Identifying your audience

One of the most important steps to take before even beginning to make the CD is to decide who you're making it for. The CD that you'd make for a grandparent would be very different from a CD that you'd make more a signficant other, teammate or sibling.


If you're making a CD for a grandparent or any other older family friend or relative, it is important to only include things that you know they'll love. My grandparents love Frank Sinatra, so if I were to make them a mix, I'd include Frank as well as other people from that time. Know your recipients well: they would certainly appreciate songs that have signficance to them, especially if it's from 50 years ago.

Mom and I

  • Parents are much easier to make CDs for. For one, it's extremely helpful that they grew up during one of the best periods of music in history: the 60s. They are also more likely to know songs that are popular today, so it would be easy to use a combination of the two. This summer, my mom and I went to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, a favorite band of hers for decades, as well as a favorite of mine. Putting a Tom Petty song on the CD would remind her of going to the concert together as well as make her reminiscent of years ago.


  • Making a CD for your significant other is perhaps the most common reason for making a mix in the first place, however, it doesn't mean that it's the easiest. As you will read in the "Tracks" section, it is important to consider the greater meaning of the songs you pick. Pick songs from a concert you saw together, a CD you listened to on a road trip, or a song from the movie you saw on your first date. Just like any other audience, you should also go for the "special" factor. If you include your boyfriend or girlfriend's favorite song in the world on the CD, it will show that you really know them well. This is also a good opportunity to share some of your own favorite songs and musical tastes, so that they can learn more about you.

    Field Hockey Team

  • Making mix CDs for a sports team can be a really fun experience. My high school field hockey team will forever think of our hard work, practices and games when we listen to music from our warm-up CD. Think of classic sports movies, such as Rocky or Remember the Titans and take some of the songs that were particularly inspirational. Always stick with upbeat, fun, motivational songs that get your heart pumping when you listen to them. Done right, those songs can be a defining element of your team years later.

    Best Friend

  • Needless to say, you and your best friend will have spent countless fun times together, so these are one of the easiest types of CDs to make. Thing of things you've done together: trips you took, sports you played, and concerts you went to to gain inspiration. If you've been friends for a long time, it is also fun to put the big songs from years ago that you remember you both enjoyed.