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THTR 163 Intro to Sound Design and Technology


Statement of Teaching Philosophy

Huhao Yang

As a young and energetic instructor, I have been committed to implementing a teaching mode that highly integrates theory and practice in my course. Being close to the age of most undergraduates, I fully understand how they feel about learning. I know well that a course with only hard-packed lectures will easily make students feel burnt out, and I also fully understand that if students are doing practices without a solid theoretical foundation, the effect can be extremely limited. My goal is always to bring students the course that combines creative lectures and hands-on works.

THTR 163 Introduction to Sound Design and Technology is a course combining both art design and technologies. It is the first foundation course for students who want to enter the field of theatre sound design. I aim to arouse students’ initial interest in sound field while laying a solid foundation for the advancement of their design and technical abilities. After the course learning they will acquire specific skills such as analyzing and designing sound effects for scripts, building sound reinforcement systems, making sound documentations, etc. The class meetings of this course are mainly based on my lectures and demo operations in the sound studio, accompanied by the theatre system tours and some lab time. All the students are required to complete some exercises corresponding to the knowledge they learned on classes. And the exercises are the components of our final project, which is design the sound effects and a sound system for a short play. In the semester-length teaching, I’m actually guiding students go through a simple but completed sound design process. By letting them design and practice by themselves independently through these exercises, I can greatly strengthen the concepts I pass on to them in the classes, and also let them realize that they must study all the theories in lectures to have the ability to know how to complete the works. But before letting them do their works on their own, I will also make adequate preparations such as writing detailed instruction files, so that they can refer to the specific steps, and run a mode that allow them book the sound studio and work in there under the supervisions. In this dual-combination mode of learning theory and practice, the students will not only master all the knowledge and skills, but also complete their own sound works for use in the portfolio after the course.

And in the theoretical lectures, I am also committed to connecting every student in the class, I would periodically ask questions by linking with the knowledge points, also sometimes heuristically allow them to discuss with each other, so that every student can participate in the class sense. Getting all students involved in the classroom atmosphere without distractions is what I am trying to achieve.

And in the evaluation of their assignments, all the students are required to do presentations on some class meetings to show their works to the whole class. This also greatly increases the enthusiasm of all students to participate into the design process and discuss problems they met with each other. And I mainly combine the peer reviewed score from classmates and also my basic judgments to determine the grades. I strive to ensure that each work can get a fair grade and the class can also provide more constructive feedback. The essence of grading students in this course is not based on the scores obtained, but whether they are proficient in those professional skills and make relatively high-quality works, so as to creative tangible results for themselves.  

In general, I’m trying to let the students achieve some practical works as a way to reflect what they've learned, which is more convincing than grades. And hope my students can always find some interesting memories when they look back on their experiences in the sound studio.


Lecture Powerpoint Example

2.1 Mixing Consoles.pdf
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