Online music lessons are a great and convenient way to learn the violin.

Here are some keys to setting up the right way for your violin lessons online.

No matter which video software you are using, this guide will help your violin teacher see everything clearly.  This will help you make the most of your violin lessons online.

Things you’ll need for your violin lessons

  • Your violin
  • A video enable device
  • An internet connection with at least a 5Mbs connection (We recommend 10mbps if you can.)
  • Video chat software: Google Hangouts Meet, Google Duo, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, WhatsApp, or another quality app

Get the right camera placement

Make sure the camera provides a clear view of the left hand and wrist. This helps the instructor see that you’re playing the correct notes with correct technique. 

You’ll also want a clear view of the bow on the strings.  This helps the instructor see that your bow is straight, thus making it easier to have a consistently clear tone. The best camera view is pictured right.

Set up your camera with a clear view of your left hand and wrist, and the bow on the strings.

How not to aim your camera

Below are two examples of how not to position your camera for a violin lesson. Notice how you cannot clearly see the wrists, hands or violin.

In this view, the bow and strings are visible, but the left hand and wrist are not.
Here, the neck of the violin is almost entirely out of view.

More tips to make your online violin lessons even better

Wear headphones to hear your instructor clearly

Wearing headphones during your lesson will provide you the clearest sound for instructor demonstrations and instructions. It will also help get rid of room noise and other sounds that could be distracting.

Use a USB microphone for the best sound quality

It’s important that your instructor have the clearest sound from you as well.

Using a microphone will ensure that your instructor can hear your intonation and provide accurate and helpful information that will keep you improving.

Why? The built in microphone on most laptops, tablets, and phones is not the best quality. Even an inexpensive external microphone can do wonders for clarity of the sound.

Advanced two camera setup

Point the first camera at your left hand, with your thumb being the closer finger to the camera. You’ll want to see your wrist, fingers, thumb, and the entire fingerboard. 

The second camera should display your full violin and the bow arm set up. 

Turn off the sound on the second camera

Remember to turn the sound off on your second device to avoid feedback! It’s really an awful sound to hear. You should turn the sound off before you select the camera in your video chat.

Join the online lesson from both devices

Now your violin teacher can easily switch back and forth between your left and right hands. You’ll get better quality feedback, because your instructor can see every little detail.

And often with learning the violin, it is the details that matter.

Now you’re ready to have a great online violin lesson!