I use a multi-camera setup to be able to demonstrate most clearly, provide flexible views, and make teaching and learning as fluid as in-person lessons. But a single camera for the student can get the job done just fine! It’s all in the camera angle.
The most ideal angle has you—the student—in an almost profile view. Ideally, I should be able to see you, your hands, and the keyboard. The trick is getting the camera high enough that you can tilt it downward. If it’s too low (i.e. at the level of the keys), it will probably be difficult to get yourself and your hands in the frame.
Here’s an example of a good camera view:
You can accomplish this by using a stool or a tall table next to the piano. Of course if you are using a laptop, it’s fairly easy to adjust the screen and point it downward. If you’re using an iPad, it might be a bit trickier, but you just have to experiment!
If you want a hassle free way, there are some great and affordable stands on Amazon! If you’re using an iPad, I would recommend this which makes it really convenient and easy to adjust your iPad to give you the most flexibility. If you’re using a laptop, a music stand like this works really well!
Another option that is very flexible is to use an external webcam with your laptop so you can easily adjust the camera. You’ll even be able to set your computer directly in front of you so you don’t even have to turn to see your screen! The Logitech C615 and C920 are great options (although scarce and often overpriced online during the COVID pandemic due to high demand). Your closest Target or BestBuy would be the best place to currently buy one. Coupled with an inexpensive camera tripod, you can have an expert setup in minutes.
At the end of the day, you just want to have the best camera position as you can so I can best give advice on posture, hand position, fingering, and more! It only take a few minutes to figure out and helps your lessons run smoothly and effectively! 😃