Read all about our latest effort to spread the joy of radio to our local community!
In January, our Community Team embarked on a month-long project with the Logic Studio School in Feltham. Our goal was to teach a group of Year 11 students how to produce their own radio shows, while also gaining an insight into the technical aspects of a working radio station. The project has been a pleasure to deliver, so we would like to share our success with you!
We kickstarted the collaboration here on campus with a tour of our brand new, industry standard studio ( a massive shoutout to our incredible Tech Team, who worked tirelessly through the summer to build this shining gem at the heart of Insanity). Afterwards, the students were split into three groups and we gave them a presentation surrounding the potential styles of show that they could choose to create. Our specialist shows are immensely diverse: from ‘Me and My Friend Ed Jeffrey’, where the hosts dissect a new artist’s discography each week, to ‘Uncommon Sense’, Insanity’s own quirky quiz show. With plenty of inspiration, the students were able to begin planning their show topics. The winning ideas focused on video gaming, global music and a randomised playlist!
During the second session, we provided the students with guidance to begin structuring their shows. Firstly, the key elements of a radio show were outlined: such as your introduction, opening song and link topics. Next, we shared some useful strategies to configure the layout of the show. These included the creation of a pie chart, which helped to visualise the ratio of links to music, and a table to track the timings of each element and add notes for each link. The students were also encouraged to listen to some example radio shows on the Insanity website and BBC Sounds, so that they could identify these elements and hear the impact of good planning in practise.
For the third session, we visited the Logic Studio school in Feltham with our Outside Broadcast (OB) kit. This includes our microphones, faders and lots of XLR cables! The aim of this session was to give each group some hands-on experience with Myriad, the program that controls our database and hourly log, in advance of their final show recordings. We were able to give the students some additional advice about their show plans, while also enabling them to practise inputting music into the log and making some links with Insanity XTRA – our off air version of Myriad, which we use to train new presenters. This has been recognised as a considerable technical achievement at the 2022 Student Radio Awards.
The project culminated in a session back in our studio, where each group was tasked with pre-recording the links for their final shows. The day began with a tour of the Royal Holloway campus – particularly focusing on the beautiful architecture of the Founder’s Building and its recent film and tv appearances! We gathered at Medicine (one of our music venues on campus), where we had the OB kit set up once again for some last-minute presenting practise. Then, one at a time, the groups were brought to the studio for their recordings to be made. We taught one member of each group to use our pre-recording setup, allowing them to guide their peers through the recording of each link. Once their recordings were completed, our Head of Station Sound (Freddie Lee) gave the groups a tour of our tech store, and a brief insight into the editing software that was ultimately used to construct their shows behind the scenes.
Here are some comments from the students:
“I had a great time; I learnt so much about how to produce and it gave me confidence with teamwork and presentation skills”
“I loved my time with Insanity – I wish I could go work for them full time!”
“It was so different to anything I’ve done before in school – especially the tech side of production which I loved.”
As a station, we were very impressed by the quality of the students’ presenting skills! Their shows were very well planned and it was great seeing their confidence grow as the session progressed. We would like to thank everyone from the Insanity team who helped us to deliver the sessions, as well as the wonderful staff and students at the Logic Studio School for collaborating with us.
Consent was given for us to use all the photos above.