Monday, November 23, 2009

The Annotated Mixtape Project!

“The Annotated Mixtape!”

  1. Design a playlist or mixtape of roughly 5 to 15 (really, no limit in either direction is required) songs that represent you or a theme that interests you: you as a person, you as a student/professor/activist/writer/parent/child [fill in the blank with word or vocation that embodies you], you in relationship to this time in your life, you as you interpret the changing of the seasons, you as a consumer of pop culture, or some other theme that you can articulate.
  2. Create an “annotated playlist” document to accompany this mix. To do this, don’t just choose your favorite songs; explain how the songs develop or represent a theme, supporting that explanation through reflection about yourself and your relationship with music.
  3. Document formats for your playlist’s commentary may vary, but at minimum will include a title, an introduction, & a complete list of songs chosen, with artist’s names & comprehensive or selected comments for each song or section of songs.
  4. Share this mix or playlist with your friends as a gift (mix CD with handmade booklet containing your annotated commentary/liner notes, Facebook ‘note,’ playlist distributed using various interactive websites or music programs created for this purpose, etc.)

I've been mixing music & making playlists for as long as I can remember. Before my first days as a DJ on 88.3 FM in Southfield, Michigan back in 1985, my family made mixtapes for long roadtrips, taking votes from each of the Smiths about which songs to include. Even as a preteen, I was obsessed with consuming music, buying albums, & making amateur mixes with my mock radio commentary recorded on one of those hand-held cassette players with the built-in microphone.

All semester, I've dreamed of designing the “Annotated Playlist” assignment as an alternative (or addition) to the reflective letter required of writers to be included with their Final Portfolios in English 1010 or English 1020. To teach this idea, I've decided to annotate a playlist of my own, in this case the songs planned for the sixty-sixth edition of the Teacher On The Radio program, which airs each Monday night on 88.5 FM in Cookeville, Tennessee.

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