The Pandemic has shown that Online Music Lessons Work, but what is needed to make sure that you get the most from your online music lessons? While there is a difference depending on what instrument you play, in general, the technology needed isn’t too expensive or complicated to set up and use.
Let’s break this down into three steps
LIGHTS – finding a space that makes sense to have as a stationary setup for lessons
CAMERA – finding the equipment needed to make lessons as fruitful as possible
ACTION – other considerations before you log on for your music lesson
Looking around your home for a space that has enough room and is properly illuminated is important. Natural light is the best, but if this isn’t possible, getting some LED Ring LIght Clips for the computer will work. The main idea is that you want the instructor to see you. Make sure that as much of your body is in the frame as possible. Most instruments require attention to posture. If possible, make your practice space the same space as where you take your lessons. Having all required tools in reach during a lesson cuts down on time wasted looking for things, which gives more value and focus on what the instructor is getting paid to do, offering strategies to you to make you the best musician possible.
When you have space figured out, the next task is to find out what equipment is needed to elevate your lessons. While it is possible to do lessons from your smartphone or tablet, these devices alone are not designed to deal with the acoustics of instruments. While there are options to purchase better microphones for smartphones or tablets, doing lessons on a computer is the better option. If you have a desktop or laptop, investing in an audio interface, a microphone, and headphones or stereo monitors is the ideal goal.
A two-channel audio interface from Steinberg or PreSonus can cost around $150. This is a box that has inputs for microphones or instrument cables and a USB connection that runs from it to your computer.
A microphone can differ depending on what you play, but for the most part, a Shure SM57 or SM58 would be a good choice. These microphones are the most common dynamic microphones and are found in most recording studios. If possible, having two microphones is best. This allows you to set up one microphone for your instrument and one microphone as a talking mic. Of course, if you are a vocalist or play a direct input instrument, you can get away with only one microphone.
The last consideration is headphones or speakers. For the most part, having a set of open headphones is best. These type of headphones allow you to hear yourself which is fantastic if you play an acoustic instrument. There are various options between $100 to $300. The Sennheiser HD599SE are a great option.
There are also package deals that will give you an audio interface, an entry-level microphone, and headphones. These can be found for around $350. You will also need XLR cables and a microphone stand which can vary in pricing but are not too expensive. Chances are you will be able to find used options.
With your space and equipment setup, it is time to focus on a couple of other items before starting your lessons. The first is your internet connection. If possible, go with a wired connection. This cuts down on weak signal issues and reduces the number of variables to troubleshoot if anything goes wrong connecting to your instructor. If this is not possible, being as close to your WiFi router as possible is the best plan. Also, if your home has other people using the internet, ask them if they can minimize their internet usage during your lesson.
No matter what platform you are using, make sure you a familiar enough to be able to share your screen and participate on the whiteboard or chat. The ability to share screens is an important asset in online lessons.
If you are wondering what apps or other digital tools are available, check out our blog on 5 Must-Have Digital Tools for Online Music Lessons.
Now that you are aware of these tools and strategies, what else can you do to help your journey to becoming the musician you want to be? Check out THIS BLOG if you are an Adult Learning to Play Music and CONTACT US for private online music lessons to fast charge your progress on any instrument.