I’ve been on zoom since 2015 because of the convenience of signing in from home when unusual circumstances arise:
-stayed home sick but feel fine now
-weather created unsafe road conditions
-visiting a second parent’s house on a different night than normal
and of course now, rain & cold & the pandemic. Maestro Music Academy has put a brief hold on in-person outdoor lessons while the MusicMobile is renovated, and members have switched to zoom during the hiatus. We had an informative & brief workshop last night for students either new to zoom or looking for ways to improve their lesson experience. Here's an overview for your reference!
Tip #1: Posture
You've heard your teacher talk about this til you could recite it word for word - but have you LOOKED at yourself in zoom recently? The bigger your screen the more helpful the lesson will be (aka tablet or laptop is bigger than a cell phone). Place your device so you are showing both your face and your fingers on your instrument. We don't need to see your music usually (we have a copy) but we need to see your profile from head to fingers.
Tip #2: Original Sound
Video calls often screen out background noise, and you wouldn't want zoom to hear your guitar strumming and filter it out. Learn how to enable "Original Sound", their term for authentic music, by logging into your zoom app and enabling the setting BEFORE the meeting begins AND every time you join a new meeting. (Original Sound is not an option when using a cell phone for your lesson.) https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115003279466-Using-and-preserving-original-sound-in-a-meeting
Tip #3: Annotation
This is my favorite tool. Zoom has improved it a LOT since the company became a household name and I use it every day. Imagine it's 1970 and you have a copy of the teacher's slides to write on for notes - if you circled a portion of a slide or drew on it, you "annotated" the slide. Now zoom ahead to 2021 and use the pencil-shaped annotate feature from everything to marking music to playing games to practicing drawing music notes on the whiteboard screen. Enable this feature here https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/4409894568845-Enabling-or-disabling-annotation-tools-for-meetings
And find the annotate tool by reading these instructions https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005706806-Using-annotation-tools-for-virtual-meeting-collaboration
Incentives drive performance. We want your student to practice so they can learn new techniques and repertoire. You want your student to practice so your tuition is utilized and you can see results. When students don't practice, they get frustrated at their lack of forward progress.
Why does your student want to practice? Try asking them, it will facilitate communication about goals and expectations.
What makes all students want to practice more? Incentives! For all students who complete 4 weeks of practice assignments AND switch lyrics to a popular song for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or autumn in general, they'll receive a special holiday gift bag at our December recital.
Download the practice assignment page here, and ask your teacher for help with switching lyrics!
A BIG thank you to Andrea and Trevor Dow for the practice assignment pages!
Hello music-makers and families! Please look through this fall's newsletter for details on:
Fall Practice Challenge
Phased Re-Opening (we've been in phase B since June)
Download a PDF by visiting the blog at this link (use a desktop if you can't view the link). A picture version is included below for mobile-friendly viewing.
Thank you and I'm looking forward to seeing each of you at an upcoming event!
Executive Director of Musical Exploration & Learning
Maestro Music Academy