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Online Lessons - A Great Way to Learn!

Online learning is a great way to learn and a convenient option if you:

  • Don't live near your teacher;

  • Want to avoid germs;

  • Have bad weather and cannot travel;

  • Have transportation problems in general; or

  • Don't want to waste time traveling to/from lessons.

I've been teaching online lessons for over 10 years and love it!  I've enjoyed students as far away as Scotland and currently have regularly scheduled students in Colorado, Wyoming, and New Jersey.   In addition, some of my young local students switch to online lessons periodically if there's no one to bring them to a lesson on any given day.

All or As Needed:  You can take all your lessons online or you can switch to an online lesson when needed (e.g., there's bad weather or transportation issues). 


Not feeling quite up for a voice lesson?  There's a lot we can do in an online lesson even if you're not quite up for singing:

  • Musicianship

    • Pitch Matching (singing back individual notes after you hear them)

    • Ear Training (singing back a succession of notes after you hear them)

    • Rhythmic Training (clapping a rhythm as you see it)

    • Sight Singing (singing a melody or phrase as you see it)

    • Interval Recognition (identifying intervals)

    • Scales (major and minor)

  • Songs

    • Note learning

    • Memorization

    • Background/character discussion

    • Listen to/choose new songs

How Do Online Lessons Work?


There are many platforms for online lessons.  I've tried out about 8 of them, and have settled on either or Zoom.  As with technology in general, there can be "issues," but in general LiveLab is easy to use and has good audio and video.  

Here are instructions I share with my students for online lessons. 


Step 1:  Schedule and pay for your lessons.


Step 2:  Make sure you have your:

  1. Camera/Video Position:  laptop, tablet or phone allow me to see at least from your waist up.  This is important for all students: voice, piano, or French horn.

  2. Accompaniments:  accompaniments on a 2nd device (e.g., your phone)

  3. Music Materials:  voice lesson notebook or methods book (piano, French horn), music, pencil, and water

  4. 24-hour email/text reminder:  with the lesson link. 


Step 3:  5 min before Lesson Time:  

  • Click on the link in your 24-hour reminder.  That will bring you into either the LiveLab (SingingwithCJ) or Zoom meeting.  See details below.


Some Setup Details


  •  LiveLab runs only with Chrome.   Here’s a link to download Google Chrome for free.  It’s easy and both audio and video are very good.

  • Zoom.  You don’t need to download anything.  Just click on the link in your 24-hour reminder.

  • Accompaniments.  Unless you’re singing everything a cappella (without accompaniment), you’ll need accompaniments to play on your own computer or your phone.  This may be from your personal YouTube Voice Lesson Playlist, or tracks downloaded onto your phone.

  • Reliable WiFi.  Use a wired connection if possible.  CAT8 ethernet cables are inexpensive (often under $20), and provide a more stable connection.

  • Close other apps.  Any other devices using your WiFi connection may interfere with A/V quality.

  • Video & Audio

    • Camera Position

      • Try to have the camera on top of a desk, bureau, or cabinet in such a way that I can see you at least from the waist up.  Posture is critical for all musicians.

    • Microphone 

    • Headphones/Ear Buds:  Optional, but sometimes helpful for hearing.

  • Window Glare:  If there are windows in your room, make sure they are NOT directly in front or behind you (too much glare), and close any drapes/blinds.

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