At some point in time, we as sound people will be tasked with overseeing a group of sound people. You could be a teacher at the university level, leader of a church audio team, crew chief in a production company, or theater audio designer. As an instructor of live audio, you need to prepare your group of sound people for their duties during live shows.
Your students will be asked to work at the highest thinking levels. If implemented correctly, your training program will successfully get your students to think and perform at those highest thinking levels.
The teaching cycle of a typical training program looks like this:
- Students gain a foundation of live sound principles, either in a standard classroom setting or through assigned resources (books, DVD, online courses, etc.)
- Teachers or mentors advance the foundation of live sound principles by providing their students with hands-on examples of what they will encounter when mixing live shows. Picture this as a “lab”. Students will apply live sound principles in real-life situations, analyze for effectiveness, and ultimately create and evaluate live audio mixes just as they would during the shows you are training them for.
- Students will mix live shows using the skills they learned in steps 1 and 2 while their mentor watches, listens, and evaluates their performance.
- Mentors will share their evaluation, discuss successes and failures, create a strategy to increase future success and minimize future failures, and assign more class or lab to facilitate their strategy.
To maximize the success of your training program, here is an invaluable tip – Utilize Bloom’s Taxonomy in each step of the teaching cycle. (Read about Bloom’s Taxonomy) Here is Bloom’s Taxonomy applied to the teaching cycle above:
- Step one focuses on knowledge and comprehension.
- Step two focuses on application and analysis, with small bits of synthesis and evaluation.
- Step three involves synthesis and evaluation.
- Step four involves evaluation.
The process of guiding a student through the basics of knowledge and comprehension level teaching through high-powered application and analysis positions your students to work at the highest thinking levels of synthesis and evaluation – the exact thinking levels needed to mix a great sounding event!
Now that you know the teaching cycle of a typical training program and how to maximize its effectiveness, you can begin to assemble your resources. And, get teaching!