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CHAPEL HILL, N.C.—Students in MUSC 381: Analysis of Songcraft will be presenting original songs they wrote over the course of the semester at the Downbar at Linda’s Bar & Grill on Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

This fall, the class, taught by Professor Jocelyn Neal, made its debut at UNC. The class, which is listed as a music class, also counts towards the creative writing minor.

Musc 381 with Don Schlitz
Musc 381 students with Grammy Award-winning songwriter, Don Schlitz during his October 25 workshop with the class.

In the class, students explore the structure and storylines in popular songs throughout history. Students also analyze existing songs in a variety of genres and write songs using the different models they have studied.

“We are really excited for this new opportunity for the students here,” Neal said. “It’s bringing together both music majors and non-music majors to get involved in hands-on work. This songwriting class complements and builds on the amazing things happening in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community as well as on campus.”

Students in the class, such as senior anthropology and global studies major Julia Thompson and sophomore media and journalism major Madeline “Mads” Pennington, have stretched themselves and grown as songwriters thanks to the class.

“The class has pushed me out of my comfort zone and encouraged me to write different kinds of songs than I would usually write,” Pennington said. “It has also taught me the historical context as to where a lot of these types of songs have come from.”

The students are excited to share what they have learned and written over the course of the semester.

“One of the best things about this class is that it has opened up this safe space for all of us,” Thompson said, “and now I am now experiencing what it is like to be creatively open and also to be able to creatively accept other people for as being just as dynamic as I am and for having just as many different flaws or perfections.”

CONTACT: Leah Moore, public relations coordinator

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