2021-04-15 16:00Press release

KQED and Soundtrap Partner to Amplify Youth Voice

April 15, 2021, SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- A unique partnership between public media station KQED in San Francisco and the collaborative audio-making platform Soundtrap is enabling teachers to engage with students across the nation to share their voices beyond their classrooms. Now, all teachers and students participating in KQED Youth Media Challenges will get a free license to Premium Soundtrap for Education through June 2022. The Spotify service empowers students and teachers to explore creative sound recording in all subjects, for all ages and ability levels. The partnership with KQED increases equitable access to digital tools and makes it easier than ever for any student to participate in making media.

Leon Sykes, a teacher at Fremont High School in Oakland, CA, had his students use Soundtrap for a KQED Youth Media Challenge by creating personal narratives in the style of KQED’s Perspectives. One student’s piece about being the eldest child and having to grow up fast has been selected by the Perspectives team for broadcast on air. Sykes says of the project, “Our students had the opportunity to find their voice. Creating media with KQED empowered them to want to ask the important questions and talk about what’s most important to them. Audio recording was new for my students, and Soundtrap made it easy because they could simply log on and use it on their smartphones, rather than download a new application. Students were able to get a transcript of their recording which helps those who may have difficulties typing or reading their scripts aloud.”

KQED Youth Media Challenges provide middle and high school teachers with a set of standards-aligned media projects, for multiple content areas, that support students in key media literacy skills like narrative and argumentative writing, creative problem solving and media making. The Perspectives and Podcasting With The California Report challenges focus on audio production, while other challenges invite students to make video and graphics. Students submit their media projects to a public showcase hosted on KQED Learn. Selected student media submissions may also be aired by KQED or other public media stations across the country. 

“KQED has an excellent reputation in the education space supporting teachers and students around media arts,” says Michael Bell, Head of Global Sales, Soundtrap for Education, “and Soundtrap is excited to partner to amplify that work. In coordination with KQED Youth Media Challenges, Soundtrap will make the tools available for all students to share their voice with the world.” 

Soundtrap for Education empowers students and teachers to explore creative sound recording in all subjects, for all ages and all ability levels. During this time of remote and hybrid learning, Soundtrap is particularly well suited for both independent and collaborative work by students online or in classrooms.

“This partnership with Soundtrap reduces the barriers to media making for students,” says Holly Kernan,Chief Content Officer at KQED. “It will help bring more diverse youth voices to the airwaves at KQED through our Youth Media Challenges, and we can’t wait to hear what young people have to say.”


About KQED
KQED is a nonprofit, public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Press Contacts
Liana Holmberg
Director of Marketing, Education

About Soundtrap

Soundtrap, a part of Spotify, is on a mission to make music creation and storytelling simple and collaborative for everyone. Soundtrap for Education is an online audio recording studio that enables students and teachers to collaborate in a safe learning environment, using any device, at any time, from any location. Soundtrap is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden with offices in New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.soundtrap.com/edu


Lela Randall
Hill + Knowlton Strategies