Firstly, thank you for considering our School Sounds programme for your school. We at Access Manawatu believe that this project can be of great benefit to schools in Manawatu, offering students a unique learning opportunity, and having a great deal of fun too.
School Sounds aims to be new and exciting, whilst offering another avenue of promotion for the school as it engages the wider community in support and listenership.
The main emphasis of this programme is the broadcast environment; the various roles and aspects involved in a programme and it’s transmission, and highlighting the importance of planning and having fun! We focus on including everyone and having a unique, enjoyable, live experience.
What we should point out right at the start is that all timeframes mentioned in this outline are guidelines only. During our visit to the school, we will discuss timelines in more detail with the teacher and ensure that sufficient time is dedicated to each area of the project, and also that we do not “drag things out” too much!
We’ve estimated that the project as stated below would suit a class size of around 15 – 20 students. Again, in discussion with teaching staff, we may be able to alter things to suit, or prepare two broadcasts instead of one. It is important to realise that nothing is really set in stone, and that all requests for alterations will be considered and – where at all possible – adopted.
We hope this outline is of use to you, click on the heading to open the details. Please remember that you can contact Access Manawatu station staff any time you need us.
TIMEFRAME: 2 hours
In this initial visit, we first meet with the teacher of the class to establish some clear facts, including;
Given due consideration beforehand, this meeting should only take a few minutes.
Ideally, the students who will participate in the project will then be gathered together for a brief presentation from station staff who will cover;
and further, for Intermediate and Secondary students;
We do aim to present these facts in a light hearted and entertaining way, and hope to be as brief as possible to ensure we maintain the students’ attention!
We then look to divide the class / group into smaller “teams” responsible for different aspects of the programme. This should not be seen as a way to keep students from sharing ideas or participating in other areas, but should allow every student to shine in an area that interests them.
The Primary source of On-Air voice work. Some students are more suited to this task than others, and many will shy away from the microphone.
PRODUCERS / SCRIPT WRITERS
This group will ensure that the class “vision” for the broadcast is achieved, finding and pulling together all elements, and “designing” the show.
A great way for the school to recoup the cost of the programme is to encourage some advertising from local businesses... a dedicated team of students can be in charge of this task.
PUBLICITY / AWARENESS
Promoting the broadcast with Social Media, Posters, through Newsletters and any other forms identified.
Primary School students are generally kept together to focus on broadcast and content creation only, but changes to this can be discussed.
We then go on to demonstrate the use of the portable recorder. This is a valuable exercise as we show, not only the operation of the equipment, but good practise for posture, mic technique and assessing suitability of recording environments.
Once the demonstration has concluded, we’ll take the time to work with the groups, answering any questions, and (where possible) suggesting good ways to get things going.
Once any other business is concluded, we leave you the portable recorder and mic stand for you to experiment with and fine tune the techniques outlined in our presentation. This will also be useful for you to record any content you may require that cannot be obtained in the live broadcast (ie. interviews). This recorder will also be used for the recording of material for your promotional advert on air, ensuring people will be listening at the right time!
This is the first opportunity for students to visit the station, and see the reality of the project they are undertaking. Whilst all students are welcomed, it may be more prudent to bring Voice Talent and Producers only. We give a quick tour of the facilities, have a closer look at the studio and demonstrate how some of the equipment works, and in particular, show how editing and multi-tracking works on the computers. These are all great ways for the students to see how the programme will come together, particularly the recorded elements, such as Promo Ads, Interviews, Sold Advertising etc.
Again, any questions are answered, and discussions with the teacher include ascertaining whether additional visits (either to the station or to the school) are required.
Visits to either location are easily organised and encouraged whenever required. Access Manawatu is on call at all times to assist you with the creation of your content and final broadcast.
At the end of this outline is a programme template that outlines a half hour broadcast, and spaces for music and items. At the end of this session, you should be able to fill in the gaps and know what you need to prepare for the programme when you go to air!
First things first though! We recommend that all students gather around a table / whiteboard and discuss all the things they want to do. Interview subjects, discussion topics, documentary ideas, drama “skits”, Staff or class profiles, Events coverage... there are many things that can be done. It is important to not restrict the students ideas at this point. What may appear impossible at first may well turn into something that is not only possible, but exciting and challenging!
Once the flow of ideas is transferred to a whiteboard or large piece of paper, you can start to group items together and look at condensing the material into a shortlist of ideas.
Once the list is created, we suggest a vote / ballot / “lucky dip” to pick the three ideas that will form the basis of the programme.
Please note that if you feel that you can achieve more than three items, and there are sufficient students and time, we can look at an hour long broadcast, or more than one episode if required.
Once you have picked your items, add them to the template.
At this point, you will also want to conduct a poll or vote for music for the show. Once you have picked your songs, we encourage Teachers to listen to them to assess suitability.
You will now know what the programme will include and can record the promo. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to experiment with the recorder, and can look at scripting and recording a promo. This can be done with one student, the “Voice Talent” Team, or the entire class / group. Sometimes it’s great to record all of them shouting the name of the programme (just remember to stand back with the recorder!)
Remember to include in the Promo;
A promo should be around 30 seconds in length. Ideally, you should aim for 25 seconds, allowing station staff room to add any other elements to it prior to broadcast (backing music, sound effects etc.)
Once you have a recording of the promo (this can be in many parts if required) and any other material that you wish to use for the programme, you should arrange the return of this material to the station. We’ll then compile everything and prepare for the promotion of the broadcast. At this point, please return;
If you still require the recorder for other content for the programme, you will get it back once we have the promo material.
STUDENT 1: Tune in to Access Manawatu...
STUDENT 2: On Thursday the 24th of July at 10:00am for...
CLASS: SCHOOL SOUNDS!
STUDENT 3: A programme made by room 17 at [SCHOOL NAME]
STUDENT 4: You will hear interviews, news from the school and some GREAT music.
STUDENT 5: So remember, Thursday the 24th of July, 10:00am on Access Manawatu!
TIMEFRAME: 2 weeks (intermittent)
Now the students have a good idea of what will be IN the programme, the preparation of content can begin. This may involve using the portable recorder to record footage of events, or interviews. The appropriate groups can promote the up-coming show and sell advertising.
Once all pre-recorded elements are compiled, the “structure” of the show can then be addressed. A script is a good way to ensure that the link between elements (both live and pre-recorded) is informative and concise. Where students are required to read a script, we encourage the adoption of some common scripting practise. This is obviously an aide with reading, but it is also a fun and useful new skill to learn. There are significant differences between writing a script and a short story or essay, and students should be aware of these. The main points are;
Remember to regularly mention your show name and the station name. People won’t always tune in right from the beginning of the programme, but they still want to know what they are listening to.
Hi there. You are listening to our show on Access Manawatu.
This week we interview our Principal, and share live coverage of our sports day that took place on the 18th of July.
Right now though, here's a great track from Jay Z.
Point to technician to play music.
Once written, consider;
TIMEFRAME: 1 week (intermittent)
So, your programme plan is complete, your promo is recorded, (Intermediate and Secondary students may have sold some advertising), the show is being promoted and your scripts are prepared. What else is left? Don’t worry, not a lot!
Your school may require consents for students to visit the station. This is your responsibility, but we are happy to answer any questions that you or parents may have prior to the visit.
You will also need to email / fax / hand in a copy of the finished script / outline to the technician so that all the material we have is compiled correctly, and we can identify any tricky areas! You may receive a few emails or phone calls here depending on the complexity of the programme outline!
The main thing to do now is to rehearse. Ideally you should simulate the studio layout in the classroom so that students get used to moving around and organising themselves to deliver their hard work in a way that does justice to their efforts!
Younger students may want to make model microphones as part of the project, so they can practise using them in rehearsals.
Remember the things you have learned during the demonstration and experimentation of the portable recorder. Sit upright, with your script in front of you. Talk to the mic and keep the energy in your voice!
Here's a plan that will emulate the studio layout well.
Note, two tables at 90 degrees to simulate the desk in the studio. A technicians chair “behind the desk” to be occupied by the teacher, or the person pretending to be the technician. Three chairs on the other side are the “live seats.” This is where the current “participants” will be seated.
Off to one side, you can seat the remainder of the students to simulate waiting in the other room.
The benefits of this rehearsal technique are primarily to ensure that students know when to vacate, when to move and to ensure that the script and cues are all working well.
One final thing. Please arrange for a list of the participating students names to be sent to us via email / fax or similar as we present certificates to the students upon conclusion of the broadcast.
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Students get certificates at the end of the show
162 Broadway Avenue
PO Box 4666
Phone: 06 357 9340