Justin Bethel: Graduate Spotlight – Recording Arts & Show Production

Meet Justin Bethel, a graduate of F.I.R.S.T. Institute in the Recording Arts & Show Production program. Justin knew as a child that he loved music and decided to take this passion and turn it into an occupation long-term. Justin utilized the instructors and Career Development department at F.I.R.S.T. to make his dream a reality. From hands-on projects to small class sizes, Justin details how F.I.R.S.T. Institute helped shape him into the professional he is today.

Musical Influence from a Young Age

Justin says that his father was his biggest musical influence at a young age. His father would travel frequently for work and bring home many types of musical inspiration. These inspirations helped Justin to start writing his own songs and develop his musical taste.

Justin Bethel Credits F.I.R.S.T Institute’s Instructors

Justin enjoyed all of his instructors during his time at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Justin appreciated that his instructors still worked in the field and could give real-world insight during classroom interaction. 

He says that his instructors were willing to help at all times and walk the students through problems one-on-one. He felt he didn’t have the typical “public school” experience, as his instructors didn’t get in the way of his learning. 

Justin enjoyed how the instructors made the environment very professional, yet casual and personal with the small class sizes. He took great pleasure in the culture that stemmed from the personalized learning with few classmates and direct connection with the instructors.

Justin Sees the Potential of Audio

Justin enjoyed the variability of the Recording Arts & Show Production program. He found himself loving some aspects of audio that he didn’t know much about. Justin credits the movie trailer project from one of his courses at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Justin appreciated being able to fill in all of the audio from scratch with the movie trailer given to him. 

From field recording, to Foley, to music score, Justin recalls a wide variety of audio being used to create this project. Justin knows himself to be a big “music guy,” but this project and course surprised him and opened him up to the possibilities in the world of recording arts.

From Cables and Cords to a Career

Justin landed a job at PSAV as an Audio-Visual Technician while attending F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Before attending F.I.R.S.T., Justin remembers calling every electrical cable a “cord.” He says it really helps to know the terminology and the specifics of the industry to excel in a career, and he received that from F.I.R.S.T.

F.I.R.S.T. Institute turned his amateur skillset into something bigger, and something he could use to land an entry-level position. Justin wanted to go to school to help jumpstart his career and says he was surprised how quickly he began his job at PSAV.

Justin Gets His Hands in the Equipment

Justin sees many of the equipment used at F.I.R.S.T. Institute in his everyday work environment. He says he works with microphones, DI boxes, mixers, and even an LS9 digital mixing console. He says his experience with video equipment at PSAV has inspired him to want to be a video operator in the future.

Justin’s Advice for F.I.R.S.T. Institute Students: Career Development

Justin saw that many F.I.R.S.T Institute students coming into the school wanted to be musicians. Justin recommends taking full advantage of the Career Development courses while at F.I.R.S.T. These courses show you how to take the skills that you’ve learned and the talent that you have and turn it into an income. Justin’s advice is to take the guidance of these instructors now to save you time and money later.