Inquiry re
Recording equipment for auditions & lessons

Connie Sunday said: May 11, 2015
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

A lot of teachers record their students’ lessons. I’ve been meaning to do this for years. Can anyone recommend the equipment and hardware I need to do this? I have no clue.

I need this to double as the equipment used to prepare a DVD to take the Suzuki training. They require a DVD. as per their teacher training audition guide:

https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/training/audition/

So, two uses:
1. To tape lessons and send student home with tape; and
2. Allow students to create a DVD for taking the Suzuki training, and making other audition tapes.

Looks like it needs to be a separate camera on a tripod. I don’t want to have to fool with my phone or a laptop while I’m teaching.

Preparing and Submitting Your Audition
—Prepare a well-polished performance. Any edition of the required piece(s) is acceptable. Memorization and accompaniment are not required.
—No written or oral comments—performance only.
—Home filming is usually adequate.
—Use a tripod or set your camera on a stead surface.
—Camera must focus on player’s hand position and show entire body if possible.
—Each piece must be one continuous take—no video splicing.
—Please review your recording for good video and audio quality before submitting.
—Audition must be submitted online (any video format will work) or by mail on DVD.

Actually, “any video format will work” contradicts the DVD requirement. That’s kind of confusing! What is the current requirement?

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Connie Sunday said: May 11, 2015
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

On Maestronet it was suggested I get something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OV8GKK6?tag=conniesviolin-20

I’d love to hear from someone who has done a recent audition, was accepted, and whether the above mentioned equipment would be acceptable by the powers that be? I don’t want to spend that much only to find out the SSA won’t accept it.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Mengwei said: May 11, 2015
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
119 posts

The Certificate of Achievement page specifically says DVD required but for the teacher training audition, it says online or DVD. Where it says DVD Requirements means if you make a DVD, then make sure you do all those things, not that you must make a DVD. (The Practicum page also says DVD required and I imagine that’s because you’ll pop it in a DVD player to view during the class.)

It also says home filming is usually adequate; 10 years ago that would have been a camcorder (VHS tape!) but now people use their phones and tablets and digital photo and video sharing is prolific. Last year I sent in two auditions (online) that were accepted that were simple iPad videos (put the iPad on a music stand). You can press a button and leave it running, then edit it later.

Most of my students wouldn’t want to go home with a tape/DVD/thing. Some parents record on their phone or tablet. Personal technology is so convenient these days that if you’re basically recording for personal purposes (i.e. you don’t need professional studio quality), you probably don’t need a specialized setup. At one point I considered a separate USB microphone but decided against creating extra work for myself (more advanced video editing and audio syncing).

Connie Sunday said: May 20, 2015
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Mengwei: I wonder if you could clarify your answer; I’m just really confused about this.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Mengwei said: May 20, 2015
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
119 posts

Which part do you need clarification on?

1. To tape lessons and send student home with tape; and

I know many of us are used to saying tape (cassette tape, video tape) and I’m saying these days most of my students/parents would much prefer digital rather than a physical item (tape, DVD, whatever). I personally find that my iPad works for this and don’t need/want to deal with separate equipment.

2. Allow students to create a DVD for taking the Suzuki training, and making other audition tapes.

Last year, on two separate occasions, I recorded via iPad, used the Submit Your Audition Online option on the audition guide page, and was approved within a day. You may very well need/want separate equipment and DVDs for other uses or other organizations, but I’m absolutely certain that the SAA teacher training audition does not need to be on DVD.

Gyula said: May 20, 2015
 5 posts

For purpose 1—sending students home with a recorded practice assignment:

Use the parent’s phone or tablet, or yours. The latest smartphones and tablets have so many potential uses for the teaching studio that it’s a good investment for yourself if you don’t have one already. If a student doesn’t have a phone or tablet that they can use during the lesson, I’ve used my iPhone and upload a video to YouTube or Vimeo, making it private, and share a link to it with the student and parent vie email or text message on the day of the lesson.

The quality is fine! If you prefer higher audio quality, there are, for example, iPhone compatible condenser mics, directional mics, and stand-alone mics that you can buy which plug into your phone which boost audio quality.

Also, look up phone grips that will mount the phone on a regular camera tripod, or on a mic stand, or on a table or other flat surface (e.g. a suitably tilted music stand). But in a pinch you can usually set the tablet or phone on a regular music stand (although the angle of the picture will be slightly “upwards”, it’s usually not a big deal).

For purpose 2—use the same equipment as above, although you may need a phone or tablet with either a lot of free memory, or one that takes external memory, if you’re recording longer audition pieces and not short “practice assignments”.

If you NEED a DVD (I’m pretty sure you can upload videos—I did, when taking the SAA auditions for training purposes)—but if you need one, upload the recording from your phone to your desktop or laptop that has an optical drive, and burn a dvd with your computer’s software.

I imagine that if you’re doing a Practicum where you share your teaching videos in class, and you can get an internet connection where your class is being held, you could create a private Vimeo or YouTube channel and have the class watch them online.

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