I came across an old cassette tape the other day marked “Isaac Kids! Creative Stories” circa 1996. I vaguely remember the tape, but I do recall labeling it for posterity.
I had recently set up a homework station in the laundry room. It was equipped with a colorful desk and chair (I painted them myself!) pencils, markers, paper, sharpeners and more. This was the year that I vowed to be a a “wonderful mother.” I was going to ensure that my children finished their homework on time, permission slips would be signed, sealed, and delivered within 24 hours, lunches packed and waiting on the dining room table, and my kids were going to be “all that they can be!”.
Perhaps you can tell that we were military— even though my husband was the only one wearing the uniform, we were all military. Well! this was the year that Sargeant Daddy purchased a new, state of the art Karaoke machine. You know—it had the dual cassette deck, huge ice cream cone microphone, and that little button that produced those really “cool” echos when you recorded. The kids loved it! And so did I!
I remember reading a small blurb in FamilyFun that year. It explained how to create your very own radio drama with great sound effects like the professionals. The article suggested using large aluminum pans to create thunder sound effects, bells, and all sorts of real world stuffl; not exactly the synthesized version that we use today; sound effects from scratch!
I clipped the article and put it in my “Fun things to do” pile and began to set up our very own recording studio and listening center in the laundry room. The kids recorded original stories; they sang, delivered monologues and sometimes complained.
Back in 2011, some fifteen years later, my “kids” were all “grown up.” The youngest was 21 and the oldest was 27. I couldn’t wait to hear vintage Stevie, Elena, Elisa, and Estevana, then 12, 11, 9, and 6 years old respectively. I had to scramble to find a cassette player (that’s another story in itself!), but I did it and it was a treat!
Now my challenge was how to preserve this for future generations of “Isaacs”. Why not record it as a podcast? I used my Macbook from school, but any computer will do since there are tons of free Web 2.0 and 3.0 applications can be used to create your own podcasts. Audacity is a free software application on the web that’s easy, free and fun to use. There’s also Aviary.com, a really powerful, free website that not only allows you to record and edit audio in Myna, but also has a photo editing program called Phoenix and a host other quality programs as well. Apple users may be familiar with the popular program called Garageband.
Fear not! If you conduct a simple online search such as “free postcast apps” you’re bound to come up with some interesting programs. There are easy tutorials on each site as well as video tutorials that you can easily access by typing in “podcast tutorial” for whatever program that you’re using. Give podcasting a try today. You might find yourself pleasantly surprised!
LISTEN TO READER’S THEATRE By Serenity