Recording Your Showcase Video

We all learn best by doing! The studio has presented a couple of virtual showcases now. We’ve learned what works really well and also what doesn’t. Please consider everything here. It may look like a lot, but every one of these things has negatively impacted a student’s video this year. Our world transitioned to virtual quickly because of the pandemic. Learning how to produce a quality video is here to stay.

Recording Considerations


  • Please use the best device available to you. You have two options: 1) a good video camera that is capable of compressing the final video to around 25MB or 2) a recent Apple device so sound and video are both clear. Android devices do not share sound well.
  • If using an Apple device, do not set your camera app at anything greater than 1080p HD at 30fps or even a short video will be huge. To check the recording speed, go to Settings->Camera->Record Video.
  • Please record landscape. If recorded portrait, the picture will not fill the screen.
  • Record at the highest volume possible, usually 100%. It may vary depending on what you are performing.
  • A good rule of thumb is to record 10 seconds before you begin to perform. Acknowledge the audience (smile) before starting. Do not introduce yourself.
  • Acknowledge the audience (smile) after the music stops. Add 10 seconds to the end of your video to enable smooth transitions from one student to the next. Do not say thank you.
  • Hair out of your face! No exceptions. You will be asked to re-record if the audience can’t see your entire face.
  • Check to see if there are scratches/dirt on the camera lens or marks on the background wall before starting.


  • Reduce background clutter for a clean picture.
  • Students who are using a digital instrument need to do a sound check before proceeding. Just record a short portion of your piece and check to see if the volume on your piano is set at a good level. It might take a couple of times to get it right. Take big dynamic swings in your piece into consideration.
  • Acknowledge the audience (smile) before putting your hands on the piano to begin.
  • Lift your hands gracefully and place them in your lap when your piece is done. Acknowledge the audience by smiling.


  • The camera must be stationary at eye level, not slanted up toward you. Record from the waist up. Stand a few feet away from the camera. If you are too close, the video will be blurry no matter how good your device is.
  • Please plan well. Try to record standing in front of a blank wall – pictures, light switches, doorways, ceilings, thermostats, and stairs can all be distracting.
  • You will need two light sources, one in front of you, one to the side to eliminate shadows. Please do not face a light source head-on if you wear glasses. Your glasses will have a tendency to reflect throughout the video.
  • It’s important to do a sound check before recording your entire selection. There needs to be a good balance between your track and voice. I recommend recording a small portion of your song, then listening to it. Adjust as needed. I can adjust a variety of things in iMovie, but if the balance is really off, you will probably be asked to re-record.

Submitting Your Video

  • If the recording is relatively small, it’s possible to just text it to me.
  • Some people prefer to attach a file to email.
  • If you feel that your recording is too big for either of these options, please create a Google Drive folder and give me edit access so that I can download the recording.


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