Piano tutorial

Using Video Tutorials in Your Studio, Starring Your Students

In my entry, Piano Pedagogy & Technology Musings, I unveiled my grand plan to create an online audio/visual library for my students to use to assist with their at-home practicing. So far, my students have enjoyed laughing at my How to Sit at the Piano video, in which I use one of Maestro's giant stuffed dogs to demonstrate. Likewise with my Troubleshooting video, which showed that even teachers need to drill trouble spots repeatedly to iron them out. A few of them actually ask, "Can we make a video clip of that?" so they can watch us working on one of their pieces at a later time.

I initially set out to make 12 videos but it looks like there will be at least 15 in all as I or my students get ideas of what else to shoot. However, I am sure that my students don't want to watch just me for all 15, so I've gone recruiting.

If this is something that you're thinking of trying your studio, I highly recommend having your students star in some of your video tutorials. Six students have eagerly stepped up to the plate to date with several more waiting for their turn. One student demonstrated how he practices his memory stations, one shared how she started learning a song in lead sheet form, while four shared stories they made up to go with their pieces. They're finding the whole experience a blast, while I am getting my share of laughs of smiles.

All you need is your digital camera (if it takes video) or a video recorder. Make sure you have at least 4 GB on your SD card (I have 8 GB). As far as movie editing software goes, I've just been using Windows Movie Maker, which has lots of tutorials and help menus. A tripod is a bonus.

As an alternative to posting them on your website, you could burn your videos onto a DVD-R or DVD/RW or share them with your students via memory stick or ftp. Mind you, if you and your students are on Facebook, all you'd have to do is create a group for your studio and post your videos to the group. Of course, there are sites like Youtube and Vimeo.

Next on the horizon are the videos on Outstanding Openings and Fabulous Photo Finishes. I think I'll go recruiting again to get students to demonstrate each of these.

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