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Starting tomorrow, DreamExtreme students will begin presenting short essays about some of their favorite songs. They’ll talk to the class about the what, why, when, and where of their musical tastes, and end by sharing an audio sample. The assignment accomplishes several very cool things.

First, it gives students an opportunity to explore what they enjoy in the arts and examine what about those preferences connects specifically and personally with them. Second, it helps classmates to better appreciate some of the things that connect and contrast in their opinions and experiences. It also is a wonderful opportunity for students to grow in their comfort and skill in talking in front of a group.

Music is such a powerful and ever-present part of our lives. It is the soundtrack to important events. The backdrop for time with friends. The connection to larger social and cultural touchstones. This project is exciting and fascinating for me largely because it never fails to introduce me to dimensions of my students about which I was previously unaware.

I am hoping to have students adapt their essays and listening examples into big blog posts and media projects. For now, however, we will enjoy 33 one of a kind performances in the DreamExtreme classroom.