Summer Workshops & Community Programs


Legal Disclaimer

Educational Programs developed by Michael Tesney for Radio Free Alabama are for exclusive use at Desert Island Supply Co and ArtPlay.  All material, scheduling, concepts and class structure  are © Radio Free Alabama 2015.  No person or organization may  use any of this program, its  material, or its structure  in part or in whole without expressed written permission from Radio Free Alabama.  Unauthorized use of this program will result in fines totaling the cost of running these programs for a full year along with any legal fees, administrative fees, instructors salaries and damages incurred, such as revenue loss due to illegal use of these programs..

Radio Free Alabama Educational Workshops and Classes

Developed for  ArtPlay & Desert Island Supply Company

Workshops and Educational Program Developed for Radio Free Alabama


Michael Tesney

Instructors for the program include

 Michael Tesney, Devon Thagard, Daniel DeVaughn , and Max Rykov

Mondo Mono Children’s Radio

The Mondo Mono Children’s Radio Workshop is a three week  ( or 3 day ) program designed to teach children how to turn their ideas into a functioning radio program. This is a for kids by kids model of educational program where we give children ages 7-11 the tools and education they need to turn their dreams into reality.  In order for the workshop to function properly space will be limited to 12 students per class. Parents are encouraged to attend to help our faculty keep the kids on track and focused on the task at hand.

Week 1- 1.5 hours.

Story basics, working in teams, outlines and genres.

First we will go over genres of old time radio drama.

20 minutes



Sci- Fi

Variety Shows


Fairy Tales

20 Minutes

We will then break the class up into groups depending on what kind of show the kids would like to work on and go over a basic 3 act outline.

Act 1- Setup, introducing the characters and the start of the story

Act 2- The Conflict, crisis, the “journey” of their story- how to create obstacles and overcome them.

Act 3- Resolution- Reaching your goals.

10 minute break

40 minutes

Writing session where the students spend 15 minutes on outlines and 25 minutes working on their story.

2nd Session- 1.5 hours

30 minutes.

Break back into groups and continue working on the stories

20 minutes

Groups present their stories to the group

15 minutes

Feedback from the group and parents

25 minutes

Final edits and finishing touches.

3rd Session

Recording. We bring in actors, hopefully The Birmingham Bards, and let the young authors sit in on the recording session and offer notes.

We will try to keep casting to a minimum and while some groups are recording we can have the students and actors work together and “rehearse”

Radio Drama Workshop and Audio Laboratory

Ages 16 and up

3 hours per session

In this class we will look over the history of Radio Drama, from the golden age of American Radio to the contemporary podcasters of today. We will listen to several radio dramas and study their structure. The textbook package  for this class will consists of several radio scripts from different periods as well as several sourcebooks  such as Radio Drama by Tim Crook and possibly Audio Drama in Context by Richard J. Hand and Mary Traynor.
We can put packages together ourselves or just arrange for them to be made available at the bookstores.

80 Minutes

History of Radio Drama, we will listen to several shows, taking the time between to look at their structure, the production value, the importance of sponsors, genre.. all the little details.

10 minute Break

80 Minutes

When we return we will break into two teams  and go over how the writers guild handles group writing. We will then look at several outlines and then the team will work to construct a few different outlines for shows. Each writer will be responsible for one full outline.

2nd Session 3 hours

80 Minutes

We go back into teams, the groups look over the outlines and they decide which one they would like to create.  The outline is broken up into acts and small groups of writers begin work on their scripts.

10 Minute Break

80 Minutes

Everyone comes back and the groups take the time to look over their scripts. We will be shooting for 15-20 minute shows so this should be very quick. The groups then present their projects to the group, using other students as cast.

3rd Session

Recording. We bring the groups in for recording, while one group records the others rehearse.

Advanced Childrens Radio Workshop & Performance Laboratory

Ages 16 and Up

4 Sessions, 3(ish)  Hours

In this workshop students will work in team to produce various types of programs for Children of all ages. We will look at every form of Children’s Audio programming from Storytelling to complex narrative development. We will analyse their structure, breaking them down into outlines for each type of program and then brainstorm to create new outlines which we will then turn into new programming opportunities for the community.  We ask that people enrolling refrain from creating religious based stories as people from a diverse background will be working in groups and this is not the appropriate platform for that type of debate.

Session 1 –

80 minutes

Types of children’s programming. The Tall Tale, Fairy Tales, Adventure, The Moral Tale, Science and Education (Instructional)

We will look at all the options, pausing in between to look at their structure and how that are developed. We will also go over proper format for writing radio scripts.

10  minutes

We will then split  into writing groups and take a short break for the groups to get to know each other.

80 Minutes

Groups will now sit down with each other, create several outlines and work on their stories.

Session 2

80 Minutes

We return with group presentations of their work. Each group will present their ideas in team presentations and we will discuss each piece as it is presented.

10 minute Break

80 Minutes

The Groups work to flush out their outlines into full scripts.

Session 3

80 Minutes

Progress Review- We look over the work being done and if needed the instructors will step in  help students finish their scripts.

10 minute Break

80 Minutes

We will present the stories to the group and the groups will go through a “question and answer” period about their production.

Session 4

We will rehearse for three hours for the next weeks final performance. (hopefully in conjunction with the Bards of Birmingham)

Session 5

An afternoon event open to the public where our writing group gets to present their radio drama on a small stage for children and adults.

Radio Free Alabama Education Outreach Program for deployment in Rural Areas

Radio Free Alabama will be working with other organizations to identify rural communities in need of cultural educational programs. The following outline is for an extended 1 day class in the basics of radio production. We will provide tools and equipment for citizens that have little access to educational programming to get a full course in how to produce community radio that they can then use to partner with groups in their community to make their own quality programming. For this program we will be seeking individual grants that will gift institutions all the equipment they need to produce quality programming long after we have gone away.  These packages will be the same as we use in our community educational programs, (see General Budget for 2015 for detailed equipment listing) so students will become familiar with them during the course of our classes and we will have available email support to any of our students after they have completed the class.

We will also deploy textbooks that cover all of these subjects that will allow students to continue their studies and review the subjects covered at any time.

The class will last about 5 hours and go over the following-

Audio Production

  1. Portable Digital Recorders
  2. Setting up a DAW
  3. Simple Digital Audio interfaces and engineering basics (recording lectures and interviews)
  4. Advanced Engineering (Live music, Compression, Sound Boards, Exporting Files, Leveling, Cabling, Phantom Power,  EM Signals (mic cables vs power cables)  and mixing)
  5. Portable Studio Units


Audio Editing

  1. Finding the right DAW
  2. Bitrate and Compression
  3. Layering Sound, After effects
  4. Reducing POP , Wind, Spikes and other obstacles
  5. Exporting Advanced files to other DAW’s for collaborative projects

Citizen Journalism and Basics of Journalistic Ethics.

  1. Basics of Journalism (how, who, what, why, when)
  2. Identifying and contacting civic leaders
  3. The importance of Impartiality
  4. Knowing and Respecting laws about recording in public, release forms, how to politely and respectfully interact with police and other officials of the state.
  5. Telling both sides of every story and learning to refrain from your natural urge to give your opinion.

Radio Drama, Game Shows, Educational & Children’s Programming

  1. Types of Programming
  2. Structures of Programming
  3. Outlining and Consistency
  4. Working in Teams
  5. Live Performances vs Radio Broadcasting
    1. It is recommended that most rural communities partner with any local radio stations or seek out a performance venue where once or twice a month people can gather and tell their stories.

Radio Free Alabama Community Instructor Program

25 hour certification

This program is open to anyone who wishes to join us in our mission to offer Art and Production education to the community at large.  Our Instructor Program is designed to offer an advanced introduction to audio production, dramatic technique, directing, producing and community organizing. This program will give Community Instructors the tools they need to teach others everything they will need to launch their own audio networks and community programs in areas that have few resources and very little access to equipment.  In order to complete this program Community Instructors must take all classes offered at least once and then volunteer to assist in the teaching of each class once and then, under the direction of our faculty they will then teach 1 cycle of all classes that we offer.

There is no fee for this class, it is offered as a service by Radio Free Alabama. Anyone who wishes to apply may fill out a grant application and fees for classes will be waived.

Tuition for Programs

All public classes will be based on a sliding scale from 0.00 to 50.00 per  class. We will offer community scholarships based on need and the desire to learn a new skill set that will waive all fees for those interested but do not have the funds. All classes will be offered to the general public for a flat 50.00 fee per 3 class cycle and have a cutoff of 12 students per session. Classes with more than three sessions go up 25.00 per class.

For more information about our programs fill out the form below and we will let you know when and where the classes will be held.

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