Paul de Castro
Fall 2019 - This was perhaps the easiest yet most interesting class I’ve taken so far. Besides the fact that it was a morning class which made me and others quite tired, the content is kind of interesting especially if you like music. Every lecture is mainly about a style of music, different artists and their history, and the music they composed. He also plays some documentaries which aren’t important to watch but can sometimes be interesting. The midterm and final are really easy as all the questions are identifying songs that he plays by their title, style of music or composer/performer. Just make sure to know your music, which ends up being about 70-80 songs by the final. Besides a 5-10 page essay which was graded very generously, the only work you have to do is listen to music and remember the songs. It’s helpful to review lecture notes before the exams but the music matters a whole lot more. My TA Juan was also very nice and doesn’t assign much work. He focuses on the actual music and the way its played, which is interesting and different from what is taught in class. The TAs also assign different work so this may be different for some. Overall, I absolutely loved this class as it was probably the easiest and wasn’t even that boring. 10/10 would recommend
Fall 2021 - This is definitely an ESAY A GE, and it is the EASIEST CLASS I've ever taken at UCLA. Let me put it in this way: I only went to the lecture ONCE this quarter, and I literally didn't study for this class throughout the entire quarter, and I end up with an A+. You can find answers very easily for the quizzes and the exams. You DONT NEED TO STUDY FOR THIS CLASS, literally! The only time-consuming thing is the paper, but should take you less than three nights. Overall, this class is a guaranteed A class and you dont need to spend a single minute on the material. Easiest class ever, and absolutely worthy to take!
Winter 2020 - If you have any interest in jazz music, I'd recommend taking this class. I took it as a GE, and I discovered some really great music. The 2 hour lectures in the morning can be draining, but usually there's not too much in the way of notetaking. A good chunk of each lecture is taken up by the professor playing a song or a portion from a documentary. The lectures aren't podcasted and the slides aren't posted online though. In terms of workload, it's pretty light. There's a paper due towards the end of the course that was graded pretty generously. You do have to keep track of the songs the professors posts though, as they make up the majority of the exams. In the end, the amount of songs amounted to a little over 80, so it is quite a bit, even though most of them are really enjoyable. I'd suggest making a Spotify/Apple Music playlist for easy studying and listening. Overall, I'd really recommend this class as an easy GE, especially if you have an interest in jazz music.
Winter 2020 - This class is a really great GE and Professor De Castro was an amazing lecturer. Since it was a 9am class, I agree that at times it was a little boring, because all we did was copy the slides down , watch documentaries, and listen to music. The music that we get to listen to in this class is fantastic. Before every lecture of every week, he will post listenings that we have to know, and make sure you know them by the midterm and final. You will be responsible for knowing about 70 to 80 songs when finals roll round. Quick advice: stay on top of the listening because some of the songs are harder to distinguish from others. But all in all, this class was an easy A. You will get to learn cool stuff , get an A, and worry more about your harder classes. Also, depending on your TA, you will also have an assignment every week due before discussion or you do an activity in discussion. It can get annoying sometimes with those activities, but the class is worth it.