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Zoom Online lessons (Read 1290 times)

Offline 2087 mills ave

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Zoom Online lessons
« on: March 27, 2020, 09:40:15 PM »
Hi,
Because of this coronavirus situation, I am forced to start teaching online. I tried Zoom last week and found the vocal quality ok but the sound quality of almost all of the  piano student's pianos , were horrible. Any one else experience this and have any tips? I have a nice laptop, Mac Book pro , and not using any other equipment.
Thank you,
Suzanne Leslie

Offline quantum

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 02:13:00 AM »
Hi and welcome to Pianostreet,

An all in one device is easy to setup but leaves much to be desired in terms of quality.  Considering how many music educators have suddenly been faced with the prospect of delivering online lessons, it probably still is the most appropriate option for those getting started in online teaching.  I think one should first understand the basic concepts of the workflow before moving to more elaborate setups.  Both teacher and student have a responsibility for getting the technical aspects of this running smoothly, as a deficiency on one end can lead to a lesser experience by the person on the other end.  Realize the quality you receive on your end can only be as good as what your student is putting out on their end. 

Using your student's current equipment, instruct your student on placing their camera and microphone.  Experiment with placement.  A change in position can make a huge difference in sound and video. 

In terms of quality, if you want your sound and video to improve over what you can get with a laptop or tablet all-in-one solution, you will need to start separating the components.  A USB microphone, or even better studio microphones to mic the piano and a vocal mic for talking.  A camera with a better sensor than available on a webcam. 

The optimal place for the piano mic, vocal mic, camera and screen are not in the same place.  So separating the components will generally yield a better user experience.  You can place the screen in front of you where it is easier to see and the camera to the side where your student has a better view of the keys.  Piano mics optimally placed to pickup the piano, and a vocal mic close to you for voice pickup.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline keypeg

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 06:10:59 AM »
In the upper left corner of your Zoom screen, you'll find a little button that says turn on original sound.  You want this turned on, otherwise it will be optimized for speech, which is dreadful for piano.
One thing that can happen if this is not turned on is that one of you plays a whole note with the pedal down, and the person at the other end hears a staccato blip.  Skype is even worse for that.

Offline jpahmad

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #3 on: March 30, 2020, 04:54:07 PM »
Zoom is great.  Especially if you use it conjunction with MuseScore.  You can "share screen" and post whatever score they are working on.  I use MuseScore so I can play the audio and edit fingering in real time.  I've had really good success for all ages and abilities so far.  FYI, I really don't like teaching virtual lessons.  However, this works well during this emergency. 

I have video footage of some of my lessons.  Let me know if anyone would like to see a clip of the zoom lessons to see how I utilize the technology.  Good luck everyone in this new adventure for most of us. 

Offline keypeg

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #4 on: June 09, 2020, 03:31:51 PM »
I have video footage of some of my lessons.  Let me know if anyone would like to see a clip of the zoom lessons to see how I utilize the technology. 
I think that clip would be interesting to many of us.  (Only saw your post now.)

Offline sean12bancroft

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #5 on: June 29, 2020, 06:08:38 PM »
Zoom is great. Love it. Helps a lot in online lessons.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #6 on: June 30, 2020, 02:52:22 AM »
We've been using Zoom since the middle of last year. The quality has gone down dreadfully.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #7 on: June 30, 2020, 05:15:00 AM »
We've been using Zoom since the middle of last year. The quality has gone down dreadfully.

Interesting. Have you tried any other platform like Google Meet or Jitsi? Maybe the quality has gone down because everyone is using Zoom nowadays.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Zoom Online lessons
«Reply #8 on: June 30, 2020, 10:32:53 AM »
Interesting. Have you tried any other platform like Google Meet or Jitsi? Maybe the quality has gone down because everyone is using Zoom nowadays.

We had switched from Skype to a Google Hangouts - then that was "discontinued" but later it seems to have come back and maybe now it's called Meet?  When it was "discontinued" we switched to Zoom.  We wondered if Zoom dialed down its offer in order to meet demands.   I've not heard of Jitsi before.