21M.299 | Fall 2017 | Undergraduate

The Beatles

Instructor Insights

Instructor Insights

Teresa Neff, Lecturer in Music and Theater Arts.

In the following pages, Teresa Neff describes various aspects of how she taught 21M.299 The Beatles.

"I had a blast leading this class. The students were amazing. They were invested and brought so much to the class. I enjoyed every minute of it."
— Teresa Neff

Curriculum Information


21M.030 Introduction to World Music or permission of the instructor

Requirements Satisfied

  • GIR
  • HASS


Every fall and spring semester; topics vary


Grade Breakdown

The students’ grades were based on the following activities:

  • 70% Weekly analysis (10 projects, 7% each)
  • 13% Final project (essay and discussion)
  • 10% Reflection on weekly analysis (2 papers, 5% each)
  • 7% Participation


Read Teresa Neff’s insights on Using Assignment Guidelines to Make Expectations Explicit.

Student Information


23 students

Breakdown by Year

Mostly juniors and seniors

Breakdown by Major

Variety of majors 

Typical Student Background

Many students had taken a course on harmony and counterpoint, and as a result, were comfortable with the language of musical analysis. A few students had no musical background, but quickly came to understand the musical patterns we discussed during the class.

How Student Time Was Spent

During an average week, students were expected to spend 12 hours on the course, roughly divided as follows:

In Class

  • Met 2 times per week for 1.5 hours per session; 28 sessions total. Mandatory attendance.
  • About half the class sessions involved student presentations of their musical analyses.

Out of Class

  • Outside of class, students completed weekly analyses for selected songs, wrote reflections on others’ analyses, and prepared final essays.

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2017
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Instructor Insights