Social media can be exhausting. I get it. It seems like every 5 seconds there’s a new social media platform out there. Besides the big players like Facebook and Twitter, there’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, and it just goes on and on. For those of us with busy lives (and I’m pretty sure that’s all of us), it hardly seems worth it to keep up with each one.
And you’re right – it is hardly worth it to keep up with each one. After all, certain forms of social media don’t fit our needs or our audience’s’ needs. I firmly believe, however, that Periscope does.
“Periscope? What’s that? I’ve never even heard of that!” you’re thinking. I know you’re thinking that because I was thinking the same thing when I recently discovered it. I am converted though. So I want to use this post to tell you exactly what Periscope is and why Periscope is great for singers, classical music, and musicians in general.
So first thing’s first: what is Periscope?
Periscope is a social media platform where you display live video broadcasts (also known as “scopes”) to users all over the world through your phone. Users can then give you hearts and comment in real time on the broadcast. In essence, it’s a webinar you can do anytime, anywhere, for free.
Also, a fun fact: when writing this post, I discovered that the word “periscope” literally means, “an apparatus consisting of a tube attached to a set of mirrors or prisms, by which an observer can see things that are otherwise out of sight.” This is actually a pretty amazing description of what Periscope does as an app, as you will soon see.
I won’t get into the “how to” of Periscope too much for this post as there are already lots of great tutorials out there. I will give you just enough to get started though. First, if you have a Twitter handle, this is the best way to sign in as it will make the social aspect of this social media platform easier. However, you can sign in with a phone number if you’d like. Then, you can search users under the user tab, view live broadcasts under the little world icon, see who is live amongst those you follow under the little television icon, or start your own broadcast with the little camera.
So now, why is Periscope so great for singers? The short version is, it will allow you to demonstrate your work in a way that no other social media platform currently does: in real time and with a direct connection to your audience. Here are some ideas for how to use Periscope to grow your audience and enhance your own skills.
Show live rehearsals or concert previews
Got a performance coming up? This is a great time to showcase it. If you have a rehearsal in the performance venue, or can get some time in there, show a live broadcast of it! When you go to turn on the broadcast, be sure you have your phone in a position where viewers can clearly see your performance. Then, put your performance details in the title, and turn on your location settings (if you’re at the venue the performance will be held at). For some added viewership, share the scope through Twitter. Then voilà! You have a new way of previewing your performance that directly engages new viewers.
Of course, you could also share a video on Facebook or Twitter that shows the same thing. However, doing that lacks the immediacy of the performance. The great thing about Periscope is the feeling of involvement viewers get from watching a performance live. Furthermore, after you perform your set, you can then come back to the viewers, talk to them directly, and answer their questions.
Show lessons or masterclasses
If you’re a teacher and want to find more voice students in your area, you can show off your teaching chops as well. This can be tricky if you teach out of your home as I don’t recommend broadcasting your home location. However, if you teach out of a music school or have an opportunity to teach a masterclass at a different location, you can demonstrate your teaching abilities in a scope, answer people’s questions afterwards, and then give out your contact information.
Similarly, I have seen several scopes of other people singing, especially of younger people. If I ever stumbled upon one close enough to me, I would maybe ask them if they had any interest in voice lessons to enhance their ability. I would be careful to not be spammy or annoying about this. It would be relatively simple though to follow this person on Persicope, which may lead to a follow in return, or at least having them view your profile to know that a qualified voice teacher is available in their area, should they be interested.
As stated in the last section, there are often singers or other musicians showing off their chops on Periscope. If you were at a concert and saw a musician you would be interested in working with, would you go up to them afterwards and talk to them about collaboration? If so, why not do it on Periscope? Engaging with other performers on this platform could be just as powerful (if not more so) as finding a new audience through the application.
While I think this could be an interesting way to use Periscope, I don’t think it would be successful until there were enough trusted classical singers using the platform. However, if you did have followers that fit this demographic, singers could use Periscope much like a mock-audition situation. By setting your broadcast settings to private and selecting whichever “mutual” followers you wanted (so people who follow you and you follow in return), you could get some great performance feedback from your very own home.
Learn a foreign language
A very astute reader pointed out that Periscope would also be a great way for singers to enhance their foreign language learning. There are so many Periscope users throughout the world, finding users that speak your target language would be incredibly easy and powerful. You could easily listen to and read responses from other native speakers.
Furthermore, you could create your own scope to practice your language skills. Hop on to Periscope, create a title in your target language, and chat away! Users could then come in and converse with you and give you pointers. There are a lot of affordable ways to learn a language, but perhaps none would be as hands-on as Periscope.
Question and Answer time
To me, the ability to reach out to those who are unfamiliar with classical music could be one of the most powerful tools of Periscope. Now we can demonstrate better than ever how affordable, accessible, and relatable classical music can be. Besides doing the other kinds of scopes listed here, you can also answer viewers’ questions about classical music, singing, or anything else you may have specialized knowledge of. This kind of scope is tricky to pull off if you don’t have a lot of followers. With a little bit of engagement though, you could be creating a whole new generation of classical music lovers in no time.
And now, a bonus! For a deeper understanding of Periscope and social media for singers, I have done a scope on social media for singers. Check it out now to learn more about how you can use other forms of social media to grow your audience. Also, make sure you don’t miss future scopes by signing up for Periscope now and following Operaversity.
Have you used Periscope before? How else do you think a live video streaming app could be helpful for singers? What kinds of broadcasts would you like to see from Operaversity or other professionals you follow? Let’s bring classical music and our voices to Periscope everyone!