How To Set up Equip for 1:1 Online Music Lessons

These are the situations when I use Zoom for piano or flute lessons
* When the teacher or student are well enough to engage in the lesson, but not well enough to be face to face
* When parents are unable to transport their child to the lesson but are at home
* Other unforeseen circumstances

Please take plenty of time to follow the instructions below and test for effectiveness, well before your online lesson to avoid wasted time for both of us.

If technology is not your forte or you don’t know anyone you could test this with, we can take the time for me to help you set up in the first lessons.

Full view of set up for Zoom piano sessionsIdeal Equipment and Setup – for PIANO LESSONS

  1. Access to high-speed internet is essential.
    Without this, the screen can frequently pixelate or freeze.
  2. Two cameras are ideal so I can see you and your hands on the piano keyboard from two different angles.
    For you to be able to have the best Zoom experience,  I have my laptop computer with an inbuilt camera placed on a chair at the RIGHT side of the piano.
    Additionally, I have a webcam positioned overhead, screwed on to a microphone stand with a boom arm.
    I use a Logitech Webcam.
    Please have the webcam on the mic stand positioned so it shows your hands on the keyboard from overhead.

 

 

3. When this is in place, the overhead and side views during the Zoom lesson can be alternated quickly. To do so,  on the Zoom screen, go to the bottom row and find VIDEO, then click on the downward arrow. Options will appear – find where it lists your webcam. If I ask you to change over to the overhead webcam, this is where to click, and also where to click to return to the side view.

4. I extend the mic boom so that the camera view is straight down over the hands – centred and straight ( a few feet above the top of the piano). Notice that the leg of the mic boom is flush against the piano, with the stand aligned against the low keys, rather than against the edge of the piano.

Organise your set up so I can see this view of your hands from the overhead camera.Please note these prior to your zoom lesson:

1. Do not make the Zoom call from your mobile phone. I will not have a good enough view of your fingers, hand and forearm to do my best work, and you will struggle to see my hands and follow the instructions from such a small screen. To make the best use of the lesson, you need at least a laptop for a good side view and an overhead camera as detailed above.

2. Familiarise yourself with Zoom and your equipment before your lesson. Make sure both cameras are positioned optimally and practise changing between screens. Please have a trial call with a friend to reduce spending valuable lesson time on troubleshooting technical difficulties. Ensure that your keyboard is not shown upside down.

3. Both teacher and student need to allow a little extra time in their schedules to set up for the online lesson to begin on time, to allow for any online glitches, particularly when the internet capacity is currently overloaded, and to return the studio to normal after the lesson.

4. Check the time difference, if applicable, to ensure you are on time. Enter the lesson time in an electronic calendar such as www.timeanddate.com with the teacher’s time zone is way to calculate your local time (and keep up to date with changes due to daylight saving etc).

5. Let your teacher know of the repertoire you wish to study at the lesson with sufficient notice – at least one week. If she does not have the sheet music in her library, scan and email the selected pages prior to the lesson. Be sure that what she receives has all the page in it, at the normal size of the page. Take care to send the pages to the email address, not as a text message to the mobile phone. Write in the bar/measure numbers and any particular fingering you are using, before you scan.

6. Lesson time can be better spent targeting questions on specific issues, rather than playing pages at a time or performing a piece all the way through.

7. It is possible and recommended to record the lesson within Zoom

 

Ideal Equipment and Setup – for FLUTE LESSONS

  1. Access to high-speed internet is essential.
    Without this, the screen can frequently pixelate or freeze.
  2. One camera placed in front of you where I can see your face and upper body clearly is sufficient. A laptop or computer with a webcam is sufficient when it is facing you
  3. It is ideal to also have another webcam on a mic stand (see below) so I can see your full height and from a little distance so I can check your playing posture.

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4. When when the mic stand with webcam is in place, the upper body view can be easily alternated with the full body view during the Zoom lesson. To do so,  go to the bottom row of your Zoom screen and find VIDEO, then click on the downward arrow beside it. Options will appear – find where it lists your webcam. If I ask you to change over to the full body webcam, this is where to click, and also where to click to return to the upper body view.

 

Please note these prior to your Zoom lesson:

1. A laptop or desktop computer is needed – using your mobile phone to make the Zoom call won’t work properly.

2. Familiarise yourself with Zoom and your equipment before your lesson. Make sure both cameras are positioned optimally and practise changing between screens. Please have a trial call with a friend to reduce spending valuable lesson time on troubleshooting technical difficulties.

3. Both teacher and student need to allow a little extra time in their schedules
to set up for the Zoom lesson to begin on time.

4. If there is a time difference be sure you have the correct time eg www.timeanddate.com. 
Be sure to enter the teacher’s time zone first, and to regularly check ahead incase there has been a change for daylight saving etc.

5. If there is something in particular you want to work on, let your teacher know at least the week before. She will let you know if she does not have the sheet music in her library. If not,  you will have to write in the bar (measure) numbers on the sheet music, then scan and email the selected pages at least three days prior to the lesson. Take care to send the pages to the email address only.

6. Lesson time can be better spent targeting questions on specific issues, rather than playing pages at a time or performing a piece all the way through.

11. It is possible and recommended to record the lesson within Zoom

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