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MUS 225-35 The History of Jazz (Online Learning)

Course Materials | Course Plan | Getting Started

Many of us spend our life listening to music, whether aware or unaware. Music surrounds us, fills the airwaves and influences us in so many ways. Some of us have listened attentively to jazz, while others have heard it as background music in perhaps a restaurant or on the radio. What is jazz? Where does jazz come from? Why does it sound the way it does? How has jazz evolved over the years?

This class provides an overall understanding of jazz, its history, and evolution. While this class will not help you become a jazz musician or even write jazz, it will allow you to become familiar with great jazz artists and innovators and give you the background to truly appreciate it when you hear it.

Come discover how this improvisational music born out of an African-American musical heritage has influenced not only America’s musical world, but has given the world a unique form of musical expression.

Course Materials

To be purchased at the College Bookstore: OnMusic Jazz Second Edition

Course Materials


Getting Started

Registering Access Code:

  • Acquire the OnMusic Jazz Second Edition Access Code from the NRCC Bookstore.
  • Go to Canvas on the first day of class and follow the instructions for registering your access code in Canvas.
  • Once registered, access the course in CANVAS under Modules.


  • Acquaint yourself with the Course Information section under Modules before starting the class.
  • Check regularly course announcements in CANVAS and your CANVAS inbox to access my communications to you.
  • Students are encouraged to contact your instructor with any questions or concerns. I am here to help you!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Q: What is the purpose of this course?
    A: Increase knowledge of the world of jazz by examining its history, the socio-cultural context of its development, key artists and performances.
  • Q: Is this course transferable?
    A: This course is highly transferable and meets the general education requirement at many universities. Music courses and the transferability chart (TVA Transfer Table) are available in the Transfer Virginia folder.
  • Q: Why take these courses at New River?
    A: New River Community College has been a leader in online learning courses. This particular online course is supported by an instructor who is passionate and knowledgeable about music and wants to instill that same passion and knowledge to her students through the interactive forum of online education.
  • Q: Who is this class designed for?
    A: This class is designed for the student who feels comfortable working online and who needs the convenience of taking a course outside of the normal lecture time due to work related, family or physical restraints.
  • Q: Is this course entirely online? Can I be somewhere else and still take this course?
    A: It is entirely online and can be taken anywhere with the exception of the Midterm and Final Exams. These exams must be taken at either the NRCC testing center in Dublin or at the Christiansburg site testing center. If you need a proctor because you live outside of the service area, a proctor request must be completed by the end of the 2nd week of the semester.

Music Department Contact Information

General questions and requests about the Music department should be directed to Louise A. Billaud 1-866-462-6722, extension 4351, or (540) 674-3600, extension 4351.
You may also email lbillaud@nr.edu.

Music Department Faculty

Call (540) 674-3600 or toll-free 1-866-462-6722, then you will be prompted to add the extension number to reach any employee.

Louise Billaud



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  •  Dublin, VA 24084
  •  (540) 674-3600
  •  Toll Free: 866-462-6722
  •  Fax: (540) 674-3642
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  •  782 New River Road NW, Suite 400
  •  Christiansburg, VA 24073
  •  (540) 674-3610
  •  Fax: (540) 381-7128
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