SET UP TIPS: ONLINE LESSONS

Are you ready for your online lesson? 

Use this checklist to prepare and you'll have a better experience!

and your teacher will thank you 😉

(1)  BEFORE + AFTER each lesson:  DID YOU UPLOAD?

BEFORE:  Written work - Workbook or Lesson book pages, theory assignments, composing, videos.

AFTER:  The week’s lesson assignment notebook page (if you took notes).

(2)  LESSON TIME

A quiet room & a quiet device

  • Remove background noise & distractions:  NO video games, TV, phone conversations, radio, family members, etc.

  • TURN ON:  “Do Not Disturb” in your device Notification Settings

  • TURN OFF or QUIT:  Mail & Messaging (to prevent distracting pop up alerts, or background refresh interfering with wifi)

Have your materials ready!

All your music, notebook, metronome, AND pencil & highlighter.

(3)  DEVICE POSITION

Student’s body, hands AND face need to be fully visible,

AND all the piano keys.

Ideal: off to the side & a little higher than the piano keys.

Like this  ---- >>>>

Frame-24-08-2020-01-19-23_edited.jpg

✅  BEST set up:  Use a tripod, mic stand, or boom arm, with an attachment to hold your device.

⚠️ If you don’t have a tripod or stand, find another tall location to set up beside the piano:

like a table, shelf, box, stack of books. 

Make sure your device is resting on a soft surface - use a smooth, flat cloth or t-shirt. See why, next …

Avoid direct contact with hard surfaces, especially metal or wood - including the surface of your piano! 

Sound vibrations cause interference, distortions, and bad feedback effects.   😣

That means don’t use the edge of the piano  = poor view AND bad vibrations.

BONUS:  

Log in to the Zoom lesson with TWO devices (like laptop + iPhone) to show two different camera angles!

            

Try:  1 camera on the left, and 1 camera on the right,  OR  1 camera from above, and 1 camera on the side.

MAKE SURE:  you only connect to Zoom with audio from ONE device, to avoid bad audio feedback.

Get the most out of all these tips - learn more on the EQUIPMENT & TECH page!

(4)  AUDIO SETTINGS  (Apple/ iOS)

PHONE

GO TO:  Settings > Accessibility > HEARING >  Audio/Visual > TURN OFF Phone Noise Cancellation

(5)  ZOOM on Computer

(1) From the main HOME window,

(2) click on the ⚙️ icon for Settings.

Zoom Home-Settings

 (3) From the left menu, click on AUDIO.

(4) Microphone: If you're using an external mic, select it here.

(5)  UN-SELECT the box for:

“ Automatically adjust microphone volume”.

(6) "Suppress background noise", set at low.

 

Zoom settings 2

Scroll down the Audio menu ...

(7)  SELECT the box: "Show in-meeting option to enable 'Original Sound.' "

(8)  ONLY SELECT the box for:

Echo cancellation.

(NOTE: *IF* you're using headphones AND you have a very fast computer, you can try selecting 'High-fidelity mode' and 'Stereo audio'. But BEWARE: these are a huge drain on the system! Otherwise, just keep them off!)

(9) At the bottom of the menu, click on Advanced, for more settings.

In the Advanced window:

(10)  Echo Cancellation:  set to Aggressive.

Zoom settings 4.updated.png

(11)   When you log in to your Zoom meeting, make sure you see this in the upper left corner:  "Original Sound: ON"

It's VERY IMPORTANT! Otherwise, your piano will sound like it's underwater 😣

zoom step 11.png

ZOOM on iPhone & iPad

GO TO:  Settings >  Meetings >  AUDIO > “Use Original Sound” :  TURN ON

(6)  OPTIMIZE DEVICE SPEED

  • Have a good battery charge, or plug in to a charger.  (low battery = slow connection speed = bad Zoom)

  • Close large apps & programs  - so things don’t run in the background and slow the wifi speed.  

  • Turn ON: Do Not Disturb mode.

  • Turn OFF: Background App Refresh.

  • For WIFI:  Ask household members NOT TO stream movies/music/video games or other large data activities on shared Wifi during your lesson time.  It competes for Wifi strength, which means really slow Zoom connection & bad sound quality!

(7)  TROUBLESHOOTING during a bad connection

  • Check if you already did the other things above for Optimize Device Speed!

  • Turn Zoom video OFF & ON.

  • Turn your Mic OFF & ON (usually stops random echo feedback).

  • Leave Zoom meeting, and rejoin (or also: quit the app and reopen it).

  • Turn your WIFI OFF & ON.

  • Restart your computer or device.

  • Try using a different device.

 

For persistent problems:  read Internet Connection tips on the EQUIPMENT & TECH page for more things to try before next lesson.