Encinal Radio Staff’s Day at KQED
Encinal Radio Staff’s Day at KQED
During our radio class at Encinal High School (EHS), we were presented with a new opportunity. Our teacher Kevin Gorham announced that we had been selected to participate in KQED’s Youth Takeover program. This program selects a handful of different classes from schools across the Bay Area and gives students an opportunity to tell their story through KQED.
In the following weeks, KQED staff came to our class to introduce the program further and what their plan was. In December, the station’s Emiliano Villa visited the class to hear our story projects and give feedback to ensure our stories would be the best it could be.
Then came the day of the field trip. In January, we were driven to the KQED building in San Francisco where we met with plenty of kind and supportive staff. They had three different stations that were all in different parts of the building and our class was split into three groups that were to rotate between the three stations. Our group's first station was a career panel with some of the other staff at KQED. What I really liked about this was that they made it feel like a conversation instead of people talking at you. They gave helpful insight into how they landed their positions and what paths they took to get them.
Our next station was the one I was most excited for; the recording station. We had the incredible privilege of using KQED’s state-of-the-art recording studios to record our own projects. I cannot overstate how incredibly nice the staff at this station were and how helpful they were in the entire process. Normally it would be nerve wracking to record in front of strangers that were experienced in the recording process, but their kindness made it a comfortable environment to record in. Not only that, but they were extraordinarily invested in our projects and seemed to care as much as we did in making it sound as great as possible.
Seeing how recording studios are run professionally gave me a better insight into how content is created and shared in the real world. All of this made for an overwhelmingly enjoyable experience that was equally as fun as it was productive.
Finally, the next station was an audio workshop where we learned about soundscapes, different types of microphones, foley sound effects, and how to use nonverbal audio techniques to help build the narrative of storytelling. After learning about these audio design strategies, they sent us out to go record a list of sounds that we had just learned about. This hands-on experience made the station more exciting and engaging compared to just hearing about it all.
If it wasn’t already clear, our time at KQED was enormously positive and productive. The kindness and support of all the staff members there along with the care put into the stations made this entire experience nothing short of outstanding. I’m glad that my class and I had this incredible and unforgettable opportunity at KQED.
KQED’s “Youth Take Over” program is designed to give students the opportunity to have content they produce air on KQED. EHS’ Radio class is one of 16 around the Bay Area invited to attend this year’s “Youth Take Over” program. The EHS radio station is 96.1 KJTZ.
Maddox McDonald is an Encinal High student and a member of Encinal’s KJTZ radio staff.