One of the greatest things that I am taking away from this course is my experience with research. After most of the semester, I finally realized how essential it is to actually go to the library and open a book. It is so tempting and easy to search and search databases and I think especially millennials tend to think that there is no way that the library would have a book on their research topic. It seems like the chances of finding something online are a lot higher just because of the amount of databases we have access to, but the reality is that the shear amount of sources online does not outweigh the amount of quality sources in the library. I think that the help I received in this class was a good extension of the practice we had in the first music history courses.
I was also impressed with the conversations that were had throughout the course. There was a lot of civil discussion in a class that is very personal for some people. The discussion after the election was a great model for how to have an intellectual conversation while validating people’s beliefs and not taking any hard feelings away from that. I liked how we were invited to set conversational guidelines at the beginning of the course which gave us some ownership to the material we learned and helped to create a safe and dynamic conversation space. Though the space was safe, I didn’t feel like I had much to say in class discussion. A lot of the readings were dense and I honestly skimmed most of them. It was hard for me to see how they all related especially when trying to fit them into a small topic for a research paper.
I appreciate the small class discussions and the work we did which focused on process. I will take away a new understanding of the music I sing and I will always question if the designations sacred and secular are necessary.