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Saturday, March 7, 2020

Video tie-ins - Using YouTube to engage students and teach concepts

I've been using lots of videos to help my students grasp the concepts I'm teaching in class.   Videos are such a great way to begin a rehearsal.  It settles everyone down, everyone is intrigued, and it gives me 1 or 2 minutes to re-set my brain and gear myself for another class.

A few tips for using videos in class:

*Always preview the entire video.  I make sure every video is appropriate for school and I never show a video I have not pre-screened.  If there is one or two swear words. I edit those out by hitting the mute button.

*Make sure there is a point.  I always relate my videos to my rehearsals and I refer back to the video during the rehearsals to reinforce/remind students about the skills we are working on.  Videos help my students quickly grasp concepts.

*Use the same video for every level.  It would be way too hard for me to find different videos for every level I teach.  I use the same videos and focus on the same basic concepts in each class.

*Show only the best parts of the videos.  Time is precious.

Here are the videos I have used recently and an explanation of how I related each video to my class:

We discussed the need to develop muscle memory and to feel the spacing between notes and fingerpatterns.  Also 'feeling' correct position, correct bow holds, and maintaining 'feel' of the instrument while playing.  For a fun Friday activity, I brought my game 'What's in the Box' and we played the game for a few minutes.  Students LOVED it.

I LOVE this video!  We were able to discuss artistry and what makes good music.  I let students watch the video once, then we re-watched the performance and paused to discuss things the singer did to create such emotion in the music.  


We watched only the first 3 minutes of this one.  GREAT video to discuss bow distribution.  We talked about how some players use the same amount of bow no matter what they are playing.  It is way more interested to use LONG bows and SHORT bows depending on what the music calls for.  We then went through our music to decide where we should be suing more or less bow.  This really transformed some of our concert music!


Showed from 1:55 to 4:48.  We talked about how smart students are able to do things on their own!  They don't need a teacher to tell them what to do all the time.  Students can figure out what to fix on their own.  As we rehearsed I had students complete a worksheet where they had to write the measures we were practicing and what they needed to do to make those measures better.  Frankly, I was tired of telling them the same things all the time in every rehearsal.  This worked wonders in my rehearsal.  Students thought about each section of music and took ownership for their playing.  They improved a TON...and I didn't have to say a thing.


I only showed the very beginning of this one...with the baby.  I told students that I hope they feel about orchestra and performing and their instruments the same way this baby feels about ice cream.  It's hilarious.


This video shows that every part, every note is important in the entire piece.


This video teaches about tone color.  We talked about how we can use our bow to change the tone color of our instruments...and in older classes - how adding vibrato changes tone color.

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