For teachers
7 Useful Tips for Organizing an Online Music Lesson
  1. Approach the choice of equipment thoroughly. The phone or tablet are of course the easiest and fastest windows to get into the world of online learning, but you are likely to be severely limited by their built-in cameras and pretty weak microphones. The small screen size can also be a problem. A laptop or desktop PC or Mac would be preferred.
  2. Connect to the network via cable. This can be done if you nevertheless made a choice in favor of a laptop or PC. An Ethernet cable certainly provides a more stable Internet connection than Wi-Fi.
  3. Get a good microphone and camera. Laptops often have a built-in microphone and camera, but we would still recommend purchasing more professional equipment if have resources.
  4. Consider feedback. Experiment with speaker and microphone placement and volume levels to avoid feedback. There are two audio settings to customize - your computer's baseline input level, and the custom settings of the video chat you're chatting on. Headphones will eliminate feedback and could be a great solution of the problem. Your students will very likely communicate with you via Wi-Fi and possibly via a phone, so if you can make your own setup as stable as possible it will only improve the quality for both parties.
  5. Prepare in advance. Take 15 minutes before the first online lesson with each student to check your settings. Ask a student to play and experiment with the sound level for best results. If you are working with a child, then you will probably need help from a tech-savvy parent. After this first lesson, still set aside time before each subsequent lesson for any necessary audio checks or connection fixes. This extra time will also save you from feeling rushed if there is a technical glitch in the middle of the lesson. For this reason, if possible, avoid situations where the schedule of lessons with different students are back to back without a break.
  6. Check how your camera is set up. Since you are limited by the camera's viewing angle and its image quality capabilities, every little thing matters: lighting, image contrast, hand and body position in the frame. It is important that you see your full face, fingers, and instrument, so you should consider a second camera. You will see, this will open up new opportunities for you in teaching.
  7. Remind me of upcoming lessons. It will not be superfluous to set up a simple notification system for upcoming lessons for yourself and your students. For example, it would be appropriate to remind about the lesson the day before the lesson and, for example, 30 minutes before. Often, due to the fact that students study at home and are distracted outside of work, it can be easier than usual for them to forget the time of the lessons.