ILMS300 / CAIL300 RADIO / COMMUNITY RADIO
Fall 2010 - Fall 2014, Fall 2015 - Spring 2016, Spring 2017
As a former college radio DJ (my first two years of college) I was excited about the opportunity to teach this class that was proposed by Mark Farina, Otis A/V lab manager, substitute DJ at KXLU, and Mentor Faculty for Radio. I've organized the class into two parts. The first half of the semester is DJ Training in which students begin to collaborate and get to know each other as artists, designers and consumers of music and mass media. They learn to experiment with the audio recording and editing equipment at Otis and to work in the DJ booth at KLMU. They also learn about the history of KXLU/KLMU, the history of personal radios (crystal -> transistor -> walkmen -> ipods), the differences between commercial and independent community radio, the control and dissemination of information and creative content, and the (lack of) diversity in mainstream media. The second half is Student Takeover in which students continue to produce their own radio shows on KLMU and develop collaborative, interdisciplinary projects using our Low Powered FM transmitter and other radio technologies to engage the Westchester, LMU and Otis communities.
On the first day of each semester, instead of going around the room and having each student introduce themselves, I ask them to stand up and make eye contact with someone in the class that they've never met. Then I instruct them to go shake hands and introduce themselves. Once they've done that I announce that this is the person they'll be working with for the first few projects, the first of which we begin right away. Mark, the Mentor Faculty, and I demonstrate how to use the digital audio recorders and how to conduct engaging interviews. Students then go off to record their interviews of each other, based on questions posted to OSpace and projected on the wall. Upon their return we show them how to download the audio files from the recorder and upload them to their student profiles in the class OSpace Portfolio. Once all is uploaded we listen to the unedited interviews. This project gets the students working together right away and teaches them the basics in digital audio recording and conducting interviews, while also getting them to think about voice and agency. Unbeknown to them, because of one of the questions they ask each other, the project also helps me plan the groups for the radio shows based on shared musical interest.
Some students conduct the interviews in a very straight forward way like this one by Erika Aquino and Jaewon Chang, Spring 2013.
While others pretend they are already on their own radio show like Louis Fick and Darienne Hesse, Spring 2013.