Theater / Music Technology Crossover

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At the end of semester two, students in theater and music technology worked together to create podcasts.

Theater teacher Sarah Buttiens had the idea to create podcasts with her theater students. “I thought it was a relevant theatrical medium, one that many of students would see value in based on podcasts popularity right now,” she said.

Students first discussed whether they knew what a podcast was and if they listen to any–few students were very familiar with the genre. Buttiens shared a couple podcast “snippets” with them at first.

Next, students listened and analyzed various podcasts from non-fiction documentaries like “Seeking an End to Cycles of Abuse” or “‘Are We D8ting’ With Kristen Ritter”.

“After we studied the format of podcasts, topic possibilities like non-fiction, interview format, or fictional stories, I had students choose a full-length podcast to listen to and analyze,” Buttiens said.

Students identified key points, order of the show, and introductions and music selections to make it as enjoyable to listen to as possible.

Buttiens allowed students to choose any genre and topic they wanted and were interested in. They had to come up with a name for their series and plot a general outline of the order of the episode, which could not be more than ten minutes in length.

“Before the unit, we had already studied vocalization and how to speak clearly as well as how we can use our voices only to convey emotions,” Buttiens said. “So this was a fun, creative way to put that study into effect.”

Students chose topics such as: how to be a mascot, movie reviews, history of pagan holidays, and personal encounters with near-death.

Students used either their Iphone notes to record their podcasts or Chromebook extension “AudioRecorder”.

Before students finalized their podcasts, they met with music teacher Samantha Baldwin’s music technology class to discuss intro and outro music. Baldwin partnered her students with one or two of Buttiens’ theater students. They discussed the topic and emotional tone of their podcast, and Baldwins’ students set to work creating appropriate music.

“I found it very interesting because I’ve always been given podcasts to listen to from my dad, but I never found them interesting, however I enjoyed creating one because it was something I did as a person and I enjoyed doing because I interviewed people,” KRAM anchor Colin Lengal.

When the theater students finished their podcasts, and Baldwins’ students placed intro/outro music in place, the classes met in Buttiens’ room to listen to each one.

At the end, students voted on a favorite, and the winner was freshman Ashlynn Pavey with her podcast about the history behind the movie The Wizard of Oz. Her podcast was entitled “Real Sense” and she discussed little known facts like the fact Judy Garland had to wear a binding around her chest to appear younger. You can listen to it here.

The runner up was freshman Mary “Madison” LeBrun with her podcast about Silence of the Lambs. You can liten to that here.