So many teachers volunteer in the traditional pursuits. They volunteer in a local GAA clubs, the church choir, arranging flowers for the church, a local musical, etc. And they are great for doing it. But, it is just not me. I do have this sence of community and I want to help, but how? As with all good ideas it came to me when I gave up thinking about it. Why not volunteer in a local radio station?
My local station is Tipperary mid-West Radio, they are based in Tipperary town and they take on (and train) volunteers. I am in training at the moment; it involves me being in the studio. Yes, the actual studio with all the mics and cool stuff. You don’t have to be a teacher to volunteer there, anyone or any age can volunteer there.
I thought I'd just be answering the phone. But these guys take their training seriously. So seriously, in fact, that there is talk of all their trainees receiving a qualification in the future. I got to sit in with Breda Ryan while she presented her morning show.
On my first morning I went to the blue padded room of the studio. I took notes about the faders, queuing music, running the advertisements on time, queuing jingles and the organisation of the studio.
On my second morning I read out the job line and community notices. My voice quibbled, my hands shook and I was spent after my five minute slot. I have spoken at conferences, board meeting, principals, heck - I can command the attention of thirty kids with my voice alone. Yet, this radio slot diminished me. But, not for long, Breda brought me to her office, where I listed back. The mics the studio use must be pretty spectacular because my voice sounds fine, a tad low, but fine, grand even.
On the third morning I had an hour slot. (Skip this paragraph if you have no interest in studio order!) I had to get the two cd’s ready, increase the mic when talking, introduce the song, turn up the fader for the song, lower my mic, queue the ads on the pc, find and queue the appropriate jingles, read out requests, do all the above again, remove the cd’s form the players and replace with two next one, tick them off the playlist, keep an eye on the cd players time display to ensure they were long/short enough to get us up to the next ad, read out the gig guide, queue the classified ads, queue the jingles, read out the job line, the notice book, queue the jingle for the news, ensure I had the correct fader up to full volume for the news reader, play one more song with a request and finally say thanks and good bye.
Phew! I could not haven't done all of that if it was not for the help of Breda Ryan and all the staff at the radio station. I have worked in a lot of jobs, I have been trained a lot but I have never be trained so expertly as I am in Tipperary Mid-West Radio.
My training will continue for a while yet, when I am comfortable I will eventually be on call to present a show or I may even get my own show. Or a jingle...yes I could eventually get my very own jingle!
Tune in to the live stream of Tipperary Mid-West radio. They are great people and their tag line couldn’t be more accurate, Tipp Mid-West at the heart of your community.