What do you need to start learning to play a musical instrument online?

August 13, 2020

Blog - Music Lessons in NYC - Online Music Lessons - Piano Lessons NYC

To begin learning to play a musical instrument online, you will need to have a musical instrument in your home. There’s no getting around that!

At Riverside Music Studios, we offer piano, violin, guitar, voice, and flute lessons.  In most cases, we do not require you  to purchase an instrument right away when you are just beginning music lessons. Instead, we are always happy to recommend where to rent or buy a violin or flute without breaking your budget.

Special Recommendations for Online Piano Lessons

There are plenty of affordable options to rent or buy an acoustic piano (and we have some special deals for our students through our partners as well).  A good digital keyboard will do just fine at home.

If you’d like to use a digital piano for your online piano lessons, we recommend a Yamaha P-125 or Casio Privia PX-160. Keyboards like this don’t have hundreds of distracting buttons, sounds, or settings. Instead, all of the value goes into the quality of touch and sound.

If you find a different model that you like, then try getting one with a full 88 keys so you don’t run out of piano keys when your children are ready to play more advanced songs. It’s a bit of an investment but you are investing in a great cause: your child will learn how to play a musical instrument and that’s a lifelong skill!

Devices for Online Lessons

Next, you need to have a “screen” available for the lesson time. A laptop or tablet will allow your children to feel the presence of the teacher in the room as the picture is simply bigger. Older kids can also use smartphones as they are able to perceive more information verbally. You don’t actually need to use headphones as you want the mic of your device to pick up all the sounds equally well and not just the speech.

Online  Music Lessons Require a Good Internet Connection

You will get the best results if you are able to wire your device directly into the internet router. A quick search on Amazon will give you plenty of options for USB-Earthlink adapters for under $20 which will help with latency. If you can’t run a wire to the router, then try limiting the number of devices using the internet at the same time.

Pro tip: Don’t schedule two Zoom meetings and a violin lesson all at the same time!

Learn how to Control your Audio Settings

Zoom Sound Settings for Online Music Lessons

Zoom has become very popular but, as it is primarily designed for work meetings, it treats the sound of musical instruments as a “background noise.” To fix that, you will need to turn on Original sound:

  1. Preferences
  2.  Audio
  3. Advanced settings at the bottom of the screen
  4. Check “Enable Original sound”
  5. Disable the first two options for suppressing background noise.

Skype Sound Settings for Online Music Lessons

Skype is our preference for platform. When you use Skype to learn a musical instrument online with a teacher, you do not need to change any settings.

Other Platforms

FaceTime will also work as well as other video chat platforms that you like to use.

Find an Online Music teacher!

That’s it, you are ready to begin learning to play a musical instrument online!  All you need to do now is find the right music teacher.

A great online music teacher will be helpful and present during the lesson. They will then provide clear instructions for homework over the next week. You might need to help your kids with practicing between the lessons at first, or at least reminding them to.  As they get familiar with music notation and basic musical concepts, they can practice on their own too!

If you’re interested in music lessons in NYC or even if you do not live in the Manhattan area, contact Riverside Music Studio!



To sign up for music lessons in NYC or to contact us with any questions using the form below:

(212) 247-4900
Riverside Music Studios - Midtown
1727 Broadway, Suite 2
New York, New York 10019

Now Open!
Riverside Music Studios - Downtown
160 Broadway, Suite 900EB
New York, New York 10038