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Amanda Johnson ’19, a behavioral neuroscience major and president of the Class of 2019, also had no experience in music classes before this course.
“I was a little apprehensive about the coursework,” Johnson said. “But it gave me a unique opportunity to learn from the president of our college. I was excited to get to know President Bergeron in a more casual classroom setting and to hear about her experiences as a musician.”
Johnson took what she learned in the class and is applying it to her field of study. The song Johnson wrote for the CD is “Memories Fade,” about her grandmother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. Growing up, Johnson saw the progression of this disease slowly destroy her grandmother’s mind but also discovered that music reduced her grandmother’s anxiety levels.
“I presented on this topic at the Holleran Center’s Program in Community Action Conference. I hope to continue researching the use of music as a form of therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases.”
During the class, students learned to write about songs at the same time they learned to write songs. And listening closely, one can hear the threads running through Music 201 answering the original question, “What is a song?”
“A bit of melody, a few words, some instruments. Songs can be simple. They can be complex. They are secrets we share with others or hold close to our hearts. They help us through good times and bad,” said Bergeron.
Bergeron and Rovan will teach Music 201 again in Fall 2019.