Radio Story Ep. 504 “How I got Into College”

I chose to listen to “How I got Into College”. It is a podcast by Ira Glass of the College application process. The beginning of the podcasts begins with Ira asking Columbia University students how they were accepted. Most of the students answer something along the lines of “I have no idea”. The podcast uses the real interview responses, which switches up the audio. It then transitions to a dialogue between Ira and an admissions officer at Georgia Tech. The admissions officers brings up emails he receives from parents impersonating their child. Parents use words such as “cool and awesome” because they think that is what kids say. However those are very inappropriate words in regards to an application and professional email. The majority of the podcast revolves around applications and comments from both Ira and the admissions officer.

I instantly noticed the background music in this segment. When the video segment changed, there is a fast-tempo, upbeat instrumental to go along with the transition. In Part 2 he tells a story with Michael Lewis. As they speak, music will play at specific points. Elevator music plays as Michael Lewis describes his situation of when he got into trouble. An upbeat piano composition starts as Michael explains why he likes the story. Both speakers elaborate on the meaning of the story to him. The music appears to direct our attention to the moment of reflection.

A guitar or mariachi beat plays as Michael speaks of the positive perspective that Amir has on all this misfortune that surrounds him. The musics ceases and what seems like polka music replaces the guitar, while Michael talks about his family struggles. Then, very loud music plays as Amir speaks of reading, which could be hinting at his learning since it is of applying to college. Upbeat and fast pace music plays when Amir goes with his teacher to apply to a new school, this section of music makes sense and correlates to what is happening. This music then plays on and off again while Amir asks to attend a private school.

I do not think the music matches the story that well, because the emotions of the story did not match the type of music at the particular times. For example, Amir is talking about a bunny being abused, and in the background there is upbeat music playing, which traditionally implies joy and happiness. The majority of the music throughout this podcast is to highlight transitions and possibly lapses in the story. Such as Amir’s story is not completely revealed, whereas instead music is played.