The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on in-person music instruction. Singing in particular is considered a high risk in-person activity for transmitting the virus and the virus may also cause lung damage which could have long-term impacts on a person’s singing voice. Fortunately, there are great online options like Lessons In Your Home virtual voice lessons in Seattle.
Online music lessons have already been around for years. Many professional singers have continued to study with their teachers via video as they travel around the world to perform or have moved away from where their teacher lives. Many NYC teachers have a number of professional singers they work with remotely. The pandemic has forced the rest of the voice teaching community to adapt and learn how to offer online lessons that provide just as many benefits as in-person instruction.
What Virtual Lessons Look Like
There are only a few pieces of equipment that are needed for taking a voice lesson online.
A Computer or Tablet — You do not need to have a very fancy computer or tablet to take online voice lessons. Any device that can connect to the internet and has a webcam will work. Most applications used for lessons like Zoom or Facetime do not require much besides downloading a free application onto the device.
A Second Device — An additional device device like a tablet or phone is really helpful to allow the student to play recorded warm up exercises or accompaniment tracks. This will eliminate any issues with lag time between the teacher’s computer and the student’s. There are ways around this if a second device is not available, but this is the easiest option.
A Good Microphone — Most computers have a decent built in microphone. Some are better than others, but investing in a good quality external microphone will benefit the student. The better quality the sound, the more effective the voice teacher in Seattle can be in evaluating and adjusting vocal technique. Some good choices to look at are the Blue Yeti USB mic, Blue Snowball iCE USB mic, or Mpow USB headset with microphone.
A Good Internet Connection — This is probably the most important aspect for online instruction to be successful. There are many ways to optimize internet connection for lessons to ensure the best quality lesson. However, it is one thing we don’t always have control over and many teachers are understanding if there is a bad connection day and will reschedule as needed.
Tips For Better Internet Connection
- Plug your computer directly into your wireless router with an ethernet cable
- Turn off other internet-using devices while taking online lessons.
- Close other applications and browser windows while taking online lessons.
Benefits of Online Voice Lessons
The first benefit of taking online voice lessons right now is that you are able to mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19. Additional benefits include more flexible scheduling and the ability to take the lessons from any room in your house that is most comfortable. Teachers like me who send pre-recorded warm up vocal exercises and accompaniment tracks gain the ability to focus more on the singer than on their piano during the lessons. Video also allows the teacher to get a very close-up view of the singer’s face and mouth which is very helpful in evaluating mouth shaping and body engagement. The use of a microphone and headphones gives the teacher an increased ability to hear the students voice in a different way than just being in the room. Finally, if you or your teacher move to a new location that makes in-person lessons unrealistic, then you can continue studying together online through virtual music lessons!
By: Leigh Toltz