Signed up for online lessons and wondering what the next step is? Let us take you through how to get set up to have the best possible online experience.

Equipment

No need to get fancy–just use what you have! You can always improve things later if needed. Our students use laptops, tablets, and/or smartphones with great success.

Internet speed and connection

You can test your speed by visiting speedtest.net to check your connection speed. Ideally, Zoom recommends that you have minimum 25 mbps download speed for video conferencing. Try to make sure that there is minimal internet use during your lesson time. If you are using a laptop, a wired network connection is the most stable option–plug an ethernet cable directly into your modem or router. Also, make sure that your device is fully charged or plugged in to power before your lesson.

Zoom

Our teachers use Zoom primarily to deliver their online lessons. Before your lesson, visit zoom.us to download the app to your device. You can also use the web version with a laptop if you prefer.

Joining your Lesson

The day before your lesson, we will e-mail you a zoom link. It will look something like this:

<teacher name> is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: <student name> – Wednesday 6:00 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/###########?pwd=xxxXx#xxX#ZZZ#z#zz

Meeting ID: ### #### ####
Passcode: ######

Simply click on the link and join your class! The link will start your zoom app. You can join 5 minutes earlier and use that time to adjust your audio and setup.

Set-up (one time only)

In Zoom, under settings, choose the “audio” tab. You might have a screen like what’s showing on the left. (Tablets and Phones have more limited choices). You can test your speaker and test your mic from this screen. When you test, the levels should flash mostly green. If not, adjust the slider until you are satisfied with the levels.

For music making, sometimes Zoom will cut out your instrument sound because it thinks it is background noise–set “suppress background noise” to “LOW”.


Camera positioning

For piano: have your camera at the high end of the keyboard, pointing at your right side. Make sure the camera shows your face and hands. Try to have your space well-lit, but don’t point your camera at a window or light source.

For guitar and ukulele: your teacher will want you to face the camera, holding the instrument so that the teacher can see both your fingering hand and your strumming hand.