Digital Video Feedback for Voice Performance

Elizabeth Linnartz, Lecturer, Department of Music

Project Description:

Five Duke faculty teach voice lessons at Duke and requested hard-drive based camcorders to explore the impact of recording audio and video of voice lessons, classes and performances for immediate or later review by the student and faculty. The voice faculty currently use iPods to record lessons so that students can hear their work for evaluation, but the addition of video would allow faculty to discuss performance problems that have to do with body mechanics, performance, language and communication skills that are manifested in both aural and visual form.

The CIT loaned three hard-drive based camcorders to the faculty to use in voice lessons and preparations for Spring student recitals in courses Music 95, Voice Lessons (50 students); Music 79B, Class Voice (12 students); and Music 179, Advanced Study: Vocal Performance (12 students). The hard-drive based camcorder allowed faculty to randomly access material for playback for discussions with students, in contrast to a traditional tape-based camcorder that would be more cumbersome for these purposes.

Linnartz said that using the camcorder for feedback saved time during lessons, allowing the students to directly see performance issues and how they could improve. “Having video feedback available for immediate student viewing during lessons drastically increased the students’ receptivity to instruction, speeded up their ownership of both the problem and solutions, and created a quicker and more long-lasting change in both technique and performance,” Linnartz noted.

Since the test use of the camcorders proved successful and promising for future work, the faculty are exploring how to obtain a set of camcorders through their department for permanent use in their courses.

Project start date: 2/27/2008
Funding awarded: equipment loan