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New Year, New Perspective--Electronic Music Recording Receives New Teacher

Sophomore Abby Shaver works on a project in Electronic Music Recording. (Courtesy Photo)

By Emma Duncan--Eagle Editor

Changes are expected every school year for students and staffulty alike, whether that be welcoming a new teacher, a new class, or both… sort of.

Intro to Media and Electronic Music Recording, two classes previously taught by former FCHS teacher Dave Campbell, have been combined into one class, Electronic Music Recording (EMR), and are now instructed by Band Director Rocky Ankeny.

“I was approached by administration about exchanging my Music Appreciation Class and Music Theory Class (one each semester) for this class right before work days began this year,” Ankeny began. “Seeing how I love technology, and have been video and audio editing for 15 years, it seemed like a nice change of pace.”

Ankeny expressed he felt an obligation to take over this position.

“I knew the school needed someone to take over this position, and at the time I was only one of two licensed music educators on campus,” he shared. “Yes, the band program and band classes are and always will be my top priority as the Band Director (color guard included in that), but I saw a need the school had and decided to step in for the time being.”

This transition was unforeseen for some EMR students.

“I expected Mr. Campbell to be my teacher, and was shocked when I found out it would be Mr. Ankeny,” sophomore Abby Shaver reflected. “I received my schedule and didn't expect to see his name on it more than once, but felt pretty relieved to have a teacher that I already knew for some classes.”

First impressions aside, EMR seems to be moving forward with no problems thus far.

“I think the transition has been smooth," Ankeny commented. "Everyone seems to have a great time, it's a great learning environment. Lots of experimentation and creativity. I'm excited to see what works the students create by the end of the semester.”

Shaver highlighted an emphasis on learning the basics, which is Ankeny’s way of incorporating Intro to Media into this hybrid course.

“(The class is) more difficult than I thought it would be, but I’m really enjoying it so far. I thought it would be easy to come up with original beats, melodies, and lyrics. I was wrong. It's harder than I gave it credit for," Shaver admitted. "Mr. Ankeny focuses heavily on basics and fundamentals. I believe we are spending way more time on those things than Mr. Campbell ever did; I appreciate the basics though, as they are giving people who didn't have previous opportunities with music a chance to learn something new.”

Teaching his students something new is Ankeny’s goal for EMR this year, and he’s living out this plan by assigning numerous projects.

“We are working on writing our own songs at the moment, and plan to record it with backing tracks sometime in the coming weeks,” he revealed. “Additionally, I plan to have us create our own personalized music tracks in addition to recording some live performances. I believe this class could work with my band class by recording various performances later on in the semester.”

Shaver explained she is looking forward to exploring the world of Electronic Music Recording through this class, and believes it could majorly affect her life.

“I decided to take this class to see if I would enjoy making music electronically. I have always had a passion for music, and multiple times have considered a career in music. Currently, it is only a passion and interest of mine, but who knows what could happen,” she concluded.

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