There is value in audio recording for teachers, whether one is a music teacher recording their students and ensembles or a classroom teacher recording oneself or their students. Music and classroom teachers have various reasons for wanting to record their students, such as hearing what is being produced in rehearsals and having students reflect on their own performance and musical progress. Teachers may desire to record their students, but they may not know how to do so. Simple recording tools such as cell phones do not produce quality recordings, and unless they have specialized training, teachers may not be familiar with other kinds of recording equipment or how they can set up equipment in order to obtain a good quality recording. I searched for resources on recording equipment and techniques, but I could not find a single source that teachers could consult to learn about the basics of recording equipment and techniques. Teachers have limited time and may also have limited financial resources. The purpose of my project was to create a free and easy-to-use resource for teachers to answer their questions on recording and give them the tools that they need in order to get started with making basic, high quality recordings. The research process included research about different kinds of recording hardware and software, documenting recording techniques for different settings and instruments, and interviewing teachers about their needs. The product that that resulted from this project is a website, Recording For Teachers (https://sites.google.com/view/recordingforteachers/). This website features information about recording equipment, the recording process, how to produce shareable files, and an interactive means of posting questions.
As a music educator in the digital age, it is important to be comfortable teaching a variety of music types, including music technology and offering students the opportunity to record and be recorded. Being comfortable with recording an artist as a soloist or as part of a group and being able to produce a quality mp3 file, or some other type of file such as .wav or mp4, of them is a great opportunity for music teachers to give students a record of their time as a musician and the opportunity to reflect on their own performances. Recording can also be used for audition purposes. Depending on the resources available to individual teachers or the schools that they teach at, teachers will have to be able to evaluate what type of equipment is appropriate for their desired recording subject and what is a good value for their money while still having to be cost-efficient. Some teachers may have the opportunity to work with professionals, and either have them take care of the whole process or be able to personally use their equipment, depending on their relationship and complexity of the equipment. Some teachers will only have access to the most basic recording materials, and will have to use them to the best of their ability to produce what they are wanting to. Some teachers will not have access to either of these, and will have to find the appropriate equipment with the resources they have available. All of these situations benefit music educators, and it is up to the music educator to be aware of the different opportunities available to them and their students.
Plan for Research:
Throughout this project I will be looking at recording equipment and recording techniques for different types of studios and how they can be connected or used with music education. My goal for the end of this project is to have a database for music educators to have access to so that they can record their classes and ensembles with ease and be able to produce a good quality product. This project is very experimental and exploratory, and having things stored here is a way to stay organized and begin giving these tools to others.