What do I need for an online lesson at the Online Brass Academy Alicante?

You need a good and stable internet connection. Not particularly fast, but stable. Read more here on the FAQ page under "Is my internet good enough ?"

Preferrably use a computer for your online lessons. And if possible connect it to your router with an ethernet cable for ultimate stability and then wifi turned OFF.

Your computer needs a functioning webcam and a build in microphone ( all newer models have great cams and ok mics ) If you have an external mic- USE IT :) A good and solid USB mic is no longer expensive and makes a huge difference. See our recommendations under "How do I improve my sound"

Finally you need to be in a Chrome browser window on your laptop and android devices- Safari is needed if you run ipad or iphones.

Download Chrome browser here: Download

However you can still use your smart phone/tablet but they have certain limitations when it comes to controlling the sound, and the screen is also small and makes it harder to see details. Read more about "Can I use my smart phone for online lessons ?"

How do I improve my sound?

There are a number of simple and easy ways to improve your sound for an online music lesson:

  • If possible connect an external microphone to your computer we recommend these 4 models for connecting to a computer:
    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/wired_mics/c75c5918ed57a8d0/ http://www.rode.com/microphones/nt-usb http://www.bluemic.com/yetipro/ http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/mic All can be purchased at www.thomann.de for very fair prices.
  • Be well connected to the internet. No matter how well your mic is, your sound card, computer etc it doesn't matter if you are not well connected to the interenet. Allocate bandwidth b y asking other people in your home to back off during your online lessons, meaning: stop heavy downloads, gaming, netflix streaming etc that all could result in a poor and unstable connection. Also make sure you are well connected - and if using wifi: sit as close to your router as possibel - without walls/floors in between - it makes a BIG difference.
  • Put yourself in a dry acoustic for online lessons. Online lessons work better in a dry acoustic- actually the dryer the better. It might feel awkward to play in such a dry room but it translates much better to a digestible sound for the receiver. So put out carpets, bring down the curtains and throw some pillows out into the room...
  • Experiment with the distance from you when you play to the microphone and also the direction you play. Often loud instruments like trumpet/trombone and tuba need to direct away from the mic- sideways is often best.
  • Adjust your input audio level! This everyone should get a hold of in the beginning of a lesson as it really means a LOT for the receiver. Audio input level is NOT done by hitting the loudspeaker icons on your computer of on the tablet/smartphone. On a computer you need to go into the system settings and adjust it from there. Some external mics have direct controls on the actual mic. More about how to adjust audio input volume here: https://playwithapro-helpcentre.groovehq.com/help/search?keyword=audio
  • The Art of online Audio. Finally you might want to have a read about the art of online audio here: https://www.playwithapro.com/blog/the-art-of-online-audio-124

Is my internet connection good enough for online lessons?

Obviously the internet connection is everything for an online music lesson. However- speed is not as important as you might think. Stability is!

Here follows some simple guidelines of how you can improve your connection quality and like so get the most out of your music lesson.

  • Sit as close to your router if you connect with wifi. This means: don't have several floors/walls in between- it weakens the signal significantly.
  • Ultimatley connect your computer to your router using a so called ethernet cable ( around 8 $ ) and turn wifi OFF. This is still the best possible way to get the most stable and steady internet connection.
  • Ask other people in your house/apartment etc to stop streaming/downloading/gaming while the artist takes music lessons :))
  • Shot down other programs running on your computer while taking your lesson. Other programs might use bandwidth in the background without you noticing it and it will affect stability.

You can use our test tool to measure your internet connection here: testing tool and visit our help centre to get more info.

Can I use my smart phone/tablet for online lessons?

We support the use of smart phones and tablets. For iOS devices such as iphones and ipads you need to be in a Safari browser window. For Android devices you need to be in a Chrome browser window.