Virtual Lessons: Tips For Students

Kay BarkerVirtual LessonsLeave a Comment

Learning an Instrument From Home
About the Author
Kay Barker

Kay Barker

Kay Barker is a teacher and musician with degrees in vocal performance and psychology. She co-founded Musicologie in 2014 and has toured nationally with her band Bella Ruse opening for artists like Sarah McLachlan and Heart.

We just started virtual lessons at Musicologie, but we’ve already taught more than 800 since we rolled them out last week! Virtual lessons can be a great, convenient way to attend a lesson if you’re out of town, a child is sick and you need to stay home, or if you don’t have any quality teachers near you. I’ve collected some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your virtual music lessons.

General Tips For Virtual Lessons

  1. Be in a quiet place. The quieter the better. Make sure you can hear and be heard by your teacher.
  2. Eliminate distractions. Don’t be in high traffic zone in your house, or where other family members could distract you.
  3. Use a laptop if possible. It stands up by itself and it’s easy to angle the camera where it needs to go.
  4. If you’re using a tablet or phone, use a stand. Something simple like this one will work for most phones. Or put it on a music stand. If you have a mic stand, you could get really fancy and use something like this.
  5. Have your laptop or device plugged in. Virtual lessons take a lot of battery power and your device will drain faster than you think! You don’t want to run out of power in the middle of a lesson.
  6. Make sure no one else is using your wifi. No one should be watching movies or playing games on your wifi during your lesson, unless you have a super fast connection, 100mbps or higher.
  7. Turn on the lights! Make your room as bright as possible. This will help the video quality and help your teacher see what you’re doing.
  8. Have all your music handy, as well as a pencil so you can take notes.

Tips for Young Learners

  1. Parents, be present the whole lesson! You’ll not only be needed to facilitate the technology, but also so you know what your child is learning and how to help them practice at home.
  2. Creating a distraction free zone is even more important with young learners. Designate a quiet space to be specifically the ‘lesson space’. It doesn’t have to be a separate room. This is easy when learning piano because you have to be sitting at the piano! For other instruments, you could have a dedicated corner of the living room to stand for violin lessons, or a specific chair to sit in for guitar lessons. Building consistency and habit is key.

Tips for Specific Instruments

Every instrument is unique and there are specific things you can do to make virtual lessons work well for each

Piano

  1. Set up your device so your teacher can see you AND your hands. Place your device on top of the piano to the far right or left, angled down.
  2. If you have an acoustic piano, don’t place your device directly on the piano. Put it on a towel or a pillow to insulate it from the vibrations.

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