Music Student Snags Internship with National Public Radio
Junior music student Emily Hardy has just returned from her internship in New York City working for National Public Radio (NPR). This internship helps her fulfill requirements for two brand new music programs: the BMA in Contemporary Music (Media Applications) and the Certificate for Music Business and Technology. Emily is in the first cohort of students for both programs, is the first student to complete a music media internship, and will be the first student to graduate with both credentials. Her interest stemmed from the opportunity to be the sound engineer for the music business practicum concerts: “Striking Matches” in fall 2015 and “All You Need is MUBs” in spring 2016. Outside of academics, Emily co-founded Converse’s first internet radio station (CoCoRadio) which launched in spring 2016.
Emily’s internship with the Jonathan Channel allowed her to gain firsthand experience with audio editing, advertising, and production. She highlights a few moments that stood out the most during her time in the big apple.
She met an audio engineer named Irene.
“It was for Debussy’s birthday. I hung out in the booth where Irene was engineering. There weren’t any female audio engineers in the office where I was, so it was exciting to see Irene behind the mixer. As I spoke with her, she immediately told me she didn’t ‘talk tech’ because people will try to use their words to intimidate you. If you’re good at what you do, there’s no need to talk about it. I felt very understood by Irene and her experience working in a male-dominated field. She gave me a lot of encouragement that made me feel like I was back at Converse. It was really empowering to see a woman steering the ship.”
She learned the importance of setting goals and keeping momentum.
“I was assigned the task of going into our music database, searching through the Jonathan archives –it includes every single one of his shows all the way back to 2009–, and finding Jonathan mentioning snippets of past olympics to create a compilation. It was for a project we had recently started called ‘Today in Jonathan Schwartz History.’ I spent three hours searching to find out that he only ever mentions the Olympics once. It was two or three minutes in length. I sat at a computer for three hours to find three minutes. It was a long day.”
She helped broadcast a live performance in Central Park.
“I left the office after lunch to take the subway up to Central Park– which was another adventure in itself– to meet the audio engineers at 2PM. We had to set up the stage and sound equipment, and I was assigned the task of wiring the table for the host that night. When the performance started, I got to sit next to my favorite engineer in the office who was producing the event. I had my headphones and program to take timing notes while listening to what it sounded like on air. At the end of the evening, the host mentioned all of the workers and interns. Terrance Mcknight said my name over the airwaves.”
Her favorite part? She says it was completing her final project. It distilled everything Emily was learning into a five minute podcast on a topic of her choice. She chose the subject of computer composers, that is, the two first successful computers that could compose music without a human controlling them.
“My supervisor presented it as storytelling. You pitch an idea, come up with your story, write a script, then rewrite it about ten more times, narrate it, interview someone if necessary, collect or create the sounds you want to use, figure out your take-away moment, and edit it all to deliver your story successfully. I had never done something like this before, so walking away with a completely original podcast was really rewarding.”
With her junior year just beginning and the internship under her belt,
Emily plans to use what she has learned to help other projects on campus and be an encouraging voice for students with similar interests.
“I want to keep advocating for my major and certificate. Without it, I wouldn’t have had these incredible opportunities because the possibilities are truly endless with the new programs. I also want to use what I have learned to help CoCoRadio thrive. CoCoRadio can help students learn about the field of communications, discover more careers within the arts, and think outside of the box. Maybe I’ll come up with another crazy idea for this campus, but for now, I’ll be focused on finding out who my little sisters are.”