Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will never be hungry.
                                                                                                                   Lao Tzu
People love to say, 'Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish,
and he’ll eat for a lifetime.' What they don’t say is, 'And it would be nice if you gave
him a fishing rod.' That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.

                                                                                                                   Trevor Noah
I create as many "hands-on" experiences for students as possible. The tools used in sound engineering are diverse and can seem dauntingly complex to the uninitiated. The more frequently this technology is used for supervised projects, the better off students are when the time comes to make creative use of it outside of class. I have gotten many glazed looks from students that clear up after I let them "play around" with the equipment. 
It is important that design students stretch their understanding of musical forms. Too often I see good engineers hit stumbling blocks when trying to design a soundscape for a play in which the director asks for jazz, or bluegrass, or global music styles. When advising those specializing in sound design, I strongly suggest that they take courses in music history and world music, and/or basic music theory and composition.
The technology used in sound design is rapidly evolving. From playback systems to spatial imaging of sound sources to digital microphones, consoles and speakers. It is important to introduce as many of these tools to the students as possible. I introduce them to digital consoles, surround sound systems, digital wireless microphones that are networked together, digital audio distribution systems, and computerized audio playback. Students run shows using these, under the supervision of local IATSE technicians.
I am very concerned about safety. A student's enthusiasm for theater needs to be tempered with appropriate and safe procedures. In Utah, I was a licensed indoor pyrotechnician and taught seminars with the University fire marshal on fire safety for the theater. I emphasized electrical and rigging safety in my sound engineering course as well.
My intention is that students leave my class with more than a technical understanding of sound design. I anticipate their awareness of the power that inspired sound design can bring to a director's vision. Finally, I expect them to gain a deeper understanding of the entire process and practice of theatrical production. 
In these past few years, I started a journey to become more aware of the current institution of American Theater and its relationship to our society built on White Privilege. Myself, along with my fellow colleagues at Cleveland Play House, have learned more about the self-work needed in identifying, unpacking, and dismantling the ways our behaviors uphold and perpetuate white supremacy. We began this work by taking seminars and examining documents such as “Principles for Building Anti-racist Theatre Systems” from and “White Supremacy Culture” by Tema Okun.
We are beginning to put things into action; for example, reexamining our rehearsal and technical schedules to provide more quality of life, including removing 10/12 tech days and going to 5-day rehearsal and tech weeks. I also continue to reflect on my design and teaching practices to find ways to remove any obstacles I may have unconsciously placed that come from our white supremist culture.


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