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Please contact Debbie Bales if you have interesting articles or suggestions at 714-892-7711 ext. 55142 or at dbales@gwc.cccd.edu. We reserves the right to edit submitted articles.

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Learning Can be Comfortable and Convenient: Online Courses in the Arts

By Martie Ramm Engle

Imagine sitting in your pajamas curled up on your sofa eating Oreo’s and drinking milk while attending college. Or, picture yourself submitting a report to your instructor at 4:00 am.

Believe it or not, there is much learning available 24-hours a day through a wide range of online courses offered by the Theater Arts, Music and Visual Arts departments at Golden West College. Aside from enrolling as a student at the college then enrolling in the online course that interests you, students in online courses need nothing more than access to the internet, a computer, and of course the discipline to reliably participate in the course.

You don’t even need to be in Huntington Beach to be an online student at Golden West College because students are not all locally based. Instructors of online courses have noted that they have had students participate while on vacation in Hawaii, living in exotic locations around the world including New York, Florida, Germany and England or working on cruise ships sailing the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

Online courses in the arts can work for anyone since taking an online class requires just as much time and effort as a class on campus. What most online courses do not require is you driving to campus or sitting in a classroom. Online learning makes it possible for you to gain knowledge about musicals or Picasso or Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz from your cozy home or while sitting at Starbucks.

To see if online classes are right for you, check how you might answer these questions:

If you answered “yes” to most of these questions then you should do just fine with an online course. To see if an online course in Theater Arts, Music or Visual Arts is right for you, go to www.onlinegwc.org, the main link to online courses at Golden West College. Click on “Getting Started” where topics such as “Are Online Courses Right for You” and “Getting Comfortable with Online Learning” can be found. At this site, you will also find links to all courses offered online at Golden West College as well as FAQ’s and Help.

The online courses in Theater Arts, Music or Visual Arts at Golden West College offer a wide range of exciting learning experiences and each is fully transferable to the California State University system, the University of California system or both.

The assortment of Theater Arts, Music and Visual Arts online courses is surprising:

Introduction to Art (ART-G100/HUMANITIES-G102) is an introductory course for both the general interest and art major student. Art theory, art practices and an overview of art history are covered and field trips are required.

Graphic Design Principles (ART-G170/DIGITAL ARTS G170) is an introduction to visual communication principles as practiced in the graphic design profession.
History and Appreciation of Music (MUSIC-G101/HUMANITIES-G120) is designed to help students enjoy listening to all styles of music with emphasis on what to listen for in the music. This course emphasizes an historical survey of popular music of yesterday, today and tomorrow known as European and American “classical” music and includes a brief introduction to several other styles as well.

Jazz: A History and Appreciation (MUSIC-G136/HUMANITIES-G140) is a survey of jazz, the uniquely American art form, and traces the history and development of jazz, from its musical predecessors and beginnings to contemporary styles.

History and Appreciation of the Musical Theater (THEATER ARTS G108/MUSIC G108/HUMANITIES-G108) is a course that explores all of the elements which make the Musical Theater one of the premier art forms of the 21th Century. Emphasis is placed on the history of the musical and on examining the roles of the composer, librettist, lyricist, choreographer, director, performer, designer, and others relative to creating a musical theater production.

Theater Appreciation (THEATER ARTS G120) introduces students to the full spectrum of live theatrical plays in performance with emphasis on theater history and the role of the director, designer and actor. This course enables students to understand, appreciate and evaluate live theatrical plays in performance.

There is very little stopping you from experiencing online education. Heck, you are on your computer searching the net or playing computer games anyway. You might as well learn something new about music, visual arts or theater arts since there is much to learn. You will also find that the helpful and vigorous community of online learners will soon become your partners on the journey.