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Professional equipment is not necessary.

  • A tablet or smartphone is all you need. If you do not have access to a device that records video and allows for sharing that video, and if you cannot arrange access to one, please contact Tech Support to discuss alternatives. Typical devices: smartphones, iPads, laptops, cameras, or other recording devices.

  • Resource: a simple tripod or music stand to ensure stability; sturdy box on top of a stool; recording device should not be hand-held.


  • Home or studio is fine.

  • Ensembles may need special accommodations: physical distancing, recorded accompaniment.

  • Judges will not evaluate quality of instrument.


  • Use natural light if possible - or warm lamp light; but be careful about combining them.

  • Only use ceiling lighting or lighting behind the camera. Light  behind the student causes glare. Record performances at evening times if light coming through windows/doors is too bright.

Example of Failed Video Setup:


This photo has the recording device too close to the piano. (might work for teaching but not for recording a performance.) 

Video setup.png
  • Setup device securely. Ensure enough battery life to record the performance (or plug the power cord into a wall outlet).

  • As allowed by the student's location, be sure to capture

    • the student,

    • the hands, and

    • the instrument.

  • An accompanist need not be in the picture. Capture the student performance.

  • Treat the camera as if it were a judge who needs to view all aspects of the performance.

  • Not all homes or studios allow for the perfect set-up. Do the best that space allows.

  • If possible, record at a distance approximately 8' from the performer in order to capture the full body of the performer.

    • Voice: allow room for interpretive gestures

    • Piano: may need 8’ to allow full body in performance

    • Strings/Instrumental: whole student, entire instrument 

  • Stabilize/secure the camera for recording (tripod, music stand, bar stool, be creative). Avoid holding by hand if possible. 

  • Create a quiet setting for recording a performance. Avoid external noises/sounds that might interfere. (Remember "No shoes, No shirt,  No Service?" ) If student is not wearing shoes, if pets run through the background, if siblings interrupt, if clothing appears to be beachwear/sandals, if the recording does not reflect a recital-worthy performance, the video will be returned to the teacher for correction. Hopefully, it can be fixed in time to re-submit and be included in adjudications! 

  • Read festival Requirements and Guidelines carefully and comply with everything required - to the best of your ability and circumstance.

  • You get a second chance. Remember - the goal is to capture an honest and natural performance. 

  • Do a test run. Set up a technical dress rehearsal with everything in place.

  • Test the dynamic extremes of the piece. Test the volume of the accompaniment if one is required.

  • The final performance video must be one continuous take. No editing/splicing permitted.

  • Treat as a live performance.

  • Dress up for the judge.  Dress to perform! This is a competition.

  • Begin video by announcing student name; hold music score's title page up to the camera before performing each piece (2-3 seconds); perform required selection; stop video 5 seconds after performance ends. Movement from instrument to camera is allowed when necessary to hold the title page up to the camera.

  • NOTE: In our experience, the earliest attempts (1 or 2) at capturing the best performance video are often the best "takes"! 

Ready, Set, Go! 
  • After reading and observing all guidelines, tips, and suggestions, it's time to capture a video recording of the student performance!

  • Start video recording.

  • Announce student name.

  • Show title page of required piece.  Hold in front of camera so that judge can read the title.

  • Put music away (unless allowed to use)

  • Get mentally focused.

  • Begin the performance. 

  • At the end of the performance, allow 3-5 seconds before turning off the camera.

  • Save the video.

  • NAME/RENAME VIDEO - use the naming convention defined in the festival Requirements document. 

  • Upload to Simplissimo student registration record.

  • Excess empty time at the beginning or end of performance (more than 3-4 seconds)

  • Camera movement.

Example of Proper Video

Permission to use this copyrighted material granted by artist solely for educational purposes.  No other use is  permitted without express authorization.

Example Video
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