Remote Lessons Tips
REMOTE LEARNING DEEP DIVE
With school closings, decisions to remain close to (or at) home, many are turning to thoughts of remote piano lessons – and we’ve connecting with experienced professionals to offer this service.
While a remote lesson is NOT the same as an in-person one, many have found it’s an acceptable alternative given some of the conveniences it offers.
How it works:
- Teacher and Student both sign up for and sign into a remote video application.
We’ve found advantages to Skype vs Zoom, Facetime, etc.
- 4/18/20 Update: Consider Zoom for Group lessons. The Gallery View in Zoom is suitable for group class interaction.
- Teacher and Student position computer/iPad to the view desired by teacher.
- Teacher/Student connect at their pre-arranged lesson time, verify they can hear/see each other – and onto the lesson.
Remote Lesson Setup Tutorial from Steinert’s Education Team member Patrick Elisha
- Learn from the comfort and safety of your home.
- Time saved in traveling to and from lesson location.
- You can play on your own piano (not always a plus!…)
- Physical separation may limit certain types of critique depending upon quality and orientation of the technical setup.
- Initial setup and occasional internet hassles.
- Audio/Video quality depends upon quality of tools used. Recommend separate microphone (see tips below).
Technical Requirements/Setup Tips:
- Fast/Consistent internet connection. Use https://projectstream.google.com/speedtest to check your connection speed. Microsoft (owner of Skype) suggests that at least 1.5 mbps upload and download speed works for a person-to-person HD Skype session – but more (10 mbps +) is great.
>>>>ALSO – limit other heavy streaming use during lesson times (Netflix/Video).
- Sufficient Lighting but not too bright that can’t see definition between keys.
- Table to the left side of piano to hold computer/laptop and microphone (see tech setup below).
Preferred Tech Setup:
- Quality video-capable laptop (in 2020 – almost all are) or iMac set off to side of piano on separate table able to see player/hands.
Note: iPads can be used, but does not allow the ability to turn off volume “auto-adjust” – see below.
- Download Skype for your device (Laptop/iPad)
- Get a separate microphone. Recommend: Either the Zoom H1n or Yeti Blue (links to Amazon purchase pages). Place on table rather than piano to limit vibration.
- Skype: Turn OFF – auto adjust microphone in Skype. (Settings/Preferences>Audio Video).
- Use open-ear headphones (more immersive experiences). Do not use Bluetooth audio/speakers for listening (Bluetooth audio devices impose a significant delay that matters when interacting (but not when JUST listening).
- Anticipate occasional quality drops or freezes – it only takes a few seconds to reconnect the call.