This page will guide you on how to enjoy the most of your Live Online Personalized Lesson, including the very first one.
The better the instrument you have, the faster will be your musical development. However, waiting to have a grand piano at your disposal won’t help you. Start with what you have – even if it is just a simple keyboard – but keep an eye on opportunities that may show up in the way.
If you already have an acoustic piano (ideal), remember to have it tuned at least once a year and mechanically revised accordingly to your technician guidance, or at least once every 5 years.
You may have a Fiber, ADSL, Cable, Radio, 3G/4G, or Satellite connection. Just make sure it is stable and with a low latency response (delay). To assure your internet connection will be enough for your lessons, look up “internet test”. Use any service available in your location (we usually test through speedtest.net). This test must be done from the exact point from which you’ll have your lesson.
At PianoClass, we usually have a 2ms ping (delay) + 900Mbps download + 200Mbps upload. If you have a ping lower than 50ms + a download higher than 5Mbps + and upload higher than 1Mbps, your internet connection will be ready for your lesson. Those are the minimum requirements, considering a very stable internet without fluctuations caused by network overloading or old ISP equipment.
How you connect to your modem/router is also very important. The ideal is a cable connected directly to your modem. But if you need to use Wi-Fi, make sure you have a clear path to your modem (no walls, furniture, glass, etc…). Remember that the signal travels in straight lines and loosed power each time it passes through a solid object.
You will need a device to connect with the internet, capture your image and sound, and receive ours.
Here are a few suggestions to set up your piano studio:
This is an essential feature to optimize lesson fluency. It avoids annoying echos and assures simultaneous talk without interrupting each other. Avoid any model that blocks the external sound and only use Bluetooth models when using your computer, not your tablet or smartphone. You may use wired headphones, in which case we suggest the use of an extension cord to have enough freedom of movement.
Here are the platforms you may use to have your lessons. It is preferred to have at least two of them ready. Unpredicted events may affect which one will work better on certain days and situations.
We know that there are many other available platforms, but with limited resources or poor sound quality. For emergencies, we can also use FaceTime, WhatsApp, Jami, TrueConf, among others.
It is essential that you have access to all the material offered by your teacher in and out of your lesson.
If you choose to use a tablet to access your sheet music, you’ll be able to see your teacher’s notes and comments during the lesson each time those are saved.
The same goes for the teacher, who will be able to check your notes at the beginning of your lesson.
Install and set up Dropbox and a pdf editor (Adobe Acrobat, for example) app before your lesson.
If you prefer a more traditional way, always keep your printed material in hand. Be sure to have a pencil and an eraser always close to the piano.
It is useful to have easy access to a printer, in case your teacher asks you to print some new material.
There are only a few details that need to be considered:
Place your main camera by the side of your piano, in a way that you can see everything from your face to the upper part of your bench. It should be high enough to have the keyboard, your arm and hand movements, your back, and your neck visible.
If you have more than one camera, you may place one at the side of the piano to show some details of your hands, or have it over the keyboard.
You may place your device screen wherever you find comfortable, which is usually right in front of you. It is ok if you are not looking at the camera, which will happen if the screen doesn’t have a camera with it.
If you have an external mic, test it so you find the right place for it to acquire a balanced sound from the piano and your voice. It must capture the piano sound with a good volume, but not so loud that it blows off the mic, causing the sound to have interference along with it.
Use as much light as possible! A well-lit room assures a much better image, independently from the camera you are using. It is better to have the main light source behind the camera and never aiming at it.