The Internship

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When it came time for us to get serious about making audio books of our curriculum, we explored various options, including setting up a simple sound studio at our office. However, Ray also went online to find out what might be possible in our area. He tried to contact two or three semi-local studios, plus one in a suburb of Music City, USA, and another smack-dab in the middle of Music City in the famous Music Row district where many famous stars have recorded their music.

A studio in Nashville’s Music Row impressed Ray the most; and to our surprise, it was an economical option. We decided to let the professionals do what they know best. I love to listen to books read by the author. Ray and I both wanted to record the books ourselves, but were unsure if our voices would work, so we came for a test run back in January. The sound engineer assured us we could do it. We recorded for three days in February; yesterday was day four.

This has been fun for Ray and me both. One special treat has been getting to know our amazing engineer. He is so patient with us newbies. We have also enjoyed getting to spend time with the studio interns. I’ve visited with a young man from California and a young woman from Connecticut. Today I met a young woman from “Jersey.” I was expecting to learn that the other new intern I met today was from one of those states or another one, but, to my surprise, he is from Sweden. I’ll call him Karl.

Twenty-three-year-old Karl wants to be involved in music, so he arranged for an internship where else but Nashville, Tennessee? When he arrived one week ago, it was his first trip to the United States. Ray asked him what surprised him about America. He said that there are so many American influences in Sweden through music, television, and movies, that he feels as if he is in a movie and this feels very strange.

First lady Florence Harding operates a movie camera on the grounds of the White House, 1922. Courtesy Library of Congress.
First lady Florence Harding operates a movie camera on the grounds of the White House, 1922. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Another expected, but still strange, reality to Karl is that we all speak English so well. He’s used to people speaking English as a second language, but people here know it so well. It boggles his mind. Karl’s internship lasts for two and a half months, so he’s got a while to listen to folks speak English well in a movie that keeps on rolling.

Musicians have been recording at this studio for almost fifty years. Its decor is not fancy but the wood and the carpets and the sound boards and all the other stuff needed to record beautiful sound is there. It works. Riders in the Sky came here to record the sound track for Toy Story. The studio has captured the voices of Bill Gaither, Stephen Curtis Chapman, Michael W. Smith, the Oak Ridge Boys, and even Elvis Presley, plus many other stars.

One of the things I noticed on the first day of recording was that the restroom was clean and its trash can was empty. I soon learned that is a job for the interns. They also run errands for the staff and whoever is recording there. The first time an intern went to pick up our supper, he brought my carry-out to me on a real plate. When you leave dirty dishes in the tiny kitchen sink in the tiny lounge, they don’t stay there long. That’s another job for the interns.

Students come all the way from California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Sweden for this on-the-job training in Nashville. It’s worth it to them to be here.

This way of training makes sense, and it works. Our engineer was once an intern at this studio and his assistant is a former intern, as well.

The internship is a tried and true method. It’s the method Jesus used when He trained the Twelve. And it’s the method you are using with your children.

And He appointed twelve,
so that they would be with Him . . .
Mark 3:14




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