Among other things, I’ve been asked about how to ensure your video portfolio is professional and effective. So here are my Top 5 Tips for ensuring you have a great video portfolio for your piano studio.
#1: ALWAYS Film Live Performances
There are several problems with studio recordings, and several benefits to filming live performances.
On a studio recording, the audience has no idea how many times it took you to get that particular shot. With a live recording, you’ll show them exactly what the pianist achieved first time, because with live performances, there are no second chances.
Atmosphere is another big differentiator. Nothing matches the atmosphere of a live performance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re recording a piano student or a famous band – the live atmosphere can’t be recreated in a studio. So give your viewers the real atmospheric experience by filming your video portfolio live.
Live performances are also more real. Have you ever seen a band performing in concert, and been disappointed by the quality of their playing compared to their studio albums? A musician’s performance skills are most evident when they perform live. Show your prospective students exactly what they can expect with a live video portfolio.
#2: DON’T Film The Piano Teacher Playing
Now there is one exception to this rule: if, as a piano teacher, you also hire out for performances, then by all means include videos of yourself playing in your portfolio.
However, if you’re like me, and your number one job is as a piano teacher, then your performance skills aren’t really relevant. Instead, your students’ performance skills are what matter. That’s what’s relevant to your future students.
To draw a parallel – if you were looking for a maths tutor for your son or daughter, the teacher’s qualifications and experience may be important, but what you would really want to know is what sort of results their students achieve. In the same way, people need to see your students playing – let their fingers do the talking.
#3: ALWAYS Respect Privacy
Admittedly, this is a common sense and courteous step to take, but it still bears mentioning. It’s good ethical practice – and probably a legal requirement – to always ask permission of students (and their parents, for under 18s) before you upload videos of them playing.
In my experience, about three quarters of my students and their parents are completely happy for me to share videos of them online. They enjoy being able to show friends and family in other cities and states, and even overseas.
For those who don’t want to be online, I don’t upload their videos.
#4: Use Vimeo
There’s much that can be said about Vimeo vs YouTube, but ultimately, it comes down to what you’re trying to achieve.
After thinking long and hard about the decision, I chose to put my video portfolio on Vimeo. YouTube may have more viewers, but I wanted better quality videos, and that meant Vimeo. Because most people view the videos via my website, Vimeo’s smaller audience numbers are irrelevant. And there are no ads, so that’s a bonus for viewers.
Other benefits of Vimeo include:
- 3 types of account (one free, two paid)
- faster upload time (if you’re on a paid account)
- better looking video player
If that weren’t reason enough, it’s also important to note that all the professional videographers and filmmakers are on Vimeo – so what does that tell you?
#5: ALWAYS Use a Professional Videographer (If You Can)
Presentation is everything. There’s nothing worse than a music video with poor visuals and poor sound. By using a professional videographer for your video portfolio, you will get professional looking videos with great lighting and sound, and multiple camera angles.
In addition to the importance of presentation, using a professional videographer to produce your video portfolio will also show your clients that you’re professional, and you’re not willing to cut corners. If you don’t cut corners on video, then you probably don’t cut corners at your piano studio either. And that’s incredibly reassuring for prospective students and their parents.
All videos you see on our website are courtesy of our good friends at Imaginarium Productions.
Would you like to see an example of a professionally-filmed video from my video portfolio? Watch the highlights video from the 2014 Le Piano Academy recital below.
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