Online Music Lessons

(Did you know you can reserve your same lesson time every week? It’s cheaper per lesson, with no contracts, a convenient monthly auto-draft, and you can reschedule your own lessons online.)

There’s only one thing more important to us than music, and that’s the health and safety of our students and teachers! Thankfully, with the amazing technology of Zoom, we don’t have to choose between the two.

All our lessons and performances will be held online until it’s fully safe for you and your kids to come see us in person — and until then, our teachers will work one-on-one with you from the comfort of your own home.

(Honestly, we won’t be surprised if some students stay online even after social distancing ends! It’s ridiculously convenient, and it’s so easy to share music, notes, and exercises during lessons.)

We’re also hosting online open mics to get students playing for each other and their family members! (It’s like our recitals, but less pressure, more frequent, and without an additional recital fee.) Students and parents also get access to a private Backstage Facebook group, where they can share practice and performance videos, and chat with other students and teachers.

If your child is very young and sitting still/following directions is a challenge, we recommend a parent sit in on the lessons until the student gets used to the new routine.

To sign up for online lessons, just go through the Book Now process as normal, and your teacher will contact you before lesson time to give you the Zoom Meeting ID you’ll need to get into the lesson room.

What You’ll Need


(Tips to make sure your online lessons are smooth and productive)

The Zoom video conferencing client
Schools and groups across the world are moving to Zoom, and it’s a fantastic tool! You can access your music lesson through a browser at www.zoom.us but the downloaded client gives more audio and video options — so please take the time to download the Zoom client on your device and create an account (the free account should be fine for your lessons).

Note: a laptop or desktop computer is best if possible, since it offers the “original sound” option, but phones and tablets will work too!

Your teacher will be able to share their screens, so you can easily follow along with any music or apps they may be using.

Your own instrument and tuner

If you don’t have your own instrument yet, your teacher can give you suggestions on which brands to buy or avoid, and any supplies you might need. First, read the pages on each instrument here on this site, and if you still have gear questions, email us and we’ll help!

For string instruments, you’ll also need a tuner (there are smartphone apps that do this if you don’t have a physical one).

Drum students can use a practice pad if they don’t have a full kit.

A laptop, tablet, or smartphone with audio and video capability

A phone can be used for lessons, but a tablet is better – and a laptop or desktop is best. We don’t know how long this isolation will last, so we recommend getting a good setup to make sure that your human-to-human connections (with everybody, not just music lessons!) are as good as they can be.

A separate webcam isn’t required, but if you have one, it’s nice to have a wider view, especially in drum or piano lessons. Did you know that some phones can be used as webcams? Droidcam, an app from the Google Play store, works well on android phones, and costs only $4.99 for the paid version.

A separate USB microphone, like the Blue Snowball, can also significantly improve sound, but isn’t required.

Things to Know


About online latency

No matter how fast your connection is, there’s a short time delay between you and the teacher, making it tricky to play along together at the same time. This means online lessons will have more of a back-and-forth feel. Your teacher will play/sing first while you listen, then you’ll play/sing. The teacher will watch and listen, then give feedback and work on improvements — and repeat. It’s important for students to allow the teacher to finish speaking before jumping in and playing on their side!

Use plenty of front lighting.

Too much backlight will throw off a camera’s light sensor and make you look very dark, so try to position the camera where your face and instrument can be seen, with light on your front side, rather than behind you. If it’s possible to face a window, that can be a great source of natural light!

For piano, a side view is best so the teacher can see your hands, posture, and keyboard. 

 

Internet speed is super important!

Your internet connection will be the most important factor in having a smooth lesson. If it’s convenient, try to connect your laptop or computer directly to your modem with an ethernet cable – or if you’re on wifi, get as close to your router as you can. If your connection isn’t great, make sure no one else in your household is downloading huge files at the same time.

If your connection seems slow, check the walls between you and your router. Some walls are thicker than others, and kitchen walls – (especially those with microwaves or other appliances) tend to be more insulated and block wifi. The closer, more direct path between you and your router, the better the lesson will be! Also note that certain things in your house, like bluetooth devices, baby monitors, microwaves, and others can interfere with 2.4GHz band signals, so if your router offers it, you might also get better speed by switching to a 5GHz connection.

Turn off 'Auto-Adjust Mic,' and turn on 'Original Sound'

Here’s a quick tutorial showing exactly where to find these settings!

On a mobile device? Here's our mobile booking app.

New Students: Click the button below to read about our instructors, see availability in real-time, and book your first lesson.

Current Students: Click the button below to refresh your memory on your scheduled lesson times, or reschedule your lessons as needed (at least 24 hours in advance!)