Multi-cam views during Skype or Face Time piano lessons

I’m now a three-time Logitech webcam user with a long range panoramic capability and two close-up keyboard views, (including an overhead) that’s a mouse tap away. For trill and ornament demonstrations, I highlight the second or third LOGITECH option listed on my Preferences window and can easily switch back to the longer range image with another click. (first view) The FULL SCREEN option is recommended.

NOTE: Since my iMac upgrade to MAVERICKS, I use the Logitech C920 HD1080p webcams.

To add more than one web cam view to the mix, I downloaded the Manycam program to my iMac. (It’s FREE)

For Panorama: C920HD1080 (Place cam on end block of piano, high treble side)
Close-up below: C920HD1080 (clipped to a music stand to the left of me)

LONGER side view of piano

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 7.30.58 PM

closeup camera 3  left of me
My Close-up cam sits on a music stand by specific marked placement. (You can see it in the photo showing the Targus Tripod with its overhead Alzo horizontal mount)

NOTE: in the old days for a trill close-up I put the webcam on my crossed knee to give it elevation.
right-hand-plays-logitech-knee 3

logitech on knee

Another Perspective: The Overhead Keyboard View
I use an Alzo Horizontal Mount on my 72″ Targus Tripod to get a vast overhead view of my keyboard:

Alzo Horizontal mount for cam tripod

overhead and treble clef
me under overhead webcam

Here’s what the student sees as a FULL SCREEN option:

whole keyboard

For a pedal close-up, I activated my C920HD1080. It afforded an opportunity to graphically demonstrate legato pedaling. (You can see the student’s upright piano, and my pedal shown in the lower left box.) She had the full screen view of my foot on the pedal. We are working on “In the Church” by Tchaikovsky which requires sensitive, clear pedaling.

Logitech pedal


For sound clarity, the Yeti mic is my preference over the Mac’s internal mic, and it’s an option on SKYPE and FACE TIME. (Note that I use the INTERNAL mic setting when I’m on a FACE TIME transmitted lessons which seems to eliminate ECHOES. For Skype, I tend to rely on the Yeti mic which is Mac compatible. If I record tutorials for students on Quicktime, I use the Yeti Mic.)

yeti mic

Here’s an adult student’s keyboard view beamed in from UK. She has the single panoramic perspective:

panoramic view of student piano UK

Another Skype student’s view:
piano closeup Central Valley


Having the three-cam option (if not more) improves the quality of web-transmitted lessons, benefiting both student and teacher.


piano room, spacier

Video showing multi-webcam views:

An effective side view to demonstrate trills and various light wrist dips for SHAPING them:

(With three students’ reviews of Online private piano lessons)
overhead and treble clef

Improved overhead view with 72″ tripod:
overhead cam 72

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: OR or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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14 Responses to Multi-cam views during Skype or Face Time piano lessons

  1. S Meyers says:

    Great post. What useful information to share with others and so clearly presented. I hope people who can use it will find it.


  2. ingkavet says:

    That was great. I’ve been wondering how to do a multi-cam lesson. Thanks for sharing!


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  9. Shirley, I just used a newly purchased logitech C920 as an overhead camera on my “Mac” computer and got an image that was reversed (Mirror image). When I went to the mac forum, a logitech specialist said that the image could be reversed back to normal on a PC but not on a Mac. So, I sent the camera back to Amazon. Have you not experienced this Mirroring effect with your camera or did you solve it some way? Also, it looks as though you have a “boom” sticking out horizontally over your head from your tripod for the overhead shots. What tripod and boom do you use for these overhead shots, please. Thanks, Scott


    • Thanks for your comments, Scott. When you say “mirror image,” do you mean the treble and bass are shifted on screen? With my overhead webcam (C 920) I don’t perceive mirror images. They seem to comport with the way I am seated at my Baldwin. (Treble to the right, and bass to the left) Same applies to my student Logitech web set- ups. With the side side view C-920 obtained from mounting it on a music stand it comports with how my webcam is directed. I have an iMac 21 inch screen. The tripod I use is 72 inches, Professional PRO 72-inch Super Strong Tripod With Deluxe Soft Carrying Case For The Canon VIXIA HF S10, HF S100, HF200, HF20, HF11, HF100, HF10, HG21,
      Sold by: DBROTH.. Hope this helps. And to add, I use an Alzo Horizontal mount for the overhead view. Affords a good connection for the C-920.


    • No I haven’t experienced the mirroring effect as you have.


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