The nature of the concert requirements and accompanying reports is expose students to musical experiences to which they are for the most part unfamiliar. Attendance to two concerts is required, a third is optional and may be substituted for a Listening Project. By no means should you feel limited to only three. I would prefer concerts to represent different genres (rock, jazz, folk, classical solo, orchestral, band, opera, modernism, etc.). This provides students with the widest and most lucrative experience this class, and the southern California cultural metropolis, has to offer. Mind you I consider concert attendance to be the single most important component of this class so be sure not to procrastinate and to complete the requirement in a timely manner.
As to the nature of the essay itself: This is not a research paper, nor is any source material expected or necessary. Rather this is a “personal” perspective on your own subjective experience at the various musical event you choose to write about. Not all events are equal, and some events may provide more capacity for written exploration than others. I would like to insist on at least a full page of writing (double-spaced, 12pt font, etc….(standard collegiate style essay parameters). As stated above the content should be “subjective”. The intent is to reflect your individual experience only and be able to voice that experience in a somewhat collegiate but honest manner.
Sometimes a musical experience affects us emotionally, sometimes visually. It would not be improper to write a short story elected upon the experience….perhaps one that has absolutely nothing to do specifically with the music itself, but visual imagery “inspired” by the music. This would also be acceptable.