I realized the concept of working from the figure itself in illustration, as opposed to another artist’s rendition or a photograph, is also applicable to music. You can attempt your own variations on a folk or traditional music style; however, if you begin from the original tunes instead of someone else’s rendition, your version can improve upon the original design in a different way. Approaching the music–or any art form–from a different angle can generate something entertaining and welcoming. For example, I heard my university’s bluegrass ensemble arrange and perform the Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball,” and it sounded like a brand new song. The addition of traditional bluegrass vocal harmonies and instrumentation breathed new life into the tune. Other professors in the area have used other non-pop styles to rework pop songs with great success. (One clarinet professor regularly arranges rap and hip-hop for his Dixie-land jazz trio.) Roots can show yesterday, today, and tomorrow.