Using Recording Equipment in the Studio

Alright, so I actually don’t own any fancy recording equipment. But, I have enjoyed using a little bit of audio and video recording during my lessons to help get my students to pay attention to what is coming out of the piano. Because seriously, sometimes we can get so caught up with what our fingers are doing, what the notes on the page are doing, what our feet are doing with the pedals and all of the counting going on inside our head that we forget to listen. Go figure. I swear, you have got to be some kind of crazy multi-tasker to be a pianist!

So, enter technology – whether it be some kind of nice and expensive recording equipment, or something a little more common and affordable, like a small tape recorder of some sort or even an iPod (my iPod records sound and video – not the best quality out there but it definitely works). Here are a couple of ways to use this during a lesson:

  • Are those little fingers not staying curved again? I have sometimes whipped out my little iPod video camera to show my student what their hands really look like. I’d say that 90% of the time, things like flat fingers can be fixed quite easily just by having the student see and realize what they are doing.
  • A quick audio recording of a “polished” piece may save you many lectures about whether or not they are really playing piano in that one section, or if their phrases are really connected. Or whether or not the piece actually sounds musical and exciting to listen to. Sometimes students just need the chance to listen in on their own playing as an observer to really get what needs to be fixed.
How do you use recording equipment in your studio?
Jennifer Boster

One Response to “Using Recording Equipment in the Studio

  • I LOVE to video students with flat fingers and then let them watch themselves! It's amazing what they don't "see" when they play, even though they are looking right at their hands. I picked up a Flip camera about a year ago, and it's been really handy in lessons. I always tell my students that it gives them a chance to watch things from the "teacher chair" so they see exactly what I do. (I even let them sit in my chair while they watch it). The kids get a big kick out of the videos!