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).


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.


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  ---- >>>>


✅  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.


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  (Mac & iOS)


GO TO:  System Preferences > Sound >  UN-SELECT the box for  “Use ambient noise reduction”


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 this box for “ Automatically adjust microphone volume”.

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


Zoom settings 2

Scroll down the Audio menu ...

(7)  SELECT this box to "Show in-meeting option to 'Enable Original Sound' from microphone."

(8)  UNSELECT these boxes.

(NOTE: *IF* you're using headphones AND you have a fast computer, you can try turning these on. Otherwise, don't - keep them off!)

(9) click on Advanced, for more settings.

Zoom settings 3.updated.png

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.

If it says "Turn off Original Sound", then it means it is ON!  That's what we want.  👌🏼

Zoom Original Sound

ZOOM on iPhone & iPad

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


  • 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.  

  • ALSO: 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 drains the 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 under Optimal Device Speed

  • Turn Zoom video OFF & ON.

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

  • Leave Zoom, and log back in (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.