Music Reviewer

In Lizzie’s freshman year in college she expressed interest in being a music critic.  Lizzie loved music and especially small obscure indie bands.  The less known the better.  August of 2012 she attended Outside Lands and then submitted an article to the McGill Newspaper as part of an application for writing for the school paper.  She was not accepted for the position but they encouraged Lizzie to gain more experience by writing independently.  Music was Lizzie’s thing.  Being a music writer seemed to be an aspiration for her.

Now here it is 2017 and all the music on Lizzie’s iPad is from 2012.  Previously she had playlists for each month.  She was always attending concerts as there were many small venues in Montreal.  In November of 2012 she and a friend took a five day adventure across the border to see several of the bands she liked to follow, Stepdad and Rubblebucket are the ones I remember most.  She had also just bought a Greyhound annual bus pass so she could take advantage of her school schedule with a four day break to get out and follow “her” bands.  .

Now in my constant quest to engage Lizzie I thought to have Lizzie review the bands from this year, 2017, at Outside Lands.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before tapping into Lizzie’s previous interest.

If you are wondering if the idea worked it did!  Lizzie was engaged in listening to the particular artist and would circle yes or no if she liked the group or not.

Before Lizzie reviews the song I do some background work.  I have a list of all the groups that performed at Outside Lands.  I’m working down the list of each artist so when Lizzie reviews the group, I mark them off the list.

Next I find a good youtube vide of the group with their “best” song and message it to Lizzie’s iPod.  I’ll send her about 3 videos at a time. I write the artists and the song in the notebook before she listens so Lizzie can just review.

Lizzie will push the arrow to play the song, I let a bit of the song go by and then I put the pen in Lizzie’s hand and she will review the group with a simple yes or no.  Sometimes she has even gone so far as to write NO.

Simple reviews but a start.

Each time Lizzie is so engaged in listening and marking the page.  She’ll willingly circle yes or no.  I intentionally made the format on the book super simple and tried to emphasize these are Lizzie’s reviews.

Lizzie’s taste seems to be consistent with what I remember.  She likes Joseph, three sisters who play together, Sofi Tucker, a bit crass, and Maggie Rogers.

Organizing this activity I looked for a way to make it super simple, a notebook, simple answers, and preselected the video to review.  The extra work upfront makes this more accessible for Lizzie.

The best news is we have a new updated playlist.  We have more group to review so getting more playlist sounds great.


  1. Michael C.

    Wow, what a great idea to review the new artists performing at Outside Lands! It’s just so wonderful to tap into her love of indie bands!


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