Path Home Shows 2016 Show Archive December 2016 Show 1649 Technology Behind the Sound

Technology Behind the Sound

Value Added: High school students learn the art of production and sound.
Technology Behind the Sound

Technology Behind the Sound

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Tulsa Technology Center


Show Details

Show 1649: Technology Behind the Sound
Air Date: December 4, 2016



Courtney Maye: Few realize what it takes to make their favorite song pitch perfect. We visited a CareerTech program that teaches high school students the art of sound.

Courtney: Hands-on learning with musical instruments, video and audio helps students at Tulsa Technology Center leave career-ready.

Max Miller: I could set up live shows from what I’m learning. I could, I could work in TV or movies. There’s a lot of different options that I could kind of go with.

Courtney: Max Miller is a student in the broadcast sound engineering program and says he will finish prepared for a job in music, broadcast or production.

Miller: There’s job readiness training in there as well to be ready to be hired once you get out in the industry.

Courtney: The program lasts one year – training students to produce audio and video projects. Instructor Walt Bowers says students will leave the program with more preparation than their competitors.

Walt Bowers: We try to give what would be a five to six year head start. Things we wish we would have known our first years as we were trying to hit industry.

Courtney: And co-instructor Michael Haggard says he is lucky to be able to use music as a teaching avenue.

Michael Haggard: We use, you know, our musical talents as a vehicle to learn the production side. If they’re coming in wanting to learn to be behind the camera or the man behind the console or the woman behind the console, that’s really what we teach, and there’s a lot of art to that. We just get to play with some really cool toys along the way.

Courtney: Haggard says his students are creative, their work original – allowing him to learn from his students.

Haggard: It just amazes me the things they’ll do, and I just, “Wow, I wouldn’t have thought of that,” and it’s awesome. And then there are the times that you just see that light bulb come on, and you see them get excited. And that’s just awesome. It gives you goose bumps.

Courtney: Haggard and Bowers have been a part of the industry for a combination of more than 70 years, and Miller says the experience his instructors have has been the key to his success in the program.

Miller: They’re not just teaching you the content, but they really know how it works in real-life situations.

Courtney: Students are taught how to run their own audio, video or production company from the ground up – from buying the right equipment to marketing strategies. And Haggard says the program prides itself in advanced hands-on training with professional equipment.

Haggard: To our knowledge there’s not another program that has this extent of studio at high school level and we are very blessed and very lucky to have what we have.

Courtney: And Bowers says it’s a self-promoting industry that you have to have a passion for.

Bowers: It’s an art form. We love it because we are using our technology, powerful technology, to create our art, but it’s an art form. So you don’t get to walk in to jobs that often like a nurse or a welder saying, “Here’s what I’ve done. I’ve done some work for free. Here’s what I can accomplish for you. Listen to this or see this.” And that starts to bring you work as you go. So it’s gotta be something you love.

Haggard: I have my kids at home, and then I have my kids here. When they do something, I’m right there. “Hey, that’s my, that’s my student.”

Courtney: Students in the program have access to 15 studios filled with professional production equipment – helping them hit the right note when getting a job.