The most important aspect of my work with students is to harbor a supportive environment that is
invested in the mental and creative wellness of the students and myself. This enables better trust and communication with students and develops a professional and supportive network between the individuals as they learn and grow together. As someone who has needed to confront issues of depression and anxiety, I understand many of the issues facing our students at the university level and want to be active in improving their experiences.
With new audio students, the focus of the classroom is often more technically driven. It is
important for students working in any medium to fully understand the tools at their disposal
before they should experiment with alternative uses or processes. However, our ears are our most important tool available to us. So while we learn about technology, concepts in sound and hearing, I like to include a focus on the mental and social skills of listening. Introductory students are encouraged to not only learn their recording equipment for capturing, but also to develop their listening skills for identifying sounds in their environment, understanding how sound effects themselves and others, improving their creative projects, and how these same skills act as a personal and social practice.
When advising students or coordinating practicum opportunities, I am focused on their individual career development and collaborative production experience. I want everyone I have the privilege to instruct to have every opportunity that fits their goals. In regards to a student’s experience, instructing in sound and media is much more than developing production skills. While that is important to a learner’s growth as a practitioner, using our tools of communication to amplify voices and become active listeners and collaborators is something I am passionate about for our industry.
Intermediate and advanced students engage in continued practice of these skills through critique and encouraged mentoring between students. They lead productions and experiment creatively with light guidance. The goal is for them to become those skilled listeners, teachers, practitioners, and community members that grow our practice technically, professionally, and socially.
Sound practice and listening impact how we perceive the world around us and how we interact with and support others in our community. Learning the concepts and skills involved in sound and listening is to want to better all of those aspects.