Music Class

I teach English at a university in Changsha, Hunan province, China. Well, I say I teach English. I am the first to admit that what I really do is not actual teaching. If my students are lucky they might learn a few new words and expressions from me, but my main purpose here seems to be to facilitate a kind of culture exchange. Chinese culture is so far removed from Western culture that the students in China need some kind of preparation, especially if they plan to go abroad one day or even work closely with westerners.

One of my more popular classes has always been my near-legendary music classes. No, I don’t make them play instruments, that’s for the parents to do. Instead we talk about music a bit, and I show them videos. Music works well as a medium. Especially music videos. A picture tells a thousand words, as they say.

The problem is, how to distil half a century of music into an 80-minute ‘lesson?’

Here, I make no excuses. I play what I want, such is my right as their teacher, haha! I put a lot of thought into it, and try to choose things that are meaningful or significant. Or just… good.

For the record, here is a list of video’s I showed this week:

30 Seconds to Mars – Closer to the Edge (great video)

U2 – Bad at Live Aid (powerful stuff)

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run

Blink 182 – All the Small things

Simple Plan ft Natasha Bedingfield – Jet Lag

Eminem – Lose Yourself (Inspirational)

Linkin Park – Bleed it Out (LP are among the few western bands that Chinese students recognize)

Pink – Blow Me

Lostprophets – Rooftops (have to get a Welsh band in there somewhere!)

Papa Roach – Scars (great song)

Green Day – Time of Your Life

Slipknot – Before I forget (Live at Download)

Enrique Inglesias – Escape (one of my guilty pleasures. It also serves to keep the girls happy!)

On the whole, I don’t think China is at all ready for Slipknot. When they go off it causes shock and awe on a grand scale. Half my students shit themselves in fear. Corey Taylor, be proud.

 

 

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About cmsaunders

I am a writer. I write. My dark fiction has appeared in Asphalt Jungle, Raw Nerve, Roadworks, Dark Valentine, Screams of Terror, Shallow Graves, Fantastic Horror, Unbroken Water and several anthologies. My first book, Into the Dragon's Lair – A Supernatural History of Wales was published in 2003, and I have also worked extensively in the freelance journalism industry, contributing features to numerous international publications including Fortean Times, Bizarre, Urban Ink, Loaded, Record Collector, Maxim, Nuts, and a regular column to the Western Mail newspaper. I lived in China for over five years where I taught English during my search for enlightenment, before moving back to the UK in January 2013 to work for a men's lifestyle magazine. I was senior writer on Forever Sports magazine and associate editor at Coach magazine, before leaving to chance my arm in the world of pro freelance. In recent times I have devoted more time to dark fiction, my latest offerings being the contemporary ghost story Sker House and No Man's Land: Horror in the Trenches. I am represented by Media Bitch Literary Agency and drink far too much coffee. View all posts by cmsaunders

3 responses to “Music Class

  • gswaterman

    Slipknot … shock and awe, eh? Hmmm, some www troll at the Pentagon may be jotting that little tidbit down. Definitely a cool curriculum, though. Speaking of cool, just picked up “Fire Bearer, Esquire” and “Devil’s Island” from B&N. I do hope they’ll be sending a good chunk of that moolah your way. Also hoping I don’t shit myself in fear … too much. I’ll let you know.

    Like

    • cmsaunders

      Hey! Thanks for the comment, and for buying Devil’s Island. I was intrigued by the other title you mentioned and did a quick Google search only to find that there is another CM Saunders out there! That book is not mine, but I still hope you get your money’s worth! Stay cool.

      Like

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