A smart phone, tablet, or laptop computer will work. Most students use their iPhone or Andriod phone (Samsung, LG, Motorola, etc.) You'll need something that can run Zoom.
The instructor can't play while you sing or play due to internet lag time. The student will need to play recordings--preferably over a bluetooth speaker of some kind--to sing along with, including warmups and background tracks.
You'll need to be in a place without too much background noise and activity. The instructor needs to hear and see you clearly. You will need to hear and see the instructor clearly. The student will need a music stand, paper copies of music (unless you can write on your tablet) and, ideally, a way to prop up your device camera at eye-level.
When you are on a video call, with someone who is not on your home network, can the other person hear you? Can they see you without too much pixelation or delay? Please make sure you test this from the place you are doing your lesson to another device NOT in your home or on the same WiFi network!
Sit in the place you will take your lesson *and during the time of your regular lesson*, and go to https://www.speedtest.net/ or some other similar location (Google "speedtest" and the default Google result is a good one too). This will test your upload and download speeds. Upload is how well the instructor will be able to see you, download is how well you will be able to see your instructor. Upload will always be slower than download. Here at JD Music Studio, for example (I just tested) and have 194.8 Mbps download, and 3.74 Mbps upload, right this second while a lesson is happening. Anything below 1 Mbps can be serious problem. Zoom recommends 1.5 Mbps for normal operation.
Broadband (cable) internet is a shared resource in your neighborhood and across your WiFi devices. If your brother is watching Netflix, your sister is playing Fortnite, and you are trying to do a virtual lesson the speed will be slower. Also, if everyone in your neighborhood decides to watch Amazon Prime at the same time your overall home broadband speed will be lower. Normally, the middle of the day isn't a big problem, but with the pandemic there may be multiple people working from home on video calls for both school and business.
If you are not connected to WiFi, this will not be the case. If you have fiber-optic internet, this will not be the case. However, please still test these situations.
Look at your internet agreement with Xfinity/CenturyLink/AT&T/T-Mobile/etc. and see what speeds you are paying for. If your speed is lower than your contract, check your internet router. Oftentimes outdated routers can produce lower speeds. Sometimes your WiFi router is only able to give a speed lower than your contract (WiFi speeds are always slower than wired internet speeds). Call your internet service provider (ISP) if you are having problems.
You will need do download the free application Appcompanist from the Google Play Store, the Apple App Store or from https://www.appcompanist.com/ We will use this tool for warmups and practice.
At your appointed lesson time, join the Zoom call that will be provided to you!
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