I wanted to re-publish this post so that anyone who needs it during this time of school closings and online lessons can find it. The information about the recital itself is current and valid, and there are lots of great tips. Since the time this article was written, Skype has introduced a way to video calls live, and Zoom has become a favorite way to teach and record simultaneously as well.
In October we held our “Happy Fall, Y’all!” costume recital, and seven of my pre-college students performed: one live via Skype from Louisiana, and six here in the studio in Virginia. I previously wrote about my Skype piano experiences here.
My students have been preparing for our local MTA’s annual Hymn Festival in November, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for them to practice performing in a casual setting.
Each student played one hymn arrangement, plus one additional piece. Memory was not required.
Before each performance, students read a brief “script” including their name, age, grade, how long they had been taking piano lessons, and what pieces were being performed, as well as the composer of the pieces. Students were welcome to dress in costume, but it was by no means a requirement.
When I started thinking about how to record this recital, shooting only one video, while simultaneously allowing the family in Louisiana to view the entire recital live via Skype, I admit I was a little stumped. My resources were limited, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do this, and I wanted to make it as simple as possible, so here is what I decided to do.
I have a MacBook Pro and decided to use its webcam to video the recital because at the time this article was written, I did not have an external webcam that was better than the internal one.
I purchased a Blue Yeti USB mic to use because I was getting lots of feedback when using my laptop’s internal mic with Skype, so I needed an external mic to eliminate that feedback. (If you shop around, you can probably find a good price on it, like I did.) This mic will also be used for many, many projects in the future, so it was a great investment.
|Studio setup for the Skype and live performances|
|Strawberry Shortcake, live via Skype|
Ninja Turtles, Cheerleaders, and Amy Farrah Fowler, oh my!
Greg as Sheldon Cooper,
Melody as Amy Farrah Fowler,
from The Big Bang Theory
Now does my costume make more sense? 🙂
To create one cohesive video from the two different Skype video clips, I uploaded them into iMovie, deleted unnecessary portions of the video, and added titles, transitions, and music.
2. Be sure students stand still while they are reading their “script” and don’t turn away from the camera. I know nerves were an issue, so next time I will remind students to stand still until they are 100% finished reading. And SMILE :)I was very pleased with how the recital went, how the video turned out, and how the Skype setup worked, and we will definitely be doing this again in the spring!
Want to learn more about how to teach online piano lessons?