ZIP Final Post

What is your inquiry question? What initially drew you to this question? Did your question stay the same, or did it change over time? Why?

My original inquiry question was: “How do poetry and music work together to affect our emotions?”. Initially, I chose this question due to my interest in songwriting, and how I’ve always struggled to write lyrics that properly convey the emotion behind the music. I feel that my initial question was adequate, and I don’t see any reason to edit it, as I had a great time answering it. I feel that it wasn’t too difficult to create a question around my topic since it’s more focused on emotion than technicalities.

2. What skills have you expanded on / learned during the inquiry process? How are these skills applicable to your success as a student?

Throughout this project, I improved on my ability to analyze the emotions conveyed in music and translate them into words; by creating my own music and lyrics and ensuring that their emotion and mood correlate, I was practicing poetry and music analysis.  These skills are crucial in many subjects, especially reading comprehension. I feel that this newfound ability will help me to recognize any emotions that an author is conveying through dialogue or description. This will be beneficial while analyzing characters or texts and will help me with many of my assignments in the future.

3. What did you learn about / what is your answer to this inquiry question? Remember to be specific and provide direct evidence from your research.

I feel that the most important thing that I’ve learned during this inquiry was how it’s often difficult to sit down and be able to write music. I also made the mistake of planning to write lyrics before melodies, but I later learned that I worked best when I wrote the music before the lyrics, or even working on both almost simultaneously. I also focused on the way that the emotions of one audience member can differ greatly from the emotions of other audience members, and I tried to put this into account while perfecting the conveyance of emotions in my final product.

4. In what ways does your final learning artifact demonstrate your learning / answer to your inquiry question? How does it connect to your chosen curricular competencies? Consider listing your competencies and including images, links, or excerpts from your work to demonstrate this.

Apply appropriate strategies to comprehend written, oral, and visual texts, guide inquiry, and extend thinking.

I used colours and other systems of organizations to further understand the patterns and devices used in popular songs

5. What resources did you find useful during your inquiry and why were they useful? (Cite at least four resources you consulted, with links, and write a brief 50-100 response as to was important to your learning). – This source proved itself to be useful during my initial research phase. In order to understand popular patterns and devices used in songs, I analyzed the lyrics to popular songs and this website was very helpful on multiple levels. This source allowed me to not only read the lyrics to songs but also provided insight on the author’s intents and history behind some of the songs.

 S – This website, specifically the glossary feature, was helpful during my research phase. I sifted through the many definitions in this dictionary and found a few that I felt could be useful during my writing. The definitions in their glossary are clear and numerous, and they were the perfect source for my glossary. – This source was also useful for my glossary, as it helped me narrow down the essential definitions.‘s glossary, although thorough, was very lengthy. I soon found searching through the other source tedious, and I found this secondary, more concise glossary was good for giving a basic idea of the essential devices.

GarageBand – This program was useful not only in creating my final product, but also the process that it took to get there. This program makes it easy to layer and loop sounds, which is extremely helpful while I’m brainstorming chords, melodies, and more. When creating my final product, it was simple to create a high-quality product in a short amount of time.

6. What new questions do you have about your inquiry? What motivates you or excites you about these questions?

  • How can the same emotion be conveyed through multiple genres of music?
  • What effect would contrasting lyrics and music have on the emotion of the audience?
  • What causes the emotional reaction to vary from person to person?

These questions intrigue me mostly because of their focus on the emotional part of poetry/ music as opposed to the technical aspect. As a creative person, I usually find the technical part of writing rather tedious and slow moving. If I were to do any further explanation, I would try to focus less on a concrete schedule, and I would likely have a longer amount of time scheduled as “writing” instead of differentiating between lyrics and music; I feel that this less structured schedule would benefit me greatly.

ZIP #4

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself at the start of your inquiry?

Currently, I’m coming to the realization that I personally find prefer writing music before basing the lyrics around the melodies. If I could change anything about my original schedule, I would plan to write the music before the lyrics. I spent many work blocks struggling to write lyrics when I eventually discovered it to be a lot easier to write the melody first. After discovering this, I’ve found myself a bit behind schedule, but I’m confident that I’ll be able to pull myself back on track.

Another important thing to note is that it’s not easy to write music during in-class work blocks. Without certain supplies, it can be difficult to maximize the use of my time. I was able to get a significant amount of work done but in hindsight, it would be much more effective to plan to write music at home, and lyrics at school.


ZIP #3

Describe the ups and downs you have encountered to date in your inquiry. Specifically, when you were frustrated or struggling in your inquiry, what did you do to address the situation?

Recently, I’ve been experiencing a lot of writers’ block and I’ve found that the best way to help the situation is to simply take a short break before trying again. I’ve found that it’s often difficult to start a project without any inspiration, and taking a short walk, getting a drink, or simply taking a deep breath. Additionally, I’ve found that approaching the problem from a different perspective can be beneficial whenever I’m faced with a challenge. Drawing a mindmap or making a checklist is a great way to organize my thoughts and help me get unstuck.

ZIP #2

Record a journal entry of how you used one of our in-class focus blocks. What did you accomplish during this time? What did you struggle with? What might be your next step in your next focus blocks? Set a goal.

Yesterday, I approached an obstacle during our focus block. I had prepared a song to analyze, but I unfortunately lost my copy of the lyrics and was unable to do my work as planned. After a short period of searching, I accepted that I would have to adapt and work on other work. I decided to put together a glossary of poetic terms and devices that I felt would be useful in my own work. I used the Poetry Foundation’s Glossary of Poetic Terms for reference, and I selected a few terms that seemed useful. I hope to use this note page for reference later.


ZIP #1

What is a specific source of information that you have found valuable in answering your inquiry question? How has it proved valuable? Explain.

Currently, I’m analyzing lyrics from various songs in order to further understand the varying use of poetic devices authors use to add depth and meaning to their work. I’ve found that Genius Lyrics has been an excellent source of other people’s take on the song, as well as comments from the author themselves. Today in class, I was analyzing the song Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen, and I found that Genius’ annotations were beneficial, especially with the song’s many historical and biblical allegories. Although Genius Lyrics is accessible for editing by the public, their annotations have proven to supply insightful points and information. Even if others’ take on the song is different than the author’s intent, it’s always beneficial to hear varying opinions and perspectives while analyzing mediums as versatile as poetry.

screen shot 2019-01-09 at 11.06.48 pm
Genius’ annotations provide insight on the symbolism, history, and meaning of lyrics.

ZIP Proposal

What would you like to learn to do/ what question would you like to pursue in your inquiry? Why did you choose this skill/ question? What motivates or excites you in pursuing this line of inquiry?

How do poetry and music work together to affect our emotions?

For my ZIP project, I’ve decided to study lyricism, focusing on the question: How do poetry and music work together to affect our emotions?. I’ve always been interested in music and songwriting, and I’ve always struggled to write lyrics that properly convey the emotion behind the music. I feel that I can gain experience in lyricism if I study and understand the craft and its relationship with music. I look forward to learning more about lyrics as well as the music behind them.

What do you currently know about this topic/ skill, and what skills do you currently have that will help you succeed in your work?

I have an extensive music background, and I’m experienced in analyzing and developing melodies and compositions. Although I lack expertise in poetry, I can use my skills in music to help me recognize the connections between music and poetry. I plan on focusing heavily on connecting the emotion in the music to the emotion in the words.

What is a specific list of skills that you hope to have expanded on/ learned by the end of this assignment?

Once I’ve finished this project, I hope to have improved my ability to write songs, specifically the lyrics, as well as my appreciation for the artistry behind poetry and its meaning. Additionally, I’m sure that my newfound skill in poetry will help me with other skills such as descriptive writing, reading comprehension, and more. I also hope to concentrate on being able to dissect the symbolism and recognize the emotions conveyed in poetry in order to draw connections to real life.

Who can you approach (beyond Mr. Morris) for support during your work/ research?

I’m aware that several of my peers are doing similar projects relating to poetry; I look forward to collaborating with them in order to gain new insights and perspectives. I hope that varying perspectives and opinions can help me to improve my work. In the past, I’ve noticed that collaborating with others with similar inquiry questions can help me even if our projects aren’t identical.

What are some other resources that might be useful in helping you complete your inquiry?

It’s likely that I’ll analyze other songs for inspiration in patterns, forms, and poetic devices. I’ll be sure to keep all of my work original, but I feel that having other pieces as inspiration will benefit me greatly. I’ll also be sure to research devices such as similes, metaphors, and hyperboles in order to maximize the emotion and meaning behind my words. I know that there are many resources that can help me use these devices to their full potential.

How might you demonstrate your learning at the end of your inquiry? What format or form (essay, in-class lesson, audio/video production, Pecha Kucha, artistic representation) might you use to highlight your work?

By the end of this project, I plan to have a recording of a song as well as a transcript of the lyrics along with annotations describing the meanings behind the words. My hope is that the audience will be able to listen to the song and read the lyrics as well as the annotations. Since I’m studying songwriting, I strongly believe that a song with both lyrics and music will truly be the best way to demonstrate my learning.

What is your schedule for learning? Include a calendar with a tentative plan as to how you will use your time both in and out of class.

At schoolAt home

image 2019-01-07 at 9.44 pm

Jan 8-11:

At school: Find songs to draw inspiration from and analyze them

At home: Plan the general outline for the song (verses, choruses, etc)

Jan 12-13:

Brainstorm the overall theme for the song and the meaning behind it

Jan 14-18:

At school: Work on song lyrics adhering to the structure previously created

At home: Write the music behind the lyrics and ensure that the emotion in the lyrics is properly portrayed

Jan 19-20:

Polish my music and lyrics and ensure they correspond accordingly

Jan 21-25:

At school: Work on the summary of lyrics and their meaning

At home: Record the final audio product

Jan 26-27:

Polish final product

Jan 28-29: