The Becky Dell Music Academy COVID-19 Plan of Action.
These are new and uncertain times in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak, but here at BDMA we are remaining very positive and got ahead of the curve to come up with solutions that have allowed our music lessons to continue as productively as ever.
We have been hosting all of our music lessons online and they have proved a real success!
We will keep our community updated as the situation develops but we know that music is a wonderful way for us all to stay connected during these often overwhelming times and we can't wait to come up with new and exciting ways to share our communities music progress.
For more information on how you can start virtual lessons with BDMA get in touch today!
For now have a look through our FAQs and see if you can find the answer you're looking for...
"Excitement levels were through the roof 5 minutes before her 1st online lesson! Annabel loved it and her comment at the end says it all: "It's actually better than when Louise is here because she can't bring all her instruments. This way, I got to see them all on the screen!". Thanks for keeping the lessons going guys!"
Christina, BDMA Parent.
"We just had a double lesson for my children (aged 6 and 13) remotely and WOW. It was so easy and went so well. Thanks Becky for helping to keep our community safe without having to skip lessons! You’re a legend x"
Alisa, BDMA Parent
Q. WILL HAVING VIRTUAL LESSONS DETRACT FROM THE AMOUNT A STUDENT GETS OUT OF THEIR LESSONS?
A. In our experience - no! While there are some things that you certainly can't do when hosting a virtual lesson there are loads of ways to adapt your lessons to get the same benefits. All of our tutors are creative musicians so finding fun solutions to make the most out of virtual lessons has happened very naturally.
Q. WHAT VIDEO PLATFORM DO YOU USE?
A. We have been using Zoom and it has been very successful.
Q. HOW DO I SET UP ZOOM?
A. In advance of your first virtual lesson:
- Download software, we currently recommend Zoom, which is free for you to use.
You can download that HERE.
- Get in a good position for the lesson, check light levels and microphone - internal computer mics work fine, external even better - see below.
- Remember your password and which email address you are using to sign in.
Q. WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
A. You can have a very successful lesson with just a laptop or tablet and your instrument.
As music professionals we are always trying to find ways to make the music experience the best it can be and these are somethings that we found have really helped the quality, if you are lucky to have them lying around or want to invest.
Q. WHAT EQUIPMENT OR TRICKS COULD IMPROVE THE AUDIO QUALITY OF THE VIRTUAL LESSONS?
A. Here are some of our top picks;
- An external microphone.
This could be a simple USB mic - these are fantastic and so easy to use) or a more fancy recording mic and audio interface - also great if you want to try easily recording some music while in lockdown!
This company does some fab starter kits - Click HERE.
- Turn ON Original Sound.
There is a great function in the audio settings in Zoom that stops the audio compressing when it gets to loud - make sure you have this turned on when you play or sing! HERE is a handy video on how to get that working.
Q. WHAT SHOULD WE DO RIGHT BEFORE THE LESSON?
A. Just before the lesson:
- Singers! Warm your voice up before the lesson, just for a minute or two and get a glass of water before the lesson.
- The light must be behind the camera to avoid glare. Think about closing your curtains and putting on side lights in the room.
- Video technology is best to use with a laptop as you have a bigger screen, next best is ipad/tablet, then phone. Check your laptop has a microphone and it is turned on. Ditto camera.
- Wifi - make sure you are logged on and have a strong signal. Make sure nothing is syncing on your laptop, check Dropbox etc. Don't have lots of tabs/apps open.
- Make sure all devices are charged and plugged in for battery.
- Place the laptop/camera in a good position that is at instrument height.
- Have a pencil & rubber to hand
- The teacher will ask the student to take a photo of the pieces they are playing and send via What’s App. If it’s for a standard piano book like Tunes for ten Fingers then all the tutors have a copy of this book.
MORE TOP TIPS!
- Use a chair (with books added to the seat for height and then place laptop on that) to get the perfect position.
- Try using headphones, some people prefer to and some don't - see what works for you!
- There is a record screen function on Zoom - feel free to record your lessons so you can go back and listen/watch again later! The lesson will not be recorded by the teacher due to child protection.
- Singers and pianists - download the TIDO App, a fantastic app that all sorts of wonderful helpful options, including:
1. Sing along to the professionally recorded piano accompaniments
2. Follow the sheet music with automatic page turning
3. Annotate the sheet music within the app*
4. Speed up and slow down the tempo
5. Use a metronome to keep in time*
6. Access Trinity’s pronunciation guides for each song
7. Read Trinity’s teaching notes for each song
Download TIDO HERE.