Radio Edu


WLOY Gets Some Great Press

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 by The Professor

We never complain when we get noticed.

RadioWorld Magazine The leading radio industry magazine RadioWorld contains an article on the National Student Electronic Media Convention which includes WLOY and our programs for children! Read the whole article online.

Radio Survivor Website Earlier this year we also hosted the creator of Radio Survivor (a hugely popular website exploring college and independent radio) and she wrote a wonderful article about her visit and our programming efforts. Check it out!



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Week 7 Production Notes

Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Hi everyone, I opted to not include this in Week 7’s longer blog post because I wanted that entry to focus on the integration of What Happens Next into the WEMR sessions. This week J and M were excited to refocus on creating some original music. We were able to devote all of Thursday’s session to this, and I was going to give them the requirement that they must utilize at least one effect on at least one track. I decided to casually mention this, but due to a late start I thought that I would allow them some ‘open creation’ without having a specific task. To my surprise they both naturally integrated effects into several of their tracks!

Throughout the course of this semester I’ve mentioned the importance of utilizing a logical structure to their compositions to help them focus their creative process. We’ve done lessons on the importance of following the grid so that their music loops more logically, and I emphasized the importance of this when creating soundbeds or introductions. Thus far the most accessible teaching method for this was the use of Audition’s viewable time-grid.

When we began working with audio loops in November, I emphasized individual creativity and encouraged J and M to practice advanced audio editing and manipulation, resulting in them becoming proficient at slicing and stretching audio among other concepts. Their compositions were less structured than they are now. This week in particular J and M have started to incorporate a more “standard” approach to composition: they are editing and arranging audio to act as a guideline and focusing on repeating and even introducing basic song structure.

I’ve decided to include some screen shots to demonstrate the difference in their approaches. The ones from this weeks session demonstrate an evolution in design-based thinking, and illustrate that RadioEdu’s curriculum strengthens and promotes meta-cognitive skills such as organization and structural thought.

[insert tracks from this week and screen shots of before/after]



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Week 7

Friday, March 21st, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Concepts: What Happens Next Debut Session!

Hello everyone, I’m pleased to report another great week at RadioEdu! Last week we decided on the schedule that would allow for immediate integration of the fourth graders while providing engineering opportunities to fifth graders J and M. Today Kelly from WLOY came to WEMR and did a wonderful job running a segment of What Happens Next with the new group. The first part of today’s session involved J and M briefly mentioning that this is how they started in September, and that they used that initial experience to springboard forward in learning the equipment. Kelly chose a St. Patrick’s Day parade story, and after the students wrote their endings, J and M began a recording session from scratch and completely engineered recording everyone’s endings! They did an amazing job making sure the levels were balanced for each student and did their best to offer pointers. In the Fall, a theme in many of my posts was about how J and M were improving at the behind the scenes skills that are so crucial to recording. Included in this subtle art are things such as knowing how to position yourself in relation to the mics, making sure you don’t move while in a chair, and situational awareness regarding the mic cable. They internalized these tips so much during the last six months that they were providing the same feedback and information to the new students!

It was a great experience and we look forward to more of these combined sessions with our newly crowned fifth grade engineers!



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Week 6

Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Concepts: Introducing New Students

This week we were very excited to return from a brief break due to MSA testing and begin with the fourth graders who have been selected to participate in WLOY’s national award winning program What Happens Next. At the end of February I posted about the open house/demonstration meet and greet session for the parents and students who have been selected to receive the next round of RadioEdu scholarships, and this is the first step in their journey! Just as J and M begin with What Happens Next in the Fall, the fourth graders will be using that program as a medium to learn audio production and engineering! What I’m going to call the “RadioEdu twist” on this structure is that our current fifth graders, J and M, will apply their engineering knowledge that they have learned throughout their time with RadioEdu and will be engineering and producing the fourth graders’ content!

We started the session with a brief introduction by Principal Hewitt, and John and I also gave a brief overview of the program and setup. As we want to really promote autonomy of our youth, we had J take the lead on what he likes most about RadioEdu and any advice he had for the new crowd. After this, J took the new students into the studio and gave them a tour of the software and hardware. He explained, in detail, how the mics work, the importance of position, sitting still, and how to check levels. We then had J engineer a session where he would conduct brief interviews with each of the fourth graders! J had no prior knowledge of this, as it was an impromptu session. He handled it remarkably well and was able to professionally conduct the recording, ensuring that the new students moved along swiftly, as we only had about 30 minutes left to finish all the interviews!

John and I were both thrilled to see how well J handled the session. He needed very little guidance, and I only jumped in when some of the newer students were becoming a bit too excited. J checked their levels, armed the tracks for recording, and made sure that each new student was recorded at a solid volume. John and I are looking forward to implementing this model as the future of RadioEdu, as it strengthens the bonds between the students in the school and provides a practical application for the skills that they are learning!

 



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Meet and Greet (Week 5)

Friday, February 28th, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Hello everyone! This was an exciting week at Eutaw-Marshburn as we had a Meet and Greet with the fourth graders and parents who have received the next round of RadioEdu scholarships! John created two excellent WEMR Eutaw-Marshburn Radio vinyl signs, and we were able to place one on the door to the classroom and another inside the studio. The students were thrilled as the branding gave the radio room a whole new vibe!

We decided that the best way to introduce the fourth graders to the radio equipment would be to have them partake in What Happens Next?, but with a slight twist: J and M would be the engineers for the project! This encapsulates one of the overarching goals of RadioEdu, which is to demonstrate that the program not only teaches the youth involved the skills of audio production and engineering, but also prepares them to be able to manage their own sessions without requiring my assistance. In just six months J and M have demonstrated such mastery and the accompanying confidence that enables them to conduct a recording session with very minimal guidance. I will be posting more about this amazing progression in later dates, so for now I will stick to the events of this evening!

After a brief introduction from Principal Hewitt, John and myself, we invited J to give his own introduction about what he believed to be the high points of the program and offer any advice for new students. He handled this task confidently and was an excellent inspiration for the new students! John and I decided that one of the best demonstrations would be for J to explain and engineer an interview session with one of the new students. Since he was knowledgeable and capable enough to conduct this session on his own, we let him walk the parents and students through the process. He began by giving an overview of the software and equipment, and conducted a step by step review and explanation of each stage of recording. Without my needing to do anything, J armed the tracks for recording, checked microphone levels, set up the mics and cables so that they would be comfortable for the student he was recording, and gave a professional count-in to begin! After the brief interview, J then explained the editing and post-production process, culminating with a finished project that he completely engineered from start to finish in roughly 20 minutes!

We are very proud of the fact that the first generation of RadioEdu youth have learned enough, and are confident enough in their abilities to be able to engineer a session such as this. This points to the future of the program, as the aim is for the students to be able to engineer and produce content for their fellow, younger students. Keep posted for more information about the next phase of the project!

[insert meet and greet media]



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Week 4

Friday, February 14th, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Another week of canceled sessions due to snow! I’m going to use this opportunity to post some new media.

 

Jonathan



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RadioEdu Second Semester Week 3: Part 2

Friday, February 7th, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Concepts: Project Planning for Music Production, Utilizing Grids as Guides

This week J and I also discussed some tips for more efficiently producing music and soundbeds. Thus far, J has done an excellent job creating his music tracks by exploring and experimenting, but I wanted to offer some compositional and organizational tips that he could utilize in his productions.

When we first began working with loop based production, the students developed their own method for tracking timing and placement of audio. Their natural technique was to utilize the ruler style time grid, and mark their start/stop points through its relative position on the grid. Included are some examples of their newer compositions using these newly introduced guidelines.



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RadioEdu Second Semester Week 3: Part 1

Friday, February 7th, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

Concepts: Project Planning and Production Preparation

Hi everyone! We had another short week due to snow cancellations, but J was able to accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. In fact, we did so much this week that I’m choosing to split the update into two parts!

J and I discussed a possible project that he and M and would be producing, an audio chronicle of Black History Month poems/stories/biographies done by classmates. Since the project is in the design phase, I took the opportunity to work with J on planning and development skills. We talked about what steps a producer for such a project would need to take, and J came up with these points, among others:

  • Ensure that all students involved are prepared and know what they will be recording prior to a practice session.
  • Once practicing, check the input levels for the mics, and encourage all students to talk at a consistent volume.
  • Plan out a time limit/frame for each student, so the producer has an idea how long the project would be.
  • Consider having the students record according to their height, i.e. students with similar height record in sequence so to minimize mic adjustments
  • Plan for any music or extra production that would need to be included, such as an introduction
  • Understand who the audience of the piece would be

After a preliminary discussion of these questions, I decided to do an impromptu interview session with J, asking him to elaborate and follow up on his answers and planning process. This proved to be a great exercise, as he was really able to talk about his methods and approach to projects, honing in on the importance of this stage for the success of projects. His ability to answer and provide justification for his choices and method demonstrated a growing maturity and comfort with the production process.

The interview will be included as an audio file once edited and uploaded.

[insert Justice Producer Interview]



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RadioEdu Second Semester: Week 2

Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

This week’s sessions were canceled due to snow, so I’ve decided to include some pieces that the students have finished but hadn’t been posted!

Jonathan



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Happy New Year from RadioEdu!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014 by Jonathan Prozzi

How many fifth gradersdo you know with a CD release?

Happy New Year everyone! RadioEdu ended the Fall 2013 semester in an extremely exciting fashion with a CD release for the students! This was a wonderful event highlighting the accomplishments of three remarkable fifth grade students. The amount of material that they were able to master in a short amount of time continues to astonish me as I look over the blog entries of the past three months.

We are looking forward to another great semester filled with exciting and challenging projects, and I have no doubt that the students will continue to demonstrate mastery over the increasingly difficult material while gaining confidence in their production techniques. This year we will continue with the project-based learning approach, while aiming to integrate a long-term collaboration providing the students an opportunity to demonstrate increasing autonomy in regard to audio production. We will continue to develop and hone core audio production skills and look to post more incredible content each week!

Thanks for all the support and for helping to make the first semester of RadioEdu at Eutaw-Marshburn a success!

Jonathan

How many fifth graders do you know with a CD release?

How many fifth graders do you know with a CD release?



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