How to Prepare for Online Lessons 

I understand that affording musical equipment is not always easy. Therefore I've created both a minimum, and recommended requirements list. I highly recommend students equip themselves with both lists if able. 

Please make sure you have set up the minimum requirements in advance to each zoom call, so you are ready for your lesson at the time it starts. 

I am equipped with a Shure SM57 microphone picking up my violin sound, and I also use a Rode Lavier microphone attached to my shirt to pick up my voice. 

 

Minimum Requirements 

1. Make sure your home wifi has high upload and download speeds (at least 4mbps both ways). 

2. Set up in a quiet environment at home where you are focused and ready to learn.

3. Make yourself visible to your teacher in your video frame as you would in an in person lesson. (Can see your entire upper body - bow hand and fingerboard, standing with good posture).

4. Have a music stand set up at home to hold your music during your lesson.

5. Before you start playing, make sure you have clicked the top left hand corner button in Zoom "Original Sound On". If you do not do this, your violin sound will be muted automatically by Zoom every time you start playing your instrument. If you need additional help with how to enable this, please let me know. 

 

Keep in mind that if you are not happy with the quality of your online lessons but are only using a minimum required setup, the experience can be improved by including the recommended requirements in your setup. 

Recommended Additional Requirements (Optional, but highly recommended for maximized audio quality)

6. Purchase a USB microphone, OR Interface and microphone. Make sure that if you are NOT using a USB microphone, that the attachment of your mic is XLR, which matches that of your interface. 

7. Be equipped with proper cables for all of your audio equipment. If using an interface, you will have a cable from your interface to your laptop, and a cable from your interface to your microphone.

8. Use a set of headphones OR alternatively, an external speaker. Otherwise, my microphone audio will be compromised if you are listening through basic laptop/computer speakers. Your headphones should be plugged either into your USB microphone or your interface. An external speaker will have to be connected separately with bluetooth and manually selected as an alternate output. 

9. Only for Interface and Microphone users!! Make sure you have a stand to hold your microphone. There are desktop microphone stands which are more suitable for online lessons than a standard boom mic stand. 

If you are a new student, and are new to online lessons, I recommend booking a trial lesson to allow time to test audio equipment. This will make sure your time is not wasted during your lesson time. 

I recommend doing a test of all your external materials in advance to your first lesson by starting a zoom call yourself and connecting your audio. You can also try out the audio by calling a family member and seeing if your audio is connected properly.