Below you will find a list of questions regarding online lessons that we receive from many of our students. Please reach out if you have any other questions.
Due to Covid-19, the Music Lesson Cafe continues to teach about half of our music lessons online, though we are teaching many of our students in-person.
Frequently Asked Questions - Online Music Lessons
How do I join my online lesson?
Before your lesson, your teacher will email you an invitation link to join a Zoom meeting. It will streamline things if you set up a free account with zoom before your lesson at http://zoom.us. You can also download the App called “ZOOM Cloud Meetings” for free.
What equipment do I need?
- You will need a laptop, I-pad, tablet, or smart phone for lessons. Laptops work best for piano lessons because you can angle the camera towards your hands. You can purchase a stand to hold your tablet so that it can be angled downward towards your hands on the piano. For all other instruments and for voice lessons, any of the devices are fine. Please be sure your device is fully charged, or if possible, have it plugged into an outlet to keep it charged during your lesson.
- Use headphones or earbuds when possible to avoid interference between your speaker and microphone.
- Reliable Wi-Fi connection. Most Wi-Fi signals provide a strong enough signal for lessons, however for an improved signal if your internet is slow and freezes, try using an Ethernet adaptor that plugs into your USB port on your computer and plug an ethernet cable into your modem for a direct connection for the best possible speed. Some computers, tablets and I-pads do not have USB plugs, so check your computer.
How should I set up the room for lessons?
Prepare to have your device set up in a way that your teacher can see you and your instrument at the best possible angle. For piano lessons, we recommend setting the device next to the right side of the piano on a table. Most likely you will need to stack a number of books to get the device up higher than your hands so your instructor can better see what you are playing.
Do online lessons work for young children?
Students from age 5-7 may require a parent to be present to keep them focused, and to assist with teaching materials.
How will I receive my sheet music and books?
Teachers may email you materials that need to be printed before your lesson. If your teacher determines that you need books for studying your instrument, the Music Lesson Cafe will either ship them directly to your house and send you an invoice, or you can purchase the books directly.
Can I continue with online lessons when the current situation changes?
Yes, we will continue with a hybrid model going into the future. You can opt to take in-person lessons by paying a trip-fee for students taught in your home or you can remain remote at the discounted rate.
Zoom Tips and Tricks for better sound
Zoom Sound Quality Improvements - Zoom's automatic settings are designed to eliminate background noise, which is not ideal for music lessons. Here are some tips for setting up your audio for ideal sound transmission (we haven't found that this works on I-pads or tablets).
- Once your Zoom meeting has started, in the lower left-hand corner next to "Join Audio," then click on the "^" symbol. Click on audio settings so you can test your speaker and microphone. Select the speaker and microphone that you want to use under the drop down boxes. Under the microphone area, uncheck the “automatically adjust microphone volume.”
- Suppress background noice - Please select low for this option, because we don't want the computer to try to suppress the sounds of the instrument.
- Music and Professional Audio - Select "Show in-meeting option to 'Enable Original Sound' from microphone." Only select "Echo cancellation" for a basic set up for music with earbuds or using the computer microphone and speaker. "High fidelity music mode" should only be used if you have a direct ethernet connection. "Stereo audio" should only be used if you are using a separate audio interface.
- Enable Original Sound - When the meeting has started in the upper left-hand side of the screen you will want to click on “enable original sound,” so all of your sound settings will be in place for the lesson.
Are you signed up for a lesson? Sign up for our online lessons here.