Zoom for online piano lessons – 10 ways to set up safe and secure lessons

In the last couple of weeks more and more people, including piano teachers, have turned to zoom for online piano lessons. It’s a great platform on the whole and for many people (although not all) it’s more stable and versatile than the alternatives of Skype, Facetime or What’s App.

online piano lessons

Zoom has been in the news recently though, and not always for the right reasons! There have been reports of zoom bombers and trolls gatecrashing online meetings and parties. Definitely not something that is desirable in piano lessons. Zoom claims to be a secure platform but for that to happen the settings need to be set up correctly.

With so many options to consider in the zoom Settings it can be a little bewildering! So here are 10 steps that will mean your use of zoom for online piano lessons is as safe and secure as possible.

#1 USE YOUR LAPTOP

Whenever possible I would recommend that you use a laptop as you just get more flexibility.

#2 OPEN ZOOM IN BROWSER WINDOW

To adjust the settings for your meetings open up zoom in a browser window rather than the desktop app. It allows you to access the more advanced features mentioned below. This is where you get sent anyhow when you click on Advanced Settings in zoom.

#3 USE RANDOM MEETING ID

Asking zoom to generate a Random Meeting ID for every meeting means that it can’t be widely shared. Using your Personal Meeting ID effectively sets up a permanently running meeting.

#4 DISABLE JOIN BEFORE HOST OPTION

This means that your pupils have to wait for you to start the lesson.

#5 USE THE WAITING ROOM

Using the waiting room option means that students are placed in the waiting room until you let them in.

# 6 CHOOSE HOST ONLY SCREEN SHARING

It is safer to make the default setting for Screen sharing host only. This gives you the ability to share your screen and, during the meeting itself, you can give permission to your student to also share their screen.

#7 CHOOSE REGISTRATION AND/OR PASSWORD PROTECT

For additional levels of security use the registration option and the password protect facility. Registration means you will have the email address of the registrant and to enter the meeting they will then need to enter the password.

#8 RECORD ONTO YOUR OWN COMPUTER

If you and the parent and student decide to record any segment of the lesson (with all the necessary permissions of course) save it to your own computer rather than the cloud option. Please note that the option to record to the zoom cloud is only available with the paid plan.

#9 LOCK THE MEETING ONCE IT HAS STARTED

This is an additional level of security that you can take if you want to. You can find it when the meeting is already underway. Click on Participants and then the More… that appears.

# 10 READ ALL THE FINER DETAILS VIA ZOOM BLOG

zoom are responding positively to all the attention with useful blogs and articles. To read their tips and advice (from which much of the above has been taken) CLICK HERE

Here at The Curious Piano Teachers we know that things are tough for everyone at the moment. We are currently offering one month’s free support to all piano teachers. That’s one month free access to all our resources, videos, workbooks as well as the opportunity to join our very special Community in the Curiosity Lounge. At the end of the month you can then decide whether to subscribe or leave (along with the resources you have downloaded).   FIND OUT MORE. 

This blog post was written by Dr Sally Cathcart, co-founder and Director of The Curious Piano Teachers.

6 thoughts on “Zoom for online piano lessons – 10 ways to set up safe and secure lessons

  1. Lucy

    These are good tips. May I recommend something when using Zoom. Like all other video chat platforms, Zoom is designed and optimised for voice communication, not music. Unless you make some changes to the default settings, the piano will not sound very good. The Zoom engine attempts to remove all background noise automatically in order to isolate the vocal frequencies. The piano harmonics are removed which is not what we want! Fortunately, there are options within Zoom that will allow music to sound more natural, with fewer pops and sudden fades. On a laptop or desktop computer, go to Settings > Audio > Advanced, and tick the box ‘Use Original Sound’ and disable the options ‘Suppress Persistent Background Noise’ and ‘Suppress Intermittent Background Noise’. On a smartphone, go to Settings > Meeting > and tick the box ‘Use Original Sound’. At the Sokol Piano Academy, we have technicians to assist our piano professors during their online lessons.

    Reply
  2. Elaine

    Hi Sally,
    I only have an iPad to set up for online piano lessons and thinking of using Zoom. Do the same rules apply on the iPad as they do on a laptop? As this review is only written for laptop that I can see? I’m very worried about the security of using this platform so some reassurance would be gratefully received.
    There’s been a lot of negative reviews with regards to the Zoom platform recently. I have downloaded the app but the free version.
    Please advise.
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Sally C

      Hi Elaine, you can follow exactly the same rules for your ipad in terms of passwords, waiting rooms etc. Since I wrote this zoom have taken considerable action to make sure everyone is more secure. Check out zoom’s website for more details.

      Reply

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