Thursday, 19 March 2015

CPE Essay Sample on Music

Write an essay summarising and evaluating the key points from both texts. Use your own words throughout as far as possible, and include you own ideas in your answers.  

The effects of music  
We humans are a musical species no less than a linguistic one. This takes many different forms. All of us (with very few exceptions) can perceive music, harmony and rhythm. We integrate all of these using many different parts of the brain. And to this largely unconscious appreciation of music is added an often intense and profound emotional reaction. Shakespeare referred to music as the "food of love", and for most people their lives would be poorer without music. Music is capable of stimulating both passion and compassion, speaking to our very core and taking us to the heights and depths of emotion. 

Music in schools? 
There is little doubt that regular exposure to music, and especially active participation in music, may stimulate development of other abilities. Some argue that music is as important educationally as reading or writing, and suggest that a musical education advantages those with mathematical aptitude. What people do not agree about, however, is which kind of music is the most educationally valuable. Some regard classical music as the only kind of music that should be taught in schools. However, leaving aside the problem of defining "classical" in different cultural contexts, there is a strong case that all types of music are equally valid in stimulating an individual's potential. 

Write your essay. 

Humans and Music 

Music has accompanied human beings throughout history and has undeniably become an essential factor in our lives. Both pieces of text focus on the effects of music on us and discuss whether it should be taught in schools and why.

Reiko Sakai Cologne, GermanyLet's start by stating that there is a strong connection between all kinds of music and the human emotions. We have an aptitude to appreciate the harmony brought by a series of carefully arranged rhythms, be it Mozart's nineteenth sonata or Justin Bieber's latest single.  It is currently widely accepted that music induces hormonal and thus, emotional responses in our brains. Some would even compare songs to drugs, since they could conceivably become addictive: take the case of any summer hit.

But not only is there a connection between music and our emotions; music is also linked to education. Opinions actually differ about which type of music is the most potential-stimulating, but all scientist agree it has a positive effect on students. For instance there are theories which suggest that young children who play a musical instrument are later  better at maths.

To conclude I would like to state that everybody is attracted to music. Everyone has a favourite style with which they feel identified, as well as a song that enables them to feel at ease during the toughest moments in life. The truth is that music makes memories more vivid, empowers long-time relationships and what is more, turns dull and mundane nights into special moments in our lives. 

Sent by Diana Yang
*Task taken from a Cambridge CPE exam past paper (2012)

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