You can quickly make your online lesson a success. We can work together to optimize your home setup and iron out the kinks. Small adjustments result in huge benefits and save you from frustration later. For more technical specifics, check out my FAQs.
Unexpected sounds online and around the house can impact what I hear during the piano lesson. Your computer (device) volume, Zoom audio settings or other input device may need adjustment. Let’s assess these elements before the lesson begins, and hopefully make a note of the specific adjustments for future lessons. I am glad to help if I can.
The feedback I hear on my end of the setup is affected in unexpected ways. A microphone chooses what to pick up and enhance and I must struggle even to hear the piano. For example, if the kitchen is next to the piano room, it focuses on the sounds of water running and oven doors opening and closing. If you are respectfully whispering in an adjacent room or children are running upstairs, the computer picks that sound up and you may be unaware of this. Life doesn't have to stop, but any rooms adjacent to the piano should be quiet.
I also like to view the student as well as their keyboard and hand positions. Set up the video next to the student in the location that I would normally sit during an in-person lesson. Check out my article on technical fixes to common setup issues.
We should check how clearly you can hear me. How close is your speaker to the student and are the settings set to their maximum volume? A student can not always know how to make these details.
Is their video setup in an easy location to view my screen? The student needs to see me. One challenge of the online lesson are the limits of visual communication cues. During the lesson, I often share my screen to review music notations and expand music theory knowledge with assorted activities.
Our goal is to simulate the one-on-one in-person lesson. The student should have their music set up and ready to go. In a multiple student household, a basket or folder that separates the music of each student can save lots of time during the lesson and later during practice. It's a simple step that you can take you make each lesson a success.
I often ask questions simply to hear the student's answer, right or wrong is not always relevant. It helps me to understand their thought process and consider a positive and constructive way to redirect the solution.
If a helpful parent is unknowingly on the sideline and whispering answers:
I value the student’s trust that they can speak freely. I count on their visual expressions for feedback and need to know if they are communicating with another person in the room.