Monday, May 4, 2020

Art Teacher Advice on Virtual Talent Show 2020

Each year, we have an elementary talent show at the beginning of May.  When a teacher friend in charge retired, she left me with the job to carry on.  So I have done just that.  I always have loved the talent show.  It gives kids something to think about all year long.  Even if they will never participate, they always have thoughts of what they can do and share in class.  It really is a great tool in getting kids on the stage performing.

Before Covid-19 outbreak, our talent show was run by me and the kids.  I based the show on American Idol.  I had my middle school kids help with the props.  Usually, I had 3 judges and an emcee that were seniors.  Occasionally, I would use sophomores and juniors, but seniors were always the best.  It was loosely ran with me doing the sound and me yelling at the kids if they forgot to put a gymnastics mat on stage.  I did not want some uptight production.  It was for the kids and kids realize that they are not perfect and do not care if they are not perfect...unlike adults.  Adults expect everything to be perfect and jam up and jelly tight.  Also, I did not want to bother other teachers because at the beginning of March, we have a major Grandparents' Day Production and the teachers are pretty much done with anything related to performing by the time that ordeal is done.

So, basically it is me and the kids running the show.

Well, this year has been a doozy, to say the least.  Obviously, a "normal" talent show at the beginning of May was not happening.  After thinking a bit, I thought that I might could do a talent show with kids sending videos.  I thought it would be a pretty easy gig.  I feel that I am pretty tech savvy and could pull this off.  Of course, this was not as easy as I had planned.  I thought I would share my experience to others out there that would maybe like to do this type of thing with their kids.

Step ONE:
The first thing that I did was send an email out to my parents.  Here is the email:
Hey Everybody.  It's me.  Karen Ray.  The Art Teacher. The Idol Producer.
So, who out there would be interested in doing some type of Westfield Idol in online format?  I have some thoughts swishing around in my head, but do not want to put into motion unless I have some folks interested.
My Thoughts.
I would like it SIMPLE.
Simple is...

  • your child turning cartwheels
  • your child playing piano
  • your child doing a dance in the living room
  • your child blowing big bubbles with bubble gum
  • your child playing the guitar 
  • your child and you doing something funny
  • your child singing
  • your child doing flips across the front yard
  • your child doing artwork in fast motion
  • your child doing karate moves
  • your child telling jokes
Simple is NOT...
  • getting Gabby Douglas to plan your cartwheel routine
  • getting Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to help you with a composition
  • hiring Paula Abdul to do a dance routine
  • getting Jimi Hendrix to help you with a guitar playing
  • hiring Kelly Clarkston for singing lessons for the video
  • borrowing Pablo Picasso's paintbrushes for your art
I hope this explains simple.  NO ONE needs stress.  I just thought maybe I could throw together a video that would somewhat grasp a sense of your child's talents.  I like light.  I like fun.
Usually Westfield Idol is kids in Grades 1-5.  There is no age limit.  If you have older or younger kids interested, no problem.  Have at it!  If Grandma wants to sing with Little Johnny, Awesome!
I am thinking that it would be a video you could do on your phone and send to me and I put it together with a little help from my friends.
This email is already too long.  I would have already stop reading it by now.
Miss your kids.  Lots.
INTERESTED?  Email me back and say YES BY NEXT FRIDAY, April 17.
Step TWO:
After receiving lots of "Yes", I decided that it was a go.  I sent this email back to parents:
Happy Friday!  Well, I had a bunch of folks say, YES,!  We are down for Idol.
Due to the situation, I talked to Mrs. Mann (chorus-piano woman) and she suggested the name Shelter in Place Showcase.  Now, the options are endless.  (pet a hermit crab, throw a baseball, make a dog sit, hop on one foot, shoot a hoop, dance, throw a frisbee, sing, make art, catch a fish, draw a straight line, or whatever)  Yay, Mrs. Mann, for thinking of a good idea.
I will put the video together in a fun fashion.  I plan on posting to Shiny Happy Teachers YouTube Channel.  Why YouTube?  One reason is Facebook and Vimeo will flag music.  Another reason is that it is easy peasy for me because I already do this in my life and I know it will work.
To keep it simple, just text your videos to my cell (???) ???-????.  That way, everyone will be the same format and I can make IMovie.  IMovie is also easy peasy and I already do this in my life and I know it will work.
Friday, April 24, will be the date that I'll say videos are due!  The Talent Show was scheduled for Friday, May 1.  So, I will try to have it ready by the real date we had planned.
I am done with emails so all of you parents that are not interested will not hear anything else about Shelter in Place Showcase.  If you have a question, text me or email me.
Stay Safe and Stay Smiling!
If I were doing this again, I would suggest to parents these 3 things:

  • Please TEXT to my phone.  I beg you.  Please.
  • Please make sure you have your volume turned all the way up when making the video.
  • Please make sure that you send to be in best quality available.

The videos began coming in to my phone.  Unfortunately, some decided to send to my email for one reason or another.  The email videos were aggravating.  The reason that I said text to my phone was because I wanted the videos on my phone in one place.  With a job like this, it is easy to leave someone out.  Another problem with emails, the emails had to be uploaded and downloaded and blah blah blah.  Trust me, the videos on the phone is the best option.  Easy peasy, I tell you.  I spent lots of extra time dealing with email videos, but I overcame the challenge.

Once we reached the cutoff date, I organized the videos.  I sent this email to parents to double check to make sure their kid was on the list.  I  typed all the kids' names in a word document and put them in ABC order for easy looking.  People like easy looking.
If your child has sent a video for Shelter in Place Showcase, please make sure that they are on this list.
Please DO NOT RESPOND unless your child is not included in this list.
If I have left your child's video out, please let me know.
Otherwise, there is no need to respond.
If all good, silence is golden.
Why do you have to do this?
I have been sent videos from all over the place...Scattered like glitter in a tornado.  We have 55 videos and I would be super sad if Little Johnny was left out of the video.
Hopefully, I will have the show up on Friday morning by 9:00.
Yes, I will send a link.
Carry ON!
K Ray
The List:
Yes, I had left off a few, but we got those kinks worked out.  Of course, they were emails.  I knew emails would cause issues.

Step FOUR:
I began working on the talent show in IMovie on my iPad.  I love IMovie.  Once you learn it, it really is a simple video editing program.  You can get a great product for free. I am not going to tell you how to use IMovie, there are YouTube videos for a good schooling on the "How To" of IMovie.

First piece of advice, I would stick to 15 minute IMovie video.  If you get larger than 15 minutes, you have problems.  There are file size issues.  You have to be verified on YouTube to get longer videos.  Being verified is sometimes easy, sometimes not.  You have to contact YouTube by calling or texting.  I am verified, but I still say keep the video to 15 minutes or less.  Trust me on this.  I tell you, not worth the hassle of dealing with a big file.  That is why my show has 4 parts.

Once the video was complete in IMovie, I downloaded to my iPad.  I went to YouTube channel and uploaded the video.


Step FIVE:
I sent one last email.  I send direct links.  Also, I sent the exact location of each child's video.  I know the kids want to see themselves first.  I know kids.  Yes, it was a pain in the booty, but you gotta finish the drill strong, people!  Put the cherry on top!
All-Shelter In Place Showcase is UP and ready for viewing.
Shiny Happy Teachers link Shiny Happy Teachers 
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
If interested in directly viewing your child only, here is the Part (P) and the exact time in the video.  I have put in a separate document, just in case this works better for you.
Thanks to all the kids and parents that were willing to participate!
  1. Kid Name P4-9:37
  1. Kid Name P4 11:24
  1. Kid Name P3-1:41
  1. Kid Name P3-10:20
  1. Kid Name P3-2:18
  1. Kid Name P3-7:20
The Real Deal that Made the Difference:
The biggest obstacle was the short videos.  Some videos that I received were only 4 seconds.  I put the videos in the movie twice or some even three times.  I used the fast and slow motion options on the app.
To make the videos fun, I added crazy sound effects and fun music.  The music.  Oh, let me talk about the music for a minute.  If you put popular music in these videos, you have to put short snippets.  I would say less than 15 seconds.  15 is my magic number for this entire project.  If you get more that 15 seconds, you have issues with YouTube flagging because of copyright issues.  I found this out the hard way.  I put Radar Love in my video for the Four Wheeling adventure.  It was perfect.  Unfortunately, I did not realize Radar Love would be a problem.  Remember Radar Love?

The song got flagged and had to be replaced.  I had to go back into IMovie.  Change the song.  Download to my iPad.  Re-Upload to YouTube.  This probably took a couple of hours.  To avoid this time waste, just use short snippets.  YouTube does have music for you to use, but I had trouble with it working.  Also, YouTube will just remove the music and there be no music on that segment of the video, but that's not cool.  So, to be safe, stick to less than 15 seconds of music clips.  How do you make sure it is 15 seconds.  Well, it is not easy.  I played the video in IMovie and timed with my Iphone.  Yes, it was a pain the the booty, too.  

One more thing about music.  If you are planning on making money off the video, well you cannot use popular music.  Monetized videos for this type of project are not allowed.  So if you are going to try to make a buck off a school talent show with popular music, it ain't happening folks.  YouTube will give you a good wrist slapping and shut you down.  Also, some countries are freaks about the music copyright thing. 

I think that is it.  Sounds easy.  If you do it the easy way, it may be easy.  But honestly, there are some things that you will have to figure out yourself and your friends on YouTube.  Google it, folks.  I had so many roadblocks and detours to get this project done.  I guess my favorite was when I was at 99% of finishing downloading the last video and YouTube decided to do an update on my phone.  Oh boy.  

I have included the videos because sometimes when I talk or write, it makes no sense.  And, the more information, the better.

Often, I find myself thinking about the song "Can't Always Get What You Want", by the Rolling Stones.  This is one of those times.  I would much prefer a real live talent show, but a real talent show was not in the plans for 2020.  
So, I improvised.
I decided a Virtual Talent Show would be an option.
I tried something new.
I tried something different.
Hopefully, for a few weeks, the parents and kids had something to talk about at the dinner table besides Covid-19.
They had ideas for an act whether they sent them to me or not.
Then, when the show was up on YouTube, they had entertainment.
They got to see their friends doing things at home while sheltering in place.

The lyrics are true...
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you might find
You get what you need


No comments:

Post a Comment