Free Creative Writing Prompts #36: Music
The song that accompanied your first kiss. The big crescendo at the end of your favorite movie. Music has an uncanny ability to affect nearly everybody. And the way that this music hits everybody can be in a completely subjective and different way. These free creative writing prompts are about your experiences with music and your dreams and fantasies about how it could affect your life. I for one believe that music and writing are difficult to separate and that there are an unlimited amount of music resources that can help with your writing. Enjoy!
Free Creative Writing Prompts: Music
3. Describe your best concert experience of all time. What was the band, who did you go with, and why has it stuck with you as being so fantastic? Go into extreme detail and feel free to make use of band lyrics.
4. Most people have a genre of music that just does not appeal to them. What is yours and why? Create a dialogue between two characters: one who loves that genre and one (like you) who hates it.5. You have the esteemed pleasure of watching your son, daughter, niece, or nephew at his or her very first band concert. Talk about how it went, how cute it was seeing little kids do music, and how off-key they were :).
6. You are the lead singer in a brand-new chart topping band! How does it feel to be so famous for creating art? What is it like having so many fans and having to keep the band happy when egos begin to clash?
7. If you could be proficient in any one instrument what would it be and why? What would you do if you had immense talent in creating music with this instrument?
8. Have you ever had a piece of music change your life? What specifically changed you and why? If you haven't, just create a character or a piece of music that would cause such a thing to occur.
9. It's hard not to associate certain pieces of music with certain people and times in your life. Write a "High Fidelity"-esque autobiographical piece about five songs that will forever be linked with particular people, for better or for worse.
10. As of the writing of this article, the television show "American Idol" has made thousands of people try out for a spot on the show. Create a story in which you go to audition (after practicing heavily I'm sure) and detail your experience at the tryout.
In addition to these ten prompts, you can listen to any song ever created and pull ideas from that. With websites like Pandora and LastFM, you can even discover new music based on your preferences for free. This is the perfect time to make music a part of your writing. I hope you enjoyed these free creative writing prompts and that your next piece of writing is as beautiful as a Mozart concerto!
Bonus Prompt - You have assembled an all-star team of producers and recording artists to record the best music album ever. Who do you bring together and how does it go?
Related Articles to Free Creative Writing Prompts about Music
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love
Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation
Done with this page? Go back to Creative Writing Prompts.
comments powered by
Written by Bryan Cohen
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.
How a Job gets assigned to a Salary Band
A clear and current job description is the starting point for evaluating the job responsibilities and assigning a salary band. Job responsibilities, complexity, scope and requirements needed to successfully do the job will determine the salary band assignment; job titles do not determine the salary band.
Each salary band is assigned a salary range which reflects the market value for the job and other similar benchmarked jobs. The band range reflects the minimum base salary and the maximum base salary that should be paid for any job in that corresponding salary band. Salary ranges will be competitive with our respective, defined markets and reflect the internal relationship among salary bands within the University. The structure will be reviewed on an annual basis by considering market trends inside and outside of higher education, University financial resources, and overall University strategy and goal achievement. A revised salary band structure will be prepared and implemented whenever appropriate, and as authorized by University leadership.
While job content and specific responsibilities, as well as scope and complexity, determine the salary band to which a job is assigned, the skills, knowledge, experience and performance of the incumbent contribute to determining his/her salary within the band.
There are ten broad bands, D (entry level) to M. The Band Definitions outline each band’s core criteria used in evaluating jobs:
- Job Scope (University, Division, Departmental, Work Unit, etc.) and Major Responsibilities
- Job Complexity and Impact on the University
- Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies required to perform the job
- Education and Experience required to perform the job
Jobs in the Administrative Assistant job group are further detailed in a matrix which provides examples of the scope, knowledge and job complexity for each of the five levels of administrative assistant. All jobs in the Administrative Assistant job group are non-exempt.
Setting the Starting Salary for New Hires
The appropriate hiring range for a job offer is determined at the time the position is posted by the hiring manager and Human Resources based on salary band, internal equity, skills and experience required and the position budget. The final candidate should be offered a figure within that range, commensurate with the candidate’s background.
The Compensation Program’s salary bands are wide enough to accommodate a variety of experience and performance levels. Within the Compensation Program’s broad band structure, pay above the midpoint is considered compensation for highly experienced and seasoned professionals who come into the position with all the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to make an immediatepositive impact on the University. New hires should rarely be hired above the 75th percentile mark as this represents premium pay over the market and is reserved for those employees with exceptional expertise or those who have demonstrated the highest level of performance over time. New hire job offers should never be made above the maximum salary of the job’s salary band.
If a finalist’s qualifications appear to warrant a higher salary than the budgeted hiring range for a job offer, a discussion is required with Human Resources before any offer is made to the candidate. If Human Resources agrees that the increased starting salary offer is warranted, the additional funding must be supported through the hiring department’s budget.
No employee will be hired below the minimum of the salary band for the position.
New employees hired after March 1 of each year are not eligible for any annual increase granted by the University during that year.
Evaluation of a Vacant Position
If a manager feels that a vacant position may warrant an upgrade to a higher salary band due to anticipated enhanced job responsibilities or a need for stronger technical qualifications, the manager should provide an updated job description to Human Resources for review prior to posting the job. Costs for upgrading a position must be covered by the requesting department’s budget.
Since jobs are assigned to salary bands based on their content, role, and responsibilities, it is important that job descriptions be current, accurate, and complete. Job descriptions describe the essential functions of a job and are used for a number of Human Resources functions, including:
- Band Assignment—to ensure jobs are assigned to the appropriate salary bands and to the appropriate classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Market Comparison—to assist in determining the competitive rate of pay for the job.
- Internal Equity—to assist in assuring similar pay opportunities for similar jobs.
- Performance Appraisals—to ensure that the staff member and manager have a clear, shared understanding of the job’s major responsibilities and performance standards.
- Recruiting—to ensure that the job posting accurately reflects the job’s major responsibilities in order to identify the most appropriately qualified candidates and to provide new employees with a clear understanding of the job.
- Dispute Resolution—to assist in resolving legal and other employee relations issues that may arise.
The job title should clearly and accurately describe the job’s roles and responsibilities. In order to ensure that titles are appropriate descriptors and to ensure consistency across the University, job titles must be reviewed and approved by Human Resources prior to their use.
All job descriptions must be written in the Villanova format which is available on the Human Resources Forms website. Staff members should work with their manager when developing a job description. Managers should submit completed job descriptions to Human Resources, signifying their review and approval of it as an accurate reflection of the employee’s job responsibilities.
Evaluation of a Change to Job Responsibilities
Significant changes in job content may warrant a review of the job and its market value and a subsequent re-banding of the job. It is essential to distinguish between a change in the job content and a change in the employee’s skills, knowledge, or performance. This section applies only to job content changes.
The following are examples of situations that may warrant a job evaluation:
- Department reorganization and job restructuring.
- Addition of new area(s) of responsibility.
- Major change in level of authority and accountability.
Requests for a job evaluation for an incumbent should be made by the supervisor to whom the position reports. If a staff member believes that his/her job needs to be re-evaluated, he/she should discuss this with his/her supervisor, who will then submit it to Human Resources for review. Job Descriptions should be created using the University’s standard format, available on the Human Resources forms website.
After evaluating the job description, Human Resources will determine if a change in salary band and/or increase is appropriate, and in collaboration with the supervisor, determine an appropriate increase. Approval of the appropriate Vice President/Dean is required and any costs for approved restructuring or re-banding of positions must be covered by the requesting department.
NOTE: Earning a degree does not typically warrant a salary band change or salary increase unless the job responsibilities change or the incumbent takes on additional responsibilities.
These guidelines will be considered in determining whether a salary band or pay increase is warranted:
Type of Change
Potential Impact on Salary Band or Pay
Change in the tools used to perform the job
Changing how work is done or the tools used does not normally warrant a salary band change or pay adjustment
Minor additional duties permanently added to the job
Small changes to duties assigned permanently should be evaluated for the magnitude of change.
Taking on additional duties on a temporary basis
Additional work that is assigned on a temporary basis should not be compensated by a permanent adjustment to salary band or pay.
Significant addition or change of duties, changing the overall purpose and nature of the job
Changes or additions impacting the job definition significantly enough to influence its market value or internal role, for example:
· Change in level of supervisory responsibility (Team Leader to Full Supervisor)
· Addition of a different functional area of responsibility (addition of Benefits Administration responsibility to a Compensation Analyst)
These types of changes warrant a job re-revaluation to determine if a change in the salary band is appropriate.
Significant addition or change of duties, changing the overall purpose and nature of the job in a vacant position
Changes or additions impacting the job definition significantly enough to influence its market value or internal role as listed above.
These types of changes warrant a job re-revaluation to determine if a change in the salary band is appropriate.
Transfers, Promotions, and Demotions
Any employee who is promoted on or after March 1 is not eligible for a June 1 increase. Promotional increases take into account that the employee may go up to 15 months until their next merit increase. All changes must be approved by Human Resources and the Division Head.
Change in Tools or Processes for Current Job
A change in how work is done or the tools used, for example, automating manual processes or learning to use a different software package, would not normally warrant a pay adjustment as it does not usually change the purpose or overall accountabilities of the job. If the introduction of new tools and/or software materially changes the job’s responsibilities, see “Evaluation of a Change to Job Responsibilities”.
A transfer occurs when an employee moves from one position to another similar position within the same salary band. This can benefit the employee by enabling them to become more versatile and more broadly skilled, develop expanded qualifications, and could eventually lead to future opportunities within the University. Most transfers do not include a salary increase.
Promotion to a Job in the Same Salary Band
An in-band promotion occurs when additional responsibilities of some significance are added to a job without changing the core job responsibilities. While this type of change generally does not result in a salary band change, it is sometime appropriate to award an increase to the employee’s base salary in acknowledgement for the additional responsibilities. Any increase for taking on additional job responsibilities must be funded by the department’s budget.
Promotion to a Job in a Higher Salary Band
A promotion to a position assigned in a higher salary band requires the employee to take on significantly greater responsibilities in the new position. Such a move generally warrants an increase in base salary to recognize these additional responsibilities and to ensure that the incumbent’s pay is consistent for the new job both internally and as compared with the external market. Promotions are funded by the budget of the department in which the position resides.
Human Resources and supervisors will collaborate to develop an appropriate salary within the new salary band, based on the employee’s skill, knowledge, experience, and performance. Since circumstances vary and each employee has a different pay history, it is important to consider multiple factors when making pay decisions relating to promotions. These factors include:
- Degree of increase in responsibilities
- Past performance compared to expectations
- Current salary relative to pay range of new band
- Current salary relative to new peers (with similar skills, knowledge, competencies, and experience)
- Criticality of role/skills to Villanova
- Depth and breadth of skills and knowledge
Move to a Job in a Lower Salary Band
There are circumstances under which an employee may elect or be reassigned to a position in a lower salary band.
When an employee is reassigned to a job in a lower salary band on an involuntary basis, the employee’s salary may be decreased to reflect the responsibilities of the new job. The supervisor and Human Resources will discuss salary implications in advance of the employee’s change in position.
If an employee elects to take a job in a lower salary band, his or her salary will be reduced to appropriately reflect the responsibilities of the new job and the departmental budget.
In all cases, the employee’s skills, knowledge, experience, and performance will be reviewed in comparison to salaries of other employees in similar roles to ensure internal equity in the department and across the University.
Salary Increases and Adjustments
Annual Salary Increases
Employees with satisfactory performance are eligible to receive annual salary increases based on their own job performance and the salary increase budget pool, effective at the start of the fiscal year as determined and authorized each year by University leadership. Employees that are on a leave of absence on June 1 will receive any annual increase recommended by their supervisor upon their return to work.
The increase pool will be determined by considering market trends, University financial resources, and overall University strategy and goal achievement. Villanova cannot guarantee that such increases will occur every year, nor can it guarantee an amount.
Staff employees who receive any type of promotion or off-cycle increase that is effective March 1 or later will not be eligible for a merit increase at the start of the new fiscal year.
Off-Cycle Salary Increases
Discretionary increases in base pay are market or performance-based increases that occur at any time during the year, other than the normal increase cycle.
If a manager wishes to recommend an off-cycle increase, he/she must discuss such an increase with the Department/Division head and with Human Resources to determine if the salary increase is justified, compatible with the market, and consistent with the University’s pay guidelines.
- “Equity Adjustment” refers to an adjustment that is made to ensure that an individual employee’s salary appropriately reflects his/her skills, knowledge, experience, and performance. Equity adjustments may be made at the same time as the annual increase, but should be clearly communicated as such to the employee to avoid confusion.
- “Market Adjustment” refers to an adjustment that is made to recognize changes in the competitive market salary for a job. Market adjustments are unlikely to occur often, because the salary band structure is based on market analysis and is updated regularly to ensure continued competitiveness. Occasionally, however, unusual market circumstances may warrant an adjustment.
The supervisor must document the rationale that led to the recommendation of an off-cycle pay increase and complete a Personnel Action Form. These documents must be reviewed and approved by both the department head/Dean and the divisional Vice President, and must be funded by the department’s budget.
Employees who receive any type of off-cycle increase effective March 1 or later will not be eligible for a merit increase at the start of the new fiscal year
Temporary Assignments and Interim Appointments
There may be times when it may be necessary for staff employees to take on additional or different responsibilities on a temporary basis. While all employees are expected to fill in for vacations and other short-term absences from time to time, in some circumstances additional compensation, funded by the department, may be warranted.
A Temporary Assignment is when an individual is assigned additional duties on a temporary basis in the absence of another employee at the University. This additional work must continue for 30 or more days and must be a significant, clearly defined addition of responsibilities to the normal workload, and not just an increase in the volume of work expected. Generally, a Temporary Assignment will not continue for more than 180 days; any exception to this timeframe should be submitted in writing to Human Resources.
Upon successful completion of the Temporary Assignment as well as the successful performance of the individual’s own position accountabilities, the individual may be eligible to receive a one-time payment as compensation for the Temporary Assignment. Payments will be based on the duration of the Temporary Assignment, the degree of complexity and/or importance of the additional work and the level of performance demonstrated.
An Interim Appointment is when an individual is appointed to a different position, either in the same salary band or in a higher band, on a temporary basis where there is a vacancy that is anticipated to exceed 90 days. The individual will be held accountable for the scope of the interim role that is identified by his/her manager at the time of the Interim Appointment. Potential compensation is as follows:
- Interim Appointment to a position in the same salary band—Since the interim position has the same salary potential as the individual’s own position, base salary for the individual will not change, although he/she may be eligible for a one-time payment depending upon the duration of the Interim Appointment, the degree of complexity and/or importance of the additional work and the level of performance demonstrated.
- Interim Appointment to a position in a higher salary band—Since the interim position has a higher base salary potential than the individual’s own position, an individual taking on such an appointment would be eligible for a temporary increase in base salary, determined under the University’s promotional guidelines as if the individual were being promoted to this position, and remaining in effect until the Interim Appointment is completed. Upon returning to his/her position, the employee will receive the salary rate he/she had been earning prior to the Interim Appointment, adjusted for any intervening salary increases (annual increases, increases due to market or internal equity, etc.).
A supervisor initiating a Temporary Assignment or Interim Appointment in his/her area of responsibility must submit a written proposal to the appropriate Vice President, presenting the reason for the assignment, the expected duration, resources required, the method for evaluating successful performance, the criteria for selecting the employee and the proposed compensation for the individual undertaking the Temporary Assignment or Interim Appointment. The Vice President will review the request with the Associate Vice President of Human Resources to ensure that the compensation request is appropriate, to understand implications of the Temporary Assignment or Interim Appointment on the staffing and workload of the department and to identify any areas of concern related to the request. Compensation for Temporary or Interim appointments is to be funded through the department’s budget.