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How to perform at PianoClass in Concert

This page will guide you to participate in this Special Activity – exclusive for our students and special guests.

 

Prepare your repertoire

  1. Choose a piece (or a group of pieces) you love and that you’re sure is on the right track to be beautifully played
  2. Research about the composer, the composition itself, and everything else that would make you an expert on it
  3. Practice your piece daily with close attention to every detail and be sure to plan a clear and expressive interpretation
  4. Perform it publicly (for friends and in master classes)
  5. Make sure it will be ready at least one month before your recordings start
  6. Plan a spoken introduction and record it
  7. Record your piece and enroll in the next PianoClass in Concert

Get your files ready

Read this page carefully before you start creating your texts or recording your videos!
There are some important guidelines for you to follow. So please read them before you start, to avoid double work.

 

Send us your files

Here are the ways you can send your files (video/audio/text):

  • WeTransfer: use this platform to send us up to 2Gb files.
  • Cloud services: Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, pCloud, …
    • Save your files in private cloud folder.
    • Copy the shareable link.
    • Send the link to your teacher.
    • IMPORTANT: Don’t save the files in our shared folder.

If you’d like to use another platform to send your files, please check first with your teacher. Email, WhatsApp, iMessage, YouTube or Vimeo won’t be accepted for technical reasons.

 

Enroll to perform in the next PianoClass in Concert

The form to enroll in the PianoClass in Concert is at the end of this page.

 

Now, let’s deal with some very important questions and guidelines…

We know it is a long page, but we’ve managed to make it easy to read and to follow each instruction. If not, please let us know so we can improve it.

 

Where will the concert happen?

The PianoClass in Concert is pre-recorded by each performer and published via YouTube Live by PianoClass. So, the presentation will be available worldwide.
All the pianists playing in the event should be present to interact with the audience on the YouTube live chat.

 

Is there a dress code I should follow?

Yes. To assure a balanced visual effect at the concert, we ask that all the pianists follow this dress code:

  • Trouser or skirt
  • Dress shoes or elegant casual shoes
  • Dress shirt or blouse
  • Keep your hair in order and away from your face

If you want to wear a suit and/or tie, be our guest. In the same way, dresses are well accepted.

Oh! You don’t need to wear the same clothing to speak and to play the piano, but you can. Just follow the dress code for both recordings.

 

Are there any technical requirements for the recordings?

Yes. We do have some guidelines for you to follow and some technical tips to have the best possible result.

Piano

Try to use the best piano available to record your performance, and be sure it is well tuned. Also, consider the following prioritization:

  1. Grand piano
  2. Vertical acoustic piano
  3. Digital piano – recorded internally or via cable
  4. Digital piano – recorded externally

Lightning

Try to have as much light as you can for your recordings. Daylight is great, but if it brings unwanted shadows, just use lots of artificial light instead.
The better lit your setting is, the better your image and visual appeal will be for your audience.

Cameras

You may use one or multiple cameras. Feel free to use cameras, smartphones or tablets for your recordings. Just be sure that they are all

  • stable and not shaking or swinging
  • also recording sound (otherwise we won’t be able to sync and edit them)
  • recording the entire performance in one take (we won’t mix recordings from different takes)
  • set for 30fps (frames per second) and Full-HD resolution (1920px x 1080px)
  • positioned horizontally (landscape) – click to learn and laugh: Turn your phone 90 degrees

Sound

Take your time to have the sound carefully tested to avoid distorted sounds from the microphone. If that happens, adjust your mic for a lower volume reception or position it farther away from the piano.

If you intend to record a separated audio file, please use the following specifications:

  • file type: wav
  • resolution: 24 bits and 96Khz

If you don’t know how to make a separate audio file, don’t worry. Just record it along with your video.

Softwares and Apps

If you record straight from your smartphone or your tablet, you don’t need to worry about it. But it is ok if you prefer to use a special app. Anyway, you will need to check the settings to be sure they follow the guidance on the How to page.

To record on your computer, we suggest you use OBS Studio. There are great software options but all of them will require specific settings to have a good result. If you don’t have experience with this kind of software, as a friend who has it for help or record with smartphones or tablets.

 

What is this spoken introduction?

This will be your chance to connect with your audience, introducing yourself and your repertoire.

Every audience (even family and friends) unconsciously (or not) asks itself: Who are you and why should I want to hear you playing this piece? Even the great musicians present their musical history to the audience. It may be written in a concert program or spoken, the audience needs this information to know the artist and connect to him/her.

What should I say?

  • Tell us who you are and why you’re playing today.
    Think of what you’d like to hear if there was another pianist presenting herself to you and wanting you to listen to her playing right after.
    Try to make it as clear, simple and natural as possible.
  • Paint the main ideas of your repertoire in the audience’s mind with words.
    You’ll be preparing them to better understand your music and therefore really enjoy it.
    You may present some short historical or technical facts, but be sure to have them connected to your own view and interpretation of the music.

The most important aspect of this introduction is that the listener could see a picture in his mind, imagining the scenes you’re describing. Use words that relate to the senses (sounds, images, feelings, smells, tastes, sights, temperatures, …). Show a story instead of just telling it.

Just to give you a few tips in case you don’t know how to start, here are some ideas:
• I’m … / My name is … /
• The piano to me … / it all started …
• I’ll play … / I’ll perform … / “John Doe” wrote the piece “this and that” inspired on …
• The part I most like … / each time I play this piece I think about …

Avoid slang and dirty words, or any jokes improper to small kids, who will surely be watching you.

Do I need to memorize a text?

You may speak freely and then write what you said. Or, you may prepare the text and memorize it for the video. Or yet, you may read it, if you know how to do this without showing that you’re reading.

Choose the option that makes you feel more comfortable, and shoot it.

How about the setting for this video?

Find a beautiful and peaceful well-lit place. If possible, shoot it away from the piano or, at least, in a different angle from that one you’ll use to perform your repertoire.

Be sure your face is well-lit and that is not filling the entire screen. Let your torso appear too. Avoid cameras below or above your head. The best approach to position your camera is to pretend you’re talking to a friend about your height and place the camera where your friend’s face would be.

Why do I need to send the transcript of my speech?

As the PianoClass in Concert is presented worldwide, we provide subtitles in English and Portuguese.

To have the translation and subtitle edition done without driving our team insane, a word-by-word transcript of your speech will be required. You may send it in any kind of text format file (txt, doc, docx, pdf, …).

Any other tips?

  • Speak loudly, but naturally, and clearly.
  • Take your time to breath and don’t rush.
  • If you have an external microphone (lapel mic, iPhone external mic, …) to place near you, use it, as the sound will be even better.

 

How about the recording of my performance at the piano?

We know you’ve practiced carefully, daily, and followed all your teacher’s instructions. But even though, a little nervousness is normal when you know the time has come to show your music. It is even desired, as you’ll think faster and realize every detail of your pieces this way.

So our advice is … give yourself lots of opportunities to record your best video.

We are not saying you’ll need to record it thousands of times. You just need to accept that you may not be in your best mood every day or that you may have technical issues. So plan to have at least 3 different times reserved for that. You’ll probably make it right the first time, as planning ahead will make you feel safer and calmer. But if it doesn’t happen you’ll have time to review, practice, and do it again.

Here are our guidelines to help you save time and make the best recording.

Where should I place the camera(s)?

Think about what you most want to see in a piano concert: hands and facial expressions.

You may very well use just one camera for that. Position the camera at the side of your piano in a way the audience will be able to see your hands and your face. It is easier to achieve if the camera is higher than your shoulders and with enough distance to fit the entire keyboard.

If you have multiple cameras available (smartphones and tablets do count), here are some angle suggestions:

  • Close at your hands
  • Over the keyboard
  • Close to your face (with shoulders and part of the piano)
  • Lateral view of the piano, really close to the keys or a little under them
  • View from behind the pianist – showing your back and arm movements

Feel free to improvise and add different approaches. Just remember to have at least one shot showing your hands and your face.

Where should I place my mic(s)?

If you’re using external microphones, testing is the best option to learn about its optimum position.

If you don’t have much experience or a professional mic, just keep a safe distance from the piano to avoid sound distortions.

 

How can I invite people to watch the concert?

There are several ways to invite your friends to watch PianoClass in Concert:

  • Send them the link to our website’s page: https://www.pianoclass.com/?evento=pianoclass-in-concert
  • Send them the custom email we’ll prepare for you 10 days before the concerts day
  • Send them the WhatsApp custom message we’ll prepare for you 10 days before the concerts day
  • Share our Facebook event on your timeline
  • Share our Facebook/Instagram posts about the 20th PianoClass in Concert

 

Do I need to do anything on PianoClass in Concert’s D-day?

Yes, you do! There will be plenty of chatting to attend, compliments to receive, and good music to listen to.

YoutTube Live chat

The YouTube live chat will be available to interact directly with our audience before the event starts and until a few minutes after it is finished. Be ready to write about your pieces, your experience and give thanks for compliments there.

Watch the concert

Reserve the time to watch the entire PianoClass in Concert and compliment your colleagues. Use this opportunity to learn about new pieces, different interpretations, and musical ideas.

If you have a way to watch the concert on your TV set, call your friends to watch with you and transform this event into an opportunity to meet them! Just don’t forget to give your online audience some attention too.


Enjoy it!
This is an occasion to meet family and old friends (in virtual or real life)
and celebrate your success with them!

 

Questions?

If you have any question about the PianoClass in Concert or any problems enrolling or participating, send us an email about it. We’ll add the topic and the solution to this page if it is something that may concern other students as well.



 

Enroll in the PianoClass in Concert here:

The enrollments for this PianoClass in Concert are already closed. Plan to participate next time.