Section Activities

Unit 1

Listening to Voices

For your assignment, you will listen in on a recorded spoken voice (this could be from a podcast, audiobook, recorded interview, etc.), and you will answer a series of short questions to hypothesize about elements that made the voice you heard. You will then be given a short prompt that asks you to use your own voice, and record it so you can listen to it privately.  We will have you fill out a Voice Mad Lib as a follow-up to this exercise. Click here for Unit 1: Section Assignment; and here for Voice Mad-Lib.

Unit 2

Creating Voices

For your assignment you will first explore the importance of voices in storytelling, and what voice we might want to tell our own stories. Then, as a second part to this assignment you will identify a key concept from the course so far and you will deepen your understanding of this topic by exploring it creatively, using different platforms of expression (poetry, music, singing, dancing, painting, sculpting, photography, and other possible creative outlets that suit your own personal means of expression). Click here for Unit 2: Section Assignment.

Unit 3

Mapping Ourselves

In our efforts to ground our knowledge in career applications, we will apply foundations of voice we have explored so far to create our own representations of self.  As a first step, you will be prompted to write a short reflection based on your first assignment, which you can include in your final project. We will then consider the role of voice in writing our biographies and our resumes. In preparation, you will brainstorm folders to form your own e-portfolio maps.  These folders can relate to sections about you that you might find in your bio or on your resume.  You will work in pairs to share and reflect folder ideas, and discuss ways to frame your information in novel and interesting ways.  The goal is to engage thought and creativity about the types of content you will build in your e-portfolio space and how this can help represent you to the world. Click here for Unit 3: Section Assignment.

Unit 4

(De)Constructing Mediated Voices

For your assignment, you will watch something you would define as digital storytelling with a partner or group of three. Collectively, you will record your group’s answers to a selected set of questions about voice and storytelling. Finally, you will edit your group’s conversation in a way that tells a story about your group’s engagement with the media text and that creates connections to ideas explored in this unit. Your group will then be prompted to reflect on the choices you made to construct your story. Click here for Unit 4: Section Assignment.

Unit 5

Ethnographic Exercise

As preparation for this section activity, you will get to witness the training and disciplining of a classical voice and hear directly from student singers as to what is involved in learning their vocal craft. As your response, you will write a mini-ethnography, in which you will describe the cultural environment of this practice based on your observations and witness of individuals directly involved in this context.  Click here for Unit 5: Section Assignment.

Unit 6

Listening Journal

For this week’s section, we ask you to pick an example of vocal/sung music (think genre here) that you never listen to, or that you don’t encounter frequently.  In a journal format, you will describe features of expressivity as depicted through the voice example you have chosen.  You will be asked to apply one concept or idea from previous units that can be applied to make sense and find deeper meaning in your example.  Finally, you will be asked to reflect on the unique musical medium of voice and how it conveys meaning that language alone cannot achieve. Click here for Unit 6: Section Assignment.

Unit 7

Mapping Ourselves – Part II

We will apply the latest conceptions and lessons about voice and sound we have explored in this section of the course, and extend those to your e-portfolio developments.  As a first step, you will be prompted to write a short reflection based on your recent second assignment, which you can include in your final project. We will have you work in pairs to share and reflect how recent attention from your learning has made you rethink how we construct, perform, discipline, mediate, and evaluate voices.  You will use those reflections to help brainstorm how any of your section activities or writings of the last three units could be adapted or revised more specifically to fit into your e-portfolio maps.  Click here for Unit 7: Section Assignment.

Unit 8

Identifying Voices

In preparation for section, you will apply concepts and theories explored this week. In the first part, you will be assigned a series of five recorded voices (with and without visuals) and you will write short paragraphs about ways they convey, complicate, or mask certain identities.  You will work with partners in section to discuss what elements, acoustic signals, and issues of tone or timbre, drove your analyses.  And, you will parse how such vocal “moments” are also densely layered with social and cultural information, often driven by ideas of race, class, and gender we hold as listeners. Click here for Unit 8: Section Assignment.

Unit 9

Exploring Worlds through Voices

This unit will help pivot the conversation from gathering knowledge about voice to activating your own voice. This week’s exercise helps to center the conversation around you as students and help build your academic/career “roadmaps”. The term “worlds” will be used throughout this exercise as a geographical metaphor to refer to “cultural knowledge and behavior found within different spaces occupied. Each world contains values, beliefs, expectations, etc.” (Phelan et al., 1991). Take 10-15 minutes to complete a section of the Bridging Multiple Worlds (BMW) survey toolkit geared towards self-reflection and goal mapping. Click here for Unit 9: Section Assignment. Click here for the BMW survey toolkit.

Unit 10

Presentation and Discussion of E-Portfolios

In your last section activity, we want you to take stock of your course accomplishments by writing a short reflective post on your e-portfolio that considers what you think was your most productive exercise (whether in terms of writing, of designing, or collaborating, or critically analyzing) that you did this quarter.  We invite students to consider a favorite aspect of their work they accomplished this quarter, and their willingness to demonstrate this to the larger class. Click here for Unit 10: Section Assignment.