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Starting online piano lessons

Available to all aged 13 upwards.
Read on or explore other levels

Basic online studio
Typical online pupil's studio. A webcam from the side for the teacher to see your hands, completes the setup. (Photo by adult student Ralph in Sydney Australia.)
Communication is by email, after the initial Freebie form menu button above has been filled in. Lessons are confirmed by text on the day.

Fees are paid via the PayPal link no later than one day before the lesson, for either single or block bookings.

Extra info for parents of teenagers 13-17

One parent is also present during the Skype lesson.

Both the Skype and PayPal accounts must be in the name of the parent.

Beginners will need this music:


Clifford Evans piano book or whole course

then later, these 2 books available from Chimes. AB Guide to Music Theory part 1
Manual of Scales by ABRSM

Starting music for non-beginners will be chosen for you at the first freebie meeting.
To start with the Skype windows
Click 3 dots in top left of Skype window.
and choose Settings in the drop-down menu.

Settings, General Check "Automatically start Skype" if you want to save yourself trouble every time you have a Skype lesson. Perhaps check "On close, keep Skype running"your choice.

Settings, CallingCheck "Only allow Skype calls from contacts to ring on this device" to prevent masses of strangers and scammers requesting a call from you and cluttering up your screen.

AdvancedCheck "Answer incoming calls automatically" only if you have also checked "Only allow Skype calls from contacts to ring on this device".

Settings/Contacts/PrivacyDo not switch on "Appear in search results" for the same reason as above.

Settings/Audio & Video
CameraChoose your device in the drop down menu this will usually be your webcam. Choose background effect. Do not check blur.

Microphonethe drop-down menu. choose your mic - internal or external. Put the audio filter on LOW to improve the piano sound

Mic LevelPut this at around 7 to 7.5 after scrolling down to read about feedback in "headset or speakers" below.

SpeakersPosition them behind the laptop facing AWAY from the laptop. This helps avoid feedback.

Unmute for incoming callsPlease check this to hear caller.

Free test calland make a brief recording of about 10 seconds to make sure your microphone level is OK as well as your speakers or headset

Laptop You will need a laptop to the right of your keyboard about 200mm above the level of the keyboard so you can tilt the screen downwards enabling me to see both your hands and face as well. If you have the laptop in front of you, an external webcam to your right will be necessary so I can see the keyoard.

Notebook and penWrite down any bullet points and especially your technical programme items. Have this nearby on your keyboard and put short reminders down whenever you like. In addition, Clifford writes notes as much as possible in the Skype Chat window. These you can copy and paste for printing if you wish.

Headset or speaker It's advisable to use a headset with mic and earphones but we can start without them as long as you don't have your volumes too high and use the Skype test recording to help you get those right. Turn the volumes down before putting the headset on or off because they are only safe from feedback when on your head and ears. I do a sound check before calling and my studio is resistant to feedback. Skype also has built-in resistance to feedback.
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