Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2014

Degree Type



Exercise Science

Director of Thesis

Jim Burns

First Reader

Jonnifer Cooper


From as far back as I can remember I have always loved music. Not just listening to it but also creating it. I had my first piano lesson at the age of 4, my first violin at 6 years old, my dad’s guitar in my hand at 13, and apparently I sang since I was able to form sounds. My dream as a child was to be a famous singer, but I never truly pursued it. As I grew older, I acquired new dreams, but deep down, I have never stopped wanting to be a singer. I have fulfilled part of this dream by being able to sing in The Cocktails all female a cappella group at USC, but I wanted to take another step by writing my own music.

In my thesis project, my main objective was to write my own “potentially popular hit song.” This was to be achieved by listening to the number 1 chart topping songs between January 2013 and January 2014 to find commonalities among them. Such commonalities include lyric topics, instruments used, types of melodies, bass lines, drumbeats, song structure, genre, etc. From the commonalities found, I intended to create a song that has the potential to be liked by the masses, including researching articles that are devoted to pop song writing and taking into consideration their tips/opinions and possibly incorporate them into my song.

I initially had little knowledge on the technique of song writing. All I knew was that people like songs that are catchy and that they can easily relate to. I wanted to create a masterpiece that not only means a lot to me but also can mean something to many people. Throughout the process of writing my song titled “Your Mind,” what was intended to be a potentially popular hit song turned to become a more personal song without the intent of making it to the Billboard charts. I decided that I wanted to forgo trying to copy pop songs and instead write my own music that represented me. I wanted to create music that I wanted to create.

The process of my song writing and recording journey was a very intimate one. It included countless hours of lyric writing and music composing, only to erase what I had to start all over because I was not satisfied with my product. But overall, I would say that I am happy with “Your Mind” because I feel it really represents me as a person.


© 2014, Susan Noh

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