Google Photos for Piano Teachers
Teaching piano, I use my smartphone camera in lessons every day.
- I photograph assignment sheets at the end of each lesson.
- I photograph any new books or sheet music I’m assigning or loaning.
- I often take videos of students when they’re playing something especially well.
- I take photos to document special achievements, such as completing a 30 or 40-Piece Challenge.
If I kept all of those photos and videos on my phone, the storage would fill up very quickly.
But I don’t.
While I’m teaching each day, the Google Photos app works in the background automatically to upload every photo and video I take to Google cloud storage. The uploaded photos are stored securely at https://photos.google.com. Google gives users free, unlimited storage when you allow your photos and videos to be slightly compressed. (Compressed images and videos certainly wouldn’t work for a professional photography business, but for how I use images and videos as a piano teacher, it’s perfectly fine.)
Before I leave the studio each evening, I do two things:
- I delete the day’s photos from my phone, knowing that I can now view them in the Google Photos app or with any web browser.
- Then I head to https://photos.google.com on my computer where I tag each photo I’ve taken with the name of the appropriate student. It takes about 3 minutes, but then I have a searchable photo record for each student I teach.
By now I’ve accumulated photos and videos from several years, so when students finish their study with me, I like to assemble some sort of collection to give them. Sometimes I just share a big folder of fun images that show the student participating in a variety of piano events through their years of study. Sometimes, I’ll create a video. But always, I have a nice collection of images to share with students when they graduate or otherwise end their years of study with me.
Here’s a short clip from a senior video I made this spring. Liam had studied with me since his elementary school years, so I just overlaid some pictures of his really young years on top of a video he made as a senior. I’ve gone through a couple of phones and computers since Liam started piano lessons, but all my photos of him were easily retrievable since they were stored at Google Photos.
Google Photos is a fantastic free service. If you haven’t used it, I encourage you to download the smartphone app and give it a try.