Friday, November 20, 2009

Record Your Grandma's Stories: StoryCorps' National Day of Listening is Nov. 27

Will you be spending Thanksgiving with friends who tell great stories, a relative who has wonderful tales from "back in the day," or just someone special whose life you'd like to celebrate? Why not record their story in honor of StoryCorps' National Day of Listening the day after Thanksgiving (November 27th).

StoryCorps provides a free, downloadable Do-It-Yourself Instruction Guide, as well as an Education Toolkit to use in a classroom or library, and a Community Service Toolkit to use in, "veteran’s hospitals, senior centers, homeless shelters, and other community centers."

I also like their Great Question List. It is organized according to the type of person you'll be interviewing. For example, some of the questions they suggest you ask your grandparents are:
  • Where did you grow up?
  • What was your childhood like?
  • Who were your favorite relatives?
  • Do you remember any of the stories they used to tell you?
  • How did you and grandma/grandpa meet?
  • What was my mom/dad like growing up?
  • Do you remember any songs that you used to sing to her/him? Can you sing them now?
  • What were your parents like?
  • What were your grandparents like?
We won't be spending Thanksgiving with family this year, but I could still record a family member's story with the Skype recording program for Macs I use for podcasting, ecamm Call Recorder for Skype. If you have a PC, I've heard great things about Pamela.

If you'll be face-to-face with the person whose story you'd like to capture, you could record it with a Flip video camcorder, a regular camcorder, a cassette recorder, or a digital audio recorder (Olympus has relatively affordable small ones). If you have a computer with a built-in microphone, you can probably record directly into an audio program like Garageband (Mac), or Audacity (Mac or PC).

Whose story would you like to capture? Whose life would you like to celebrate?

For inspiration, check out:

Cross-posted from

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  1. love your contributions!
    thanks for sharing them..

  2. Thanks, Rachel. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.


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