Skip to main content

High school students learn new audio, video techniques at ASU workshop

man teaching high school students video skills
July 23, 2013

Several Valley high school students recently spent a week of their summer vacation at ASU’s West campus, using cutting-edge video and audio production techniques to produce videos exploring the theme of “generations.”

The students in the Digital Video/Audio Production Workshop, offered by ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, worked with professional-quality hardware and software, including ProTools for audio and Final Cut Pro for video. Some of the students produced a video focusing on relationships between and among people of different generations, while others explored the concept of generations as applied to technology.

“The workshop taught me more than I could ever imagine,” said participant Jhett Hawkins, who attends Highland High School in Gilbert. “The instructors taught me a lot and helped me get closer to my dream job of becoming a film director.”

Those instructors were faculty member Barry Moon, an associate professor in New College’s School of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies, and Dennis Marsollier, a media specialist in New College.

“One of the points we emphasized was that sound and images should have equal importance as the students were creating their projects,” said Moon, who possesses a doctorate in music composition and teaches New College courses in sound performance, multi-track digital recording and digital graphic techniques. “There’s often a tendency to spend more time and energy on the visual aspects of the production, but audio can play at least as important a role in expressing the mood, meaning and ideas you’re looking to convey.”

“Our instructors were very open and willing to help us hone our various interests and skills,” said student Zie Weathers, who attends Bioscience High School in Phoenix. “They offered completely different styles of teaching, which made for a good experience. I even learned more about Photoshop in our video editing and filming class. It was great.”

Marsollier said he likes to teach students the basics of using equipment and software, and then let them learn by doing. “They retain what they’ve learned better if they are exploring and doing some trial-and-error learning, versus being spoon-fed information,” he said.

The week’s work was a positive experience for both students and instructors, Moon said. “Some students came in with many skills in video production and they noted that they had learned through the week,” he said. “Several of them agreed it was the most fun they had had on summer break. This was one of our main goals; to make it fun, and not at all like school.”

Moon believes the tools the students learned will help them in school and their careers, regardless of what paths they may pursue. “With the proliferation of digital media into so many professions, recording and production skills are becoming increasingly important to young professionals,” he said.

To view the video produced by one of the student participants, Justin Tran from BASIS Peoria, visit