On this page I would like to discuss how you can maximise your online learning experience.  Topics covered include lighting, cameras, microphones and zoom settings.

What type of lighting should I use?

Natural Light is usually best.  If you are having a lesson during the day try opening the curtains and turn off the lights. 

To create a good lighting environment at night I suggest you consider the colour temperature of natural light.  The colour temperature of natural light varies, but is often between 5000k to 7000k.

I use the Newer 176 LED 56000k Bright Dimmable on Camera Video Light.

Where should I position my Light?

I found the best position was behind the piano, slightly to one side as shown in the pictures below

Why do I need good lighting?

The reason for good lighting is to achieve crystal clear shadow lines between each key on the piano.  

Avoid directing bright light towards the keys as this can distort the shadow lines between keys as shown in the image below.

What type of microphone is best for recording a piano?

Most computers have a reasonable quality built in microphone, so it's not essential you splash out on something fancy. However if you decide to buy an external microphone I recommend a condenser microphone.  I use the Blue Yeti Pro.

Do I need a webcam?

It is optional.  You can use the built in camera on your laptop to give a side view of the keys or a webcam for an overhead view.

Side View

Overhead View

The overhead view gives a very good view of the keys, but requires a lot of equipment. 

Here is a list of equipment for an overhead view:

Webcam:  Logitech C930c

Microphone stand: Gravity Microphone Stand

Gooseneck: Gravity MA Gooseneck

Thread Adapter

To the left is an image showing the position of the webcam.

What platform do you use for online lessons?

I use Zoom.  It is free and user friendly.  You can download it from your App Store.

Can I test my internet speed for video calling?

Yes, you can test your internet speed for video calling yourself by going to this site:

Email

Michael Salmon 

BA HONS ATCL LTCL FTCL

Piano Teacher

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