• Ben Lewis-Smith

Five tips for delivering great Zoom singing lessons

1) Get a USB microphone and encourage your student to get one too. I use the Blue Yeti USB Microphone and the sound quality is transformed through a Zoom call. Wearing headphones too can remove a lot of the latency issues inherent in online conferencing, but singing with headphones on doesn't suit everyone!

2) Adapt the audio settings on Zoom to suit music rather than speech - encourage your student to do the same too. Make sure that you use the 'original sound' function, uncheck the automatically adjust microphone volume button and disable both persistent and intermittent background noise suppression. These can be found in the audio settings of the Zoom app. This can really improve the experience and make the lesson seem more 'real'.

3) Slow things down and simplify piano parts - By playing fewer notes and perhaps just one chord per bar you can effectively accompany your student or at least give them a reference harmony to sing along to at the other end.

4) Try to have a stable internet connection - this can make or break a lesson, but in some areas can be tricky to change. Ideally plug your computer in with an Ethernet cable straight into the router. If you plan to use WiFi then make sure that you are fairly near the router. Ideally close other apps on your computer and ask your household members to be considerate (if possible) during lesson hours.

5) Record piano parts - pre recorded piano parts can be very helpful and allow your student to sing back to you in real time without having to worry about delays over Zoom.

Hope you find these points useful. Thanks for reading. Ben Lewis-Smith

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