Expanding Depth and Breadth

Theme and Variations: Understanding Musical Style

This activity took place as part of an ongoing study of the various conventional forms in Classical music (sonata, concerto, etc.), and also contributed to a larger, semester-long conversation about the ways in which we deal with the nebulous concept of "style" in music. Coming into the class itself, students possessed a basic knowledge of musical rudiments such as melody and harmony. For this particular activity, students had already been introduced to the idea of a "Theme and Variations" form, and had listened to several examples.

First, students are given a simple melody,...

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Understanding Diaspora

Benjamin Weber created an activity that spans across the entire class to help students understand the concept of “diaspora” through constant reiteration of concepts from some excerpts given to the class by the instructor. Students learned how to close-read excerpts, write reflections, and create their own ideas about the theme of the class.

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Visual Essays and Makeover Parodies

Students in Caroline Light's general education course, Sex and the Citizen, create five-minute visual essays in response to Brenda Weber's, Makeover Nation. In order to do this assignment, students must complete the assigned reading and gain familiarity with iMovie, Prezi, or PowerPoint. These visual essays or makeover parodies are meant to address issues of identity and citizenship central to the course.... Read more about Visual Essays and Makeover Parodies

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