Music, apparently, makes the people come together.

What are you talking about?

So here is March. Without looking, I have no idea what day. I think it is Sunday (?) and last night’s wonky “too early” daylight savings has messed up all my clocks. One says it is 08:00, another 10:00, another says it is 11:00. Needless to say, this is only adding to my sense of confusion.

Over the last few days, I have been marking student blogs almost non-stop for my Media course. I am finding that I am frequently cracking up, as some of my students are really funny. For example, this passage struck me as hilarious:

Because the theatre was so full I was unable to secure a buffer seat on both sides of me. So I ended up sitting beside a teenager and his younger brother. Seeing Nicholas Cage’s head turn into a flaming skull was apparently something they could bond over. The movie began with a mood setting if somewhat lame introduction, which gave me time to ponder how near I was to a stranger. I have not been in such close proximity to an adolescent boy since . . . well since I was an adolescent girl. If we had both turned our heads at the same time we could have kissed.

Yes indeed.

In the last class meeting, I had them all bring a piece of music (the class was on the social meanings infused in music). Then, throughout my planned lecture, I had “face off” slides, where two students had to come to the front and play their song. After both played, they had to tell the class the song name, who sang it, and why they love it so much. Then, the class had to anonymously vote for the favourite of the two.

I think this went off well. Due to the blogging nature of the course, I get instant feedback, and there was lots of it this week. One student clearly hated it:

So, first thing is first, people in the class have terrible music taste.  Maybe it’s me with the bad taste, but I honestly can’t say I liked too many songs

This really got me worried, as it was the first review I read. Yet, everyone else seemed to enjoy themselves, such as the following, which has to be the best complement one could ever get:

That was probably one of the single best university classes I have ever been to. I thought it was really cool to listen to a bunch of new music I had not heard before.

Like everything, you win some, you lose some. All I know is that when I teach this class again, I am moving the music lecture to the front, as I think for many students it was a weird sort of “bonding” exercise. When you hear something you obviously think is terrible, and then you hear someone explain what it means to them, it breaks down barriers.  Like Madonna (or whoever writes music for Madonna) said: Music / makes the people / come together.

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