Online Lesson Tips

I thought I would share my online lesson tips that I made for my students, when we switched to online only. Feel free to copy and use in your own studio. Please share any other tips if you have any.

Online Lesson tips


  1. Have a Pencil - an absolute must, since you’ll be writing your own assignments.

  2. E-mail me your material - Snap a quick pic and send before your lesson. I have many of the method books at home, but not all. Also, I don’t have any band work you might be working on. If I tell you I don’t have the book, please make sure to email me what you want to work on prior to the lesson.

Room Setup

  1. Find a quiet environment

  2. Check your room lighting - Light source in front, not behind. Close shades on windows behind you.

  3. Prop up the device - Not on the music stand

  4. Sit or stand further away from the mic - This helps combat the compression algorithms that are designed for speech. Expect to move in to talk/listen, move back to play

  5. Sit or stand at a 45 deg angle, off-axis to the mic, with both hands viewable - Again, helps with volume into the mic, but also helps me see your hands and embouchure

Tech tips

  1. Put device in Do Not Disturb mode

  2. Close other apps (if using laptop)

  3. Use the newest/largest device available - Newer devices have better cameras/speakers/mics. Larger screens will help see demos.

  4. Reduce bandwidth at home during lesson - Ask other household members to not stream video (like Netflix/Youtube/etc), to ensure maximum bandwidth for the lesson.

  5. Try a 5ghz Network - Most modern routers broadcast separate 2.4ghz and 5ghz networks. 5ghz is usually faster/more reliable, if close enough to the router. If you have the option for a 5ghz network, test both networks with in your lesson space. The higher download/upload speeds win. Bonus if you can use a wired Ethernet connection.

This is great. Thanks Dave!

If I may add if you are recording yourself to a track, it’s best to take headphone away from one ear and not listen to yourself in the headphones. This allows fir better sense of rhythm because you are able to hear the track better on your headphones rather than too much of your self

One thing that can make a difference is for the teacher to invest in a decent audio interface, microphone and speaker. I assume that most students won’t want to spend the extra money, but any effort to make the sound as true as possible helps.

One thing I could add is for students to reboot the device prior to the lesson. It happens probably once every few weeks where the camera won’t work for whatever reason. It could be because a different app was using the camera and didn’t release it, or permission to use the camera within the browser isn’t working. A proper reboot will usually fix these issues.

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