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For a final project in his summer course at Northwestern, Jim Stephenson was instructed to write a bad piece of music.
The course, Adventures in Bad Music, had a backward approach to helping students discover what they do and don’t like. The 24-year-old at the time had never taken a composition course before this one, and surprisingly, wrote a “bad” piece that ended up being enjoyed by his classmates. It was that moment that encouraged Stephenson to begin writing music full time.