Musical Artifact (Found) Prompt

When I moved into my house, an old piano had been left behind. It wasn’t until some time had passed that I realized that the piano bench contained dozens of music books and sheet music selections. These formed a time capsule of sorts, from the 1960’s. (I added a few newer pieces too, like the Into the Woods score you can see in the picture.)

I’ve shown these to friends and students, with the challenge: Write a poem or story that incorporates the artifact as an image or “prop.” Use some words found in the music. The prompt has been very successful. It may be self-evident that one might use one’s own artifacts as prompts for writing, but using found artifacts brings in some “wildcard” elements. People really enjoyed handling the artifacts and reading the music and the lyrics.


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