I don’t know about you, but I have some students who are participating in a spring performance coming up soon! Last week, I recorded my student Jean playing her recital piece during her lesson (click to read more about recording students as preparation for performances). Then we spent some time listening and discussing the recording. Although it took a little bit of time to set up the devices need for recording ahead of time, I found that it was well-worth the time setting everything up and spending on doing a recording activity.
Using my digital recorder as an external microphone, I was able to capture video with high sound quality using iMovie software on my MacBook Pro. Later on, I edited the videos using iMovie again and uploaded them to YouTube. (If anyone would like more details about how exactly this is done, just ask! I can explain further.)
After listening to the recording, I asked Jean what things she noticed – which areas did she play well? Which areas could be improved? We discussed those areas and then I made a few suggestions of my own. Jean decided to play through the piece once more, and was able to improve most of the areas we discussed.
Afterwards, Jean stated that she thought it was cool how recording allowed her to hear areas that need improvement herself. This is the real benefit of taking the time to record students before the performance. Usually, it is the teacher who tells the student about the areas to improve. Doing a recording activity every now and then allows the student to be the teacher and use their ears to really listen to themselves.
Jean and I devoted the whole lesson to recording and listening to her pieces. After working on her recital piece, we moved on to a couple other pieces – one that she finished working on a few weeks ago, and one that she has recently started working on. Part of her assignment for this week is to listen to the recordings again at home on YouTube, to remind her about the things we talked about. :)
To read more about planning and preparing for student recitals, check out this post: Checklist for Planning Student Recitals.