Please don’t ban the smartphone…

How often do we read that smartphones have no place in lessons? That students need to have them turned off and deposited well away from their instrument?

But what exactly is so bad about the ubiquitous smartphone?

This video was recorded during a lesson, with the intention of emailing to my student later in the day. And not only was it recorded live during lesson time, but it was quietly left to upload to YouTube during the lesson itself, ready for sending the link to the student’s parent later.  Which I may do, oh, from my smartphone.

Smartphones are part of our lives, and love them or loathe them, they are here to stay.  So rather than maligning them, why not teach our students to use them? Encourage them to record themselves (video, not just sound, so they can watch posture, fingering, placement etc.), use YouTube and SoundCloud for listening, even bring their own tablets to lessons so we can record practice ideas and tips directly onto them.

And yes, I freely admit I counted a bar wrong, but as we all know, mistakes happen, and they aren’t the end of the world.


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  1. #1 by Percy Sugden on April 25, 2015 - 12:40 pm

    Sometimes I can just make mistake after mistake when I’m filming myself playing – because I KNOW the thing is there and it’s rolling. But I suppose if you can play in front of a rolling camera, then you can play in a concert, in public or even for your parents/spouse

  2. #2 by properpianofingers on April 25, 2015 - 4:49 pm

    Filming is good practice for performance, and it’e important to remember how little ‘mistakes’ actually matter when compared with musical narrative and character when conveyed in a performance. Nobody is perfect, and mistake-free performance are not something we should be striving to achieve. It’s just not possible.

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