Collaborative playlists: an advisory tradition

March 8, 2023

One of my favorite BB&N traditions is something that is currently in the making. Since the start of this school year, members of my advisory group, led by Dr. Scrivner, have been sharing our favorite songs with each other between weekly meetings.

It began with album reviews, where each week, a new person around the table would share a favorite album with the advisory. We then gave our (often, brutally) honest opinions from documents full of notes, as well as an overall rating out of 10.

From country to rock to pop music, the individual tastes of advisees stuck out from each other, at times resulting in excitement and controversy. (I was only a bit soured over their unenthused review of my chosen album, folklore by Taylor Swift). Still, it was interesting to hear about the favorite artists of my peers, especially since they were often so different from mine.

After everyone had shared an album, the advisory decided to turn around the routine to make weekly “themed” playlists based on a random word given by Dr. Scrivner. Our initial playlist was titled “Waves,” and in response, the group added a variety of interpretations spanning across multiple genres. Since then, we have had “Journeys,” “Cats,” “Clothing,” among many others.

We are now making our way through the seventh weekly playlist of the Scrivner advisory titled “It’s Complicated,” featuring songs by Avril Lavigne, The Strokes, and many other artists. With such an interesting theme and exciting mix of new voices, this playlist might be my favorite one yet.

As I am driving to school, painting in the art studio, or writing a paper, I turn on the advisory playlist and often find myself nodding along to a song I had no idea existed. I heart it and remember to report back to the group in my playlist review.

I’ve learned that sharing songs is a wonderful way to catch a glimpse of the tastes and experiences of other people, since music is such a universally-adored thing. For me, it is a great way to experience a change of rhythms, melodies, and lyrics while stepping outside of my music-listening comfort zone. With many new prompts to come, I am excited to continue making playlists with my advisory and expanding my collection of Liked Songs.