If you want to be able to teach online lessons using the webcam on your computer, the technology available today makes this a lot easier than you might think.
What you'll Need
Before we get started, there are some things you're going to need.
- Webcam - While it is, of course, possible to give a music lesson with only an audio connection, the experience is far less than wonderful. Also, in my experience teaching guitar, being able to see what the student's hands are doing is critical to spotting bad habits before they get too firmly entrenched. In addition, there is a much stronger connection when you can see each other, and this leads to better outcomes all around.
- Account - Obviously, if you're going to use an online meeting platform of some kind, your going to need an account with that platform. One of the most commonly used platforms at this time is Zoom, but others that we've seen used are Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Rock Out Loud Live.
NOTE: If you want to use Skype for online lessons, many of the details are significantly different. You can find information about in our knowledgebase article: How do I use Skype with Studio Helper?
- Your default meeting link - The platforms that work with this feature all have one thing in common: they allow you to connect with other by using a URL address that you can send as a link to your students. As an example, if you're using Zoom, you will have a meeting link that is similar to this: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/12345678901?pwd=cENyZ3EwVEhHY05TNmNMM1VaejdEZz09. Whatever platform you use will have instructions about how to get this link.
NOTE: If you are using Apple's FaceTime, it is possible to get a URL to share, and use it with this feature. This has not been tested thoroughly by us, because that is not a common way to share a meeting link in FaceTime, but in theory it should work. The downside of this platform is that there is no compatible applications for Windows or Android devices to use the link, so it only works with other Apple devices.
How to use the feature
One meeting link the teacher uses for all of their students
- Open the teacher's profile and scroll down to "Enable Online Meeting" in the right hand column and click the checkbox to select it. This will open the field where you can enter the meeting URL, then click Save Teacher Information.
- The next step is to enable this in the calendar event. Go to the calendar and create a new lesson for the teacher, as you normally would, but for an online lesson, select the option to Enable Online Meeting for the event. Enter all of the other information that would normally be used for the lesson, then create the lesson.
The only real difference between creating a new event and editing an existing event is that you will have to acknowledge saving the changes for this event only, or all following events in the series.
- If you have event reminders enabled, the event reminder email that is sent to the student will automatically include a link to the online meeting URL that is enabled for the event. Also, whenever a user clicks on the event in the calendar, there will be a link that says, "Join Online Meeting." Clicking the link in the reminder email or the calendar popup will launch the meeting using the URL entered.