As I recorded my own pre-screening audition last semester, I also found myself making recordings of my students’ playing for the annual String Project Honors Recital tape submission.
Though I was playing Mendelssohn, Bach and Paganini while they were playing Lightly Row, the Ant Song, and Witches Dance, there were similarities in the way we all responded the camera lens.
By focusing a camera on the live performance of a piece, suddenly mistakes and inconsistencies were glaringly obvious. It seemed as if the expectations of our own playing increased tenfold as soon as we went from listening to ourselves while playing to watching a video after playing. My students and I found reserves of energy to make a piece just that tiny bit better to capture on video that we didn’t know we had.
Encouraged by the changes in my own playing and in that of my students, I began taping other students who weren’t attempting to audition for the honors recital. With the tool of the camera, we were able improve their playing as well. [Read more…]