V2318 Diatonic Harmony and Counterpoint I

Dec 2014

This is the worst professor I have ever had at Columbia. If you don't want to read the rest of this review just take away one thing: DO NOT ANY CLASS WITH MARIUSZ KOZAK. Kozak does not teach. He makes the class read the textbook and we come to class and he says "any questions? no? lets do some exercises." He forces us to work in groups when its absolutely meaningless to, because you have to do a lot of figuring out yourself. You will learn NOTHING in this class because he's not doing this class to help you learn; he literally just wants you to work hard. I approached him once asking why he took points off my assignment/tests and his response was literally... "I... I can't give you an answer." Seriously? You tell me my answer is wrong and you can't justify why your answer is right?? This class was a horror to take and every lesson was ridiculous and frustrating. Every class we would walk away feeling confused. Take my advice and NEVER take a class with this joke of a professor. You would have learnt more if you just read the textbook (it's not like we did anything more than that in his class, except he would confuse us more).

May 2013

Professor Miller is not only one of the best professors I have had at Columbia so far, he is one of the kindest. This is the kind of teacher who will email you about assignments over break or on weekends (even though he's on the train on his way to perform in 3 concerts), show up to Friday keyboard hearings just to smile encouragingly, and give you a little nudge towards the error you've made on the midterm when you try to turn it in. The class is difficult, especially the first part which is focuses on species counterpoint, as the previous reviewer noted. Lectures are clear, but expect to spend several hours reading the chapter and perfecting your part-writing in between. While it's not unlikely you'll get 12/30 on some assignments, Professor Miller will ALWAYS allow/require a redo, sometimes even two. If you took AP Music Theory in high school, expect to work a lot less...and somehow learn a lot more. Plus, you'll not only come out a better composer/part-writer, but a better musician, as lectures often include (spontaneous) listening exercises and discussions of what technical elements makes a piece of music emotionally moving.

May 2013

Miller is a fantastic teacher. I have now had him for two semesters in a row, and I can truly say that his classes have been my favorite at Columbia so far. He is not only a brilliant guitarist and a wonderful person in general, but he is a fantastic teacher and really has a way of engaging the entire class. While he can get distracted sometimes (which gets annoying when we need to get through material quickly), he has really done a great job at preparing us for Diatonic II. I am genuinely sad that I won't have him again for a few semesters-- I will miss having a teacher that actually cares about his students.