Do you want to teach music lessons virtually but don’t know where to start? These are some ideas, tips and products that I not only endorse, but use daily myself in my own virtual violin & piano studio. With over 100 lessons weekly I’m teaching at any time 30-60 of my learners online (virtual lessons are ALWAYS an option with my in-person learners.)
Before we get into the technical equipment let’s discuss the FUN STUFF!
GAMES will make your lessons stand out; learners will be engaged while learning and you’ll have more fun too! Online theory games like SPROUTBEAT
include resources for many instruments including Piano & Strings, and replace or enhance music theory homework. Games like this Music Battleship from my Teachers Pay Teachers store work great in virtual lessons
and I get so excited that my learners are instantly memorizing new symbols & notes while we have a lot of fun!
The technical details:
Having a mounted overhead camera in addition to a front facing camera is an absolute must have. You’ll want to sit at a desk with your computer in front of you. Piano teachers will need a compact, full size good quality digital keyboard in between your typing keyboard and monitor. Teaching at your real piano will create posture issues and back problems in a quick poll of piano teachers I conducted last spring.
For laptop users, I recommend a wireless keyboard and mouse to have closer to your body. Wall mounted camera is best but many desk mounted options are available. My pro-hack is using 3M command velcro strip on the camera mount holder so you can easily attach and reposition your camera to the mount.
I personally love my Casio keyboard as it fits on my desk and doesn’t take up any extra space.
For piano teachers a keyboard on your desk in-between you and your computer/laptop are necessities as well as a good microphone,
In zoom, which I find to be the best, most reliable and most secure and convenient for learners make sure that you and your learner have enabled original sound and/or live performance audio. For phone users, they’ll need to enable this feature before the lesson, or leave the lesson. Be sure to have the latest, most-updated set of instructions for a variety of devices to ensure this process is speedy and easy for your learners. For iPhone users once they’re in the meeting have them
SWIPE DOWN FROM THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER
LONG PRESS ON THE MICROPHONE BUTTON
SELECT WIDE SPECTRUM AUDIO.
Using these features will allow you to hear the original sound of the learner. Set a reminder each week to update your zoom and search the internet for the latest tips and hacks for excellent sound.
DON’T COMPLAIN WHEN THE SOUND IS BAD. Learners, especially young learners will interpret this as THEY SOUND BAD. Working on better audio quality is something you can work on with a parent outside of the lesson or an older learner can complete simple steps at the beginning of the lesson. If you can’t hear a single note, ask them to say or sing what they’re playing. This will trick zoom into letting in the sound because they’re speaking.
Use these tips to enhance or start your virtual teaching studio. You’ll be creating musicians in a way we never imagined 2o years ago! If you want more engaging content, be sure to sign up for a monthly email here with tips, free product alerts and learn how to find a community of creative and passionate music educators!