Here’s some notes from another session during the pre-conference seminar track “Student & Young Professionals:”
Viable Video: Basic Principles of an Effective Portfolio, by Pete Jutras. W @ 4:00pm
- The quality of the teaching shown in the video trumps all. Video editing does NOT mask: a lack of planning, poor communication, failure to diagnose problems, or poor sequencing of pieces.
- When applying for a job, the kind of teaching videos taken for college pedagogy classes are generally not sufficient. Those are equivalent to a “rough draft” or a “practice session,” while the video submitted to a job should be a well-polished video — the equivalent to a “recital performance.” Practice teaching in front of the camera for many weeks before you start collecting for the real thing. Then showcase your best moments.
- When possible, tailor your video portfolio specifically to the job description and to your personal strengths as a teacher.
Your video should include:
- Evidence of planning — a goal to the activity, a clear understanding of the student’s issues/needs, well-sequenced steps, and clear student assessment.
- Show your mastery of material — through effective modeling, multiple modes of explanation, and relating new things to previous knowledge.
- Good communication — make eye contact with the student rather than talking to the piano, and be sure to allow the student to communicate during the lesson too.
- Student success — we need to see it on the video!
- Camera — look for HD quality (720p), which will cost between $100-200. A few models: Flip cameras, Kodak Play Sport, and the Sony Bloggie.
- External microphone — one possibility is the Azden SMX-10 which costs around $65.
- Editing platform — basic software comes included on most computers (Macs have iMove, and PCs come with Windows Movie Maker). Use this to add slides with text to introduce the student.
- Place to share — CD or YouTube (be sure to get permission to post videos online).
- Cameraman (optional).
When setting up the camera, there are some views to avoid. Dr. Jutras showed us some short clips demonstrating these less-than-ideal video angles. 🙂
- “The Hidden Student” angle.
- “The Hidden Teacher” angle.
- “The Backside” angle.
- “The Class Piano Problem: case of the missing teacher.”
Ideally, the camera frame should show the student’s posture, hand position, face, and the teacher’s face.
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Much of this practical advice corresponds to the advice that Dr. Scott Donald offered in his earlier session on Teaching Videos, which you can read here.