In a year where mostly every type of in-person musical performance has been canceled, school concerts and student recitals have been no exception. For hardworking students, these performance opportunities are crucial, and missing out on chances to play in front of supportive audiences is sure to make an impact on today’s budding music students. But the good news is that parents and music teachers alike have the chance to celebrate and challenge students through music videos. With a minimal amount of equipment and free video editing software, you can make the music student(s) in your life feel special by giving them a benchmark to work towards and documenting their progress.
Substitute your school concert for a music video
As you’ve probably already guessed, nothing can fill in as a complete substitute for school concerts and student recitals. However, through special music videos that feature student performances, parents and music teachers can celebrate their progress and unique musical journeys in an exciting and memorable way.
By capturing a student’s practicing and improvisational sessions as well as their final performances, videos are capable of showing progress in contextual ways that conventional concerts can’t. Picture montages, well-produced shots of the final performances, and special background music of the student’s choosing will help not only fill in for the concerts students are missing, but will be great mementos they’ll be able to look back on for the rest of their lives.
Using music videos to motivate
A thoughtfully produced video documenting the look and sound of a student’s performance can be a huge motivator. At the beginning of the school year, quarter, or semester, setting the expectation that a student’s progress and final performances will be filmed and turned into a great looking and sounding video is the first step. Over platforms like YouTube and Vimeo, kids can share videos of their performances with their friends and watch each other’s progress. And by rewarding dedicated practicing and musical concepts mastered, giving a student the power to shape the look, feel, and sound of the video can be a great motivator as well. Let the student pick their own wardrobe or costume, the background music used for the sections of the video when they’re not performing, and the setting they perform in.
Film and produce an amazing video
For most parents and music teachers, the stock cameras on laptops and smartphones are decent enough to capture clear and engaging videos, though camera stands and tripods are recommended. However, when it comes to the audio quality of music videos, it’s a totally different story. Depending on what and how the students in your video are performing, vocal and instrument mics are recommended for capturing the audio they produce in pristine quality. A mixing console will allow you to shape and produce the sound of their performance, and some even allow you to add sound exciting effects like EQs, reverbs, and delays. Since the video you’re creating isn’t streamed live, you’re able to edit the sound of the performance after the recording in order to get the best sound. You can record and edit audio through free audio programs on your computer, but professional platforms like ProTools are recommended for delivering the best sound.
The lighting and setting you choose for the video are crucial for developing the look and feel of the performances. The students need to be properly lit, but not lit so much that they’re washed out and not easily visible. If you choose an indoor setting for the concert, assembling hanging lights are easy ways to make the performance look and feel special. When you’re finished filming and performing the performance, free or inexpensive video editing platforms like i-Movie will allow you to compile and edit clips and import audio.
If there’s a silver lining to the tough times we’re all facing, it’s that we’re being brought closer together in creative ways. You might find that you love the process of documenting student progress through videos so much that you continue to create them long after school concerts have resumed.
Check out more Educator Resources