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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963128 04/02/20 09:01 PM
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I had a Zoom lesson yesterday and turned out as expected. I'm in adult group class at a local conservatory so the teacher usually don't give the 1-to-1 attention as someone in private lessons. The group has up to 6 people playing at an intermediate level and yesterday we had 4. After a 2-week break, the lesson yesterday was necessary because we all paid for the spring session (Jan. - May) and the conservatory is not going to refund our money.

The setup was easy. The day before class our teacher sent the meeting # and PW by Email to everybody. An hour before class I was still making dinner. While food was warming up got the Zoom software downloaded in less than 5m. Entered the meeting #, PW and my name and the program got me on standby until the last class ended. The laptop computer was on the table in front of the keyboard with the cover pointing down slightly to let the teacher see my face.

We started with #26 from the Hanon book of 60 exercises and Gershwin "Summertime" from the Jazz book for easy piano. When the teacher was demonstrating a piece, she would click on the microphone icon on the bottom left to mute everybody so we can play along with her without distracting each other. When she is done she would click again to unmute to hear our comments and questions.

The setup:
[Linked Image]

The hour went by quickly. The last 5 minutes we talked about the lineup in front of the grocery stores to limit the # people inside and how we should all keep social distancing (6 ft) or the local police can give us a fine.

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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963143 04/02/20 11:20 PM
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Group lessons on Zoom? Cool!


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963145 04/02/20 11:55 PM
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Good to hear some teachers and institutions are adapting. My teacher has closed the doors and is not interested in trying online lessons. To be fair, her teaching style would not lend itself to online so I can understand her reluctance.


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963388 04/03/20 03:59 PM
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Our school district discontinues Zoom, switches back to Google as there were serious Mac security issues found last couple weeks by Zoom community.
Also, search for Zoom-bombing which can be a real problem for K-12.
Might be less of an issue for adult one1one classes though.

Last edited by VladK; 04/03/20 04:01 PM.

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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963576 04/04/20 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle
I get that it's trying to figure out clever trickery to maximise speech quality over minimal bandwidth but it appears that is incompatible with organ music (or any other instrument that produces a constant tone).

Jack Knuckle, are you sure that you did both steps necessary to "USE ORIGINAL SOUND"? (See first post in this thread.) You must make a selection in the "settings" to make the option available, AND THEN you must select USE ORIGINAL SOUND while you are in the "Meeting."

Weirdly, when you tap "use original sound" so that original sound is working, the button on your screen switches color to blue (on my computer anyway), and says something like "TURN OFF ORIGINAL SOUND." So when you ARE using original sound, it says "TURN OFF" on the button. Confusing... Good luck!


Hi yes I am quite sure. I have set original sound to off, I have disabled the microphone auto settings and all Zoom audio enhancements.

If I make a test recording with speech the levels are fine but if I make a test recording singing a continuous note, after half a second or so it drops right off. That makes Zoom completely unworkable for music lessons or playing for a church zoom session. I have tried on an Android phone and three different Windows computers. What am I doing wrong?

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Jack Knuckle #2963580 04/04/20 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle


Hi yes I am quite sure. I have set original sound to off,



You have to set original sound to ON.

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
akc42 #2963610 04/04/20 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by akc42
Originally Posted by Jack Knuckle


Hi yes I am quite sure. I have set original sound to off,



You have to set original sound to ON.



My bad as I can't edit the earlier post, yes I did of course set original sound ON as well as disabling all the audio enhancements. But if I test the audio by singing a constant note, the volume drops off after a half a second or so, as though some filter is still active. That makes Zoom useless for transmitting any sung music. How do I get around that? Are people who can sing successfully with Zoom using paid versions or something? Can someone help confirm the problem for me?

Last edited by Jack Knuckle; 04/04/20 11:22 AM.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2963759 04/04/20 08:20 PM
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Due to the tougher lockdown rules in Australia, I had my first online piano lesson today. I thought my teacher was going to use FaceTime but an hour before the lesson he texted that we'd be using Zoom.

Somehow I managed to sign up for an account (for free), set up my Logitech camcorder and Zoon microphone in time. The experience wasn't too bad. The video quality is ok, but the sound buffering is not so good, lagging at times especially when my teacher was demonstrating on the piano or he was switching from playing to speaking. And I have no idea what's the video/sound quality is like for him.

At the very least, I still get to attend piano lessons until the lockdown rules ease, whenever that will be. This got me thinking, are there anyone from this forum having piano get-together via online?


Be yourself

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Tubbie0075 #2964471 04/07/20 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Tubbie0075
Due to the tougher lockdown rules in Australia, I had my first online piano lesson today. I thought my teacher was going to use FaceTime but an hour before the lesson he texted that we'd be using Zoom.

Somehow I managed to sign up for an account (for free), set up my Logitech camcorder and Zoon microphone in time. The experience wasn't too bad. The video quality is ok, but the sound buffering is not so good, lagging at times especially when my teacher was demonstrating on the piano or he was switching from playing to speaking. And I have no idea what's the video/sound quality is like for him.

At the very least, I still get to attend piano lessons until the lockdown rules ease, whenever that will be. This got me thinking, are there anyone from this forum having piano get-together via online?
There are apparently some more settings in the meeting setup if you are the meeting organiser to improve the quaility.

After recent security issues with Zoom (maybe overblown by the media, maybe not) I am thinking of trying out a Jitsi set up. This is all open source, and only requires a browser (Android and Ipad clients need to be downloaded from the App Store, but they are free and ad-free. I at least managed to create a server on the main system they offer in the cloud and host a meeting between my ipad and my phone. But to me the most important bit is that you can host your own server with what appears to be quite modest resources.

I can't do it immediately as I have to free up some other resources first - as my main computing is now dedicating its computing power to Rosetta@Home - a project to Model and thus help find a vaccine for COVID-19. But I have a rented virtual machine that is too small fur the Rosettfa@Home project but could host a server in the cloud. Unfortunately its in need of a software upgrade first (its been running not stop - no downtime whatsoever - for 743 days (over 2 years) and I can't do that until I can clear of a project I've been doing for someone else for the last 10 years or so, but is just winding down.

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2964756 04/08/20 02:43 PM
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So, my teacher actually got Zoom up and running. On my side I'm using a Blue Yeti mic right on the piano and an external web cam and the picture and sound are very good according to my teacher (using the original audio setting.) He says he's also using the original audio setting, but only his laptop internal mic and camera. Though the picture is very good, his audio is terrible. When he plays and I hear it, it's like he's not using the sustain pedal, you hear the initial percussive note and then it just doesn't register. Any ideas here on what to suggest for him to try to make it sound better? Is there something on my side that could be causing it, or something he can change on his side?

The challenge is that he's not very technical so it's hard to have him check settings and such. But, would appreciate any tips if people have experienced this problem.


Now learning: Chopin C# minor Nocturne (posth), Mozart Sonata in C K. 545, R. Schumann Fantasy Dance, Joplin The Chrysanthemum
Instruments: Yamaha N1X, Kawai ES110, Roland GO:PIANO, Piano de Voyage
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2964800 04/08/20 05:59 PM
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There's a video by Hugh Sung, in which he explains the details of Zoom's audio settings, in ways that musicians can understand.

It sounds like your teacher isn't using "original sound", and /or hasn't turned off the two audio settings for echo control, and "gating". In fact, the "gating" control, alone, might fix the problem.

A tutorial from Zoom on audio quality:

https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115003279466-Preserve-original-sound


. Charles
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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2964804 04/08/20 06:11 PM
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Hugh Sung, on _low-cost_ alternatives for getting decent audio and video for lessons:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PG91ZIrsdNU

Might be useful both for students and teachers. I copied the link from a thread in another sub-forum.


. Charles
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PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2966056 04/12/20 11:01 AM
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The Zoom setting "Use Original Sound" is now available on iPad and iPhone! We need this for piano lessons, but until a few days ago it required use of Zoom on a laptop. However, Zoom updated in the last couple of days. Hugh Sung has a video (of course!) but he goes through a more roundabout setup than I needed to do. I just had to make sure Zoom was updated on my iPad (go to App store to check or to update). All I needed to do was what he shows starting about 4 minutes into his video here --

Then, in each meeting, go to the Settings (3 little dots, upper right) and turn on Use ORiginal Sound for that meeting.
Hugh Sung's video goes on to explain why, with musical instruments, we would want to select the Use Original Sound setting. This may be the single most important thing you can do to make Zoom usable for piano lessons!

Last edited by Qwerty53; 04/12/20 11:04 AM. Reason: Add note on step required in each meeting.

Goodbye Mister Upright (Yamaha YUS5), hello Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Charles Cohen #2966061 04/12/20 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Hugh Sung, on _low-cost_ alternatives for getting decent audio and video for lessons:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PG91ZIrsdNU
Might be useful both for students and teachers. I copied the link from a thread in another sub-forum.

(Converted Charles's link to a viewable video)


Goodbye Mister Upright (Yamaha YUS5), hello Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2966064 04/12/20 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
The Zoom setting "Use Original Sound" is now available on iPad and iPhone! We need this for piano lessons, but until a few days ago it required use of Zoom on a laptop. However, Zoom updated in the last couple of days. Hugh Sung has a video (of course!) but he goes through a more roundabout setup than I needed to do. I just had to make sure Zoom was updated on my iPad (go to App store to check or to update). All I needed to do was what he shows starting about 4 minutes into his video here --

Then, in each meeting, go to the Settings (3 little dots, upper right) and turn on Use ORiginal Sound for that meeting.
Hugh Sung's video goes on to explain why, with musical instruments, we would want to select the Use Original Sound setting. This may be the single most important thing you can do to make Zoom usable for piano lessons!
Bump...


Goodbye Mister Upright (Yamaha YUS5), hello Estonia L168.
Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2966659 04/13/20 07:30 PM
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so i am a piano teacher and trying zoom and just testing out the stuff

I did with that hung guy said added my lap top for share screen
my iphone for overhead view
and laptop for full view

i tried original sound on
but the sound still seems choppy and distorted.

doing a scale sounds like some notes are connected, while so are cut short, and sounds very distorted.
any advice?

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
bubbaXzone #2966676 04/13/20 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by bubbaXzone
so i am a piano teacher and trying zoom and just testing out the stuff

I did with that hung guy said added my lap top for share screen
my iphone for overhead view
and laptop for full view

i tried original sound on
but the sound still seems choppy and distorted.

doing a scale sounds like some notes are connected, while so are cut short, and sounds very distorted.
any advice?
Did both of you have original sound turned on, and both had the "automatically adjust microphone" setting turned off?


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Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Morodiene #2966677 04/13/20 08:48 PM
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honestly i think i told him orginal sound off but yea i gotta double check that!

original sound on...
is the setting called "automatically adjust microphone" called that exactly? Where would it be located?

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2966756 04/14/20 06:40 AM
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On the screen, you should see “Turn off original sound” when the original sound is on.



“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”
- Robert Schumann

Re: Using Zoom for Piano Lessons
Qwerty53 #2966975 04/14/20 06:55 PM
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The Logitech headpiece that I use for hands-free cell phone has had me trippin and cursing for years. The cord is 6 ft long and I thought "who on earth needs that much cord for a pair of headphones?"

Then I found out the answer is me. It's the perfect length to plug into my laptop and stretch over to my digital. My teacher says that he can hear me on Zoom just fine.

And I second Mosotti's criticism of Zoom's interface, or lack thereof. However the entire world seems to have forgotten their Skype password and I don't have Apples for FaceTime. So we'll zoom away for now.

I enabled original audio at my end. Does Dr Piano need to do the same on his?

Last edited by tbonesays; 04/14/20 06:55 PM.

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