Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Make YouTube YourTube

Yes, YouTube has been around for awhile–founded in 2005. This year I have claimed YouTube as an official and permanent tool for my teaching.

I give most of the credit for my recent YouTube fascination to my new Flip®Camera. This easy-to-use camera has changed by video-life. Forever…

A book entitled YouTube in Music Education by Rudolph and Frankel also gets some credit for my latest affair. There is still something about the printed page, the feeling of a book in hand, that helps me digest information. Although I was familiar with YouTube, the book gave me confidence to grasp the intuitive (yes, intuitive!) features of YouTube.. Coupled with my new Flip®Camera, this video-sharing site has propelled my teaching into the 21st century.

YouTube is now be an intentional staple in my teaching since I’ve set up my own channel (I know, I’m behind so please disregard if you know this all!) My channel features

My Uploads

1. of student performances taken to track progress. Perhaps not stellar performances, it is so easy to upload any type of performance to YouTube because of the url address. It can be easily emailed and then reviewed by students and families at home AND easily deleted.

2. of student recital-ready performances to acknowledge work well done.

My Playlists

1. Student Practice Performance: These videos of piano student playing at various levels of performance readiness are not intended for a large audience. They are meant to help students working to master a piece as mentioned above.

2. Student Performances: These are “Keeper” videos of students performing at recitals or in preparation for YouTube-quality performance.

Three Great Reasons to Capture the pic and the sound of your pianists:

Don and Stuart enjoying a duet and in their 80's!

  • Pride–celebrating accomplishments with sight and sound
  • Progress–ability to literally see and hear development from year to year
  • Posterity–capturing a moment on the bench that will last a lifetime

3. Educational:  Foraging through youtube, amazing videos have been discovered that range from informative to gripping in the most imaginative ways. Requiring my students to sit and listen to a Bach Prelude would be greeted with perhaps some enthusiasm. However, asking them to sit and watch a video of the same prelude performed while a camera moves throughout the inside of the piano following the action of the dampers, strings and hammers proved captivating.

4. Favorite Composers; this collection of videos features performances of classical pieces for student reference and comparison. A great listening tool that has been used for quite some time already, especially by my adult students. Now I have a place to store them!

5. Favorite Arrangements: It is a common for my students to search and find their new, favorite piece on youtube . New artists and arrangers share their creativity. Thankfully, they serve as great inspiration for many and at times turn a student from sitting on the piano lesson fence to sitting on the piano bench for life!

6. Inspirational: You’ve seen these in your Inbox before, but now there is a place to store them so they can be retrieved with ease.

7. My Performances: Not until recently have I had any personal performances videoed. One is now embedded on my website as a marketing tool.

8. Favorite Performers: These feature miscellaneous clips of artists, pianists, dances…that are meant to inspire and enlighten. In honor of St Patrick’s Day my students watched a video of Michael Flatley and Jean Butler in “Riverdance”. Most of my students have never seen Irish dancing or “Riverdance”–the big hit of the 90’s. They were fascinated and watched intently.

9. YouTube is a showcase for originality so I cannot wait to begin a unit on improvising, composing. How wonderful for students to see their original work on the website!

The list will continue to grow, no doubt! (Note: all videos shown during lessons are included in lesson notes so parents can enjoy as well.)


For future additions to my playlists, I now subscribe to other’s channels and receive any new videos that are uploaded to those sites. This is a great way to filter through the mass amounts of videos on YouTube and find videos that are relevant to personal interests.

Advice for Account Settings, etc on my Channel (what I have collected so far)

  1. Privacy: Use first names only when posting videos.
  2. Comments: Allow others to make comments only with approval.
  3. Copyright: be careful, can be complicated–see the book listed above for details.

FYI: Check out Bb 2.0–an amazing site where you compose with YouTube:

Please share how you enjoy youtube in your studio,

your favorite subscriptions, assignments…

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