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teach & learn teach & learn is offline
 
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how can they be heard?
Old 06-20-2008, 12:58 PM
 
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Each year our third grade classes put lots of time and energy into content based plays. The kids love this! Everyone puts so much into the performance that it is a shame when they cannot readily be heard. We have a large gym/auditorium that doesn't help the situation.

Has anyone successfully used lapel mics? Does anyone have a brand or type recommendation? I would like to write a grant, but need information first on what works!

Thanks


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maryteach maryteach is offline
 
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I'm a drama sponsor
Old 06-30-2008, 09:49 AM
 
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in middle school and unfortunately, we have the same situation. We have this cavernous gym for our shows and they're up there on a big stage.

We do use lapel mics for some parts. I'm not sure what brand we use, but Shure is a good name in mics. I hope I spelled that right.

Honestly though, what helps the most is just hammering them about their volume from day one. I have a real theatre voice (my brother used to call me Radio Free Europe) and so I model it for them all the time. I tell them to bounce their voices off the back wall, up high where it meets the ceiling. Hammer it all the time.

For those really tiny voices, lapel mics work fine. You have to train the kids to turn them on and off, though. If they forget, in their nervousness, to turn it on, it does no good. If they forget to turn it off, that's a disaster. Train them well.

You might mention to them that a middle school drama teacher said that if they don't start delivering their lines a whole lot louder, they won't get cast in middle school.
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Dhallivi Dhallivi is offline
 
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Projection
Old 07-07-2008, 01:50 PM
 
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Hello!
I direct our elementary school's Spring musical. We perform in a local community theater. After reviewing safety and such our first exercise is to have the student take turns standing on the stage and delivering lines to their peers in the audience. The audience is spread all around and raise their hands when they can hear the person delivering lines. (If they don't have lines, they say part of a song, sing or use other line.)

Even after all that, some still weren't heard. The theater sound system was in the middle of renovation, and not available except to run music. We had one lapel mic. Placing it in an area near most of the line deliveries, we used it as an area mic. It worked great!

So, I'd like to suggest you consider area mics rather than lapel mics. Expense-wise, I think you'd get more out of mic-ing an area rather than a one-to-one ratio with lapels. You have to deal with taking lapels off, turning them on and occasional proximity issues. You'd also have to work on balance too. Of course, we used the lapel mic as an area mic. You could try that too.

You could possibly hide area mics in things if you can't hang them.

One exercise I like:
Have students hum quietly then increase their volume. On the count of three, have them open their mouths (while still "humming"). I put humming in quotes because once they open their mouths, they are loud! They aren't yelling because you don't really yell when humming. It is startling at first (so they need to do it together), but shows them how loud they can be with out much effort. (Go on, try it yourself... its pretty cool...)
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