Setup: I need to see YOU and the piano. Ideal setup is laptop on a sturdy table off to the right side of the keyboard. Height should allow the camera to view the keyboard (hands) AND the student's entire upper body. The student will be able to see me as well by glancing at the screen, or you can set up a second device (tablet) on the music rack.
Supplies: Have your notebook, writing utensils, and a metronome on hand (along with ALL your music), as well as your lesson assignment page from the previous week. I also strongly recommend page tabs (sticky colorful tabs) to mark your assignments if you are in the Faber Piano Adventures series.
Theory: Email or text your theory assignments (if applicable) prior to the start of lesson time.
Use a laptop for best audio quality (NOT phone or tablet).
Adjust advanced audio settings and check prior to each lesson (IMPORTANT!)
Go to advanced settings (arrow next to the microphone icon)
Adjust the input volume so that your loudest playing almost fills up the ten rectangles, but not quite.
Click on advanced on the lower right.
Disable both the "suppress persistent background noise" function and the "suppress intermittent background noise function"
Click on "show in-meeting option to enable original sound."
Return to the meeting: the button in the upper left of the screen should read "turn off original sound." If it says "turn on original sound," click it once.
Please minimize distractions and noise during lesson time. The audio is already somewhat compromised, so making it as "clean" a sound as possible is helpful to both of us.
Maximize your internet speed. Consider a wired connection. You may also benefit from minimizing other internet use during lesson time so that it doesn't slow down our connection.
Optional but recommended:
Use wireless headphones to hear me best (makes a huge difference!)
Log onto Zoom a few minutes early and make sure the audio settings (above) are set. You will be directed to the waiting room until your lesson time begins.
You can recordyour lesson andstudents can listen back during the week (to hear what I said... as well as what I heard). This is an amazing feature and incredibly helpful for learning (it's like getting another lesson during the week). Even if you opt not to record the whole lesson, we can record my playing a demonstration, and you can record just that. This feature is only possible on laptops.
Making the most of your online experience:
Lesson Summaries: I update our lesson summary for each student during each lesson. Check this log after the lesson (tip: you may want to print it out so that you can refer to it during the week - keep it at the piano in a binder)
Parental supervision: It's very helpful for students 8-10 & under to have a parent supervising and assisting with the lesson.
Metronome: Korg KDM-2 True Tone Advanced Digital Metronome I love it's volume (LOUD but not annoying!), the +1 function, easy tap-in to find your tempo, multiple options for beats/subdivisions, colored lights, and a very long battery life!
Sticky Tabs These make finding your assignments SO much easier (ensuring that no assignment gets left behind during practice!). Have them available to mark new assignments as we go through lessons. They are manufactured by several different companies, and are readily available in stores and online.
Pedal Extender This is incredibly helpful for younger & smaller pianists, as it allows them to stabilize their feet and use the pedals. I've tried many, and the best (by far) the DPH-PE-2. Available HERE: http://www.dphmusicarts.com/
SheetMusicPlus Extensive listing of print and online music. Please order through the above link.