Music Courses

Our distance learning programs in music offer you the flexibility and convenience of learning about music at “your pace, your place” from experienced, highly qualified, and caring instructors.

Whether you are looking for a course about jazz, music appreciation, or legendary performers, our distance education courses can fulfill your needs. Classes are available online.

About independent learning

The Independent Learning program at the University of Wisconsin offers self-paced courses in a wide variety of subject areas. You can start any course at any time, and take up to a year to complete each course.

Many students find that our courses are accepted as transfer credits to satisfy degree requirements either at the University of Wisconsin or at other institutions.

Music courses

Click on a course to view its description in the Independent Learning online catalog

Course Titles Univeristy Credits
Appreciation and History of Music (U660-101) (Online)
Jazz Styles: An Introduction to the History of Jazz (U660-308) (Online)
Legendary Performers (U660-206) (Online)

Featured instructor: Jamie Henke, Ph.D.

Dr. Jamie Henke is a Distinguished Faculty Associate here at UW-Madison. Only eight individuals hold this rank on campus. She teaches Basic Concepts of Music Theory for non-majors for the School of Music and various music courses for the Division of Continuing Studies. Her top teaching awards include the Hilldale Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, a Lifetime Achievement Award, University Housing’s Honored Instructor award, and induction as a Teaching Fellow in the UW-Madison Teaching Academy. She published the first truly online music theory textbook entitled “Theory Gizmos: Fundamental Tools to Understand, Analyze and Build Music.” She has been awarded various Engage grants to work on two podcasting projects, a collaborative learning project, and several Simulations and Games projects with the Division of Information Technology at UW-Madison, and also completed an e-learning video project with Professor Moses of the Engineering Department on campus. She also serves as the Coordinator for How to Teach Online for the Community Music NACCM project created by Professor Chelcy Bowles. Jamie’s teaching incorporates traditional as well as online instruction in a range of courses from counterpoint and composition, to theory and history. She is the coordinator for Independent Learning in music and Online Continuing Education. She has a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and a Ph.D. in music theory, both from UW-Madison.

Your contact for music courses: Jamie Henke. E-mail:

Registration, transfer, transcripts: All of our university-level music classes are officially part of the University of Wisconsin Transfer Information System and generally transfer to all UW campuses without difficulty. If you are planning to use an Independent Learning course to satisfy the requirements of a particular program of study, you should check with that program's office for guidance. For information on transferring credit to an institution outside the UW system, please consult the registrar of that institution. See the main Independent Learning Web Site for additional information on registration, transfer, and other issues.

Handbook: The Student Handbook (PDF) has more information about Independent Learning.


See Frequently Asked Questions about Independent Learning courses.


The cost of each independent learning course is determined, on a per-credit basis, by the University of Wisconsin System. Visit the Independent Learning website for current tuition rates and fees. Full-time students at UW campuses may be eligible for tuition remission. For more information, contact Student Services at 1-877-UW-LEARN (1-877-895-3276).

Also of interest

Other courses: For a complete list of Independent Learning Courses in other areas, see the Learning Innovations On-Line Catalog.

3 noncredit online courses, Create Your Own Music, How Music Works: The Tools of Music Theory, and Music Theory: Choose Your topic are offered by the UW-Madison Continuing Studies.

Contact: Jamie Henke, Distinguished Faculty Associate, 21 N Park St., 7th Floor, Madison, WI 53715, email

The academic home of the Independent Learning music program is UW-Madison's Division of Continuing Studies.