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Parents & cameras at recitals
#1781194 11/01/11 02:09 PM
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At my last student recital, almost every parent either got up from their seat, or stood near the piano (held in a music store) and proceeded to video with their cameras as their child performed. Afterwards, I realized that perhaps I should not have allowed it, since it seemed to be somewhat distracting, they were getting in my way, and I also felt it probably added to the stress the child already felt. IN particular, there is one parent who even reminded me what order his child was playing her pieces in! That's a whole other thread, as this parent tries to control every aspect of her lessons, so his attempt to control my handling of the recital is no surprise. Do you allow cameras to be used during recitals? The store manager took pictures and I also had someone video very discreetly in the background to eventually provide to parents either by Facebook or other means.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781207 11/01/11 02:25 PM
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I hand out an etiquette sheet the week before the recital. In it, I state that no flash photography is to be used when a student is playing, and that video is okay so long that it does not block a member of the audience. Most of my parents video from their seats, or set up a tripod. I video the entire recital with a tripod in the back of the center aisle and my husband is back there making sure the camera is directed correctly.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781208 11/01/11 02:26 PM
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Mine have always filmed from some distance from the piano. Photo session after the recital. I have tried to establish a boundry area around the piano which is off limits for seating and any other presence that might distract the performers. You might make a request somewhere on the program, and refer to it as you make opening announcements, as well as in a letter to all regarding the recital. Maybe suggest that evryone be considerate of others while filming and taking photos. It's great that you have an enthusiastic crowd.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
Stanny #1781399 11/01/11 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Stanny
I hand out an etiquette sheet the week before the recital. In it, I state that no flash photography is to be used when a student is playing, and that video is okay so long that it does not block a member of the audience. Most of my parents video from their seats, or set up a tripod. I video the entire recital with a tripod in the back of the center aisle and my husband is back there making sure the camera is directed correctly.

+1

Parents are permitted to photograph/video their student, from the back, not blocking other audience members or being obstructive in any manner. Under the copyright laws of the USA, and probably most other countries at this point, videoing other students, without permission of the parents/guardians, is forbidden. The copyrights of most of the student music/editions you use probably state this somewhere in their copyright statement. This is part of the "fair use" doctrine.

If you do a search on copyright issues in this forum, you should come across previous (rather heated) discussions on this point.

Personally, I just ask parents, as a part of my announcements at the beginning of the recital, to refrain from any flash photography, but if they insist on doing so, they will have to face the wrath of their student when they get home (say it with a smile on your face and twinkle in your eye), and if they have any heartburn over the video restrictions, take it up with their Congressman. They wrote the law, we didn't.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781642 11/02/11 08:46 AM
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I would always set up one video camera on a tripod in the very front row. It was at a low enough height that it didn't block anyone's view, and no one was sitting there operating it during the recital, I just let it run.

Students wouldn't even notice it was there, and parent's knew that I was getting the best angle possible. I would make and give away DVDs their performances and/or post them online. Parents could just leave their cameras at home and actually ENJOY the moment instead of being so concerned about capturing it for posterity!


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781689 11/02/11 10:28 AM
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Luke, I agree! They are so concerned about capturing the moment, that they are truly missing the moment! It's never the same when you watch the video as watching the live performance. I found it very disruptive, because I had to step around all these parents on the sidelines trying to take pictures, while announcing their pieces and helping some of the little ones set up their music.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781691 11/02/11 10:30 AM
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Lea and John, great ideas. I will include that info in my recital letter. Thanks for the info on copyright laws, John.



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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781753 11/02/11 12:27 PM
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This is one of those issues where an ounce of common sense is worth a pound of overly detailed rules. Lot's of parents want to make some record of the event. If you don't follow Luke's plan of making a high quality video of the event, then you just store up a lot of ill will by issuing diktats to families that amount to NO to this and NO to that. Broad common sense guidelines about being discreet and not interfering in the performances would seem to work better than printing up a list of rules, most of which cannot be enforced anyway.

Speaking of copyright, I do think it's a good idea to mention politely to all families that they should only record their own child unless they have permission to do otherwise. I have been at events where people made videos of my son playing without asking his (or my) permission. I suspect it was all quite innocent. But this is one of those fairly clear boundary lines that people often transgress without thinking about it.

Sometimes the "permission to do otherwise" clause is quite important. I myself have recorded other children playing. I made the recording because the teacher actually asked me to do so. She wanted to give a copy to the student both as a keepsake and for study.

P.S. A question for Luke. Do you pass out the entire video, or do you only give each family the "chapter" in which their own child is playing? One problem with giving out the entire video is that it doesn't take too much computer savvy to rip video from your DVD and reformat it for the computer. That video can then be used for other purposes, including posting online.

Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781809 11/02/11 02:09 PM
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Is there something about minors being protected from being portrayed publicly in places like Youtube? Imagine if Parent A puts the recital with several children on Youtube without the permission of parent or guardian?

Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781812 11/02/11 02:19 PM
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These are all great questions and concerns. PianoDad, I am from the generation where a media department would video performances, cameras were forbidden, and if you wanted a copy of your performance, you would request it from the institution where you performed. I work in a store, and technically, they should handle the recording of these events and forward the video to the respective teacher for distribution. That does not happen unfortunatley. I don't have staff available to record the events. The next recital will be in a formal recital hall, and parents will have to be content to sit and enjoy their child's performance, and not mill about with every change of performer or they will be asked to leave the room.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1781814 11/02/11 02:24 PM
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It's a curse of the age, I believe; most parents do it because they can. I would not be surprised if most of those parents watch their amateur videos only once and then forget about them.

I, as an audience member, would so much more enjoy student recitals if I didn't have to be concerned with the parent next to me trying to get a good sight line or the parent in front of me fiddling with his/her camera while I'm trying to listen to the performers.

So, on the other side of the coin, I strongly believe that parents (grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and all other "kinfolk") should be encouraged more and more to observe proper concert-hall etiquette in student recitals and leave the blankety-blank video cams at home! Encourage them to sit back and enjoy the recital and forget about this preoccupation with immortalizing everything on disc. They would certainly not be allowed to film a professional recital, even if the performer were the daughter of a second cousin twice-removed.

I would advocate banning recordings altogether.

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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
BruceD #1781996 11/02/11 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
It's a curse of the age, I believe; most parents do it because they can. I would not be surprised if most of those parents watch their amateur videos only once and then forget about them.


Oh - that is so not true here. Our kids recital videos are some of our most treasured and rewatched videos. We have a slew of them on youtube to share with grandparents and other young musicians online. My kids and I would be extremely disappointed if one of our teachers completely pulled the plugged on video taping. It is really inspiring to watch a video of yourself a couple years ago and realize how far you've come.

I think having a no flash and a film from your seat only policy would greatly improve the experience for everyone. There is never any issue at my kid's recitals. The teacher also says if people want to take pictures on stage with the piano to wait until AFTER the recital and people line up to do pictures.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1782029 11/02/11 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by kck
Oh - that is so not true here.

Ditto for me.

There are ways to manage the curse of the age besides prohibition or finger wagging. Luke offers one way. Make your own video and pass it out afterward, or allow people to download their own child's performance from a protected site (youtube allows this). Alternatively, setting sensible ground rules allows parents to make their own videos without distracting others. Most of the parents I have seen making video recordings have done so very discretely from their seats without ever rising or moving around. In fact, no ground rules at these recitals were ever set. People just behaved with restraint and a modicum of respect for everyone else. But if you have parents who walk around and distract performers and other parents, that is something you can strongly influence by setting the stage, so to speak.


Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
John v.d.Brook #1782483 11/03/11 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Under the copyright laws of the USA, and probably most other countries at this point, videoing other students, without permission of the parents/guardians, is forbidden.


My son is in youth orchestra this year, does that mean I have to ask permission from all parents (70+) in order to video their concerts?

Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
C.Y. #1782487 11/03/11 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by C.Y.
Originally Posted by John v.d.Brook
Under the copyright laws of the USA, and probably most other countries at this point, videoing other students, without permission of the parents/guardians, is forbidden.


My son is in youth orchestra this year, does that mean I have to ask permission from all parents (70+) in order to video their concerts?

You also have to get permission of the copyright holders. Your youth orchestra may be playing only public domain material, but more likely, they are paying royalties to the publishers. There are specific rules involved. Our youth association was paying both to ASCAP and BMI, and still, we had to put a statement in each program that recording in any form was against our copyright arrangements. We had a recording engineer who did the recordings, and then the ASCAP/BMI fees were based on the number of recordings sold.

This is tricky stuff, and is generally overlooked by publishers, but, on occasion, they assert their rights and nail copyright violators in court for huge sums.

You cannot force others to obey the law; but you can inform them of the law. That's all I'm advocating.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1782497 11/03/11 03:49 PM
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You have to get permission if you are going to post it or use it publicly. That is my understanding. If it is just for your personal viewing at home, that's permissible.


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1782525 11/03/11 04:40 PM
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I don't mind parents with video cameras but like other people have said you have to make some announcements. Now having parents get on stage and film that is *out of control*. Especially if you are in a proper recital hall. My opinion at least :-)


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
Piano*Dad #1783323 11/04/11 06:35 PM
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Quote
P.S. A question for Luke. Do you pass out the entire video, or do you only give each family the "chapter" in which their own child is playing? One problem with giving out the entire video is that it doesn't take too much computer savvy to rip video from your DVD and reformat it for the computer. That video can then be used for other purposes, including posting online.



At the back of the recital hall I have a copy of the recital program on a clipboard with a pen. Families opt-in by signing their name by the student's spot on the program. I'd say 85 - 90% opt-in. Sometimes they opt out for privacy reasons. Sometimes, after a performance they were not pleased with, they might (understandably) NOT want it saved for all-time. : )


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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
Stanny #1881999 04/18/12 08:33 PM
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Re: Parents & cameras at recitals
chasingrainbows #1882620 04/19/12 06:38 PM
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I always have my recitals in areas where there are likely to be distractions. I discuss the atmosphere with the students ahead of time and they know that "the show must go on". Don't get me wrong, it's not chaos, just a few people coming and going. Personally I think it helps them to be less nervous when they feel as if there are other things going on. I hold my recitals at nursing homes, assisted living apartments and in the gym of a school while people are filing in for a program of some sort. Not only is it good for them (IMHO) to learn to play in all different scenarios, but it's free for us and the different communities love seeing it! The students also get a lot of compliments on their performances!


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