Patrick J. Richardson
Audio Production Instructor
The Art Institute of Philadelphia
If you're only as curious as you are comfortable, go try your luck elsewhere. Patrick J. Richardson , Audio Production Instructor , The Art Institute of Philadelphia
In high school, when I was recording our garage band on a tape machine, I realized I was as passionate about engineering—reading the manual to master my equipment, learning various styles of drumming—as I was about the things we sang about.
How do you weave your professional background into the classroom experience?
I take my class on field trips to places where I’ve worked, and I bring my own half-finished studio hardware and electronic instruments to class for students to study as specimens.
What class assignment exemplifies your approach to teaching and mentoring?
Within the Bachelor of Science in Audio Production program, students in my Listening/Analysis class make a full resonance study of a room, and calculate its sound properties from formulas they’ve learned. Within the Bachelor of Science in Game Art & Design program, students in my Audio for Gaming class record and manipulate sounds from the real world to incorporate into their game.
How does collaboration contribute to students’ success—particularly when students from various programs work together?
From the very beginning of a student's experience at Open House events through commencement, I remind students of the value of collaborating with people in other departments—and to take advantage of this school’s unique access to so many departments in one building. Promoting collaboration can be a class-by-class or even case-by-case thing, but the goal is always to foster cooperation through working together. As I tell my students, “If you’re only as curious as you are comfortable, go try your luck elsewhere.”
What’s the most important thing you impart to students to help them succeed in class and the real world?
In many disciplines—but especially in the commercially competitive creative worlds we serve—the market is a moving target. If you only want to learn what’s hip when you enroll, you’ll be obsolete before you graduate.
What’s the most critical advice you would offer any student embarking on a creative career?
I stress the value of remaining “teachable” well into their career. Their time with me should build whatever original principles they may need to come back to. In most cases, even in the media arts world, that tends to be science and math basics, which thankfully don’t change.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Our students aren’t just “consumers,” but dignified participants in our mutual empowerment.