As a wholly unique academic year draws to a close for the students and staff of New College Lanarkshire’s Sound Production department, the team are hard at work evolving courses and content to embrace a blended learning approach going forward after the summer break should it be required. The Covid situation meant a swift transition for everyone with lessons migrating online earlier in the year and now based on these experiences, along with some fresh and dynamic ideas, they feel confident that both new and returning students will reap the benefits whatever the situation is come August 2020.
With social distancing set to remain in some form for the forseeable, the health, safety and wellbeing of learners and staff will be foremost in any decision making taken by the department. Reduced class sizes, on and off campus activity including supporting some of the venues facing hardship due to the lockdown, as well as various forms of online delivery/learning, are all measures that could still be adopted with students also expected to play their part in engaging and shaping any new course delivery format.
When asked to outline the effect that the pandemic situation had had on the Sound Production department, course lecturer David Burnett said, “One of the highlights of moving subjects online this year was the opportunity to trial some new delivery methods, approaches and software. Another positive aspect was the chance to bring in a host of guest lecturers from diverse areas of sound production to speak directly with the students about their own industry experiences, giving learners the opportunity to ask a range of questions and to seek advice on how they themselves might be able to establish careers within the creative industries. Encouragingly, this also included several former students, now actively engaged in various areas of sound production, thus emphasising the potential avenues for those currently studying Sound Production at New College Lanarkshire.”
The team streamed presentations from Martin Ballesta from Last Punch Mastering who outlined his approach to this dark art of the production process, Glasgow based live engineer and tour manager Dougie Laing who shared his experiences of working on the road with an ecclectic collection of artists ranging from The Dead Kennedys, Aidan Moffat and Martha & the Vandellas (to name but a very, very few!), former student Thomas Dornan now a Production Sound engineer getting his big break working on last year’s award winning feature 1917 and finally Kieran Greig another former student who provided students with an insight into his work at the prestigous sample library and virtual instrument company 8Dio.
Due to the success of these online events, students can expect many more guest lectures when classes return after the summer. The importance of cross departmental collaborations has also been further established in recent years with New College Lanarkshire offering courses in many disciplines that often come together for some ambitous and exciting projects. Along with Music Business and Performance (at NCL’s Coatbridge & Motherwell campuses respectively), the Sound Production team also work closely with their fellow campus colleagues in the Film & Television department for some post production projects, highlighting the wealth of experience and talent students can draw from for course and portfolio work.
The new academic year kicks off in August and whatever the challenges faced at that time, the department feels ready to go!