Gulf High School Director of Bands Bill Rutherford and Russell Schmidt, the band director at Zephyrhills High School, recently tried an experiment, hoping to utilize technology to improve their band programs. In an email, Mr. Rutherford explained what they did:
“On Tuesday night, during a ZHS band rehearsal, Mr. Schmidt invited me to a video conference with his band. The idea is that I could see and hear his band rehearsing and I would give them comments on their playing, similar to what a judge would do at one of our evaluations. On his end, he projected my image through an LCD projector onto a movie screen so the students could see me when I talked to them and they could all hear me through speakers in their band room. I will have to say that it worked pretty well! The audio was a problem at times, but I think I could hear enough to make some suggestions to his band for improvement. As you can see in the first picture, I am sitting at my (rather messy) desk and watching his band perform. I jotted some notes down as I listened, and then spoke to his students about what I heard. It was a lot of fun!
“We plan to do more of this in the future and are even thinking about trying to conduct each other’s band via webcam! We are hoping that this will save time and money by not having to drive to each other’s band rooms to work with each other’s group in person. We can even do this from home!”