Talking the talk isn’t enough – you need to walk the walk.
YouTube has been with us for nearly 10 years. It’s easy and free to use, and has led to the democratisation of video content in the online world.
Yet most music teachers don’t have a video portfolio with recordings of their students performing.
My question is: “why not?”
I believe that having a video portfolio is a must for any music teacher in the internet age. Below are 9 reasons every music teacher should have a video portfolio, including responses to common objections I sometimes hear.
(Want to see the Le Piano Academy video portfolio? You’ll find it here.)
#1: Testimonials Can Be Faked
“But I have testimonials on my website” is a common objection to investing in a video portfolio.
Sadly, however, the reality is that testimonials can be faked. As such, any sensible prospective students would naturally prefer more proof. But they can’t always get it.
Unlike testimonials, student performances cannot be faked. When you record one of your students playing the piano (or whatever instrument you teach), that’s real and powerful. As such, a video portfolio provides indisputable proof of your abilities as a music teacher.
[Tweet “Video portfolio provides indisputable proof of your abilities as a Music Teacher #piano #pianist”]
#2: Portfolios Give Prospective Students a Taste of What They Will Learn
Videos of your students performing can also provide prospective students with an idea of what they can expect from enrolling in your music academy. Your videos will give them a taste of the repertoire they will learn, and the standards they can expect to reach. It also demonstrates how professional you are as a teacher.
Watching the videos in your portfolio is basically a try-before-you-buy experience for prospective students. And if what they’re “trying” is quality, they’ll be interested in “buying”.
#3: They Make a Great Take-Home Gift for Parents and Students
I record all my students’ performances at our studio’s annual recital. Afterwards, I give my students copies of their performance. They can also purchase a Blu-ray disc of the entire concert.
Because I have my video work done professionally, all my students and their parents love receiving copies of their performances. This means that as a music teacher, having a video portfolio plays a dual role, as it’s also a great “extra” to offer your clients.
#4: “Everyone Else” is Doing It
Members of other industries often have portfolios on their website, demonstrating their expertise in their area. For instance, builders have photos and/or videos of the homes they have built, while graphic designers have galleries filled with the logos they’ve designed. So why don’t music teachers have portfolios too?
#5: Cost Isn’t an Issue
“But video is expensive!” is another common objection to having a video portfolio.
Once upon a time, this was true. But nowadays, even if you can’t afford a professional videographer, there’s really no excuse. Smartphones even film in HD! (Just be sure to hold them horizontally – vertical videos are bad.)
Furthermore, taking a step up from a smart phone isn’t prohibitive like it once was, either. DSLR cameras can cost less than $500, and if you want to invest in sound as well as picture (which is a good idea), Zoom microphones can also be bought for less than $500. That means you can start filming quality videos of your students’ performances for less than $1000. It’s an investment, to be sure. But not an outrageous one.
#6: The Proof of the Pudding…
Let your students’ fingers do the talking in your marketing.
Video portfolios clearly demonstrate a music teacher’s expertise. You’ve heard the adage “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”? Well the proof of a teacher’s skills is in their students’ playing.
Even one of my 8 year old students has her own YouTube channel!
#7 – Video is a Social Media WIN
In the world of social media, visual posts generate more “likes”, comments, clicks, and “engagement”.
According to a 2014 study by Quintly, videos on Facebook Pages garner more interactions and engagement than images, statuses, links, and cover photos. Despite making up an average of 3% of all posts, videos receive a disproportionate share of attention on social media.
As such, having a video portfolio with videos you can share on your different social media platforms can help your pages to stand out and get attention. And of course, YouTube itself is a social media platform through which people can discover you – after all, it’s the world’s second most popular search engine after Google.
#8: Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Have you ever visited the website of a famous singer, musician, or band where they simply told you how good they were? Of course not. Instead, they show you with videos. And if others in the music industry have videos demonstrating their expertise, why shouldn’t music teachers do the same?
#9: It Sets You Apart
By having video portfolios, Jackie and I have set ourselves apart from other music teachers. It’s a point of difference. And it’s a point of difference my clients love. I know, because they tell me about it.
Over to You
If you’re a music teacher, do you have a video portfolio? If not, why not?
As a student or parent, do you appreciate being able to watch student performances?
Piano Fingers – Video Portfolio Showcase
Would you like to see the Le Piano Academy video portfolio? You’ll find it on our showcase page, entitled “Piano Fingers”. Piano Fingers includes video recordings of my students’ live performances at our studio’s annual piano recital. These students range in age from young children, to adults. Some are beginners, others intermediates, and others have been studying piano with me for years. So go have a look, and let me know what you think!
[shareaholic app=”share_buttons” id=”7262185″]