What Do I Need to Get Started?
Listed below are both the essentials required for every student and a recommend setup for an enhanced lesson experience! For some direct links to things you might want to pick up on Amazon, click here!
- Piano or digital keyboard
- Highspeed internet connection speed of at least 5mpbs download and upload (check your speed here.)
- Zoom Video Conferencing App (Free, Available for PC, Mac, iOS, and Android)
- Computer or tablet with webcam
- Table, music stand, etc. to place the computer/tablet to get a view of you and the piano (check out the Samples Page to see ideal setups).
- Piano or keyboard with weighted keys. You can start learning piano on any keyboard, but if you’re serious about improving and becoming a more advanced student, you’ll definitely want to play on a quality instrument. Keyboards with weighted keys are more similar to acoustic pianos in their feel and touch. I can give you suggestions on quality instruments if you’d like!
- Wired (i.e. Ethernet) connection to your router. WiFi speeds have increased by so much in the past several years and most people have become accustomed to only using WiFi. Many laptops don’t even come with built in Ethernet ports! However, a hard wired ethernet connection is still preferred. The technology that WiFi runs on is an old technology, believe it or not, and even a great WiFi connection is still inferior to ethernet.
- Higher Speed Connection. 2.5mpbs is the minimum recommended bandwidth for HD video chat, but remember that if you’re streaming Netflix in the room next door, that will eat up your bandwidth! With some service providers offering 400(!)mbps or more as introductory speeds, typically only more rural areas need to worry about multitasking on your internet connection.
- Music stand or boom stand to easily adjust camera angles. I use multiple camera angles to demonstrate technique, play examples, and more during lessons. You can get by with a single camera or device. But to improve the quality of your lessons, a boom stand or tripod can do the trick. See the Examples Page for some recommendations.
- For digital keyboards, Internet MIDI to vastly improve sound quality. If you’re using a digital keyboard with MIDI capability (which is really every digital keyboard), we should talk about Internet MIDI! This is a program that runs on a Mac or PC that allows our digital instruments to talk to each other over the internet so that we can play each others’ keyboards! That means crystal clear audio coming out of your keyboard speakers–it’s as if I were in your living room playing your instrument and you were playing mine!
- HD Webcam. If you have a recent model computer or device, chances are it already has an HD built in webcam. But if you’re looking to upgrade the quality on the webcam, Logitech makes some really affordable models for less than $50 (C615 and C920 fit that bill).
- Good Lighting! It’s easy to overlook something as simple as being in a spot that has lots of light. The more natural light, the clearer I’ll be able to see you!
Is any of this overwhelming? Don’t fret! You likely already have everything you need to begin online lessons without having to make investments in “new technology.” You’ll quickly be a technology maven after just a few minutes of experimenting. If you have any questions, please get in touch and I can guide you the whole way!