College Writing II
31 March 2014
Scouring For a Topic
My previous two projects for your class have been on music as an everyday thing as well as music being more than sound but a way of life. Now it is obviously time to take to the next level and write a research paper on the topic. To be honest, I did expect this to come so soon; although I’m ready to make the decision on what my paper will ultimately be about. If you have read any of my other design plans or other paperwork, you will understand music is all that I have sometimes. So I decided to research something I didn’t know existed until as of very late: music psychology.
My plan is to enlighten people on the subject, as well as the cognitive effects the music has on the brain. In terms of what I’d like to do about, arrangement or medium: unfortunately I am unsure of what I’d like to do (if you have any ideas/recommendations that would be cool!). The argument I would like to propose is: do the cognitive effects of music really affect us emotionally? What I mean by that is does we have control over our own feelings and actions, or does music assist in influencing every decision we make. I feel like people could be on either side of this argument or even on the fence about it. People that would disagree would most likely have no influence musically, or just don’t believe it can really act upon a person. I wouldn’t call it much of an issue, but I believe it could help people in terms of treatment of mental illness. One in five Americans has a mental illness: diagnosed or could be diagnosed. It has been known to assist people to make the burden they carry not so heavy. How I want to go about research is look at either research journals such as Music Psychology: The Building of a Community, or The Effect of Pitch, Rhythm, and Familiarity on Working Memory and Anxiety as Measured by Digit Recall Performance and books like Musical Perceptions by Rita Aiello and John A. Sloboda. Any online sources would work as well. The knowledge I hope to gain from this to gain a complete and precise understanding of music psychology, and the cognitive effects music has on the brain; as well as learning what music can do to help with any situation. My stance on my current topic is I believe that music can influence a lot of decisions we make as well as help us come to conclusions. I’m at this stance in the argument, because I am put in the place of this happening to me. Music doesn’t directly make me respond or act the way I do but it has influenced me since I was very little in my decision making, and who I am this day. Even if the people that view this essay are not as influence by music such as me, I still think they can relate to events that have happened to them as well. My parents ultimately are the reason my stance is sent on this topic, because they’re both talented musicians in their own right and have taught me that music is always going to be there for you through thick and thin.
In conclusion, I think this topic would be a good choice for me to argue and research because it is in my element. I know so much about the other topics of music other than this one. I think the cognitive effects are import because it shapes who we are as people. The brain allows us to create an identity. Music helps form an opinion of ourselves and others. Music allows us to be us, and help form our decision making and choices.