Radio Free Alabama Educational Workshops and Classes

The Radio Free Alabama Computer and Audio Arts programs

The RFA CAAP program is an afterschool program designed to bring 21st century arts education to schools that do not have the resources to provide programs in audio engineering and journalism.

The CAAP seek to supplement existing theatre and journalism programs by adding the study of audio engineering and production to the current curriculum with no additional costs to the school.

The two main programs that RFA offers are Introduction to Radio Journalism and The History and Practice of Audio Drama.

The Radio Journalism program seeks to convert the current print publication of the school and turn it into a 30 minute Bi-Weekly podcast. The students will examine and look at radio news programs and create a similar structure, complete with their own themes, transitions and special segments.

RFA will provide 2 instructors and 2 interns 2 days a week for the Journalism program.

The first few sessions will be spent going over the basic functions of the technology and preparing production scripts, brainstorming for ideas and partnering with students to work on specific sections such as

Local, National, A&E, Sports, Health and Lifestyle

The 2 intro sessions will function as follows

Overview/Review- 10 Minutes
Analysis- 20 minutes
Team Assignments – 30 minutes
Break- 15 min
Review 15 minutes
Editorial 30 minutes

The Art and History of Radio Program

The Radio Arts program will work with theatre students to write, direct and record their own radio drama’s in between school productions- this is a perfect opportunity for the understudy’s and tech kids to excel outside of main stage productions. If students don’t wish to create their own radio drama’s there are still hundreds of royalty free radio drama scripts that we have access to as an Educational Non Profit.

The structure of the radio program will seek to produce one performance per month.
The students will be broken up into 3 or 4 teams depending on how the school wishes to structure the program.

  1. Writing Team
    Study Scripts
    Write New Material
  2.  Acting Team
    Practice Monologues, Rehearse Scripts Old and New
  3. Tech Team
    Learn Software &Hardware

The requirements to run this program are 1 pod (2 instructors and 2 volunteers)  per 4 schools.
RFA will assist foreign language clubs once a week to learn how to write a play and assist in developing a play in another language.

Key learning points:
Direct Translation vs traditional translation
Critical Thinking in creating writing meant to be performed (novel vs play)
How to create the world of a play and translate it to the page.
How to direct your peers

RFA will provide all the recording gear, computers and the necessary software for the students to create whatever programs they wish.

These lessons will culminate in a showcase at the end of the semester.

Radio Free Alabama 2nd Language Arts in Education Program

R.F.A 2nd Language Arts in Education program seeks to pair language students at secondary schools with directors and engineers to record scenes from classical plays in the area of study of the student.

The three languages the program will focus on are German, French and Spanish.

German students will focus of the works of Goethe, Brecht and Georg Buchner

Spanish- Cervantes, Lorca,  & Max Aub

French- Moliere, Racine, & Sarte


Mondo Mono Children’s Radio
The Mondo Mono Children’s Radio Workshop is a three week ( or 3 day ) program designed to teach children how to turn their ideas into a functioning radio program. This is a for kids by kids model of educational program where we give children ages 7-11 the tools and education they need to turn their dreams into reality. In order for the workshop to function properly space will be limited to 12 students per class. Parents are encouraged to attend to help our faculty keep the kids on track and focused on the task at hand.

Radio Drama Workshop and Audio Laboratory
Ages 16 and up
3 hours per session

In this class we will look over the history of Radio Drama from the golden age of American Radio to the contemporary podcasters of today. We will listen to several radio dramas and study their structure. The textbook package for this class will consists of several radio scripts from different periods as well as a few sourcebooks such as Radio Drama by Tim Crook and possibly Audio Drama in Context by Richard J. Hand and Mary Traynor.

Advanced Children’s Radio Workshop & Performance Laboratory
Ages 16 and Up
5 Sessions, 3(ish) Hours

In this workshop students will work in team to produce various types of programs for Children of all ages. We will look at every form of Children’s Audio programming from Storytelling to complex narrative development. We will analyse their structure, breaking them down into outlines for each type of program and then brainstorm to create new outlines which we will then turn into new programming opportunities for the community. We ask that people enrolling refrain from creating religious based stories as people from a diverse background will be working in groups and this is not the appropriate platform for that type of debate.

Radio Free Alabama Education Outreach Program for deployment in Rural Areas

Radio Free Alabama will be working with other organizations to identify rural communities in need of cultural educational programs. The following outline is for an extended 1 day class in the basics of radio production. We will provide tools and equipment for citizens that have little access to educational programming to get a full course in how to produce community radio that they can then use to partner with groups in their community to make their own quality programming. For this program we will be seeking individual grants that will gift institutions all the equipment they need to produce quality programming long after we have gone away. These packages will be the same as we use in our community educational programs, (see General Budget for 2016 for detailed equipment listing) so students will become familiar with them during the course of our classes and we will have available email support to any of our students after they have completed the class.

We will also deploy textbooks that cover all of these subjects that will allow students to continue their studies and review the subjects covered at any time.

The class will last about 5 hours and go over the following-

Audio Production
1. Portable Digital Recorders
2. Setting up a DAW
3. Simple Digital Audio interfaces and engineering basics (recording lectures and interviews)
4. Advanced Engineering (Live music, Compression, Sound Boards, Exporting Files, Leveling, Cabling, Phantom Power, EM Signals (mic cables vs power cables) and mixing)
5. Portable Studio Units
Audio Editing
Finding the right DAW
Bitrate and Compression
Layering Sound, After effects
Reducing POP , Wind, Spikes and other obstacles
Exporting Advanced files to other DAW’s for collaborative projects

Citizen Journalism and Basics of Journalistic Ethics
Basics of Journalism (how, who, what, why, when)
Identifying and contacting civic leaders
The importance of Impartiality
Knowing and Respecting laws about recording in public, release forms, how to politely and respectfully interact with police and other officials of the state.
Telling both sides of every story and learning to refrain from your natural urge to give your opinion.

Radio Drama, Game Shows, Educational & Children’s Programming
Types of Programming
Structures of Programming
Outlining and Consistency
Working in Teams
Live Performances vs Radio Broadcasting
It is recommended that most rural communities partner with any local radio stations or seek out a performance venue where once or twice a month people can gather and tell their stories.

Radio Free Alabama Community Instructor Program
25 hour certification

This program is open to anyone who wishes to join us in our mission to offer Art and Production education to the community at large. Our Instructor Program is designed to offer an advanced introduction to audio production, dramatic technique, directing, producing and community organizing. This program will give Community Instructors the tools they need to teach others everything they will need to launch their own audio networks and community programs in areas that have few resources and very little access to equipment. In order to complete this program Community Instructors must take all classes offered at least once and then volunteer to assist in the teaching of each class once and then, under the direction of our faculty they will then teach 1 cycle of all classes that we offer.

There is no fee for this class, it is offered as a service by Radio Free Alabama. Anyone who wishes to apply may fill out a grant application and fees for classes will be waived.

Summation of Community Education Programs

The purpose of the general classes will be to teach the members of the public how to properly use the medium of audio in order to tell and share their stories with their community. All public classes will be based on a sliding scale from 0.00 to 50.00 per individual class. We will offer community scholarships based on need and desire to learn a new skill set that will waive all fees for those interested but do not have the funds. All classes will be offered to the general public for a flat 50.00 fee per 3 class cycle and have a cutoff of 12 students per session. Classes with more than three sessions go up 25.00 per class.