20+ Music Extended Esay Topic Ideas

An extended music essay is a comprehensive piece of writing that explores a particular aspect of music in detail. It goes beyond the surface level and delves into various components such as musical genres, historical context, cultural influences, and emotional impact. This type of essay allows students to showcase their knowledge, analytical skills, and passion for music.

Why is it a popular choice among students? Well, music is a universal language that speaks to people’s hearts and souls. It has the power to evoke emotions, create connections, and inspire individuals. Writing an extended music essay provides students with an opportunity to delve deep into their personal interests, expand their musical horizons, and gain a deeper understanding of different music-related topics.

20+ Music Extended Esay Topic Ideas

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  1. The influence of classical music on contemporary popular music.
  2. An analysis of the use of symbolism in music videos.
  3. The impact of technology on music production and composition.
  4. The role of music in social and political movements.
  5. A comparative study of jazz and classical music improvisation techniques.
  6. The representation of gender and identity in music lyrics.
  7. The evolution of electronic dance music (EDM) and its cultural significance.
  8. Exploring the cultural appropriation of music genres.
  9. The effect of music therapy on mental health and well-being.
  10. An examination of musical elements in film soundtracks and their impact on storytelling.
  11. The relationship between music and memory.
  12. Analyzing the influence of music on consumer behavior and marketing strategies.
  13. The portrayal of historical events through music compositions.
  14. The impact of globalization on traditional music cultures.
  15. The role of music in promoting social change and activism.
  16. Exploring the use of music in religious rituals and ceremonies.
  17. An analysis of music censorship and its implications for artistic freedom.
  18. The role of music in enhancing athletic performance.
  19. Investigating the psychological effects of different music genres on listeners.
  20. The use of music as a form of protest against social injustices.
  21. A comparative study of Western and non-Western music notation systems.
  22. Exploring the influence of music on human emotions and mood regulation.

Importance of Choosing the Right Topic

When embarking on an extended music essay, selecting the right topic is crucial as it serves as the foundation for the entire writing process. An appropriate and intriguing topic not only captures the reader’s attention but also determines the depth and breadth of research and analysis required.

By choosing a music topic that aligns with one’s interests, abilities, and objectives, students are more likely to be motivated and engaged throughout the writing journey. This personal connection brings about passion and enthusiasm, leading to a better exploration and understanding of the chosen subject matter.

Furthermore, an interesting music topic evokes curiosity, both in the writer and the audience. It invites the exploration of different perspectives, encourages critical thinking, and fosters intellectual growth. In turn, this can result in a more profound and comprehensive essay.

In addition, the choice of topic significantly impacts the availability and access to resources for research. By selecting an area of music that has been extensively studied or that has a wealth of relevant literature, students can ensure a strong research foundation.

Conversely, unique and niche topics may present challenges in finding ample academic sources. In such cases, students need to be resourceful and creative, exploring alternative repositories of information, such as firsthand interviews, online forums, or specialized databases.

An appropriate music topic also enables students to showcase their abilities and talents. It allows them to leverage their existing knowledge and skills or explore new areas of interest. By delving into a topic that they are passionate about or curious to explore, students have an opportunity to express their creativity and contribute unique insights to the field of music.

Moreover, the choice of an intriguing music topic encourages interdisciplinary connections and exploration. Students can integrate elements from other disciplines, such as psychology, cultural studies, or technology, into their essays. This interdisciplinary approach adds depth and richness to the essay, illustrating the interconnected nature of music within various contexts.

To conclude, selecting an appropriate and intriguing music topic for an extended essay is essential as it serves as the foundation for the entire writing process. It motivates and engages students, allows for a more comprehensive analysis, and facilitates access to pertinent resources. By choosing a topic that aligns with their interests and abilities, students can elevate their writing and contribute meaningfully to the field of music.

Researching Music-Related Literature

In order to write a comprehensive and well-informed extended music essay, it is important to conduct thorough research. Research serves as the foundation of your essay, providing you with the necessary knowledge and insights to support your arguments and analysis.

When researching music-related literature, it is crucial to access various sources such as books, scholarly articles, and online databases. These sources offer a wealth of information on music theory, history, composition, cultural influences, and more.

Books: Start by exploring reputable music reference books, textbooks, and anthologies relevant to your chosen topic. Books provide in-depth analysis and historical context that can greatly enrich your writing. Look for works written by renowned musicologists or industry experts to ensure accurate and reliable information.

Scholarly articles: Academic journals and peer-reviewed articles are valuable sources for detailed and academic insights. They often discuss specialized topics within the field of music, providing well-researched arguments and expert opinions. Online databases like JSTOR or ProQuest can help you access a wide range of scholarly articles related to your subject of interest.

Online databases: The internet offers a vast amount of music-related resources that are easily accessible. Utilize online platforms such as Google Scholar, Music Index, or RILM Abstracts of Music Literature to search for scholarly articles, conference papers, and dissertations. Additionally, websites of reputable music organizations, libraries, and universities can also provide valuable information and resources.

When conducting research, it is essential to critically evaluate the credibility and reliability of your sources. Consider the author’s credentials, the source’s publication date, and whether it is peer-reviewed or academically endorsed.

Take notes and organize your findings as you uncover valuable information during your research. This will make it easier to integrate and cite sources within your extended essay. It is also crucial to keep track of the bibliographic details (such as author, title, publication information) for proper referencing later.

To improve the efficiency of your research, consider refining your search terms and utilizing advanced search features available on online platforms. Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) can help you to narrow or broaden your search. Remember to save links or bookmark relevant websites for future reference.

Overall, by effectively researching music-related literature, you can acquire a solid foundation of knowledge that will drive your extended essay’s arguments and give it credibility. Develop your skills in evaluating, organizing, and synthesizing information to create a well-rounded and informed piece of writing.

Analyzing Musical Genres

When it comes to writing an extended music essay, one fascinating approach is to explore specific musical genres as essay topics. Each genre offers its own unique insights and challenges, making the writing process both engaging and rewarding.

Choosing a specific musical genre as the focus of your extended essay allows you to delve deep into its origins, characteristics, and cultural influences. You have the opportunity to explore how different artists have contributed to the development and evolution of the genre, as well as the societal impact it has had over time.

For instance, if you’re passionate about jazz music, you could analyze its roots in African American culture, its significant role during the Harlem Renaissance, and its influence on other genres such as blues and rock. By examining the elements that define jazz, such as improvisation, syncopation, and swing, you can help your readers understand what makes this genre so distinct and captivating.

The world of classical music offers a rich and vast pool of possibilities for exploration. You may choose to investigate the works of a specific composer like Ludwig van Beethoven or Johann Sebastian Bach, their contribution to their era, or even the interplay between different classical genres, such as Baroque and Romantic.

Alternatively, you might want to explore the implications of contemporary genres like hip-hop or EDM (electronic dance music). In doing so, you can highlight how these genres push the boundaries of traditional music styles and give voice to marginalized communities or the younger generation.

Remember, the key to analyzing musical genres in your extended essay is to make connections between different aspects. You can examine the lyrical content, storytelling techniques, instrumentation, or even the sociopolitical climate that influenced the genre’s emergence. By doing so, you provide a comprehensive analysis that goes beyond simply describing the musical elements.

Keep in mind that while focusing on a specific genre can be exciting, it also presents challenges. You need to ensure that you have access to relevant literature and resources, such as books, scholarly articles, and online databases that discuss your chosen genre’s history, development, and theoretical framework.

Overall, analyzing musical genres as essay topics allows you to develop a deep understanding of the complexities and intricacies of different music styles. It enables you to showcase your critical thinking skills, broaden your musical knowledge, and explore new ideas and perspectives. So go ahead and choose a musical genre that resonates with you, and embark on an insightful journey through the fascinating world of music.

Socio-Cultural Impact of Music

Music, throughout history, has demonstrated its remarkable ability to influence societies and shape cultures. From revolutions sparked by protest songs to the evolution of aspired fashion and lifestyle trends, the impact of music on society is undeniable. When choosing a music topic for an extended essay that delves into this aspect, there are various intriguing avenues to explore.

One potential topic could be analyzing the “British Invasion” during the 1960s, where British rock bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones gained immense popularity in the United States. This phenomenon not only transformed the music scene, but it also had significant social and cultural implications. Exploring the effects of this musical shift would uncover how it influenced fashion, youth culture, and societal values at the time.

Another interesting topic could revolve around the rise of rap and hip-hop music as a powerful form of cultural expression. Students can examine how these genres have given marginalized communities a voice, addressing social, economic, and racial issues that often go unheard. This exploration could encompass mentioning specific artists like Tupac Shakur or Kendrick Lamar, whose lyrics have become anthems for social justice movements.

Beyond popular music, investigating the historical significance of traditional music from different cultures can be enlightening. For example, students can delve into the spiritual and cultural impact of Native American music, examining its role in rituals, ceremonies, and storytelling traditions. They can also explore the cultural preservation efforts surrounding indigenous music and the impacts of globalization on these valuable cultural expressions.

In recent years, the phenomenon of “K-pop” has taken the world by storm. Students may explore the sociocultural implications of this Korean music genre, its global popularity, and how it serves as a form of soft power for South Korea internationally. They can examine the fan culture that surrounds K-pop and the impact it has on fashion trends, language adoption (such as learning Korean), and the creation of online communities where fans meet and share their passion for this music genre.

By selecting an essay topic that explores the socio-cultural impact of music, students can gain valuable insight into how music shapes societies and influences cultural dynamics. This not only expands their knowledge and understanding of diverse musical traditions but also enhances their appreciation for the power of music to connect and transform individuals and communities.

Exploring Music Theory and Composition

Are you fascinated by the mechanics behind creating music? Do you find yourself passionately engrossed in the theoretical aspects of musical compositions? If so, exploring music theory and composition within an extended essay might be the perfect avenue for you to delve deeper into this captivating subject.

Music theory and composition encompass various elements, such as chord progressions, melody construction, and composition techniques, that come together to form the foundation of musical pieces. By focusing on these aspects in your extended essay, you have the opportunity to gain a profound understanding of how music is intricately crafted and the impact it has on listeners.

One intriguing topic for a music theory-based extended essay could be the exploration of different chord progressions and their emotional effects within various genres of music. You can analyse the expression and mood that specific chords evoke, investigating how composers effectively choose certain progressions to elicit desired responses from the audience.

Another avenue to explore is the construction of melodies. You could examine the melodic structures used in classical compositions compared to contemporary pop songs, highlighting the different techniques employed and their impact on the overall musical experience.

For those interested in composition, research could focus on exploring innovative composition techniques such as avant-garde experimentation, algorithmic composition, or electroacoustic approaches. By studying these extraordinary techniques, you can develop insights into contemporary music trends and push the boundaries of conventional composition practices.

Additionally, you can delve into the works of renowned composers throughout history, such as Ludwig van Beethoven or Johann Sebastian Bach, and thoroughly analyze their compositional techniques. Investigating the methods they used and the development of their unique styles can provide an insightful perspective into the evolution of music over time.

When it comes to exploring music theory and composition, the possibilities are infinite. The key is to identify a topic that ignites your curiosity and allows you to showcase your knowledge and passion. By selecting a theme that resonates with you personally, you can engage in a fulfilling journey of intellectual growth and creative exploration through the process of writing your extended music essay.

The Evolution of Music: Exploring its Impact on Modern-day Compositions

Throughout history, music has undergone a remarkable evolution that has shaped the compositions we hear today. By delving into the rich tapestry of musical developments, students can gain valuable insights into the origins, influences, and transformations of different eras and genres. In this section, we will explore the significance of studying the evolution of music and propose potential essay topics to inspire your extended essay.

The evolution of music can be traced back to ancient civilizations, revealing a fascinating journey of cultural exchange and innovation. Students can investigate specific eras such as the Renaissance, Baroque, or Romantic period, exploring the unique musical styles, instruments, and techniques prevalent during these times. By analyzing influential musicians of each era, such as Bach, Mozart, or Beethoven, one can gain a deeper understanding of their contributions to shaping musical compositions throughout history.

Furthermore, advancements in technology have played a pivotal role in pushing the boundaries of musical possibilities. Exploring the impact of inventions like the piano, phonograph, or synthesizer can shed light on how innovation propelled music into uncharted territories. Additionally, students can examine the influence of recording technology on modern-day compositions, comparing the analog age with the digital revolution and its implications for music production and distribution.

  • Essay topic idea: “The Revolutionary Evolution: The Influence of the Beatles’ Music on Modern Pop Compositions”
  • Essay topic idea: “From Vinyl to Streaming: Analyzing the Transformative Impact of Technology on Music Listening Habits”

Another aspect worth exploring is the evolving social and cultural landscape and its reflection in music. Different historical events and movements, such as the civil rights movement or feminism, gave birth to new genres and sub-genres that carried powerful messages of social change. Students can delve into the evolution of these genres, like jazz, hip-hop, or punk rock, uncovering how they encapsulate the energy and concerns of specific moments in history.

Building an extended essay around the evolution of music provides students with an opportunity to examine a vast range of topics, from the instruments used and the technological advancements that shaped compositions to the sociocultural impacts and creative processes. By selecting eras, musicians, or technological advancements that resonate with your interests, you are not only uncovering the fascinating history of music but also developing vital research and critical analysis skills that will greatly benefit your academic journey.

Music and Emotions

Music has a unique power to connect with our emotions, often evoking strong feelings and impacting us on a deep level. Exploring the connection between music and emotions can be a fascinating topic for an extended essay. By examining how different musical elements and compositions can evoke certain emotions in listeners, one can gain insight into the incredible power of music.

When it comes to choosing a topic for an extended essay on music and emotions, there are several avenues to explore. One possible topic could focus on how certain genres or styles of music have been used throughout history to express specific emotions. For example, examining how classical composers like Beethoven or Rachmaninoff crafted their melodies and harmonies to convey emotions such as joy, sorrow, or love can provide a deeper understanding of musical composition techniques.

Another topic could explore the psychological and physiological responses that individuals have to listening to music. The field of music psychology offers countless studies and theories on how music can elicit emotional responses, influence mood, and even trigger specific memories. Analyzing these findings and conducting a personal research experiment could offer unique insights for an extended essay.

Furthermore, one could investigate the use of music in various forms of media, such as films, video games, or advertisements, and examine how the selection of music enhances the emotional impact of these visual experiences. This topic would involve studying the techniques used by composers and producers to create emotional connections between the audience and the content.

Ultimately, the aim of an extended essay on music and emotions is to delve deep into the power of music, its ability to communicate and resonate with our emotions, and its impact on our overall well-being. Through careful analysis and research, students can gain a more profound appreciation for the artistry and universal language of music.

When selecting a specific essay topic within this broad area, it is important to choose one that aligns with your interests and passions. By choosing a topic that personally resonates with you, the research and writing process will become more enjoyable and meaningful. Remember to consider your unique perspective and voice, offering new insights or theories that contribute to the existing body of knowledge.

Overall, exploring the connection between music and emotions in an extended essay provides an exciting opportunity to delve into the realm of the intangible, seeking to understand how and why music moves us in profound ways. With careful consideration and dedication, you can create a thought-provoking essay that not only captivates your readers, but also expands your own understanding of music’s impact on our emotional lives.

Music Therapy and Healing

Music has always had a profound effect on our emotions and has the power to transport us to different worlds. Beyond its ability to entertain, music has also long been recognized for its therapeutic benefits in aiding mental and physical well-being. Music therapy, a field that uses music as a therapeutic tool, is gaining recognition and popularity worldwide.

Music therapy can have positive effects on various individuals, from those struggling with mental health issues such as depression and anxiety to patients recovering from physical illnesses or injuries. Research has shown that listening to or creating music can elevate mood, reduce stress and anxiety, help manage pain, and even improve cognitive abilities like attention and memory.

In terms of essay topics on music therapy, there are several interesting angles to explore. For example:

  • The effectiveness of music therapy in reducing symptoms of anxiety in individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
  • The use of music therapy in improving the quality of life for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
  • The impact of music therapy on managing pain in post-operative patients.

These are just a few examples, and there are countless other areas within music therapy to delve into. When exploring this topic, it is essential to consider the specific context or population group you are interested in. Tailoring your extended essay to focus on a particular demographic or setting allows you to create a comprehensive study within the realm of music therapy.

To conduct effective research for a music therapy extended essay, it is crucial to review relevant scientific literature, scholarly articles, and case studies. In addition, interviewing music therapists or individuals who have undergone music therapy can provide valuable firsthand insights and perspectives.

Keep in mind that when exploring the role of music therapy, it is important to consider the limitations and potential criticisms associated with the practice. Addressing these concerns within your essay can contribute to a well-rounded and informed discussion.

Overall, by centering your extended essay on music therapy and healing, you have the opportunity to showcase the transformative power of music and its potential in improving the overall well-being of individuals. Whether through analyzing specific interventions or evaluating the long-term effects of music therapy programs, this topic opens doors to exploring the profound impact of music on our minds and bodies.

Music Copyright and Intellectual Property

Music copyright and intellectual property are complex topics that can be fascinating subjects for extended essays in the field of music. These essays not only offer opportunities to explore the legal and ethical aspects of music creation, distribution, and ownership but also highlight the importance of protecting artists’ rights and ensuring fair compensation for their work.

When writing an extended essay on music copyright and intellectual property, consider focusing on various aspects such as the challenges faced by musicians in the digital age, the impact of streaming services on the music industry, or the role of sampling and remixing in music production. Each of these areas provides a rich foundation for analysis and discussion.

One possible essay topic could delve into the legality and ethics of using copyrighted music in videos uploaded to social media platforms. This could involve examining how fair use guidelines apply and whether adequate acknowledgement and compensation is provided to the creators. Another essay idea is to explore the realm of music piracy and its economic, social, and cultural consequences, discussing the potential solutions that have been proposed to combat the issue.

Additionally, one could consider writing about the importance of intellectual property rights in creative processes, emphasizing the value of protecting original compositions and preventing unauthorized use. This essay could touch upon the significance of copyright licensing and the challenges faced by artists in ensuring their work is properly licensed for use in commercials, films, and other multimedia projects.

Consider exploring the implications of streaming services and the shift towards subscription-based music consumption models. Investigate issues such as artist royalties, revenue distribution, and the impact on independent musicians, highlighting the need for fair compensation and equitable business practices.

For a thought-provoking essay, you may examine the evolution of copyright laws throughout history and compare them to the current digital landscape. Analyze the challenges posed by rapid technological advancements, such as the advent of file-sharing platforms and the rise of artificial intelligence in music creation, and explore how these changes have shaped copyright regulations and enforcement.

Remember, the aim of exploring music copyright and intellectual property in an extended essay is not only to gain a deeper understanding of the legal and ethical complexities but also to create optimistic discourse around promoting fair rights for musicians and the protection of creative works. Choosing an essay topic that reflects your interests and passions within this field will make the writing process more engaging and impactful.

Cultural Appropriation in Music

Addressing the controversial topic of cultural appropriation in music can provide an intriguing and thought-provoking theme for extended essays. This concept refers to instances where cultural elements, such as musical styles, instruments, lyrics, or even traditional costumes, are borrowed or misappropriated without understanding or respect for their cultural significance.

By tackling this sensitive subject, students have the opportunity to delve into the complexities surrounding the fusion of different cultures in music, the power dynamics at play, and the potential impact on marginalized communities.

An essay focusing on cultural appropriation in music could start by providing an overview of the history and definitions of cultural appropriation. This helps establish a foundation and allows readers to understand the underlying issues before diving into specific examples within the music industry.

One possible approach is to analyze instances where artists from dominant cultures have appropriated elements from marginalized cultures, examining the resulting controversies and questioning the ethics behind such borrowing. For example, explore how Indigenous music or African rhythms have been commercialized and popularized by mainstream artists without proper recognition or compensation to the communities that originated them.

Additionally, students can investigate cases where artists intentionally embrace cultural fusion to promote cross-cultural understanding and collaboration. They can analyze successful collaborations between musicians from different cultures, assessing the dynamics of power, mutual respect, and the positive impact these initiatives may bring.

It is essential for writers to take a critical stance, challenging the actions of artists who appropriate cultural elements without acknowledgement or proper representation of their originators. They can also explore the arguments made by both sides of the debate, discussing varying perspectives on the subject.

To enrich their discussions, students may draw upon real-life examples from recent music controversies and high-profile cases. This includes examining debates surrounding white artists engaging with traditionally black music genres, such as rap or hip-hop, or Western artists commodifying and adapting traditional Asian instruments or melodies without due understanding.

In conclusion, exploring the theme of cultural appropriation in music through extended essays fosters critical thinking and an understanding of the ethical implications tied to artistic borrowing. By analyzing instances where cultural elements are borrowed or misappropriated, students can deepen their awareness of power dynamics, representation issues, and the impacts on marginalized communities. This topic encourages a deeper understanding of cultural sensitivity and respect for artistic integrity.

Comparing Music from Different Cultures

When it comes to exploring the vast and diverse world of music, one fascinating aspect is comparing and contrasting the music from different cultures. This allows students to delve into the intricacies of various musical traditions, discovering the similarities, differences, and influences that shape them.

By choosing this topic for their extended essays, students have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of how music is used as a form of expression and embodiment of cultural identity. It provides a fresh perspective on the universal language of music and helps create bridges between different communities.

Here are some exciting topic ideas for an extended essay on comparing music from different cultures:

  • Examining the rhythmic patterns in African drumming and Indian classical music: Investigate the unique rhythmic structures found in African drumming and Indian classical music, and explore how these rhythms influence the overall feel and emotion conveyed in each music tradition.
  • Contrasting Western classical music and traditional Chinese music: Analyze the fundamental differences in the compositional techniques, tonality, and instrumentation used in Western classical music compared to traditional Chinese music, and elucidate the cultural and historical contexts surrounding these musical practices.
  • Exploring the fusion of jazz and Indian classical music: Track the evolution and development of jazz and Indian classical music fusion, focusing on notable collaborations and the influence of cultural exchange on both genres.

Such essay topics not only widen your knowledge of different musical cultures but also offer deep insights into the ways in which history, society, and artistic intentions have influenced musical compositions and performance techniques. Additionally, comparative essays promote inclusivity, unity, and understanding among different cultures by highlighting the shared elements that enrich the global musical landscape.

When undertaking an extended essay on comparing music from different cultures, it is crucial to undertake thorough research. Dive into music literature, listen to recordings, and consult experts who can provide unique insights into the specific cultures you are studying. It is essential to approach your topic with an open mind and respect for the traditions and legacies you will encounter.

Lastly, keep in mind that an extended essay on comparing music from different cultures is an exciting journey of discovery. It allows you to develop not only valuable research skills but also an appreciation for the beauty and diversity of global musical expressions. Through this exploration, you will cultivate a greater understanding of the interconnectedness of our world, fostering mutual respect and appreciation for the cultural heritage that shapes us all.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, choosing an engaging music essay topic that aligns with your interests, abilities, and objectives is of utmost importance when embarking on the journey of writing an extended music essay. Not only does the topic you choose set the foundation for your entire writing process, but it also enables personal growth, intellectual development, and creative exploration.

By selecting a topic that resonates with you, you will find yourself deeply invested in the subject matter. This deep connection to the topic will fuel your motivation and enthusiasm throughout the research and writing process, ensuring that you produce your best work.

An extended music essay offers a unique opportunity for personal growth. By immersing yourself in extensive research and analysis, you will explore new perspectives, challenge your own assumptions, and broaden your understanding of the multifaceted world of music. Through this exploration, you will develop critical thinking skills and gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of music as an art form.

Intellectual development also comes hand in hand with writing an extended music essay. As you engage with a variety of music-related literature sources, from books to scholarly articles and online databases, you will uncover new insights and develop a strong foundation of knowledge on the chosen topic. This acquired knowledge can pave the way for further academic studies and professional pursuits in the field of music.

Creativity is another crucial aspect of writing an extended music essay. By choosing a topic that excites your creativity, such as exploring music theory or composition techniques, or delving into the evolution of music throughout history, you have the opportunity to bring your unique voice and perspectives to the academic discourse. Your essay could shed new light on familiar subjects or unearth hidden gems within the realm of music.

Ultimately, your extended music essay will not only contribute to your own growth and development but also to the wider understanding and appreciation of music as a powerful art form. So, be sure to choose a topic that not only interests you but also offers avenues for exploration and introduces new ideas to the field. It is through exploring your own interests and passions that you can make a meaningful contribution to the scholarly discourse surrounding music.

Valerie Green

Valerie Green

Valerie Green is a dedicated educator who spends her time helping high school and college students succeed. She writes articles and guides for various online education projects, providing students with the tools they need to excel in their studies. Friendly and approachable, she is committed to making a difference in the lives of students.

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