When I joined GIIS as a Media Executive I was absolutely thrilled at the thought of teaching students the one thing that I love the most in this world: Radio Jockeying. It was new, it was unconventional, and it was exciting to be surrounded by young minds who would be eager to learn something new. In the last four months, I have taught many students my skills to the best of my abilities, and in the bargain, I have learnt a lot from them as well.
Having been a professional Radio Jockey in Bangalore before moving to Singapore, I know a thing or two about radio production and jockeying. It was a skill I learnt on the job including voice modulation, enunciation and the use of equipment.
So when I heard that GIIS SMART Campus has a Radio Station to impart these skills on their students, I was pleasantly surprised. It was, according to me, a fantastic idea, to give these students early exposure to an art form that could one day be their career of choice or a recreational hobby. It was like preparing them for the future.
I grabbed the opportunity to be part of this school and began my journey of teaching students this unconventional art from to the best of my abilities. And in the last few months, the journey has been both satisfying and fun.
My entry into the school coincided with the yearend activities of annual days and talent events, which meant the Radio Station was abuzz with activity all day long. Students congregated into the Radio Lab enthusiastically, with their scripts in hand, to use the facilities and pre-record the audio for the plays they were to enact on stage on the Annual Day. Primary and secondary students took turns to use the Radio facilities to read out their lines and record their dialogues, and in turn learning Radio Jockeying etiquette like observing pin-drop silence while in the Radio Lab and waiting their turn to speak.
Pronunciation, modulating the voice, managing the tone and avoiding stretching syllables at the end of a sentence was something they had to familiarise themselves with. It was a lot of work, but the students were fast learners, and warmed up to their surroundings and the rules of the game well.
On a more regular school schedule, many students signed up for the free Radio Jockeying lessons which happen as part of the Co-curricular Activity or CCA lessons totally free of cost. For them, the radio station was a good platform to display their creativity and exhibit their confidence in connecting with an audience. While CCA has a standard course structure, students participated by writing a creative script and dialogues, speaking in a versatile voice and using equipment to record.
For me, the two-hours session are a power-packed time with fun and creativity, and a learning curve. As a teacher, it is a gratifying experience to see the gleaming faces of students as they learn various elements of Radio Production – creative content generation (script writing), voice modulation, recording, editing and post production aspects like inserting sound effects into the audio. It is also a learning experience, on how to manage the students, keep them engaged by making the lessons interesting, and getting them to understand and respect the skill they are attaining.
And trust me, even the shyest child comes out of his shell and shows immense talent and confidence while recording his/her voice. After taking repeated sessions, I can see a huge change in the quality of recordings over time. The students can do it more professionally and with lesser number of retakes.
It’s been a few months since I started giving Radio Jockey lessons at GIIS SMART Campus and it has been a great experience all through out. Of course, teaching young students has its own challenges like keeping them engaged and gauging the span of their attention, but I have discovered that children have much better flexibility when it comes to modulating or mimicking voices. At the same time, the tech savvy generation seems to be intently involved in learning new and interesting technology.
As a teacher I want my students to identify their passion for becoming an RJ or Radio Producer, and use this rare facility to define their path of success. Who knows one can become a popular RJ one day and if not that, can boast of acquiring an additional skill that is rare to learn at this young age.
The same view was shared by Bollywood singer and composer Mr Shankar Mahadevan when he visited the SMART Campus for a Leadership Lecture Series and officially inaugurated the Radio Station. He urged the students to use unique facilities in the campus as a stepping stone to success.
From a full-time Radio Jockey to a school teacher who familiarises young students with the tricks of the trade, I feel I couldn’t have used my skills in a better way. And it's worth mentioning that the school has gone an extra mile by providing a Radio Station to students who can know about radio production at a young age and at the same time develop confidence and skill to connect with audience.
(In an endeavor to provide holistic development to students and implement its award-winning 9GEMS framework, GIIS has created unique spaces for skill development of students. Radio Station is one of such labs accompanied by culinary lab, maker’s space, dance and music studio and so on.)