Miracle or Monster?

Don't you love the picture?! I look like I am some sort of mad scientist who shrunk a group of musicians and put them in a box.  

Nikolai played in a concert at Toneheim Folkehøgskole earlier this week. Toneheim is a folk university in Norway, students often are in the Folkehøgskole system for a gap year while they decided what to do. 

Last year the school was closed in March, so Nikolai went back. I haven't seen him in person in over a year. He may or may not come home this summer. I only plan as far as coffee in the morning these days. They were very fortunate this year, their school is small enough and everyone lives on campus. They have been in one great big musical bubble. And, because of COVID, their concerts are live-streamed, recorded, and saved.

The first time I live-streamed a recital was around 10 years ago when I was still in Saudi. One of my good friends was in the United States undergoing chemotherapy. She couldn't make it to her daughter's recital, so it was live. 

The best we could do was adequate, and a connection, and important to all of us, but by today's standards, it was primitive. Think one step beyond a dial-up modem, and hooking up a video camera to the back of a TV.

The Jazz Concert that my son played in was the third concert the school live-streamed. Each concert has consistently gotten better--the sound quality, where the microphones were set up, the lighting, and the camera angles adjusted. 

It's worth talking about this because I think that live streaming recitals and concerts is going to continue to be a thing, even after the pandemic. How many parents, grandparents, friends, and family members want to watch performances of their loved ones but can't make it because of distance, disabilities, other commitments, or time zones? 

For all teachers, not just online ones, live streaming concerts should be a part of what we do. It connects us all. 

I shared Nikolai's concerts with my father before he died, with the nursing home where my mother lived, with my husband's family in other parts of Norway. It makes me feel connected to a global community.

A couple take aways:

  1. Live-streaming could be terrible in the beginning, that's ok. You learn and each time it gets better.
  2. You have no idea of the positive impact that a livestream has on the lives of others. Being able to include family members who aren't present is no small thing.
  3. If you let the audience know what you are doing, they can put their phones or recorders away and simply enjoy the concerts.

Happy Playing

Sarah

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