In this post, I interviewed Enrique Gonzalez Müller, Assistant Professor in the Music Production and Engineering Department at Berklee. He taught MP-P305 Record Production for Producers, the capstone class for the MP&E Minor, last semester. Enrique holds a dual degree from Berklee in MP&E and Music Synthesis. He is a producer, recording engineer, and arranger who has worked with many independent, national and international artists. He is a Latin Grammy-winning producer for Los Amigos Invisibles, a member of the education committee of the San Francisco chapter of the Grammys, and volunteer faculty for the Prison University Project at San Quentin Prison. In this discussion, we talk about how web conferencing benefited his MP-P305 class during this past winter, when snowstorms were plentiful.
Nazli: What did you use Google Hangouts for?
Enrique: Using Google Hangouts came out of necessity since we had so many snow dates at the beginning of this semester! The very first Wednesday, we had to cancel class due to a storm and I had a production course where students needed to jump in right away, find an artist, get a bunch of songs to be considered for their productions and send those back to me for approval. If we had missed one week, it would have been really tough for my students to get caught up. So I thought on my feet and decided to use Google Hangouts, since it can do video conferencing with up to fifteen people meeting at once [ed. note: ten is the maximum number of users, fifteen is the maximum for the version that Berklee is using.] Just hours before class, when it was snowing and we knew we couldn’t make it to campus, I sent everyone an email and gave them instructions on how to use Google Hangouts to conduct our class. In a few minutes, we were all up and going and didn’t miss a beat! We went through the syllabus, the assignments, and went through introductions with everyone. I got a chance to get serious with the students too and set the tone for responsibility (as well as have a laugh!). The thing that I found pretty cool was not only that we did class, but we also were all operating on the same platform. I’d have the list of questions and materials on different parts of my screen so that I could easily maneuver and share with my students. In our back and forth, I could have everybody do the same thing by just saying something like, “Ok, so lets all go to our course page and go to assignment 3 tab on this,” and it was just super practical and fun. I wound up doing it for every snow date that we had…which ended up being two or three!