Online lessons are a relatively new choice for music education, made possible in recent years by improving speed and quality of video conferencing, software and the advent of smartphones. Of course, most of us are now used to using zoom, and if you've used apps like Skype or Facetime before, you'll find the transition to online lessons fairly straight-forward. While of course we love seeing you all in person and a little extra patience is needed, it is definitely more beneficial to keep going with online lessons rather than no lessons at all!
Here's all the information you need to get setup for online lessons:
The Tech Stuff...
Online music lessons don't require much more than your device, instrument and an internet connection. Ideally, get setup in a quiet space where you won't be distracted during lessons!
Prior to your first online lesson, your teacher will email out a zoom link that's just for your lessons, and the same link should work for all future online lessons, so you don't need to wait for a new one each week.
Please get setup and check things are working before your first online lesson!
Ideally, place your device on a surface such as a high chair, table, music stand or tripod to one side of the piano at an angle. Alternatively, you can put your device on the music stand of your piano, as long as there's still space for your music too!
Position your device so the webcam is at eye level - think about how your teacher sits next to you during the lesson, that's the ideal place for the camera to be. It works best if your teacher is able to see both the you and the piano.
Set up your device so I can see your face and the top half of your body when standing. It usually works fine to place your device on a table, window sill or the top of your piano. Be aware that if you often play and sing, we'll likely ask you to accompany yourself during these sessions.
Please also have another device available that can play backing tracks for us if needed - you could use a laptop for the lesson and keep a phone to one side to play music from if needed.
If possible, set up your device so your teacher can see both you and your drum kit. This might require the camera being angled down from a higher point. If you don't have a drum kit at home, have a chat with your teacher about the options for a DIY home drum-kit setup - it's absolutely possible!
Guitar & Bass
Set up your device so your teacher can see both you and your instrument. It might need to be placed a bit further away than you're used to!
A laptop or iPad/tablet with a built-in webcam is ideal. Smartphones can work okay, but we recommend using a bigger screen if possible.
Many of us living far out in West Auckland often experience a less-than-ideal internet speed and connection. However, if you're normally able to do things like streaming Netflix, your connection should be fine.
To be extra sure, you can test your internet speed here: https://www.speedtest.net
As zoom is predominantly used for meetings, it sometimes cuts out the sound of our instruments when we play. To minimise this, you can adjust your audio settings in zoom - please make sure you've selected 'enable original audio'. You might also find it useful to use headphones during your lesson.
All online lessons take place over the Zoom app - it's free and easy to download and use.
We'll send you an email invite to your lesson - all you need to do is click on the link in your email and the session will open in your Zoom app.
You'll find Zoom in your app store, or online here: https://zoom.us/download
Help with the Zoom App: