There is certainly no shortage of fascinating and really useful material on utube. It’s a great teaching resource. And while I will not pretend that this can ever compete with the experience of live performance and real people working together one-on-one, it is giving us access to some truly great performances of repertoire.
I have to say that so far, Snowball is my favourite amateur utube performance just for the sheer joy of experiencing music. If you haven’t yet played the video, do it now. It’s guaranteed to made you feel good! There is also some interesting science behind this.
Until neuroscientist, Dr. Aniruddh Patel, saw this wildly popular utube video of Snowball, he and the scientific community believed that keeping time to a beat was something unique to humans. His subsequent study of Snowball is the first to document that non-human vocal learners also share this ability, something they suspected but had not yet proven.
If you are interested in a clear and concise explanation of the science behind his research, check out this great blog entry by Isobel MacIver on Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo, YouTube and Scientific Discovery. Well worth the read.