Monday, August 15, 2011

YouTube Channel For The Studio

This year marks quite a few changes with a new studio website, a new blog, a Facebook page, monthly newsletters and a few creative projects I'm excited to begin. Lately I've been trying my hands at video editing and I have to say it's very time consuming but SO fun!! I've caught a few video clips of student performances and watched quite a number of tutorials on creating movies. There is a big learning curve but definitely exciting for someone who loves to play at the computer. 
I have been intrigued by the idea of creating a YouTube channel for my studio after watching several piano teaching channels. I think it is such a wonderful idea to start and archive videos of student performances. YouTube also makes it easy for the user to share videos publicly or unlist a video from search results. What really made me think about setting up a channel? All too often, I've seen students working so hard on their repertoire particularly when preparing for festivals and exams only to lose that wonderful performance when they move on to new works. I thought it would be nice to capture their very best performances that enable us all to appreciate them, even years after. 
In anticipation of my plan, I handed out media release forms along with registration forms last September prior to the start of this project and very pleased that parents are in full support of this endeavour. It's funny when students tell me it's much more nerve-wrecking playing for a video recorder than a live person!! Students chuckle as I play back the videos and were more critical of their playing than ever!! And what else could teach more about style and presentation at the piano? My students laugh when they see themselves slapping their hands at the piano upon approaching the seat along with a smirk at the sound of a missed note. It's true that videos catch students' attention and do a good job amplifying my voice:) 
Summer's coming to an end but I've had a good time learning and accomplishing quite a few things on my to do list. I'm still working to get the YouTube channel set up and look forward to adding videos over time. I'm glad that students have enjoyed watching their performances and sharing them with friends and family from all over the world. There seems to be quite a number of YouTube channels of piano teachers featuring their students performing which really inspired me to create my own channel. I think there is a lot of benefits to having a YouTube channel for the studio as an avenue for students to evaluate their own playing, learn from each other's performance and share their music with friends and family.

Although there is some excitement, I was recently cautioned that there may potentially be copyright issues with uploading videos on YouTube. Does anyone know what constitutes "fair use policy" and the general guidelines for compliance when works of composers and their publishers are performed and shared on YouTube? I would love to know if this is acceptable practice. If anyone has a YouTube channel set up for their studio, I would love to hear from you .....and do share the link to your channel :)


  1. Well, I can't wait to see your video projects - everything you do looks beautiful and classy. My students really enjoy having their videos posted on YouTube. We make it a special event, once or twice a year. I only leave the video on my account for a month or two and I disable all comments and voting. That seems to be enough time to have fun sharing with friends and family.

    You're right it's time consuming, but you get faster with practice and the videos are so much fun to have. Sometimes I'll sit at the computer with my students and watch all of their videos from over the years. Have fun!

  2. Thank you Anne, I also love your channel and the video projects you have done :) I've done up a few simple videos and uploaded on my channel as a test, will be posting an icon on my blog that links to the YouTube channel. The videos are done on Adobe Premiere Pro with the most basic editing...still learning the fancy stuff:)
    I'm keen to explore iMovie, the program has some beautiful templates and transitions.

  3. I have never used Adobe Premier Pro, do you like it? I usually do my projects with iMovie. I find it plays nicely with iPhoto and GarageBand, and the export to YouTube or iTunes is so easy to do. The templates are nice too, and it's fun reading tutorials to learn other tricks.

  4. Yes Anne, I really like Premiere Pro. It was a huge learning curve because there was no way I could get around the software without watching quite a list of tutorials. But now that I know my way around a bit, editing seems a lot more streamlined with multiple video clips in a timeline. I am also able to set and save presets for any effects that can be applied to other projects - a huge timesaver! Now, I am able to get a video of a student performance set up in about 5-10 minutes. It was also relatively easy to substitute the audio file for a video. Premiere Pro is an extremely robust video editing software and works seamlessly with all Adobe products, I think I'm only touching the surface. I did a first project on iMovie today and I do have to say that the program is very user friendly. But there seems to be limitations with the Ken Burns effect for still images and colour correction on the videos, or perhaps I don't know the tricks to these yet :)

  5. Me again... your post got me thinking about being better informed about copyright issues, so I did a little research and found this helpful page from the MTNA:

  6. Hmmmm, thanks for sharing the link Anne, it's definitely helpful and it looks like I will have to remove videos of works that are not in the public domain for now. I'll contact the music publishers and find out more about the process for obtaining permission for this purpose. Thank you again :)


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