/if he's running an experiment when you take the class. There was also a one-page writeup that you could do INSTEAD OF the experiment. You couldn't do both.
Overall, I do NOT recommend Kendall. What you will learn from the class is not worth the effort that you must put into it, especially if you are a non-ethnomusicology major. If you're a psychology major, consider taking another elective. What a waste of time this class was.
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