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IWW Practice-W Exercise Archives
Exercise: Music to my ears

These exercises were written by IWW members and administrators to provide structured practice opportunities for its members. You are welcome to use them for practice as well. Please mention that you found them at the Internet Writers Workshop (http://www.internetwritingworkshop.org/).

Prepared by: Alice Folkart
Posted on: Sunday, February 1, 2009
Posted on: Sunday, June 13, 2010
Posted on: Sunday, October 7, 2012
Posted on: Sunday, June 21, 2015
Posted on: Sunday, December 25, 2016

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Exercise:  In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a musical
instrument is important.

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Your scene could be written from the point of view of someone hearing an
instrument being played, wanting to be able to play an instrument,
listening to someone practice (happily or unhappily), or even, if you dare,
from the point of view of the instrument itself. 

You could write about an unusual instrument, something from another
culture; or about a musical instrument associated with an historical person
or event, e.g., the little drummer boy, or bagpipers rousing men for
battle, or a bugle playing Taps.

You could write about a concert experience, or about someone whose
"life" is his instrument, the virtuoso, the wannabe, or the has-been.   How do you
feel about accordions?  Did your mother make you practice piano / violin / kettle drums
every day when you were a kid? 

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Exercise:  In 400 words or less, write a scene in which a musical
instrument is important.

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In your critique tell the author whether or not the work fits the exercise
and why.  Let the author know what you think worked or didn't work, and
why. 

And, in this particular exercise, you might also want to consider the
author's handling of the sense of sound, not only the physical sound, but
its emotional effect.  Does he write about the sound of an instrument in
such a way that the reader will share the experience?  Is the piece wildly
creative, or reassuringly factual?  What did you learn from it that will
affect your own writing?


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Modified by Gayle Surrette.