Week 8: A Portfolio is Born!
As the culmination of my Video-Performance project, I have created and customized my YouTube channel, as well as added a digital video portfolio to my new website.
New YouTube Channel:
I have created a YouTube channel with my AdieTrinity branding and am in the process of uploading my videos there. Currently, I am working on getting some details worked out in the editing process first before uploading them because I want to be able to add them all at pretty much the same time.
I do not see myself with over 100 subscribers for a long while, so that step will certainly need to wait. In addition, if my channel were to become somewhat popular, I could sell ad time within my videos to make a bit of money.
Finally, the third step I'm excited about for my YouTube channel will be associating it with my website. In order to do this, I must prove that I own the domain, which as of now, I do not own my domain yet. That is soon about to change!
You are now, possibly, viewing this ongoing project from an outdated website! That's right, I have a new homepage. By the time this is published, it may or may not yet have a domain of AdieTrinity.com, but that is my goal as I'm writing this. As of now, my new website can be found here. The only issue is that a Weebly domain is apparently a lot cheaper, so we'll see if I'll change.
I've gone through the troubling of recreating all my content from my website into the Wix website editor to experiment:
As a result of not paying for my domain, my website still has its own ads on it, plus limited functionality currently.
Conclusion Write-Up from Eight-Week "Performance-Video Project"
Contemporary topics I am interested in pursuing include understanding modern technology: learning to use a video recorder, understanding video-editing software, compiling a portfolio, and establishing an online presence. The most relevant skill is the inherent one of my proficiency at, and passion for, performing the viola, through good technique and musicality. I am hoping to gain skills and experience of learning and performing music, as well as discovering and utilizing today’s technology.
Through this project, I expanded my social-media presence and began to perceive and market myself as a technologically current performer and teacher.
I successfully produced four video recordings of myself: two teaching and two performing. The teaching videos consisted of a Bow Warm-ups to help the student with effective practice strategies, and a video formatted as a self-reflection designed to help improve recording and public speaking skills. The two performance videos included the Debussy Trio and Bach’s Gamba Sonata BWV 1029: 3rd movement.
Through the consistent updating of this blog and other social media pages (including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) I gained discipline of consistent postings and other contemporary marketing skills. As a bonus, I also incurred a small following of friends and strangers who stay up-to-date and interested in my social media pages.
This project was an eye-opener to me to learn about the digital side of a music career and my experiences in different components of this project were invaluable!
To read the full posting from each week, those links can be found as each week's title!
Over the course of the past 8 weeks, I learned an incredible amount about the social and technological possibilities of marketing myself as a performer and teacher. In addition, I also gained a great deal of motivation to continue, adjust, and improve this project in the future. Technologically-speaking, I have surely only scratched the surface of capabilities – even of my basic video camera and editing software. I will be excited to explore more about these in the future as I try experimenting with different types of videos.
I feel I understand more now about the benefits, for each my followers and myself, of consistent weekly uploads. It is important for the creator to have a regular schedule from which they can find structure in such a self-paced and open-ended project such as this one; and in addition, it is equally important for subscribers to have a schedule on which they can rely to stay up-to-date with a creator’s content.
My performance videos were enlightening but left a lot to be desired as far as sound quality and even performance quality. These will likely require more revisions before being marketed alongside my more well-received teching videos.
An Exciting Opportunity:
Among my primary goals with this 8-week project included exploring and learning new repertoire. This piece was a surprise from when I began this project, and now I am so thrilled to be involved in the first performance of such an incredible piece! I am grateful to have been offered this exciting opportunity!
Progress and Living Music
Considering the above image, the composer initially sketched out an idea of how he wanted this (m. 60) to sound. The first question I have to ask is "How can I make this happen?" In this case, the only way for me to play it literally would involve an awful lot of crunching, so we reviewed the technicalities of the notation and explored three additional possibilities: Utilizing grace notes, breaking the chord's values differently, and considering whether to drone the D or the G.
New Recording in Process!
I've been having so much fun learning and performing this piece over the course of the past couple semesters! Full recording coming soon!
I'm starting to get near the end of the 8-week timeline for my project. While I'm excited to pursue this project further after the 8th week, it is going to be important for next week, and the following week, to get the material I have cropped, edited, and uploaded into something presentable!
Get the Bad News Out of the Way:
It was a frustrating time not only from my own boredom but from the countless times my friends and colleagues had to pick up the slack caused by my inability to play viola, use a computer, or anything requiring finger dexterity which I had always taken for granted.
Well, this past week I started developing signs of carpal tunnel; and to me, there's nothing more embarrassing than flaking out on commitments just because I don't take good enough care of my own body. The last thing I want is to be seen as pitiful or lazy, especially to those who are relying on me.
A Video About a Video
In my journey to start an online video portfolio, I have made a couple of non-performance videos as practice and intro into video recording/editing while my wrist is still recovering:
I may end up publishing this video in case anybody who watches my bow warmup tutorial would be interested in seeing it in its entirety. I find it unlikely that 17 minutes of slow, open strings would turn out to be very popular, but who knows?
One of the challenges I noticed while recording included the difficulty in staying focused and in view of the camera for the whole thing. Normally, when I do warmups, I pace around the room, look at stuff, make faces at my own thoughts, and other things which would not have been very appropriate to this video's context. This recording process forced me to stay relatively still, keep a relaxed expression, and keeping my attention on the warmups throughout the recording.
Talking in this video felt a bit more natural than last week. I ended up recording it at the end of the day, so my face looks tired, but I felt a lot more natural and relaxed. I still have a lot of filler-words like "um" and when I forget what I was talking about, I start the section over, which causes a need for lots of edits in the video.
I'm not going to jinx my health by promising anything for next week. Let's just say it would be nice if I can finally get some repertoire recorded!
Also don't forget to track my progress with the #100DaysofPractice challenge!
I'm sorry everyone for the no-post last Wednesday; I've been doing some stuff and I'm excited to tell you about it! I hope all of you had as amazing of a week as I did! Life is full of ups and downs, so it's important to appreciate the great and inspiring moments and events in life; because, it is through those awesome times that we are inspired later on, once things inevitably get difficult again.
Let Me Tell You About My Week:
I just got back on Sunday from an entire 7 days in Denton, Texas. My first few days, from Monday night through Thursday morning, were consumed by practicing, studying, doing research, meeting awesome people, and especially learning about the viola (my favorite instrument).
How This is Related to My Project:
What is my project? Making videos of myself performing viola.
Did I do that? Well, no.
Why is this project important to me?
My goal of this project is to become an inspired and skilled musician, meet people, and to use social media for networking and community outreach. The minor detail that I may have not used my video recorder, nor am I currently aware of its whereabouts, has nothing to do with the new motivation and excitement I'm feeling towards my career as a performer!
Next week, be sure to check back because I am going to make use of this inspiration and record a few things! My preparation will include: 1.) Finding my video recorder since it's not in my room, 2.) Practicing a couple pieces, 3.) Making a recording of myself, and 4.) Video editing.
Have a good week, everyone! Always have positivity through hope about the future!
Recording My First Video
I recorded my first video: Bow Warmups! This video is going to be the first in a series on effective practice strategies. Initially, I had planned to make my first video a performance video, but after being completely sick for the past 9 days, I was not quite able to get any pieces up to performance standards. Since I've been feeling extremely inspired lately by my students' progress, I figured it would be a fun and effective use of my time to start with a teaching video! I am feeling very excited for these first few videos about warmup strategies.
Next time I record, it will be great it I have my tripod with me to make sure I can get the height to a comfortable level so I'm not bending over to stay within the camera frame.
Contents of the Video
This first video outlines the bow warmup regimen that I practice on a daily basis. In addition to outlining the steps of the warmup, I aim to emphasize its importance and some areas of focus to consider while using this strategy. Hopefully, the areas of this video that mention the rest of my warmups (left hand, vibrato, and stretching) will inspire viewers to stay interested in the other contents of my video portfolio.
Video Editing: Process and Concerns
There were a few things that caught me by surprise when editing this first video. First off, I was surprised to see that Windows Movie Maker no longer exists! My current substitute is called "VideoPad" by NCH Software, which is compatible with my tablet so I can edit videos when I don't have access to my full laptop.
The audio is extremely quiet and after recording the entire footage, I saw a knob on the top that was set to "6." I wonder whether this is the input volume and I will experiment next time whether setting this number higher will make the volume louder in the final product.
On a more personal note, I really don't like looking at myself while recording and editing these videos. While I feel comfortable with my character and personality, my physical looks have never been too much of a strength for me. My first video was recorded in bad practice-room lighting, while I was still sick, and in the evening after my makeup had worn off, which didn't ease my nervousness about how I feel self-conscious about my appearance generally.
I do still want to make a performance video. I have been working on the first movement of Hindemith's "Der Schwanendreher" for an audition, so I'm hoping to record that, plus the Bach movement I'd had planned for this past week. I also began recording the next video in the Practice Strategies: Warmups (left hand warmups) that I want to finish editing and upload, along with vibrato exercises and stretches to go along with the theme.
I want to continue developing my skills in obtaining a good recording quality (both for visuals and audio), editing the video with images, and achieving a more modern look than the default transition effects on the program I'm using. I also want to develop more comfortable speaking style where my voice is steady and clear, as well as a more comfortable viola-playing style (which had fallen into similar traps to my awkward speaking).
"Hi, I'm really sorry I can't come in to work today. I've been feeling really sick the past couple days and..." "I'm sorry I'm going to be missing rehearsal again today. I'm still feeling pretty sick. I have a headache, stuffy nose, and..." "I really didn't want to have to miss another lesson, but I'm worried I might be contagious and..." "I'm not going to be in class today. I wish I could have been there but I have a lot of gross mucus and I can't think straight..."
I don't have time to be sick. I'd scheduled an audition this Thursday playing a piece that's been rusting over in the closet since my senior recital last May. I have a concert to practice for, fundamentals to work on, homework to do.
I don't have the money to be sick. I spent $20 on medicine, missed out on $90 from teaching this week, missed 3 days of work (about $120), so now I'm out $230 with nothing to show for it but a pile to the ceiling of dirty tissues.
I'm not a person who loves advertising when I'm not feeling well. I see talking about it and dwelling on it as negative energy that works against feeling healthy again and getting better; but how many emails and text messages have I written outlining my symptoms over the last several days? I've emailed all 3 of my students, my boss at work, my orchestra conductor, my academic teachers, my accompanist, and even cancelled a haircut I'd had planned.
In order to gain experience performing, and utilizing modern technology, my goal by the end of this 8-week project is to have created an online portfolio consisting of several video recordings of myself performing pieces on the viola!
The pieces I perform will primarily be solo works, additionally including chamber or accompanied works if I am able to collaborate with other musicians. Which specific pieces I perform are not especially important to me, as long as I can play them well. The technologies I am planning to utilize include my hand-held video recorder (and its tripod), video-editing software, and YouTube.
In addition to practicing certain professional skills, my additional incentive is to share my music with my students and family who don’t normally have the opportunity to hear me play viola. I also hope my efforts will inspire other pre-professional musicians to think outside the box and establish themselves in the areas in which they are passionate.
Week 1: Create an introductory/test video.
Other Important Details
If any friends of mine (possibly including a pianist, my trio, and/or my string quartet) are interested in participating in a recording, it would be for their personal interest only, but not as a paid gig. I’m hoping to incur no monetary expenses as a result of this project, unless any of the video-editing programs warrant a financial investment.
Coming Up Next!
I'm looking forward to continuing my exploration next week of the technological side of things - preferably on some equipment I have more frequent access to (either tablet or work computer) - and getting into practicing balance and other audio adjustments!