This link provides an overview of computer and internet requirements for our service, plus numerous recommendations for webcams, microphones, etc.
Testing your internet speed is important for gauging it's performance. For high quality video, a minimum of 1.5Mbps/1.5Mbps (upload/download) is recommended.
Here is some useful tips to improve your internet speed. Try speed testing before and after, to see the difference. The following tips will also improve the speed, security and stability of your internet signal.
- Direct connection: If possible, plug an Ethernet cable directly into your device (if accepted), this provides the best speed, security and stability.
- Wi-Fi notes: If using a router; 1) Check placement. Moving closer to it can improve signal. 2) Password protection. Make sure your Wi-Fi is password protected. Unwanted people using your Wi-Fi will weaken your signal. 3) Update router. Make sure your router can provide the minimal speed required for our service. If it's very old, might be time for an upgrade.
- Clean your computer: There are tons of applications on your computer that could be using the internet, possibly some without you even knowing it. Windows updates, security scans and updates, media player pop-ups, instant chat applications, Skype, open website tabs and more, all these things can eat away at your internet speed. To boost your speed, shut down services you don't want, as well as any bandwidth-heavy streaming services while using our service.
- Run a virus and malware scan: Viruses, adware, and other malware can significantly slow down your internet speed, as well as your computer’s speed. Run regular scans to ensure that your computer is virus and malware free. If you don’t have an antivirus installed, install one immediately and make sure that it stays updated. Antivirus programs don’t always catch everything, so you should occasionally run scans to find and remove stubborn malware.
- Clear your browser's cache: As you surf the web, your browser stores information about the sites you visit to make the loading process quicker when you next visit. Over time, however, this can actually reduce the speed of your browser as more and more information is stored. Occasionally clearing your cache can help boost the performance of a slow browser.
- Update your browser: Browsers are under constant development, and newer versions often offer performance increases over previous versions. Check to make sure you are running the latest version of your browser, and update it if you aren’t.
- Avoid running multiple devices at once: Turn off smartphones, tablets, Smart TVs, set-top boxes or other devices that you aren't currently using. If multiple devices are attempting to retrieve information from the internet, especially streaming video or gaming, you will see a loss of speed.
Q: How does it work?
A: Each student on the enrollment list is sent an automated email prior to the start of class. They simply click the link in the email, and are entered right into the live classroom. This link will be their entrance each class.
Q: What if we miss a class?
A: All classes are recorded, archived and made available to the students following the live class. That way you never miss out on the lesson. This is covered in more detail in our 'Policies' section.
Q: How is class content taught?
A: The first half of the class is the lesson plan, gone over in detail by the instructor. The second half is our Q&A portion. This allows all students to ask questions and give comments directly to the instructor. We have found this order to be most productive for this medium.
Q: How are classes put together?
A: Classes can be formed in a number of ways; by age group, open age group, by grade, etc. This is ultimately up to your needs. If you decide to have a class with various ages, we recommend capping it, for example; ages 7-10, 11-13, 14-17, and 18 and up.
Q: What is the difference between your lessons and others?
A: Conventional lessons are live, face to face and interactive, ideal for asking questions in real time, however, there is generally no video archive of the lesson. Also, there can be limitations in viewing certain techniques, for example; seeing a close up of a bass drum-foot demonstration. Recorded video lessons can be viewed repeatedly and provide different camera angles for better viewing of all techniques, but interaction with the teacher is typically nil. Our lessons combine the best of both worlds; live, face to face interaction with the instructor, all lessons are recorded, archived and made available to the students following the live lesson, different camera views to enhance the learning experience, and much more. All of this at a much lower cost.
Q: What set's your teachers apart from the others?
A: Unfortunately some music schools don't properly vet their instructors, and/or hire teachers with little or no experience. The same goes for Youtube lessons, it can be hard to know if the teacher is fully qualified. We do an annual criminal background check on every instructor, all teachers have a minimal of a music related diploma, and a minimal of four years teaching experience. Additionally, we only hire instructors with extra musical experience in live and studio performance. We believe having a well rounded teacher is paramount.
Q: What do we see on our end?
A: Students have a choice of a full screen view of the instructor or gallery view. We recommend full screen view for the lesson plan portion of the class, and gallery view during the Q&A part for group interaction. A great feature in gallery view is when a particular student speaks his or her window goes full screen, with all attention on them. Truly a one on one interaction in a group dynamic.
Q: Do students have to be on webcam?
A: No. However, we obviously encourage full involvement, including a webcam, options are given to best aid the clients needs.
Q: Do students need to be at their instruments during class?
A: No. However, as stated, we encourage full involvement. This is most helpful during the Q&A part of the class where a student can demonstrate their playing progress. This allows the instructor to give informed feedback.
Q: What equipment is required?
A: Computer and internet spec's are covered in the 'Tech Section', but otherwise a webcam and microphone (internal or external). Headphones are an option for those who want to control the volume. Links of recommended webcams, microphones and headphones is provided in the 'Tech Section'.
Q: What ages do you start offering classes?
A: Age 7 and up. Depending on the child's age and abilities, we encourage parental involvement during the live classes. This also provides a great learning experience for both parent and child.