Lory Peters Ph.D.

Online Piano Lessons

Setting Up Your Device

While video piano lessons can be done on phones, tablets, and computers, some devices will better than others. This article discusses the best choices for your streaming device, including camera position and lighting.

Screen Size

Setting up your device.

A larger screen on your device will let you to see more and learn more during your piano lessons. Dr. Lory recommends a tablet device or a laptop for piano lessons. These two formats allow you to place the device at the correct distance and angle so that you can see Dr. Lory on each of the cameras she uses to present concepts during your lesson.

Most students will use a wi-fi connection for lessons and this will work fine so long as your internet speed is good. See this article on checking your internet speed.

Camera

A good camera on your device will help Dr. Lory see you and how you play. The better she can see you, the more she can help you master the concepts presented during your lesson. The camera can be integral to your device, or an attached webcam that is available online. For most students, we recommend Logitech webcams, which have a good balance between price and performance.

Placement of your camera will be important as well. You will need to set the camera so that Dr. Lory can see both you and your hands on the keyboard. The following diagram shows the optimum camera and device position for your keyboard.

Best Camera Position

Stand

One of the best ways to place your device is with a floor or table-mounted stand. Which type of stand will depend on whether you are using a tablet or laptop. Amazon offers a variety of choices. Here are just a few of the stands they offer.

Lighting

Most webcams are optimized for normal room lighting, but make sure that the room where your keyboard is located has good natural or artificial lighting. If you need additional light, a variety of webcam lights can be purchased. Dr. Lory recommends that you start out with what you have. If additional lighting is needed, you can make that decision later.

Conclusion

The device you choose for piano lessons is important because your teacher needs to see and hear you to determine the progress you are making. Most students already have a tablet or laptop that can be used for piano lessons. Over time, you may need to purchase some inexpensive accessories to make the process be better for you and Dr. Lory.

How Fast is Your Web Connection?

Piano lessons online require a fast internet connection. But just how fast does your internet need to be? In this article, we’ll discuss the technical requirements for internet speed and how you can check your own internet connection to make sure you get the best results when taking lessons with Dr. Lory.

How fast is your internet speed?

Zoom publishes system requirements for a variety of meeting types — from one on one video calls like piano lessons, all the way up to large conference meetings. For our purposes, we’ll focus on the 1:1 portion of the requirement page. Here are the minimum requirements for you and for Dr. Lory:

  • For high-quality video: 600kbps (up/down)
  • For 720p HD video: 1.2Mbps (up/down)
  • For 1080p HD video: 3.8Mbps/3.0Mbps (up/down)

Dr. Lory delivers video to you at the 1080p HD rate or better. So, she needs to have a minimum of 3.0 megabits per second up to the cloud. In order to get see her at 1080p, you will meed a minimum of 3.8 megabits per second download speed. See how it works?

Remember that these are the bare minimum rates for Zoom meetings. The faster your internet connection, the smoother the video will be. But just how fast is your internet speed? You can find out by going to the Speedtest website. Click the big circle marked Go and wait to record the download and upload speeds. Both numbers are important since you will be downloading video from Dr. Lory and uploading your own camera’s video to Dr. Lory.

Most students have no trouble meeting Zoom’s minimum requirements. But what if your internet speed is too low? First, check with your cable provider to make sure you are getting service at a high enough rate to meet the demands of your household. This will include your piano lessons, but it also should be fast enough for your televisions and devices that stream video from YouTube and other sites.

If your cable provider is already delivering high-speed service and your rates on Speedtest are still low, check your cable modem and wi-fi router. Your equipment might be old or in need of firmware updates to bring it back up to speed. There are other factors that will affect internet speed as well. These include:

  • Time of Day
  • Number of Devices Online at the Same Time
  • Wi-Fi or Network Cable Connection
  • Distance from Router and Wi-Fi Antenna
  • Age of Your Computer or Device

You and Dr. Lory will discuss the technical aspects of online piano lessons during your initial meeting and during the lessons if there are problems. We’re here to help you get the best results from your online piano experience.

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