I teach music history courses at a variety of college. One of them is Intro to World Music, which is interdisciplinary encompassing music history, music theory, anthropology, and some sociology. The culminating project is a music ethnography which they must present in class. In the past I have shown videos of past projects, given extensive guidelines, and photocopied tomes on ethnographies, but still many students express high anxiety preparing for this project. I suspected it was mostly due to having to stand up in front of their peers.
Last semester I began my “What is an Ethnography?” class with an in-class project where each student hand wrote their own musical story; a music autobiography, if you will. This simple in-class writing assignment helped immensely. It may be a wee tid-bit, but it has helped break the ice in this particular course. I would high recommend having some activity like this for any course with presentations.