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Beth Blackerby
I need your feedback.
Hi all, I just posted a beautiful new tune called "Andante Tranquillo" by Ralph Vaughn Williams. This piece, besides being  gorgeous, lended itself so well to 3rd position intonation practice that I couldn't help myself. I put in all 3rd position fingerings and recorded it. You'll find it in the Recently Added column of your home page.

This is more for Advanced Beginner/Intermediate players.

Here's what I need feedback for: how helpful...beneficial...effective...is the Soundslice I made for the purpose of learning? First watch the tutorial, listen to the audio files and practice it a little. Then go to this page and play along with me. Here's what I'd like to know:

1. Does this new overhead camera angle offer something uniquely helpful? Usually the camera lens is through the eyes of an audience member. From that vantage point, you can't really see all that well how the fingers and bow choreograph. So, does this angle do a better job of elucidating the mechanics of playing?

2. First enlarge the video. Can you read the music and still see me playing in your peripheral visual field?  I'm thinking that if a student can see me playing peripherally, they will notice more quickly if their bow is moving in a different direction than mine. Also, the student might be more influenced to distribute the bow the way I do. 

3. If you think there's no real benefit from this idea, please be honest and tell me. And if there's something else you think would be more effective, please share.

Beth Blackerby
29 Responses
Posted: February 6, 2019
Last Comment: February 9, 2019
Replies

Yvette
Posted: February 9, 2019
The overhead camera is amazing. It is VERY helpful to see you play from that overhead perspective with regard to bowing and fingering. 
It would be great to see your fingering a little closer too. Much appreciated.

Arthur Mendez
Posted: February 9, 2019
Dear Beth,  I just tried the looping aspect very nice.  I tried slowing it down and could see the bow distribution very good too.  I would just like the option to see your video box large when looping in a section for detail if possible.  I liked the tune also, reminded me of Lucy Charms and the Shire somewhere over the rainbow.  Specifically if i could expand your view when looping a section that would be nice.  Thanks yours truly.

David Rowland
Posted: February 9, 2019
Lovely tune Beth. I am just starting with my shifts of position so I will definitely have a go at it. The overhead view is definitely a plus. Such a good view of your fingers and how your vibrato technique is being used. Look forward to the day when I can play just one note that sounds anywhere near as good as yours (don't think I've got enough years left).

Ray
Posted: February 8, 2019
I like the perspective and it is certainly gives a new perspective on knowing what our hands should look like.  I am certainly a year or more away from anything to do with third position but once I am I certainly will appreciate that extra dimension you have brought to the videos.  Thanks for always looking for new ways to teach us. 

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 8, 2019
Thanks everyone for the valuable feedback! 

Karen, yes, I thought of that too. As a way of getting a closer look at a spot that might be vague just form looking at a performance via the audience perspective, or via sheet music only.



Karen Egee
Posted: February 8, 2019
OK now I found a way I would VERY much like to use the overhead camera/scrolling notes Soundslice set-up! I've been working from your fantastic Schindler's list video tutorials, watching them one at a time then practicing from my sheet music, but now and then I find a few notes where I can't figure out the fingering, or the best way to do the shift, where to put my thumb, which finger to slide on. But with the video tutorials it is hard to find just the right notes and i woudl have to fast forward/watch and so on for a while to find the right spot, but with a Soundslice tutorial I could go right to the right spot with the notes, and see your hand and how you do it!

Karen Egee
Posted: February 8, 2019
Given how useful everyone is finding this I definitely defer to you all!  Maybe its that I am so happy and blown away already with the video tutorials Beth has already made.  I can see this has more to add for additional ways of using video.

Timothy Smith
Posted: February 8, 2019
Video
As someone who regularly works with music technology I was amazed by this. I especially like the way you combine the notation and the video.

The camera angle is probably the best part of it, not that we don't want to see you, mainly because I can see exactly what you're doing even down to the angle of the violin. 

I really see nothing wrong with this at all and would say that it's an vast improvement over the traditional way most of these videos are made.

I'm not sure how you would improve on this as a violin teaching tool. There's only so much you can do teaching student remotely like this. I find it amazing.

Karen Egee
Posted: February 8, 2019
In response to Beth:

Thank you for your comments. Karen, do you think that for a more complicated piece having the video synced with the notes would help in the process of figuring out difficult passages?

Beth, I have used your Liebeslied and Thais tutorials and I'm now starting to work on Schindlers list and i find them all incredibly user friendly and helpful. I love that you put the notes for the phrase you are playing and talking about, on the screen as you demonstrate and teach that phrase, that's super helpful. But i for me anyway, i don't think it adds to have the music and scrolling all at once with the demonstration. Once i've watched, then i take out my sheet music and practice, and often watch again, several times over. Again i don't feel i could use all the info in motion at the same time. It would be great as you do for some but i think not all peices to have a play-along of the whole thing at some point, but there are alot of these on youtube.  Your tutorials going over the notes, the shifts, the bowing and phrasing are awesome, so helpful. For me they make the pieces go from unmangeable to really fun to work on!  And its a level of detail i can't possibly get in my hour/month in person lessons!

Michael Baumgardner
Posted: February 8, 2019
Thanks Beth!  I didn't know you could loop sections on Soundslice.  I just tried it out.  I think this method of presenting a piece to be learned is really really valuable.  So much better than YouTube videos that are usually shot from an audience member view.  I watch a lot of these to examine fingerings as well as bowings.  It can be very difficult.  It would be so much easier with this camera view.  

Barb Wimmer
Posted: February 7, 2019
I am bookmarking-looking forward to doing. I think it will be very beneficial-wonít be able to get to til next week as so busy. I like the bow pressure and when you play the same notes-section-insightful. Fast but looking forward to working on. Angle good

Maria
Posted: February 7, 2019


I just started watching, the mood of this piece was like the song Danny Boy...

Will cont. watching, my teacher re-started me on 3rd position etude...

Will try practice on my day off 4 72 hrs away.


Alan Barnicoat
Posted: February 7, 2019
I think an overhead view could also be very enlightening for very beginning players if used to demonstrate the mechanics of keeping the bow straight. The view would have to be directly overhead and further away in order to include the top of your head, shoulders and entire right arm and maybe playing only on open strings several times -showing how the mechanics of the arm opening and closing are consistent as string level changes. Perhaps music from one of the very early lessons would work.

Dianne
Posted: February 7, 2019
All Helpful
Hi Beth, I find the change in bow direction in m.23-24 "ish" and on challenging. For me, bow distribution and bow direction. I find myself looking at my sheet music, and at you playing the slurs to see what you are doing. For instance in the 1st measure, the up bow hooked bowing of the "A".  In pieces with shifts, it is helpful to see the fingerings to see how you do the shifts (timing). I find the cursor in the online music especially helpful, because I can quickly restart the music from any point.

PS- Sonia I totally agree @ the vibrato. I am seeing the vibrato from an entirely different  angle, and it is immensely helpful.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 7, 2019
Thank you for your comments. Karen, do you think that for a more complicated piece having the video synced with the notes would help in the process of figuring out difficult passages? This piece is rather straight forward and don't require much "figuring out".

So in terms of a helpful reference tool, do you all think it's more helpful with bow distribution than anything else,.. as opposed to bow direction, or fingering?



Karen Egee
Posted: February 7, 2019
I love having the audio of you and the piano to play along with and I love also seeing how you hold your hand and so on with the video, but I don't need to have the notes and the video on the same screen at the same time. I don't feel it adds as for me anyway, as I can't use all that information simultaneously. 

 When I am starting a new piece from your library, I generally watch your teaching videos first section by section, then practice it from my own (or downloaded) sheet music to work on it, going back to your videos as needed.  Then I like to play along with you as a way to practice too. Having the piano on the audio makes it more fun and good practice for playing chambermusic too.

Elke Meier
Posted: February 7, 2019
Beth, it does not only have practice value! SEEING you for me has practice value, but I love to play along, and HEARING you changes my own playing as I try to imitate your dynamics and phrasing. It is the same with other videos you have posted, and I don't even do it consciously. Just feeling the mood you give a piece changes how I can play that piece when I play along with you. 

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: February 6, 2019
Hi Beth,
Thank you for this, itís a beautiful piece of music, I do love Vaughn Williams :)

I found the overhead camera very useful, to see bow distribution and also your vibrato. It feels much more like I was watching myself playing. Mimickry is how we learn, not just the goal but how to get there and I found this much easier with the overhead view. I use an iPad, so Iím not sure if it is the same as other platforms, I liked the view where the video was at the top of the screen and the music was scrolling underneath. I could see both you and the music. The side camera view is useful to see how the fingers curl, ie what space there is between the fingerboard and the fingers, I suppose the vertical distance and the overhead is good for the linear distance plus the bowing relationship.

Thanks again
Sonia

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 6, 2019
Michael, the Soundslice platform does loop! It's amazing that it will loop the video along with the music. All you have to do is click and drag over a section.

Dianne, Glad you see how to expand the video. I could have explained that better.

Michael Baumgardner
Posted: February 6, 2019
Lovely piece.  I like the overhead camera angle a lot... I'm sure you've tried different tilt angles, but this one seems pretty good.  You get a good view both of the bowing and the fingerings which is what you need in a video for learning a piece.

In practice videos, I love to be able to loop.  I used to just use Anytune to loop and listen to parts of an audio, but then someone pointed me to http://www.infinitelooper.com which allows you to loop sections of your YouTube videos.  Whenever I learn a new piece now I'll find a YouTube video to play with and work on shorter sections in a looped fashion.
So, just my opinion, but I think for this method to be really super useful for learning, some form of looping would be very helpful.  

Dianne
Posted: February 6, 2019
#2 Yes It Is Helpful
Ah... I never noticed that you could grab the video and expand it. Yes, expanding the video and having the music to the right, scrolling with the cursor, does allow me to have peripheral vision.  I do read from the screen as well as from the stand, depending upon what it is I am trying to accomplish. If I'm marking text in a more complex piece like this one however, I do read from the stand, so I can see my markings. But once I am familiar with the piece, I would go back to performing along with the video because I can track with my eye what you are doing. It would help me to really open up my bow, of which I need a constant reminder.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 6, 2019
Elke, yes, you're right, I couldn't find a way to have less wasted space and still get my entire bow on the screen.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 6, 2019
Thanks for the feedback. 

Dianne, I meant that when using the Soundslice, if the video is enlarged (there are controls where you can change the size of the video) can you read the music on the screen and keep the video in your peripheral vision. 

Elke's comment about preferring sheet music is valid. So this soundslice may only have reference value as opposed to actual rehearsal value..?

Elke Meier
Posted: February 6, 2019
How beautiful! And what a wonderful idea with this new camera angle! My first impression was that there is a lot of wasted space in the upper right corner and you might be able to use the screen better if the video was recorded 90 degrees clockwise. But then I thought: no, this is better, since it lets us observe your bow hand even when the bow is at the tip. 
My physical setup in the practice area is such that I will not normally be able to see you in my peripheral vision (and I don't like to play from the computer screen as I will not be able to see my own marks on a page and it is not comfortable looking down while playing). But that is not a problem. I don't think I will need to see you all the time while I play this but I will come back during practice many times to watch your bow hand. And that will be very, very helpful.
One problem I encountered: measures 31 and 32 are out of sync, in 33 it is syncing again correctly. 

Dianne
Posted: February 6, 2019
I'm sorry, I thought you were referring to a Soundslice format where you played the entire piece. You are referring to us having the sheet music on our stand and we can also see you play the example.

Lesley
Posted: February 6, 2019
Beth, I've just had a quick try so here are my two cents. Being able to see the bowing as well as hear the sound is extremely beneficial! Already the sound is beneficial since I suck at reading music. But I can see the video will effectively banish any of my niggling questions about division and suchlike, letting me focus more on intonation and expression (instead of always wondering in the back of my mind if I'm doing the bowing right). Haven't tried expanding the video yet to try the peripheral thing but am going to spend some time on this piece over the next couple of days and report back if anything else occurs to me.

PS. Extremely well-chosen piece for all the reasons Juan said -- expression, melody, control -- and for focusing on the third position.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: February 6, 2019
Glad you like the piece!

 Dianne, can you be more specific about the "Vimeo visual"?

Dianne
Posted: February 6, 2019
Can't See You Playing This
Hi Beth, 
#1- Camera angle really helpful for seeing the hand playing the notes
#2- There is not a vimeo visual of you playing the piece, I was hoping there was!
#3- Yes, helpful to have 3rd position-position playing to get comfortable w/position playing for intonation, this is what I struggle w/right now & in fact just ordered a book to help me play 1st-5th melodic simple tunes both shifting & position playing (hopefully). This piece is way better, what a beautiful piece, w/varied tricky rhythms and slurring.

Juan Pimienta
Posted: February 6, 2019
Beth this piece is absolutely beautiful. It makes me feel im walking peacfully across warm forest with tall leafy trees around me.
I believe this is has great benefits to Practice our expressive moledic playing. It is great for applying dynamics and bow control since it's slow enough. This camera not only does it show a different angle of the left hand but Also shows the right hand from above. It might be easier to grasp the mechanics of the hand watching it from a different angle. I want to give this piece a try. I loved it Beth.