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6 Tips For Your First Online Music Lesson

Updated: Oct 5, 2021

New to online lessons? Never fear, Mr Shaun is here! By the end of this post you'll have some tricks and tips to help you have a successful lesson.

1) Practice

The way you think about learning music is very important. Prepare for a virtual lesson the same way you would prepare for an in-person lesson. Most students need friendly reminders to practice. Practice time should be scheduled. Then, defend that time in your calendar.

2) Setup The Lesson Area

Treat an online lesson like an in-person lesson. Do things like:

  • Minimize noise and other distractions in the lesson area

  • As few people as possible should be in the lesson space

  • Turn off notifications on the device being used for the lesson.

  • Some students find success using smartphones, but I feel iPads and laptops work best

3) Camera Angle For Pianists

Here is one piano student's setup. It's more important for your teacher to see your feet, body, and hands, than it is to see a your face while playing.

If you want to see your teacher, you can easily lean into the frame.

4) Camera Angle for Wind Instruments

Your teacher needs to see your embouchure, body, and fingers if you play a wind instrument.

Careful not to place a stand between you and the camera. For that matter, we never place a music stand directly between us and an audience when we play live either.

I'm sure the same is true for other instruments, but my expertise is in woodwinds!

5) Mount Your Camera

Grifiti makes a great telescoping tripod that will work for your iPad or other tablet. It's called "nootle."

The photo to the left shows the universal mount which works for the large iPad pro.

You can order this tripod on many websites.

Grifiti makes all kinds of mounts for mobile phones as well as tablets.

Wire Music Stand Hack

Music students usually have a wire music stand laying around somewhere. Use it like this to angle a smartphone or tablet.

Take note, pun intended, of the camera lens view. Carefully place the device so the lens is not covered and the view is not obstructed.

6) Check The Time Zone

If your teacher is in a different Time Zone, be mindful when scheduling.

Quick Tips

  • Lighting- Be sure light shines on you, not into the camera.

  • Charge your devices

  • Update your devices

  • Check your internet connection before the lesson.

  • If internet connection speeds are slow, try turning the video off. Sending video takes a lot of bandwidth and teachers/students don't always need video.

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