Linda Bouchard, artistic director
INSIDE OUT at June Jordan High School

New Media Elective for High School Students
A Sound and Technology Class

When youth are given tools to engage new technologies in creative ways, they move from passive consumers to critically engaged creators. Hands-on creative projects allow students to develop new skills, invest themselves in their work and become their own advocates. We live in a world saturated with digital music and media but a lot is happening beyond Garage Band and basic looping -- young people are aware of this but are rarely exposed to the available tools or given the chance to explore new possibilities.

"...An activity we practiced was closing our eyes to identify noise in the soundscape of our classroom. While doing this activity the sound signal of the projector was a humming in my ear. When you close your eyes it enhances your ability to pick up different sounds that are in the soundscape"

In the 2011 Winter-Spring Semester NEXMAP and June Jordan School for Equity teamed up to pilot a dynamic 14-week New Media Elective in Sound and Technology. During this class students explored Sound, how it surrounds us, how it can be manipulated to make music, and how the process of reformulating sounds can offer new ways of experiencing our surroundings. Thanks to a December campaign that raised $5,217 to pay instructors and materials, and in-kind support from Reaper Software and , NEXMAP was able to purchase tools and software and bring new media artists into the classroom.

The New Media elective offers an engaging and rigorous curriculum based on a combination of theory, hands-on workshops, and creative projects aimed at de-mystifying the use of audio and video production software. Students learn directly from professionals in the field and have the chance to experiment, collaborate, create and explore with sound and technology. Classroom work was based on the following topics and activities:

For more detail on the class this semester, visit the course blog.

Professional Artists/Teachers: By bringing established artists into the classroom to present their work, share their process and lead workshops, June Jordan students were exposed to role models and learned applicable skills for personal and creative expression.
"...In class we learned about frequency, amplitude, pitch and wave length. We also learned how sound effects your hearing. If the sound is too high pitched we will not be able to hear it. Wave length is the distance from any point in any individual wave to the corresponding point in ht enext wave. When the waves mix, wether electronically or n the air, they add algebraically. We also saw how the ear works, if something was to loud you won't be able to hear it. I already am enjoying this class. I'm learning a lot that I didn't know before."

Showcase Event
Based on the study of sound and new technologies through arts projects, this course culminated in a performance and presentation at the Meridian Gallery. Students who have taken our class showcased their work, shared their thoughts on what they learned and played some music in a free public presentation.

NEXMAP is currently seeking funding and additional community partners to support this Inside Out (I/O) initiative as a yearlong program at June Jordan and other schools in San Francisco.

Please consider a donation today.