Barry R. Hill, D.Ed.
Professor of Audio Engineering
Director, Audio & Music Production Program
Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania
I’m a writer, professor of audio engineering, instructional designer, and director of the Audio & Music Production Degree Program at Lebanon Valley College of Pennsylvania. My job includes developing curriculum, teaching courses in the areas of recording and audio engineering, overseeing a team of adjunct instructors, and supervising recording studio facilities in this unique four-year liberal arts program.
Recording Audio: Engineering in the Studio is a textbook with audio examples designed to teach recording practices in the studio. This is not a “Pro Tools for Dummies” type of book. There are no true audio instructional texts available commercially that make sense from a human learning theory orientation. This text is specifically designed to help novices learn and understand principles of recording systems and operations that allow them to quickly learn and use any type of technology they encounter down the road.
Related to this is Mixing for God, a book focused on church audio. Most people running sound for their churches are volunteers with little or no knowledge of audio. Again using concepts of instructional design and learning theory, this book is designed to provide a novice with a solid understanding of overall system and operation, and then guide them through setting up for services and improving their mixes.
Along with my experience in developing and teaching academic programs, I have various areas of experience in the industry. As a recording engineer, I’ve got a long list of album credits, including several national chart-placing singles. As a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Grammys), Audio Engineering Society, and the Themed Entertainment Association, I’ve been involved in recording productions, church audio, concert performances, theater sound design, theme park shows, system installations, workshops, and seminars.
Recent projects include development of a new course on theme park design…well, primarily user experience, but we’re focusing on how to design immersive, storytelling, placemaking experiences whether it be for a park, museum, or even a retail store. My membership in the Themed Entertainment Association allows me to hang out with the creative folks who design parks and attractions for Disney, Universal, and so on. Fun stuff!
Even more fun, I am the designer and producer of the Themed Attraction Podcast, a show focused on theme park design. My two former Disney colleagues interview designers and other professionals who’ve worked on parks you’ve enjoyed over the years.
It’s way past time we modernize and improve the school music experiences for K-12 students, so my contribution is teaching a graduate course entitled Psychology of Music Teaching and Learning for the Master’s of Music Education program at LVC. This course focuses on applying what we know about human learning to the field of music education, giving school music teachers the opportunity to re-think how they approach their classes and students.
My academic research interests, presentations, and publications involve instructional design and learning theories—finding ways to make learning more meaningful and effective. This affects how courses are designed and delivered while guiding development of specialized resources used in class. I apply the concepts of mental models and eliciting how individuals understand, or “see”, a specific topic to help faculty better know how their students are progressing. Information on mental models and how they are applied in education can be found at my website mental model assessment.
After spending a zillion dollars and driving thousands of miles, I’ve earned degrees in Instructional Design from The Pennsylvania State University, Music Technology and Interactive Media from New York University, and Music with Recording Arts from the University of North Carolina Asheville. I’ve always been a piano guy; my main thing is playing for church, but I’ve also performed in numerous capacities including symphony performances, solo competitions, theme park shows, and various bands and ensembles. I’m currently the Director of Music & Technical Arts for my church, where I play piano, organize our music and worship teams, and oversee our audio/visual teams and facilities.