Setting up for online lessons

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Getting ready for your online lessons

As we head into some unprecedented times, we're thankful to have the technology that allows us to move our teaching online. We are also incredibly grateful for your ongoing support - the arts industry has been hit extremely hard (like many others) and we are doing all we can to keep our teachers in work.

We also believe that despite the seriousness of this situation, there are some important opportunities for students to have significant gains in their musical development, by using their newfound free time to intentionally work on their singing / piano / guitar. We're here to help, so please reach out if there is anything we can do to support you and your family at this time.

Setting up Zoom

Our chosen software is Zoom, and there are a couple of things you'll need to do at home to get ready. Please watch the video above for a walk-through. Note that the audio settings Tim mentions are only available on the computer version of Zoom (not the tablet/phone apps). It's better to use a computer if possible, but tablets / phones work just fine too.

Well before your lesson time, please install Zoom on a computer with a webcam, tablet or phone. Zoom will not cost you anything.

For computer: click here and install "Zoom Client for Meetings"
For device: click here, scroll down and select the relevant type in "Zoom Mobile Apps" 

We will send you a meeting invite ahead of your lesson - this will be sent to the email address we usually correspond with. Just click on the meeting link (or type the Meeting ID into the app) to start the meeting with your teacher in Zoom at the relevant time. Your teacher will admit you from the waiting room once they are ready to begin.

Sometimes the first online lesson can feel strange because it's a new experience, but you'll be amazed at how quickly you'll adjust. We have taught all different kinds of students online, and Lauren is completing her PhD by distance using Zoom for supervision meetings.

Please note that our usual attendance policies apply - we require 6 hours' notice of an absence (ie if you can't make the online lesson) for a make-up credit to be given.


1. A computer, tablet or smart device with a camera. If you have a separate webcam you might like to use that. A computer is better than a tablet / phone, but tablets and phones will still work.

2. Ideally, headphones with an inbuilt microphone (e.g. Airpods, headphones with inbuilt mic, or even the earpiece with mic that comes with most smartphones). If you don't have any of these things, you can still use the in-built mic on your computer or device.

3. For private lessons, and solo performances in group classes, you need to play backing tracks from your end. It's much easier to to play your backing tracks from a separate device (e.g. a phone with bluetooth speakers connected). If you don't already have a streaming service, you can sign up for a Spotify account (there is a free version). If possible, please download your backing tracks prior to the lesson so that you aren't streaming them while also streaming the video.

4. Any sheet music or music books you have been working with.

5. Water (for singers).


- Let family members know that you'll be on a video call and ask them to keep background noise to a minimum. Ideally, ask them to stop streaming high-demand media like Netflix, YouTube, music or online gaming while you're having your lesson.

- Please help us to provide a professional experience by being mindful about what students are wearing - dress as you would for an in-person lesson (no pjs / singlets etc).

- Please also consider where the appropriate place in your house is for your lesson. A room where a door can be closed is ideal (so that singers don't feel like everyone in the house can hear them!), but we'd also prefer students aren't in bedrooms if possible.

- If you have technical issues, don't panic - just try to rejoin using the same link or Meeting ID.

- If a lesson has to be abandoned due to technical issues, we will reschedule it.

- For piano, try to set up your camera so that your teacher can see the keys (think about where their eyes are when they sit next to you in a lesson)

- For singing, try to set up your camera so that your teacher can see you from the waist up (and ideally position yourself so that you're standing for your lesson)

We look forward to seeing you online! Together we will get through this, and we know that the healing power of music will help our students and their families through this uncertain season.