Updated: Dec 29, 2022
We all love to listen to podcasts, but what if we could make it a classroom project? I have had several students really step up in presenting, and it would be students you would least expect! Using podcast in the classroom has really had some kids blossom into amazing creators.
This is also a fantastic project to use for cross-curriculum and can easily to be used to reinforce other subject areas while teaching your students something about music. If your science teachers are needing a concept enforced, you can have your students create a podcast about the topic - PERFECT!
Materials Needed for the Project:
A presentation to introduce the concept of a podcast
Headphones with a microphone
edu.bandlab.com or Soundtrap account
Brainstorming sheets for podcast concepts
I open up the slideshow discussing what podcasts are and how they work. We discuss what different types of podcasts there are and what purpose they serve; story-telling, conversational, topical, interviews, etc. My middle school kids loved talking about what podcasts they loved or what ideas they had for a podcast.
The Art of Recording a Podcast
Next we talked about what materials are needed to recording a podcast and how the editing process happens; some hire sound producers/engineers and some edit them on their own. We even talk about how podcasters will edit out their breaths or filler words, like "um", "and" or "so". When I actually show how the project works, I show them how to slice the vocals out of their recording to get rid of their filler words and breaths.
Podcast Music Element Discussed
We discuss the importance of intro music to a podcast and how it can setup the right mood
for listening on whatever subject is being discussed or shared. We talked about moods of music, genres of music and how it can shape an interpretation of a podcast within just a few minutes. I mean, how many of us have listened to a podcast before and within 30 seconds we've made our judgement?
Planning the Podcast Script
Once we've gone through the concept of a podcast and how it is produced, we dive into the project aspect of it. They come up with their title, topic and 3 key points they will discuss. They create their graphic of the cover and compose a 10 second intro of music to their podcast. When everything is done, I post their classroom podcasts to our educational platform (Google Classroom) and they can listen to it like they are scrolling their any podcast platform. I do this by creating a Google Slide with all their cover pictures and audio files. I even let the students rate the podcast in the classroom by using movable starts in the Google Slide. I do have the students listen to them individually too - I think it gives it more of a "real" feel rather than listening to it over the speaker in the classroom.
Future Plans for Using Podcasts in the Classroom
This kids have loved this project so much, that we are planning to have a podcast club that will update the school on current local events (school wise), interview teachers and admin, and host a few students on as entertainment. I'm personally excited to see their passions spark. The plan is to have a graphic team, host team, planning team, and recording/editing team. SO PUMPED!
If you are looking for some freedom in planning and just don't have the time to make your own curriculum, I've got you covered! Just click below to access the materials.
Or find me on TPT for access to your schools account
If you are looking for more resources for your music classroom or band classroom, please feel free to visit my other blog posts below!