Podcast Idea

Recently, I have done a lot of traveling, both on the road and in the air. I have become very familiar with the contents of my iPod-consisting of over 80% music and the other 20% videos, apps, and other files-during these travels. One feature of the iPod, however, that I hadn’t explored much in the past was the option of listening to podcasts. Despite the large volume of music I have, I have been listening to spoken-word podcasts almost exclusively during my trips. I subscribe to and download the podcasts using iTunes, and have configured the software to transfer the five most recent episodes of each podcast whenever I sync my iPod. The podcasts I currently subscribe to are:

All of these podcasts share fantastic thoughts on their specific subjects, and explore their niches with excitement and vigor. Many of these presenters also have blogs in their niche, which are the premier blogs on the subjects. The content is fresh, exciting, and extremely useful to the target audience.

This got me thinking, though. What makes these blogs and podcasts so successful is the appeal they have to their target audience. This is not a surprise; most successful ventures in any field are successful because they cater to the audience that they are designed for.

My blog, however, is unique in the fact that it has a few target audiences: namely music educators and people just generally interested in my life. Perhaps my blog’s readership isn’t as high because I don’t have a specific focus, but I like it this way; I have the opportunity to write about whatever comes to mind, without having to worry about turning away readers by writing an “off-topic” post. Another unique feature of my blog, especially the Music Education Blogger side of it, is that some of my posts discuss aspects of teaching music, while I haven’t ever actually held a job as a teacher! I try to bring as many ideas and thoughts as I can to the table considering my lack of experience, but I can’t by any means be considered an “expert” in that field, like Dr. Pisano could in the field of music technology, for example.

So what am I an expert in? Realistically speaking, nothing, but I feel I have a lot of experience at actually being a collegiate Music Education student. I’m not claiming to be an expert at the content we learn in our collegiate courses, but instead I am referring to my knowledge of the experiences that Music Education students have in the collegiate level, and my involvement in the field from a collegiate perspective. Is there a market for collegiate Music Educators who are interested in more information about opportunities to take advantage of, or other suggestions for their specific demographic? I think there is; there is a even professional organization dedicated to this-the Collegiate Music Educator’s National Conference (CMENC). CMENC is the collegiate sub-organization of MENC-The National Association for Music Education, and is the umbrella organization for the FCMENC chapter at UMiami, on which I currently serve as President-Elect.

I don’t want to add another “category” of posts on my blog, though; I fear that writing on too many more subjects increases the risk that people interested in one specific topic will be turned away by the likelihood that a new post will not be on the topic they’re interested in. How, then, can I share my so-called “expertise” on the topic of being a collegiate music educator with other like-minded people?

My idea: I am thinking about starting a podcast on collegiate music education. The podcast would have an extremely loose schedule of being updated once a month, with the decision on when to do a new one being dictated by me and my schedule. Included in the podcast would be tips for college music education students on subjects such as time management and choosing a school, interviews with professors or other professionals with information to share about the music education degree process, and updates on opportunities for music education majors. Each episode of the podcast would be roughly 10-15 minutes in length.

One concern of mine is the time commitment that this would entail, but I am confident that the flexibility of the schedule, and the fact that I could post on my own time, will allow me to share my experiences with everyone while still taking care of my other obligations.

What do you think? Do you have experience publishing a podcast? What advice would you give? Are you a college student? What topics would you be interested in hearing discussed? Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

14 thoughts on “Podcast Idea

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  2. I think the idea of using your current position as a music education student to facilitate discussions with professors and other students is a wonderful idea!!! I think many folks could benefit from the information you could produce. For me it would be great to hear what professors at the college level are thinking about the process of educating future teachers. There's not really a nice way to connect current teachers “in the field” with professors in colleges around the nation unless you are taking a class toward a degree. There is so much we could learn from each other!

  3. Brenda-

    You make a really great point! Discussions with professors and administrators can not only benefit other college students, but also the elementary and secondary teaching community, who probably don't get the opportunity to have discussions with these higher-education professionals!

    Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the awesome podcast you and Carol do; it's a big inspiration!

  4. Brenda-

    You make a really great point! Discussions with professors and administrators can not only benefit other college students, but also the elementary and secondary teaching community, who probably don't get the opportunity to have discussions with these higher-education professionals!

    Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the awesome podcast you and Carol do; it's a big inspiration!

  5. Thanks for the comment, Aram! That's a great way of thinking of it! The great part is that there can then be discussion on the subjects of each episode's “workshop” topic in the comments here online, where the episodes of the podcast are published!

    As I think of it more and more, I think that I'm going to give this a try!

  6. I can relate to your feelings. When I decided to pursue my teaching credential and Master's degree simultaneously, one prof commented to me that it was impossible to be a “master” teacher when I had never taught full time. He had a good point; now that I've been out in the field a while, my focus and thesis would be different than they were back then.

    You are in a unique position. As a college student, your blog can provide help to other college students and potential music majors. How about posts on topics like “top myths about music degrees” or “what my high school teachers didn't tell me about college”?

    Also, you have a fresh perpective on music education and may not be as jaded as the rest of us in the field. You might be more apt to think of new ideas and approaches, while veteran teachers might be inclined to think of all the reasons why certain ideas wouldn't work.

    Keep on blogging! And as for the podcast: Go for it! I'd love to hear more podcasts about music education that aren't so focused on technology. Again, you have the unique opportunity to interview fellow college students as well as your profs. And maybe your profs can direct you to local music teachers worth interviewing.

  7. Thanks so much for your thoughts, Steve! I've been reading your blog for a long time, and love hearing your thoughts on teaching!

    I love those topics you suggested (they were already on my list!) And you make a very interesting point about being more open to new ideas and having a fresh perspective.

    I'll be sure to let you know when the podcast goes live! Thanks again for visiting!

  8. Ha! As a matter of fact, I was at the DCI event last night where this was announced! I'm at MENC's Music Ed Week this weekend in Washington 🙂

    Thanks for the heads up!

  9. You, indeed, have a great informative blog. Your posts provide a lot of useful tips and references about various topics in music. Please continue writing your stuffs.

    Thanks for sharing us your music teaching resources! Also visit this music teacher blog for more tips and resources.

  10. Some of the better podcasts I have seen, actually get a community around them to do guest podcasts, so when you're busy, the community lives on. You can bring in experts to do podcasts, or with permission, rebroadcast an episode from someone else's relevant topic. Looks like you've got a good start here.

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