3 Virtual Programs Using Flipgrid

Participants create short videos and contribute to virtual ensemble, songwriting, and open mic projects

The novelty of ZOOM is wearing off but many music programs still need virtual solutions to engage their participants.  Flipgrid is a simple, free, and accessible video discussion experience for educators and their participants.  Basically, an “Instagram” type of platform where participants can record and share short videos with their peers while ultimately you control who has access to the projects. 

In addition… 

  • Requires a free subscription and Flipgrid App – https://info.flipgrid.com
    • Music Staff email used to subscribe must be a .org or .edu email domain
    • Participants can use any email to join
  • Benefits of Flipgrid: 
    • Many schools already use it – youth are familiar with it
    • Not public – Videos are only available to participants, staff and parents that you invite 
    • It’s playful and fun (e.g. video effects) 
    • No video/audio compression 
    • Simple and accessible (easier than uploading to google drive, etc)

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How to… 

Example #1 – Virtual Ensemble We’ve all seen the “grid” style virtual ensemble videos and while professional musicians might be able to pull this off with nothing but a key signature and click track, young beginners may need some additional support. 

Example Flipgrid Topic – https://flipgrid.com/cb183dd4
  • Decide on a song and key (cover song or original) 
  • Download professional backing track 
  • Create an audio “Conductor Track” (in a DAW) to help virtually conduct your participants with: 
    • Correct Key
    • Tempo/Click track
    • Song Form verbal cues and count-ins 
    • Performance instructions (e.g. “Don’t forget to smile”, etc) 
    • Video cues (e.g. “turn off your video… now”) 
  • Upload Conductor Track to Flipgrid and share topic link and instructions with your participants 
  • Each participant then “Records a Response” using their cell phone
    • Video of themselves playing along with or singing along with the Conductor Track 
  • Participant instructions (to sync audio and video): 
    • Open Flipgrid App – Click “Record a Response”
    • Open the Conductor Track in Google Drive – press play 
    • Count along with the 1 or 2 measures of the Conductor Track (e.g. “1, 2, 3, 4”) before starting to play or sing. Counting will help sync the audio/video from other participant’s videos 
    • Switch back to Flipgrid to view yourself while recording 
  • Tips for recording in Flipgrid
    • Use your cell phone and a set of earbuds that have a built in microphone
      • This will isolate the audio and video of each participant’s performance 
    • Invite vocalists and instrumentalists to participating until you have a complete track
    • Provide participants with video feedback and have them re-record if necessary 
    • Edit the performances together in iMovie, Final Cut or other video editing software
    • Post for participants, staff and families to see
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