MUSHL 10100 – A Thousand Years of Listening
“A Thousand Years of Listening” is an introduction to Western classical music for non-majors. The course examines the history of musical expression from the Medieval era to the present. The course aims to foster enjoyment of classical music by developing students’ knowledge of music, improving their listening skills, and cultivating a deeper understanding of the societies that produced these musical works.
For my project, I asked my students to explore their identity through music. Each student selected a musical work from any genre that has a special meaning to them. They then gave a short oral presentation, which included a brief analysis of the selected work (such as the musical genre, context, artist/s, etc) and a discussion of the significance of the work as it relates to their identity, culture, and experience.
Why did you select this project? How does it relate to identity and purpose?
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once famously said that music is the universal language of mankind. However, there is a growing distance between western classical music (a “niche” genre to many people) and the diverse body of students that CUNY serves. My aim for the project was to narrow this gap by engaging in meaningful conversations about music, identity, and culture while also fostering a sense of community and belonging in the classroom.
What advice do you have for other faculty who would like to implement a similar project?
I would encourage the students to be creative with their musical selections!
The project is an oral presentation of students’ musical experience. The goal of the project is to create an environment in which each student has a chance to connect their personal experience to the subject of the course.