Music jazzes up North high school

You can tune in any hour of the day any day of the year to listen to the swing of jazz and the stories of the local community. All of this is part of the forty-five year old radio station, called Jazz 88 at 88.5 FM.

You can tune in any hour of the day any day of the year to listen to the swing of jazz and the stories of the local community. All of this is part of the forty-five year old radio station, called Jazz 88 at 88.5 FM.

Mia Swanson, Staff Writer

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You can tune in any hour of the day any day of the year to listen to the swing of jazz and the stories of the local community. All of this is part of the forty-five year old radio station, called Jazz 88 at 88.5 FM. This is your typical radio station but with a slight twist: it has a special association with the Minneapolis Public Schools. This means early mornings, late afternoons, and weekends a DJ goes on air, and it’s normal for a radio station to have a DJ. However on school days, which are normally Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm, North High School students are in control.

Even though Jazz88 is associated with MPS it is not necessarily a part of MPS. The radio station funding is from listener’s donations- it keeps them on the air. However Jazz88 does have a partnership that incorporates youth elements. They don’t only have school year classes but they have a summer program, which is open to any students that would like to join.

During the school year the radio station is an optional academic class at North High School. The radio station is split into two separate classes, Radio 1 and Radio 2. Radio 1 is an introduction to radio. It focuses on the real basics of broadcasting as simple as learning how to use all of the equipment. The students also learn how to write news stories and announce the stories on the air.

Class “Radio 2” is for more advanced students that have already taken Radio 1. In Radio 2 there is more of a focus on complex radio formats on news and information that are based on real industry standards. Students in radio two also get more opportunities to do in-studio interviews, talks shows, and even podcasts.

The class’s radio instructor is Paul Kraimer. He has a twenty year long background in radio broadcasting and a ten year background in teaching radio to college students. He finds it exciting to teach especially when it comes to radio. He says that he has “always wanted to do radio,” even when he was just a kid. So when he grew up he did just that. At one point in his life he decided that it was time for him to leave the radio station but not stray to far from it. That’s when Kraimer decided to teach. “It’s great, I like to see the excitement,” he exclaims.

The radio station is a good training ground for students to practice skills such as writing, reading, interviewing, and researching. Not only that but it also helps broaden ideas for future careers.

Yonci Jameson graduated from Southwest high school last year, but her love for jazz keeps bringing her back to the radio. Now she occasionally hosts for Jazz88. Jameson explains how the station gives an opportunity that most students wouldn’t be able to have, and it can even help develop a career. For example she now volunteers at another radio station called KFAI Radio.  KFAI Radio is a Minneapolis and St. Paul community station that broadcasts stories of art and entertainment. Jameson says “I’m glad to say I operated out of Jazz 88.” and that she is “happy to be a part of it.”

Kraimer recommends the station to anyone who would like to listen. So the next time you’re on the radio tune into Jazz88 at 88.5 FM, the radio station with a special student twist. Listen to the sweet upbeat swing of jazz and stories broadcasting all day every day at North High.

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