If you have room in your schedule to take this class, you absolutely must. Professor Fruehauf is an absolute gem—both as a person and as a teacher—and this class is both engaging and incredibly informative. Professor Fruehauf does a great job of making the class dynamic. In class we get to go on field trips (or this semester, virtual field trips) around NYC to learn more about Jewish music in its context. We also get to attend a Jewish musical event of our choosing, and Professor Fruehauf will also occasionally invite guest speakers to our class. This class will give you a great overview of Jewish music in New York in various spacial and geographical contexts, including certain neighborhoods, concert halls, Broadway, and pubs and clubs. Professor Fruehauf does a great job of choosing musical examples as well as interesting articles and videos This course doesn't require any background in music. Professor Fruehauf begins the course by teaching you the musical terminology needed for the class. However, having some musical knowledge prior to taking this class will certainly help you to get more out of the class and will definitely assist you in your final paper.
She is very passionate about the subject. She was always happy and energetic in class. However, I am pretty much tone deaf, and for me the class was a challenge. She breezes by topics and facts very fast--and I think others in my class would agree--so for me it became a hard class. I probably did the worst out of my group. The average was a A- and I got a B. She is extremely rule-bound, so if, let's say, you're at an A- but always participate and show interest, then she will give you an A- because your percentage warrants an A- only. Not saying she shouldn't be this way, but there was a professional recording artist in my class who did everything and beyond and still got an A- in the end. There was a problematic lecture where she showed some movie where the protagonist is in black face. The closest thing to a black person they had in there was me, and im not even black; i mean more in terms of having an awareness of systematic oppression of people of color. So essentially no black people in the class. She said that black face is controversial but that's as far as it went. I had to raise my hand and comment on it further, to bring the point home. She did not seem to be comfortable with that. If you're going to show a film with black face, you gotta at least mention the history and problem associated with it. To her, it didn't seem to be too big of a deal. She might wanna reconsider showing that movie in her classes.
Great professor! She truly wants her students to understand the subject. I had absolutely no music background and still did very well in her class. She will not move on until everyone understands the material. Take her for Music Hum.
SHE IS AMAZING! First off, the workload in her section is completely manageable. And really engaging. We had a little assignment that required us to to go The Cloisters uptown. I would have never traveled up there if it had not been for this class (side note: go to The Cloisters. It's amazing!). The really big assignments in the class are the 2 concert reports (which are due one week after you see the concert). She even says that she will read your drafts for a concert if you see it before the midterm. Throughout the semester she will send emails with suggestions to different shows around the city that you can see for the class. For the midterm, she has a review session at her loft in SoHo. She gives you a review sheet with all the terms you will need to know and the exact paragraphs for the short essay that you will need to put into musical form. Basically, she hands you the midterm and all you need to study is the known listening section. The final is the exact same thing as the midterm and mostly focused on the second half of the course. The only part that is the entire course is the known and unknown listening. That you need to study for. I would say the only bad part of her class is along with her syllabus that she gives out in the first class, she also has an online syllabus. It was annoying at times to have to look at both to do the readings and there was always additional reading/viewing of something. But overall, this class is really amazing. She is always available for questions and makes it easy to meet to review something.
I was lucky enough to find myself in Tina Fruehauf's class after putting off registering for Music Hum until second semester senior year. Not having had any sort of formal music education prior to this, I was just planning to get my last Core requirement out of the way in time to graduate. However, Tina was the precisely the type of instructor the Core office wants and gave me the tools to appreciate music at a higher critical level than me saying, "I like/hate this!" WITHOUT creating any of the usual anxiety of Columbia classes that make me rip my hair out. Besides an entirely manageable workload (hint hint), Tina is fantastically engaging in the classroom. She is straightforward and gives the most incredibly precise clarifications of the material in response to students' questions / comments. No prevarications or scatter-brained/evasive answers here, Tina is 100% clear and very nuanced. This is not to say that she's a German hardass, not at all, but she seems to genuinely want each of her students to understand things. The kindness and lightheartedness with which she speaks is probably a result of her generally caring nature, although she is in no way cloying/motherly, as some older female professors can sometimes be. Maybe that's because she's pretty young -- under 40, I think. She generally has a healthy, positive air about her! One time, I saw her in mid-bounce jogging down the hallway on the 7th floor of Hamilton and I almost wondered if I was bisexual, such a beautiful image of a Teutonic jungfrau she made. (I'm a gay male.) ALSO, she has a fantastic sense of humor! She's not deliberately in-your-face (which I don't mind to a certain extent), but very subtle and not gratuitous. Overall, while I can say that I had one or two classes at Columbia I enjoyed more than Music Hum (simply because I am interested in other things), I can definitely say that Tina is the best teacher I had in all of college, strictly speaking of the mÃ©tier of instruction regardless of subject area. P.S. She has the best German accent ever; in her syllabus, she accidentally wrote "since die Middle Ages" at one point no joke. Also, I believe she is climbing Kilimanjaro at the very moment I am writing this (after-class chitchat).
I had the pleasure of having Professor Fruehauf for Music Hum. Her teaching style, care for each and every one of her students, and friendly demeanor easily made Music Hum my favorite Core class. She was always so kind and patient while making sure we had a solid grasp on all of the musical concepts and terminology. She would always encourage everyone to participate as well. Her dedication to her teaching was unmatched by any professor I've had at Columbia. She was always willing to make time to help students out with their assignments, attend concerts with them, or just to chat about life. Overall, count yourself lucky if you get Professor Fruehauf for Music Hum. She is a true gem.
I feel so lucky to have had Professor Fruehauf for MusicHum. She has really broadened my knowledge of, and piqued my interest in, Western music. I've started attending more concerts and listening to more pieces on my own thanks to her. In the first half of the semester, Professor Fruehauf emphasizes musical terminology. While the terms can be difficult to grasp at first, she patiently reviews them and answers questions until everyone is on the same page. This gives you a solid vocabulary with which to discuss music for the rest of the semester and beyond. She also assigns some small written assignments in the first half. This may be more work than the typical MusicHum section, but the homeworks do complement the class well and are even pretty fun (like listening to a fusions between Gregorian chant and pop). For the first concert report, we each had to find our own concert to attend. Professor Fruehauf is really helpful with this because she suggests concerts throughout the semester, regularly emailing us information about upcoming concerts. She will also read and comment on a draft of the concert report as long as it's submitted before the midterm. For the second concert report, we saw La Traviata as a class. Professor Fruehauf also hosted a review session in her home for the midterm. It was really kind of her to offer the extra help, and the review was very helpful preparation for the exam. She cares a lot about her students, and is happy to chat about the material or what you're studying outside of class. Throughout the semester, she is clear and straightforward about her expectations, and you will come away knowing so much more about Western music. Consider yourself lucky if you have her for MusicHum!