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  • Writer's pictureJulia Pinckney Jones

Spring Recital is next week! (Yay! and also Eek!)

Dear Parents, Students, Family, and Friends,

Well, here we are, getting ready for another online recital! This time we’ve all gotten a lot more accustomed to being online, so while it still provides a few challenges, the big advantage is that we can, once again, include our friends and family members who wouldn't be able to attend in person!

I’m sending you this (and I’d ask that you pass it on to anyone else you’re inviting) to try to anticipate some of the most likely challenges and solve them as best we can!

Remember that this recital, like the last one, will be a combination of "live" performances and submitted videos. If you've decided to send me a video, please try to get that video to me by no later than Wednesday, May 12th, so that I can edit it and get it ready to play at the right time

For Everyone

The recital will be happening on Zoom. When you start Zoom on your computer or other device, a menu will pop up and give you several options. The one you want to click on is “Join a Meeting”. It will ask you for a meeting ID and a password: The meeting ID is: 956-783-3700 and the password is: Music

It will take a little bit of time for you to actually enter the meeting, especially if you’re logging in right at 2:30, since it’s just me clicking on everybody’s name to let them in – so please be patient!

You will want to set the display for “Speaker View” – that way, the person who is actually playing/singing will get the full screen, as opposed to “Gallery View” where you’ll see everyone in a small tile, and it’s hard to tell which tile to look at!

I also ask that you mute your microphone, except for when you are playing/singing or applauding. That way, the screen won’t switch over to you if you accidentally make a noise.

If You’re Inviting Extra People

The best part about having this recital online is that you can invite anyone – grandparents, out of state family and friends, anyone! I’d appreciate it if you let me know the names of the people you’re inviting so that I can make sure that everyone I admit to the party is actually invited. Not that I think someone would try to “Zoom Bomb” our recital, but I’d rather be safe than sorry!

Tips For Audience Members

Thank you for coming! If you’re unfamiliar with Zoom and have any questions about how it works, feel free to contact me at before the day of the recital. I’ll do my best to help, and I can even set up a “practice Zoom session” for you!

Set up Zoom in Speaker View, with your microphone muted, and then unmute yourself (you should be able to do this by just hitting the space bar) to applaud, hoot, holler or what have you! If you want to communicate directly with your friend or family member, use the “Chat” feature and select their name – then you can type a personal message!

Tips For Performers

We all want to see and hear you the very best we can! So, in addition to unmuting your microphone when it’s your turn to sing or play, here are some tips to make your online performance the best it can be!

  1. Try to orient yourself so that the strongest light source is in front of you, rather than behind you. I know you can’t necessarily move the piano, but if there’s a bright light (like a window) behind you, put a lamp in front of you so that we can see your face!

  2. If you’re using a phone, try to shoot horizontally (in “landscape” mode, rather than “portrait”)

3. If you're playing piano, try to make sure that the viewer can see both your face and your hands! Experiment with different positionings of the filming device so we can see everything.

4. If you’re singing or playing with a backing track, we want to hear you! You may need to use 2 devices at the same time to make this work: the device that you’re filming with, and a separate device to play the backing track. Place the “accompaniment device” behind you or beside you, and then set up the “camera device” so that we can see you, in landscape orientation, from about the waist up.

Other than that, it’s just like a regular recital: Tell us your name, the song you’re going to perform, and, if necessary, a sentence or two to set the scene, then perform your song, and bask in all the online adulation!

We’re really looking forward to having a great online recital and we hope you are too! As soon as everyone finalizes their song choices I’m going to send out a printable program, so you can follow along. I will also be recording the Zoom session so if you want a copy of the final video, I will make it available! See you on May 15th!

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