Online lessons can be fun, engaging & a great way to learn piano! But, it does mean learning a little about technology. Thankfully, Zoom makes this easy for us. Learn how to set up Zoom for piano lessons in this tutorial.
Why do We need special settings?
Zoom was originally created for online meetings. Our voices tend to stay in the same range. Higher voices tend to stay higher as the person speaks. And the same goes for someone who speaks with a lower voice. In meetings, people tend to speak at the same volume. There really isn’t a need to yell or whisper in a meeting. And, it certainly wouldn’t be appreciated if you tried.
But, playing piano is completely different. We want to hear high & low sounds. We want to hear loud & soft sounds. We need something that picks up all the nuances from smooth to bouncy to tiny little changes that make a song sing.
While Zoom may not be originally set up to provide that, we can change some settings to get us much closer!
How to Set-up zoom for piano lessons
In the video below, I share how to set up 2 of the main Zoom features used in online piano lessons. Original sound & annotation.
Original sound tells Zoom you want to share all the sounds around your microphone just as they are. If the furnace turns on, it will pick up that sound. But more importantly, it will also let your teacher hear exactly what you are playing.
Annotation is a feature that lets you draw, highlight, or type on the screen. It makes it possible to play games together. To mark patterns in music … before you do this on your printed copy. And, it lets us draw music notes or symbols on the screen. We get to have fun & interact together through annotation!
Please keep in mind this video shows Zoom settings on an iPad & iPhone. These settings will be in a similar location on other tablets & phones.
Other quick tips
As mentioned in the video, keeping devices up-to-date is very important.
On an iPad or iPhone, typically you will see apps that need to be updated in the App Store. At the time of this article, these can be found under the account (looks like a person in a circle) at the top right corner. Scrolling down shows any apps that need to be updated. You can also set up automatic app updates in the Settings app (looks like a gear) of your phone.
Not only does it ensure security features are current, but it also can open up new features!
Lastly, I would recommend a laptop or tablet for piano lessons. While a cell phone can work, it is difficult for students to see everything or annotate because the screen size is so small. For younger students, I would recommend a tablet. This allows parents, if necessary, to hold the device above the student for a quick overhead view.
Do you have any questions about setting up Zoom for online piano lessons?
Let me know in the comments below!