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 ---- >>>>
✅ 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.
(4) AUDIO SETTINGS (Apple/ iOS)
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.
(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.
Scroll down the Audio menu ...
(7) SELECT the box: "Show in-meeting option to enable 'Original Sound.' "
(8) ONLY SELECT the box for:
(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.
(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 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.