On July 25-27, 2013, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) in Murphreesboro, TN was the recent site for the AES 50th International Conference on Audio Education. SPARS participated in a workshop panel titled Audio Education Report Card.
Panel members were Mark Rubel, Instructor & Co-Director of Education, The Blackbird Academy and current SPARS board member (moderator), Dr. David Tough, Belmont University, Douglass Bielmeier, Middle Tennessee State University, Kirk Imamura, President, Avatar Studios and current SPARS President and Chase Trombley, Blackbird Audio Rentals. Among the discussions were the following.
Professors Doug Bielmeier and Dr. David Tough have been conducting extensive research and administering surveys to examine how employers’ need for audio engineers’ skills and competencies are being met. Following a summary presentation of their results (macro view), they will relate the data to experience through a panel discussion including educators, a recently hired audio graduate and an employer (micro view).
Kirk Imamura offered an industry perspective based on Avatar’s experience. Imamura presented data compiled from an internal Avatar Studios survey of current & past staff members on what was lacking in new hires, and what prior training proved useful or would have made a difference.
Chase Trombley, who graduated some years ago, offered his perspective from the newly hired point of view. A brief open discussion of proposed solutions and strategies concludes with suggestions for the facilitation of continued dialogue.
Mark Rubel, SPARS board member and co-director of Education for the newly launched Blackbird Academy, was the moderator and had these comments, “Though this fall’s AES Conference in NYC will be the 135th, last week’s 50th International Conference at MTSU was a milestone: the first devoted exclusively to audio education. There were many panels and workshops on multiple facets of teaching audio of all kinds. Most important, I think, was the opportunity for an exchange of ideas and visions, and to form a community of those whose task it is to shape the audio creators of the future, and thus its media and music.”