I don’t know why it came to me so late, but this morning I had an idea. Why not stream our concert live to the world? Today was our Listen to Me concert which is the culmination of a term’s music tuition from Hampshire Music Service. They give us weekly sessions in a range of styles and then for the last session, we invite parents in and we perform for them. We also performed for the other two classes in the year group too. This term’s concert was Samba drumming.

I’ve streamed things before but it can be a bit hit and miss depending on internet connection, software issues and other factors (such as pressing record to get a copy afterwards!) but today I thought about using Google+. Now I know that Kevin McLaughlin (@kvnmcl) is a huge fan of this and I gave it a go. I had to use an account that wasn’t part of our Google Apps domain, which is fine, I used a generic school account e.g. somethingsomething@gmail.com and loaded it up. I tried it first on a Chromebook but that was having WiFi issues and then switched to a netbook instead, using an external webcam instead of the built-in one. This worked fine. I simply started a Hangout, ticked the enable hangout on air option and started to stream it live. What I really liked was the ability to not only give a link out to everyone watching – the few people who had seen my tweets earlier this morning – but the ability to embed it directly into a blog. So I copied the code, pasted it into a new post and tweeted the link to our blog. This would make it much easier in future as I would know the URL of the stream before it was set up and I could give this to parents ages in advance if needed.

I set the stream up around 45minutes before the concert and muted the mic. There was a lot of silliness, showing off and playing up to the camera before we started, but hey, they’re children and it was a new thing that we hadn’t done before! The concert went well, parents loved it and the children were fab. Afterwards we looked and the children liked that it had put the video onto YouTube for us automatically. We discussed what to do with the 45minutes of ‘rubbish stuff’ at the beginning and we found the trim button in YouTube. We simply used this, removed the excess and saved it. An hour later (maybe less) the video was trimmed and of course, it was already embedded on our blog.

It must be noted that we also had a video camera in use too because we were checking it worked ahead of the Easter production this afternoon! All in all, it was very easy and we might look at doing it for future events.

The copy of the stream is available here and the version from the video camera is available here on our blog.