Using the Camera During Music Lessons

As some of my readers know, I have been doing audio and visual recordings when I am teaching. At the end of the night, I upload the files to their special recordings page and fire off an email (Thank God for email templates), saying "Your Lesson Audio/Video Clip is up!" It's been working very well since moving to this format. All they have to do is click on the link and they can get a refresher anytime they want. They can even show off to family and friends, near and far.

Getting into position. Photo by R-M Arca.

This week, my students and I discovered something truly amazing. I was trying to figure out a better position for the tripod. Previously, it sat beside my desk with the camera catching a profile shot. That works well - most of the time.

However, this week, I wanted to capture a better view for my students struggling with hand position and keyboard topography. The amazing discovery? Turn the student into a roving camera person when I'm demonstrating (or I'm the roving camera person/interviewer as I get them to piece together a practice plan for the week). Then they can go all around me and zoom in on whatever they feel they need to capture as I explain and demonstrate a practice strategy to them. Now I admit, some videos don't offer the best view. There's a few moments, when the lens is panning the floor or the window but the twinkle in their eye just from being in charge of the camera is something to behold. They have also started to even take photos during the video to capture a hand position:

Working through the 12 Bar blues form. Photo by R-M Arca.

Some advice: make your students use the neck strap, use a camera that they can handle (and that you're comfortable using for recording lessons) and finally, for really young beginners, pass the camera to the child's parent. After all, it's for their benefit that you're doing the video.

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