I am teaching my undergraduate “Popular Music and Society” course online this semester, as usual. I have 90 students enrolled—sold out! Responding to inspiration from Tia Denora and my own work on the value of examining the most mundane uses of music in EDL, we will engage in two activities/exercises/tasks/adventures.
The first involves all students interviewing the oldest person they know or can contact. I refer to this as a follow-up to my work on baby boomers. Bbs are now approaching or have entered in the third or fourth age of life, as gerontologists put it. What place does music—of any sort—have in their everyday lives?
The second activity involves students assembling short (5) lists of songs they would like to have played at their own memorial service. At first, students find this activity a bit strange since, of course, they are going to live forever! But, after giving it some thought, they have no problem coming up with—in some cases—ten to twenty songs they want or performed! They also have to indicate to whom any particular song is directed and what thoughts or feelings they would expect to elicit with the song.
I’ll keep you up to date on how the course goes.