Online Lessons at Texas Amps and Axes

Music Lessons from our Professional Teaching Staff using video chat.

Why Online Lessons?

While in-person lessons at the studio are generally recommended, there are times where the ability to take your lesson from home has advantages. Our goal at Texas Amps and Axes is to continue your musical development with high-quality private lessons even when you can’t physically make it to the studio.

how to get started

Get Your Video Chat Application

In order to participate in online lessons, you’ll have to download and install a video-conference program to your device.  We recommend Skype, Zoom, or if both you and your teacher have iOs devices you can use FaceTime.

Sign-Up for Online Lessons

After downloading and installing your video-conference app, contact us at the studio to set up your lesson time.  Please include your Skype username so we can enter it into the MMS system.

Set-Up Your At-Home Lesson Area

We’ve created a guide to help you prepare yourself and your At-Home Lesson Area for the best environment possible.  Click below to find out more.

What Do You Need for
Online Lessons?

Here’s a list of items that you’ll need to be an effective participant with an online learning format:

  1. Your lesson books and music curriculum
  2. Your instrument (if you don’t have an at-home instrument, please let us know so we can come up with a workable solution).
  3. Streaming video device (tablet, laptop, phone, etc.).
  4. A plan for holding your device in place (music stand, chair, gooseneck device holder, etc.).
  5. Parental helper (depending on age).
  6. As always, a “can-do” and respectful attitude.

Setting Up Your Music Space

Here’s some helpful hints and tips on setting up your at home lesson space. There are pictures for each and we’ll have videos demonstrating these for you as well. 

We’ve broken these down into a couple of views based on what you may or may not have access to at home. Regardless of the setup you’re choosing, this is BEST done as a combined Student and Parent activity so you can properly position camera angles.

General Setup Tips

  • Set up where there is adequate lighting.  Lighting should always be placed behind the device being used for video conferencing.  You’ll need a chair, a music stand (or something to set your music on), and a place to set your streaming device (computer, phone, etc.).
  • Try to set up in a place where distractions can be minimized. Setting up in a room where no one else will be entering during the lesson is ideal.
  • Using a microphone that plugs into your device can really help the audio quality.  
  • Wear headphones or earbuds if possible.  This will isolate the sound, making the audio much more clear.
  • If you’re using a computer and have access to a direct ethernet connection, your bandwith will be much greater, minimizing technical difficulties.

General Camera Angle/Device Setup Tips

  • For most instruments, your goal will be to set the chair forward with the music stand slightly to one side of the person and the camera/device slightly to the other side.
  • For most instruments, the goal is going to be to set up the camera/device to where the student’s upper half and especially their fingers on the instrument can be seen.  Ideally, simply pointing the camera at the student from close to the front can accomplish this.  With some instruments, however (piano for example), to get a view of the fingers will require a side view from the camera, which will take away the ability to see faces.
  • Try to set up in a place where distractions can be minimized. Setting up in a room where no one else will be entering during the lesson is ideal.
  • We’ve provided some example camera angles below so you can see a visual example of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Other Tips

  • For most instruments, your goal will be to set the chair forward with the music stand slightly to one side of the person and the camera/device slightly to the other side.
  • You can accomplish a lot even without specific equipment. Be creative.  Use pillows, boxes, tables, or whatever you have to create a place to view your music and set your camera angle.
  • One relatively inexpensive solution that works very well for dealing with camera angles is a gooseneck holder for your device.  You can see an example for using a phone here.  *This is just an example – not a recommendation. If you choose to purchase a holder, make sure you get one that will fit your device*
  • If you are using a laptop for your streaming device, you can use end tables, coffee tables, or even flattened music stands to help set your camera angle.

Final Note

Just like when you first started playing your instrument, if this is your first experience with online lessons there is definitely going to be a learning curve. There will probably be moments of audio or video lag, and it may take a little while to get used to the new environment.  Try to stick with it!  Over a short time you will find that you and your teacher will get into a new rhythm just as you have done in studio lessons, and you’ll be able to use the tool of online lessons to continue your musical journey whenever circumstances require it.

Online Resources

Teacher Zoom ID's

  • AJ: 245-924–4640
  • Garrett: 606-743-584
  • JT: 922-972-7402
  • Matt: 688-966-0885
  • Richard: 922-828-2815
  • Mike: 312-353-8164
  • Shelley: 465-999-647
  • Sydney: 306-225-3274
  • Travis: 930-171-4191