Good news: EDU meets EDM
When was the last time you heard some really good news? Everyone loves hearing something positive and uplifting, right? Well, being a Professor of Communication, I strongly encourage self-disclosure through "good news" during the first five minutes of every class I teach throughout the semester. Students volunteer to share anything positive in their lives, and the quick announcements range from a new job, a good grade on a test, joining a sorority, or something simple like the weather is great or they found a good parking spot. As long as it's good news, I want to hear it.
Typically, I share my own good news as well, which is usually related to my weekend trips to popular New York City nightclubs to photograph and write reviews of world famous DJs. My students are open to learning about the music I love, but typically don't understand much about my life as a "househead" and my incredible love of EDM: electronic dance music.
This usually sparks other standard questions including, "Oh, you mean that techno music?" or "So you're one of those fist-pumpers like on the Jersey Shore?" Even though we always have a good laugh about these things, I use the opportunity to open the door and inform them about a genre they typically don't know anything about. The fact that college students don't know what EDM is shocks me every semester!
When I ask my students if they know who TiÃsto is, one of the most famous dance music producers in the world, sadly there are only a few who say yes. This really shocks me! In the four years I've been teaching, I have had less than a dozen students who have attended the Electric Zoo Festival over Labor Day weekend in New York like I have. This semester, thankfully, I have a good handful of students who know the popular house music and EDM DJs like Avicii, Kaskade, Afrojack, Swedish House Mafia, and deadmau5 (pronounced "dead mouse") due to their growing mainstream popularity and sing-along anthems heard in every club, shore bar, and even on some FM radio stations. Although, it is somewhat of a relief that many students do know who David Guetta is because his music is often heard on top 40 pop stations. Guetta is currently ranked number one on the DJ Mag Top 100 poll, and TiÃsto is number three, FYI.
When you're in college, and all of your homework is finished, you should enjoy a study break on the weekends and go out dancing with friends. Don't college students like to dance and let loose? Well you can't dance without dance music. Throughout the semester I even offer suggested artists, tracks, and places to go enjoy EDM to my students. I simply encourage them to open their minds to house music (not "techno" or "dance", generically) and try something new. In my class, there's nothing wrong with improving your communication skills and your musical horizon in the process. If my 63- year old Mom knows who TiÃsto is, so should my 22-year old students. By the end of the semester my students not only know what EDM is, but have a newfound appreciation for it, and that's my kind of good news.
Professor Pace is an adjunct professor in the Department of Communication at Kean.
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