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Tips for Remote piano lessons
Tools and best practices for remote piano learning.

REMOTE LEARNING DEEP DIVE

The Covid era has created opportunities and honed the process of remote piano lessons – and we’ve connected with regional 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:

  1. Teacher and Student both sign up for and sign into a remote video application.
    We’ve found advantages to Skype vs Zoom, Facetime, etc.   Consider Zoom for Group lessons.  The Gallery View in Zoom is suitable for group class interaction.
  2. Teacher and Student position computer/iPad to the view desired by the teacher.
  3. 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 piano teacher Patrick Elisha

Pros:

  • 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!…)

Cons:

  • 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:

Household: 

  1. Fast/Consistent internet connection. Try https://www.speedtest.net/ 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).
  2. Sufficient Lighting but not too bright that can’t see definition between keys.
  3. Table to the left side of piano to hold computer/laptop and microphone (see tech setup below).

Preferred Tech Setup:

  1. 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.  
  2. Download Skype for your device (Laptop/iPad)
  3. Get a separate microphone. Recommend: Either the Zoom H1n or Yeti Blue (links to Amazon purchase pages). Place on the table rather than the piano to limit vibration.
  4. Skype:  Turn OFF – auto adjust microphone in Skype.  (Settings/Preferences>Audio Video).

Helpful Tips: 

  1. 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).
  2. Anticipate occasional quality drops or freezes –  it only takes a few seconds to reconnect the call.

Sign up for remote learning options at M. Steinert and Sons

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