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Jul 31
Grace's picture

Basic Recording Tips

When recording someone, or yourself, there are a few tips that will make your experience go that much smoother. 

Renting. Now of days, you can record on your phone, but if you want to have a slightly higher quality recording, many people opt to use an actual audio recorder. You can often rent audio equipment at your local library, at your school, or through community programs. 

Questions. There are a few questions you should find the answers to before committing to a recording device. How much many minutes does your device record? Do you need to charge it? How do you get your files off the machine, and in what format are they? When was it lasted tested for functionality? Is it compatible with x device? Etc. 

Jul 28


Listen to the sounds of your communities.

Record audio of what your communities sound like. Use that sound to create a piece of writing that will help you gain a greater understanding of your communities. 

We belong to different communities, and every community we belong to, communicates to one another in a unique way. 

First, make a list of all of the communities you belong to. Pick two or three of those communities you belong to, and, specifically, participate a lot in. 

Second, record two minutes of audio from each community. Maybe you end up recording a song in band practice, or the clicking of needles in a knitting club, or the dinner conversation your family is having. Record the sound of the community. 

What you could do with this sound: 

Listen to each sound and reflect. Do these sounds accurately portray your community? Write two or three separate poems about what it feels like to be in each of these communities. While you write about a specific community, listen to the sound recording you made for that community.  

If your classmates wrote poems, listen to their sound and read their poems. Comment on their pieces. 

Read one of your poems to one of your communities while playing your sound recording. Do they feel like you captured the essence of your community? 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Nathan Ballif]

Jul 27


Imagine you are the Valedictorian of your graduating class and deliver your final message to your community. 

Use audio to help you organize your thoughts, and learn how to deliver a speech that will make an impact on its listeners.

When you’re graduating high school, the valedictorian is often asked to address the student body, and, specifically, the class community you grew up with. They might give your community advice, reflect on the good times you all had together, or will speak about how you might strengthen your school community.


First, imagine you are the valedictorian of your graduating class. Jot down a basic outline of what you would like to say to your school community. What final message do you want to give to them all? What is the one thing you think your class community needs to hear?


Second, read over your outline and ideas. Don’t write out your actual speech. Instead, just start recording your speech. Say what you really want to say to your class.


Third, listen to your recording. If you don’t like your speech, record again. After you finally have a take you like, send your audio file to someone in your class. Ask them if they liked your final message to your community, and get their feedback (if their feedback makes you want to record again, do it).

Listen to the speeches of your classmates. Are your messages different? The same? Is there some unifying theme people have identified in your community? Comment on their work.

[Creative Commons Lisence: John Walker, non-commercial,

Jul 26
admin's picture

Free Images and Sound

Jul 26

If only ...

Turn a rant about your school into a constructive letter. 

Learn how to take take a rant about issues at school, and turn it into a productive piece of writing that can be used to create change. 

Do you have problems with your school community? Maybe you have suggested a club that should be formed, or a problem that should be fixed, or a subject that should be taught, but it feels like your school just won't do anything about it. 

Action Plan:
1. Without any preparation or concern, record an audio rant about an issue at your school. Let out your emotions, and let out your frustrations. Record for as long as you need to. Say what you want. This doesn't need to be perfect. 

2. Listen to your recording. Take note of good points you made, and what you were most passionate about. 

3. After you have analyzed it, write a letter to your school that is articulate, reasonable and appropriate, stating your opinion about the "problem" you think should be fixed -- and offering a solution. 

Remember to comment on your peer's letters. 

Record your letter and send it to someone at your school who will listen. Your voice might provide all the convincing they need!

[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Mackenzie Rivers, 2015] 

Jul 25

Frank Glazer -- An Elder Story -- audio/photo

We're hoping this audio photo story will inspire you to create your own. 

(A challenge for this resource: Elders)

This is an example of a simple audio photo story. The text is purposely not included so that you can listen to the story while looking closely at the photograph. YWP Founder Geoffrey Gevalt did this story in a relatively short span of time. First, he wrote a short essay about his uncle, Frank Glazer. He read it aloud and then did some editing. Then he decided upon the most important part, read it aloud several times and then recorded it withOUT looking at the text. That way he was able to get a more natural sounding voice.

He then added the music track -- a snippet from a 1968 recording by Frank of a piece by Eric Satie --  using the free (and wonderful) audio editing software, Audacity.  Notice that the playing gives an added depth to the piece. He adjusted the volume so the music did not overwhelm the words.

FYI, since this story was created, it has been used as a model by hundreds and hundreds of students all over. When Frank learned about that, he was tickled. This piece was created in 2010 when the subject, Frank Glazer, was still alive. A world class classical pianist, Frank died Jan. 13, 2015, just a month shy of his 100th birthday when he intended to perform six concerts in four states. Click to read a tribute: A Sonata for Frank. And, if you'd like to hear a 2012 recorded and edited conversation with Frank and Dick Gordon, the host of the then-American Public Radio show, The Story, go here: Frank Have a listen, you'll pick up some hints on how to conduct good interviews.  

Photograph, used with permission, by Phyllis Graber Jensen of Bates College

If you are thinking of doing your own story and are looking for some good sources for copyright free music to set the mood behind your audio piece, here are a few: