Zoom Piano Lessons, Horn Tooting

Hello again lovely parents and students,
My experimenting with online lessons continues, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

– I’m going to use Zoom to do the lessons.

– I will be tooting a horn (yes really) during the lessons to indicate to the student they must stop playing. It’s hard for the student to hear if I just say “ok stop” in order to get them to quickly re-try a section or whole song.

-The mic picks up all ambient noise and it can be difficult to pick out the piano. We’re going to have to strive for a very quiet environment during the lessons.

-Best setup for the student’s device is position it at about their shoulder height and slightly to the left so I can see their sheet music, posture, and left hand. If you have a tripod you could use it. I’m attaching some pictures of a good setup. We managed with books stacked on a chair and a mini-tripod.

-Phones provide a better angle and clearer video than laptops or tablets.

-Parents are going to have to be around for the whole lesson, at least at first. To help with device placement and adjustments, and also to help keep the student focused. I really don’t have much authority through a small screen and it’s pretty easy to ignore the teacher or not listen right away when I’m actually not physically there to intimidate with my fearsome presence😉 I think this will probably change as we all get used to it.

-It would be very helpful if you could take a picture of your child’s last practice assignment that I wrote and send it to me so I know where we left off. Also, please take a picture of all the books they are currently working out of. I will need to order my own copies of these books so I can follow along. For long sheet music songs, a picture of the first page will do.

-If your child likes stickers, please provide them with some so they can put a sticker on songs that have been passed and completed.

That’s all for now. Your comments, ideas, and questions are most welcome:)

Alison Maira

PBD Counselling & Human Development
BCRMTA – BC Registered Music Teachers Assn.
The Mobile Piano Geek: http://www.alisonmaira.com

I acknowledge that I live, work, and play on the unceded, occupied territories of the (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.