The best set-up for online lessons is a computer or laptop with a digital camera and tripod. This isn’t workable for many piano students and students often prefer to set-up for once a week online piano lessons without much investment, using a device they already have – either cellphones or tablets.
So here’s some ideas to help you with setting up for online lessons, with no additional expense.
Position 1: A Side View without a tripod
Students can invest in a tripod or a tablet stand (available on amazon) or set up a makeshift stand like in this image, using a chair with props, or a dining/study table.
The device at the right or left of your keyboard at an angle, will give your device camera a view of you seated at the piano bench, as well as your hands at the piano keyboard.
Position 2: A Front View
Place your device on the piano/keyboard book stand for a close up of your head & shoulders/face for conversations and explanations.
You will also need your device to catch you standing a little away from the piano, behind the bench, for exercises to help with posture.
Connect a portable wireless bluetooth speaker or headset to your device if you need better audio. I usually recommend the JBL GO bluetooth speaker with a built-in mic as it’s low budget, but any other brand works fine.
Please switch off your camera/video if you need to adjust it. Your teacher will still be able to hear you speak, and you can switch the video back on as soon as your device/camera is in place.
Setting up before each lesson
Setting up in advance before your piano lesson will help your lesson progress smoothly without disturbances due to poor set-up. Here’a a check-list to help you.
- Are your devices (cellphone/tablet/laptop/bluetooth speaker charged?
- Is your device connected to data or wifi?
- Put your device camera on and view all set-up positions.
- Adjust your room lighting so it’s bright enough.
- Switch off any lights that flash directly into the camera lens.
- Lighting behind the camera will help me see you clearly.
- Draw your curtains if it’s too bright outside and obstructing your camera lighting.
- Set-up your instrument and switch it on (for digital piano’s or keyboard’s) and arrange your book stand and bench.
- Organise your piano music books, homework/note book and keep a pen, pencil and eraser on hand.
- Do you have a glass or bottle of water nearby?
- Let your family know you’re starting your lesson and that your room should be quiet and free of distractions as much as is possible.
I hope this help you set-up for your online piano lessons.