A guide to successful online music lessons for the benefit of students and teachers

A lot of folks are taking a deep dive into the world of online music lessons right now with little to no prior experience. Our resident IT expert, Tyler, prepared this handy document that will benefit teachers, students, and parents who are about to wade into this unfamiliar territory.

This guide is intended to provide you with basic steps to ensure you have a good Internet connection and high quality video and audio for your lessons.

We hope you find this helpful and if you have any questions please feel free to comment below, send an email to help@centremusic.com or call 508-875-0909.

General Guidelines

  • Look the part – We know that most of you have been at home for a while so just remember to appear as you normally would when coming to a lesson at Centre Music House. No pajamas, please!
  • Focus, focus, focus! – We ask that students minimize distractions while engaged in their video lessons. We want everyone to get the most out of their allotted lesson time.
  • The right set-up is key – At the very least you will need an Internet-connected device (desktop computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, etc.) that has a camera and a microphone. 
  • You have the power! – Plug your device into a power source. The last thing you want is for it to die right in the middle of a lesson!

Internet Connection

  • Connect to the Internet via your home network, not your cellphone data network.
  • Plug directly into your router or cable modem for the best connection & speed.
  • If plugging in isn’t an option, situate yourself as close to the wireless router as possible.
  • Minimize competing devices on the network. You’ll have the best connection if no one is playing online video games or streaming movies on the same network during the lesson.
  • Check your device’s current Internet speed. Go to http://www.speedtest.net and click “GO”. We recommend at least 5 Mbps download and upload.

Audio / Visual

  • Setup in a quiet room. Even an open window or blowing fan can provide enough background noise to make it hard for teacher and student to hear one another.
  • USB microphones are great, but built-in microphones should get the job done. 
  • The same goes for cameras – built in webcams should work just fine.
  • Position your camera so that you can be seen by the other person. Test out some camera angles before the lesson starts. 
  • Make sure hands, body, and instrument can all be seen in your video feed.
  • Any lighting setup will be fine. Just please make sure it is not too dark and not too bright. Be in a well-lit room. Make sure the light isn’t shining into the camera or reflecting off your instrument.

We hope you’ve found these tips useful for your online music lessons.

Please remember to be patient. This is a new method of teaching and learning for so many of us and we have to give ourselves and others breathing room to learn and adapt.

If you have any other questions or thoughts please leave a comment below.

Best of luck!

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