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This year's Kids Recording Kids campers learned radio engineering, audio recording, and produced their own radio show. Photo Credit: Crews, David. KMFA. June 2017.

"Impromptu Notes" is an ongoing multi-media series created by our interns that gives a behind-the-scenes look at how KMFA handcrafts classical music experiences for all. 

During my time here at KMFA, I have seen how challenging it is to perfect the skills necessary for radio broadcasting. From learning the latest in radio engineering and audio recording to perfecting a radio-ready voice like the KMFA hosts, broadcasting is an art. Imagine learning all of this and more in one week with a few snack breaks in between to keep you going.

Kids Recording Kids is a summer radio camp sponsored by the Austin Optimist Club that teaches rising eighth and ninth grade students how to produce a radio program in one week. Now of course, one can only do so much in one week but this year’s students knew how to make the most of their time.

One of the classes I got to see was “Interview Techniques” taught by Midday Oasis host Dianne Donovan. The campers learned to ask the most burning questions about music and how to handle interviewing the occasional introvert, overconfident guest and the off-topic enthusiast.      

A major highlight from this year’s camp was the partnership with Mother Falcon Music Lab, a summer music program in which students learn skills in songwriting, music composition and teamwork followed by a big musical showcase at the end of the week. Many of these students had never met before camp but were already collaborating and bonding in a profound way. The students were making sure everyone was comfortable with their part of the piece before moving on and were very open to new ideas to approach their music. 

Friday was the day of the music showcase and although some of the campers seemed nervous, their parents and teachers were confident about the upcoming performance. The Kids Recording Kids campers welcomed Jessica Cohen and Arnhav Iyenger, students from the Armstrong Community Music School who did a performance of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid. The Fontaneauxs, a band from Mother Falcon Music Lab also performed an original song they had composed during their week at camp.

Radio broadcasting is a skill that takes years of practice but our campers were on their way to becoming experts by Friday. Music programs like the Armstrong Community Music School, Mother Falcon Music Lab and Kids Recording Kids are the key to introducing younger generations to the importance of the arts. I hope that every student that participated this year will grow to be a loyal supporter of KMFA.

You can hear the 2017 Kids Recording Kids Showcase in a special broadcast later this year. Some campers are also featured in this week’s Staccato.

To watch two of our campers go live on air for the first time, check out the video below.    

Jennifer Hernandez is a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she majors in public relations. She writes about music in Austin for ORANGE Magazine and has volunteered her PR skills to Con Mi MADRE. Jennifer believes that "Music unites people, and in some cases, communities." She hopes to pursue a career in the music industry after graduation.