Testing Your Sound Skills

Materials Needed:

Soundboard, written sound test, microphones


Learning Objective:

Students will demonstrate their mastery of the introductions of how sound works and how to connect a microphone by taking both a written and practical test over theatrical sound.


Hook (5 minutes):

Give students about five minutes to get in partners or small groups to review for the sound test.


Activity 1 (20-30 minutes):

Ask students to turn in their notes. Administer the sound test. You can simply give them the note sheet where they must fill it out from memory, or you can come up with something totally different. I find that giving them the note sheet is effective because if they didn’t understand what they wrote down, or if they didn’t write down anything at all then they won’t do well when it’s offered as a test. They were offered many opportunities to ask questions over anything that was unclear or that confused them, so there’s no excuse for them not to do well.


Activity 2 (40-45 minutes):

Spend the rest of the class period administering the practical sound test one by one with the soundboard in the sound booth. Students need to show that they know how to work a wireless handheld, handheld, and lav microphone. For the handheld they need to run the xlr from the input to the mic, and for the lav they’ll need to run the the microphone to the body pack. For the lav and the wireless they should know how to check the batteries, and when they might need to change them. Often for a rehearsal 2 out of 3 bars is fine, but for an actual show all batteries should be full. Students should be able to turn all microphones on and run them through the sound board. This includes being able to unmute the mic and adjusting volume levels. This will show that the students could run the microphones for a show, and that they were paying attention the class period before. Again, these tests should take place individually.



Nice job, today! Get ready to put these skills into real practice!