It seems innocent enough: a teacher is proud of a student, so he or she posts a video of a performance or lesson to Youtube or Facebook. Or the teacher would like some advice from other experts or colleagues: How do I help this student? How can I get this child to hold the bow properly? Have you ever seen this problem before?
But how much are we considering the privacy rights of children, when posting videos of their performances or of their lessons? Quite frankly, how much are we considering their feelings?
I'm trying to think how I would feel if I were a child who ran across a video of myself in a Facebook post inviting advice and criticism of my playing, and also sharing personal information. A hypothetical example: "Here is a video of my 10-year-old student. She sings out of tune, never listens to recordings and doesn't seem to care. See the technical problems? How would you advise?"
On the flip side, something that seems like a wonderful achievement to a teacher might feel like embarrassing over-exposure to a student, when posted on the Internet.
As a teacher, even if I had signed permission from the student and parent, I would think long and hard about posting a video of a student online. Does the student want me to do so? Do the parents want me to do so? Does it show the student in a good light, or does it invite criticism? How will the student feel about this video being online, in two years? In five? In 10?
It's important to remember: No group on Facebook is truly a private group. No place on the Internet is truly a private place. And it's hard to permanently or thoroughly remove anything posted, especially several years later, from a teacher may no longer be teaching that student.
Also, it can be illegal to post a video of a child, without that child's parents' permission. Yes, even on Facebook.
Of course, if the student is participating in a public master class that is streamed or taped, this is one thing. The problem comes when the video comes from a private lesson, or a semi-private performance meant for family and friends, when the child did not really understand that this would go out to the entire world.
What are your thoughts about teachers posting videos of young students (under age 12)? Under what conditions is it all right? Or is it ever all right?
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