The Unplugged Assignment: College Freshmen Take the Challenge

January 9, 2015 8:24 PM

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This quote comes from an assignment I give to my Music 1 class at Queens College-CUNY. This fall semester, I had the delight of teaching a class of all first-semester freshmen, as part of the college's FYI (Freshman Year Initiative) program. Although the majority of the course requires active listening and students use online resources for much of their course work, the "unplugged" journal assignment invites students to avoid screens for 24 hours and write about their experience, through the lenses of musical perception, sound awareness and self-reflection.

Prior to this assignment, students have read excerpts of composer John Cage's "Lecture on Nothing", Cat Greenleaf's article and watched videos on the subject "I Forgot my Phone" and "Look Up".

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