For this assignment, please write at least 5 well-developed paragraphs (an introductory paragraph, a conclusory paragraph, and three body paragraphs—but more is certainly welcome!) in which you discuss music in relation to your life.
For many people, music evokes a wide array of emotions and memories. For this assignment, please write at least 5 well-developed paragraphs (an introductory paragraph, a conclusory paragraph, and three body paragraphs—but more is certainly welcome!) in which you discuss music in relation to your life.
I don’t want to put too many limits on this assignment because I want it to be more fun and creative and I want to see what you can do with it.
However, some examples of how students have successfully approached this assignment in the past follow:
Example 1: Some students choose to write about three important periods of their lives and choose a song to represent each period, explaining how the song corresponds to that period and offering examples of lyrics that help the reader see the connection.
If I were to take this approach, I might write about three songs: “American Pie” (Don McLean, 1971-‘72) which captured the loss of childhood innocence and the loss of innocence in the history of the country; “New York New York” (Nina Hagen, 1983) because the song was a huge hit in Europe when
I was studying there and the lyrics and music style (punk) encapsulated both the spirit of the era (gritty, Cold War) and the spirit of the “Neue Deutsche Welle” (German New Wave) that was the soundtrack of the year
I spent abroad and the rest of my time in college; and “(I’ve Had) the Time of My Life” (Dirty Dancing, 1987) because that was when I started my full-time career and bought my first condo and started saying good-bye to my carefree years.
Example 2: Some students choose to write about one (or more) artists who have had a significant influence on their lives.
If I were to take this approach, I might write about The Grateful Dead because they were one of my first live concert experiences and because their music has been linked to every phase of my life (childhood, teen years, college years, career, and still ongoing by attending concerts by their members’ spin-off bands).
Many of my best friends are Dead Heads, and those friendships have spanned decades.
Example 3: Some students choose to write about one song and its importance throughout their life.
If I were to write about this, I would probably choose “Me and Bobby McGhee” (Janis Joplin) because it’s the first song I ever sang in front of an audience and because it’s the song I sang to my nieces and nephews when they were young (they always asked for the “Na Na Song”) and because it’s the song I’ve now started singing to my great nephews and nieces.
NOTE: If you are hearing impaired and it affects your relationship with music, you may choose some other art form that speaks to you.
Requirements To be eligible for full credit, your essay must:
Be at least 5 well-developed paragraphs long
Be typed (double spaced, one-inch margins, and Times New Roman 12 point font—I can help you set this up if you need help).
Have an appropriate, attention-getting title
Offer specific details and examples about the music/artists/connections, including lyrics (in quotation marks) to help your reader understand the points you are attempting to make.
Be submitted as a Word document with your name in the title (ex: Smith-Soundtrack) by the deadline announced for your section.
This assignment is worth 33 points. See the rubric for details on what I’m looking for as I grade. Use the Word template I provide to maximize your points, and remember that extra credit is available for exceptional work or particularly thoughtful insights.
You may revise this first essay, using my feedback. You will receive the higher of the two grades. But you are responsible for handing the revision in by the deadline that applies for your section. You will need to contact me via email before handing in a revision.