Rock singer-songwriter Andrew W.K. is convinced that feeling alive is a very good thing—and that music isn’t doing its real work if it’s not triggering that emotion. For Buffy Sainte-Marie, whose protest songs raised her profile with the FBI, the making of music is like the dreaming of dreams—the lyrics and the melody seep through. It was after Jimi Hendrix-obsessed Mark Mothersbaugh accepted Robert Moog’s invitation to experiment with a Minimoog that the Devo sound was born.
Music is not just the backdrop of our lives. It is the story of our lives. Articulate musicians take us to the place where those stories begin—teaching us not just about the making of songs, but about the living of them.
Thinking of using this in your classroom? Check out the exercise suggested in Jennifer Higdon: Carefully Composed.