HD webcam

Using Multiple Cameras in a Music Lesson Demonstration

After reading "On Teaching Piano with Multiple Cameras", one of my readers had mused how wonderful it would be to see a demonstration of using multiple cameras in a music lesson. My student Dylan and I were happy to oblige.

Here we are working on a short chord progression from U2's "Stuck in a Moment". I used the three claps at the beginning to synchronize the videos (à la Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir).

We used the following cameras for this demonstration:

  1. POV Camera on Dylan's head (Top Left): GoPro Hero 2
  2. Profile Camera on the Studio Desk (Top Right): Microsoft HD LifeCam 3000
  3. Pedal Camera (Bottom Right): Canon PowerShot 5S IS (I can't bring myself to retire it completely because it's still a good camera)
  4. Overhead Camera (Bottom Left): Logitech HD Pro Webcam C910

I took a photographer friend's advice and turned off the auto-focus on the two webcams. Another thing I do is try to minimize the number of background programs running on the computer when recording video.

 

The profile view is essential for checking posture and hand position. The overhead view gives you the musician's peripheral of the keyboard geography. The pedal view is essential with students who are having issues with timing their pedal changes. As for the POV camera - isn't is just fun to see how another musician sees when they play? It's also good for checking where they are focusing.

I will probably swap the positions for the pedal and profile camera.

Now, when a student working on something new, I can show them various perspectives that they can review at their leisure at home. Or perhaps they'd like to show off a newly polished piece to their relatives across the country.

Students, "Record & Review" has never been so easy to do at home. Use any of your portable devices, such as a smart phone, iPod, tablet, netbook, laptop, camera. You can place them at various positions as we have here.

Find out more about how to incorporate webcams into your studio here.

* Special thanks to my student Dylan and his family for granting permission to record Dylan for this demo. *

Using Webcams in Music Lessons

Last year, I purchased an HD webcam for my music studio. My students, their parents and I have enjoyed how easy it is to take a quick video clip or photo of either a hand position or drilling a troublespot in their music. They get to review it as many times as they need to at home as an unlisted Youtube video.

Computer assisted instruction aids music practice. Photo by R-M Arca

Some of my piano parents really like the overhead camera as it gives them the same view that pianists see when they look at their hands.

This year, we are moving full-steam ahead with computer assisted instruction. Thanks to Memory Express and Best Buy, I was able to take advantage of their huge sale on webcams. 

Webcam #2 is positioned to give that all important profile view. It's great for checking posture and ergonomic movement.

Technology in music can be as easy as a $30 HD webcam. Photo by R-M Arca.

It took a while for some of today's students to find Webcam #3. I have a few students who need the pedal view.

Having multiple camera views for computer assisted music lessons is ideal. Photo by R-M Arca.

My beginner piano students were pretty eager to test how well my computer could handle recording from two cameras simultaneously. It turned out all right. I'll have to fiddle around with the audio settings a bit, but at least my students and I are having fun with these toys as we explore the exciting world of music. Once we get a better handle on things, Skype piano coaching can't be too far away.