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Originally Posted by Peter K. Mose
One of the unintended consequences of online teaching is that we get to see the lousy piano/bench/lighting/room set-ups of our students. Bite your lip, or try not to gawk.

Isn't it your job to teach?


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My teacher asked if that was my new piano. She said it was nice and tall. smile

If my dogs were hanging out in my piano room, which they never do, I would’ve introduced them to her too.

I appreciate a professional relationship with my teacher but we’re all human and God knows we all need a little humanity at present moment. I think a little chit chat is appreciated on both sides.


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Why during a class through the zoom a student's instrument l sounds tone and a third higher than mine, and my echo too?

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Originally Posted by Candywoman
I too just started teaching with zoom. I'm concerned about gmail being open while I'm teaching on zoom. Does it have to be on the whole time when teaching with zoom?

Why would GMail have to be open? Just close it before you begin your Zoom session (or, during! if you forgot to do it first).


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Originally Posted by Nahum
Why during a class through the zoom a student's instrument l sounds tone and a third higher than mine, and my echo too?

Nahum, not sure I understand what you are hearing, but it may be that your microphone is picking up sounds from your speakers in a feedback loop. Or perhaps your student's setup is doing so. Is there anything you (or your student) can turn off or mute and still communicate? Could you (or your student) use headphones instead of speakers? Could you reposition speakers or microphones? Good luck!


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Originally Posted by Nahum
Why during a class through the zoom a student's instrument l sounds tone and a third higher than mine, and my echo too?

In regard to echo, Qwerty53 may be on to something. The first time I ever had an on-line lesson, I was using a speaker to hear the teacher, and my microphone was almost beside the speaker. She was experienced and caught the problem right away. Since then I've had to adjust this a few times, more mildly. Check how far the speaker is from the microphone, how much it is facing the microphone. And how loud. Also,the type of mike makes a difference. Cardioid picks up things in a heart-shape area in front of it, while omnidirectional picks up things everywhere.

If you use headphones, the speaker problem disappears, ofc. wink

Is the three semitones higher on some notes or all notes? Actually - maybe you should get your student to send you a recording, as a sound check. Maybe the student's piano IS tuned higher than yours. wink That said, there were a few times that my teacher and I noticed things when working in certain areas. Some notes might transmit an octave or fifth above or below what was actually being played, and some combined notes did weird things. It has something to do with the physics of sound, the physical vibrations of speakers or ear phones after this sound gets transmitted through the ether and reconverted to sound.

Some things will distort, and some things like timing (clapping along) absolutely does not work in real time. We add some amount of recordings which go to a shared Dropbox account, since recordings will not distort that way.

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Originally Posted by Nahum
Why during a class through the zoom a student's instrument l sounds tone and a third higher than mine, and my echo too?

Nahum, another thought: have you and your student BOTH gone in to the Zoom settings to select "Use Original Sound"? This is important! Otherwise the default Zoom settings will "process" the sounds (Zoom will do things that are helpful in a noisy meeting room, but mess up the sounds of the piano). Here's a thread that tells how to adjust these settings: Using Zoom for piano lessons
Early in that thread, I reported that you couldn't make this adjustment on a Mac, but it appears that MACS CAN fix this setting. Yay! (Note to self: RTFM.)


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Regarding the original sound, I found that the fan(?) of some students' computers is very loud and it was "less worse" to have original sound off. This can be fixed by using an external microphone, that isn't so close to the fan noise, but even I don't have and am not going to expect students to go out and get one.

I'll comment on the student's room setup if it's related to something that would affect their playing. If a student's piano is terribly out of tune, well, it's unlikely they're going to be able to get it tuned any time soon, but it's good to know that it was/is an obstacle in their learning.

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Originally Posted by Qwerty53
Nahum, another thought: have you and your student BOTH gone in to the Zoom settings to select "Use Original Sound"? This is important! Otherwise the default Zoom settings will "process" the sounds (Zoom will do things that are helpful in a noisy meeting room,

Querty53, I have original sound turned on, but my teacher doesn't because there is no such button for him. I'm the one who opens or hosts the meetings.

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To get the original sound option, you have to be on a computer (also, Chromebook doesn't count) and have to go into the advanced audio settings to get the option to appear on the main video screen. Then while in a meeting, you can toggle it on or off as needed.

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I don't want to hijack the Zoom thread (and I may become a Zoom user for the next lesson), but for Facetime users, any quick suggestions about equipment that would allow you to use an Iphone, with both a microphone (for the piano) and speakers (to hear the teacher on the other end of the line). I had my first remote lesson yesterday - generally the facetime worked - I have a little bracket that holds an iphone on top of a tripod - but my teacher said the sound on the other end was a little tinny. I have a good microphone that will plug into the iphone's jack, but when I do that, I think I'm going to lose the ability to hear the teacher's comments. Is there some tool that would let me plug both microphone and speaker into one jack?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


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. . . Is there some tool that would let me plug both microphone and speaker into one jack?


FWIW (I'm not usually in the Apple world) --

If you are using an acoustic piano:

. . . Could you use a headset (headphones + microphone) or a set of earbuds with a microphone built-in ?

That _might_ be better than the mic built into the iPhone.

. . . . What kind of headphone / microphone jack does the iPhone have?

If it's a single 1/8" (3.5 or 2.5mm) phone jack, you can get an adapter cable (for cheap) that splits it into two jacks:

. . . one for a TRS electret condenser mic,

. . . one for headphones (or to drive a pair of amplified loudspeakers).

If it's some Apple-specific connector, I don't know anything useful. But if you Google:

. . . iPhone external mic adapter

you'll get some possibilities, and a bunch of YouTube videos that explain the alternatives.

This is not "rocket science" -- at least, not after the first time you've done it.<g>



Last edited by Charles Cohen; 03/31/20 04:28 PM.

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"This is not "rocket science" -- at least, not after the first time you've done it.<g"

that makes me laugh!

I have ordered one of the jacks that plugs into the one headphone socket on the phone, and splits into 2 sockets, one for the microphone and one for the headphones or speakers.

I will report subsequent success or failure!


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Originally Posted by mostlystrings
I'll comment on the student's room setup if it's related to something that would affect their playing. If a student's piano is terribly out of tune, well, it's unlikely they're going to be able to get it tuned any time soon, but it's good to know that it was/is an obstacle in their learning.

Most piano benches are too low. I guess their rationale for making such low benches is that you can always add cushions on top of the bench, but you can't chop off the legs if your bench is too high.

I kid you not: one time (eons ago) the student's bench is about a foot too low. You'd need three of those big yellow pages to sit on. We ended up just using the tall chair from the kitchen.


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Interesting data point. Zoom had 10 million daily users at the end of 2019. By March 2020, it had 200 million daily users. Many of us here are a part of that statistic.


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Originally Posted by WeakLeftHand
Interesting data point. Zoom had 10 million daily users at the end of 2019. By March 2020, it had 200 million daily users. Many of us here are a part of that statistic.


I was thinking about buying a new webcam, with a narrower field of view:

. . . Every online retailer is sold out! <g>

I've had 3 Zoom meetings today, and am going to have a Skype video call shortly. I never heard of Zoom, before last week.

Necessity is the mother of invention. or in this case:

. . . Necessity is the mother of adopting new tech.


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I need help. I'm losing my voice teaching because I feel I have to speak louder to be heard by the student. I ash the students to turn up the volume, but somehow they don't really hear me say stop when they are playing.

My computer has a built in video and audio. It's a Mac. Do I need to purchase a microphone?
Appreciate hearing your experiences.

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Originally Posted by Candywoman
I need help. I'm losing my voice teaching because I feel I have to speak louder to be heard by the student. I ash the students to turn up the volume, but somehow they don't really hear me say stop when they are playing.

My computer has a built in video and audio. It's a Mac. Do I need to purchase a microphone?
Appreciate hearing your experiences.

Of course they can't hear you when they are playing. The piano is much louder than the tablet or laptop.

I save my comments until they have played through the piece. Or you have to agree upon working on a specific phrase (e.g., measure 1-8) and ask the student to stop at the end of m. 8. Otherwise they will just keep going.


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FYI.

Piano Street article: "Crash Course: How to Teach Piano Online"

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What you have been wondering and perhaps worrying about for many years is suddenly upon you. The question was if online piano lesson are worth it and if so, how to get started? Now there is no more time to ponder, this week you will be teaching all your piano students online! ...


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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
FYI.

Piano Street article: "Crash Course: How to Teach Piano Online"

I just read it before coming here. May I suggest also going to the discussion forum on PianoStreet and see the varied and useful advice that has come in from people with experience in this? If reading the article, don't take it as a "how to" but as one collection of ideas that somebody put together. There are some useful things in there. Some things maybe not.

We're starting to see people writing about teaching on-line, who have little experience in it, but are good at compending what they found on-line on the subject - they're good writers.

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