How do I use Zoom and other online platforms with Studio Helper?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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


Once you have what you need, as listed above, here are the steps to make use of it.

One meeting link the teacher uses for all of their students


The most common way of using online meetings for lessons is for the teacher to have all of their students use the same link to meet with them. It is not recommended to use a single meeting link for more than one teacher, but it can be done, if you are very careful with scheduling. But, it can be a real nightmare when you have students for 2 different teachers joining the same online meeting at the same time! When you have the meeting URL for a teacher, follow these steps to set it up in Studio Helper:
  1. 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.



  2. 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.

  3. 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.



Separate meeting links for individual students or events


While the most common way to handle online meetings is for the teacher to have one meeting URL that is shared with all of their students, it is sometimes desirable to have dedicated meeting links for each student. This prevents a student from accidentally joining an online meeting that another student is scheduled for. In the student profiles, you can add an online meeting URL to a specific teacher/instrument/class enrollment. This can be selected in the event when you create or edit it, instead of using the teacher's URL.

You can also enter a different URL for the event that is not already used in the teacher's profile, or in the student's enrollment. This can be handy if the studio is hosting an online recital, for example, for several students, who are enrolled with different teachers, and you want them all to be part of the same online stream for this specific event. In the Edit/Create Event screen, just select the option labeled "Enter Online Meeting URL" and enter the URL you want to use for that event instead of the teacher or student's URL.

As always, if you have any further questions about this, or any other feature of our software, feel free to contact our support team by sending an email to support@studiohelper.com.

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