Elana Segal's Music Studio

Virtual Music Lessons

Saturday, February 17, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

There are many reasons a music lesson might be moved to Zoom, including illness and inclement weather. 

Here are some tips for having the best virtual lesson experience:

  • Position your laptop/tablet so your instrument is visible
  • Update the Zoom app regularly 
  • Make sure your device is charged 
  • Find a quite space with a strong WiFi signal 

Zoom Audio Configuration: 

See photos bellow. iPads/tablets will only need to complete steps 1-2, students using a computer/laptop will need to complete steps 1-3.

  1. Open "audio settings"
  2. Click "Enable Original Audio" or "Original Sound for Musicians"
  3. Uncheck "Automatically adjust microphone volume"
  4. If you are using headphones, make sure to adjust the speaker and input settings from the "audio settings" window

Audio settings for computers.

Audio settings for iPads/tablets.

Setup for a virtual piano lesson.

Music Practice 101

Monday, January 1, 2024 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

Practicing your instrument everyday is essential to seeing progress. 

  • It is important to spend quality time reviewing your lesson material on your own between lessons. 
  • Avoid playing through your assignments from beginning to end without stopping. Focus on practicing your assignments in small sections with lots of repetitions. 
  • Musicians cannot cram for their lessons, recitals or performances. Having a daily  practice routine needs  to be in place to maintain your instrumental skills.

Tips to improve your musical success:

  • Be consistent, schedule routine daily practice
  • Always use a metronome to keep a steady beat
  • Practice slow and steady
  • Mark any mistakes in pencil
  • Chunking: take small sections (called measures) and repeat until you can’t make a mistake
  • Keep a practice log/journal
  • Listen to lots of music!
  • Clean and take care of your instrument regularly

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Did I balance all of my assignments or only focus on one thing?
  2. Could I repeat each measure at least 3 times in a row with no mistakes?
  3. Did I play through my assignments and ignore errors, or practice properly?
  4. Did I play all notes and rhythms correctly, in tune and in tempo?
  5. Did I incorporate the dynamics, articulation and other markings in the score?
  6. Am I happy with my progress today?
  7. What do I need to keep working on in my next practice session?

Daily Practice Routine Example:

  1. Warmup: SLOW Long tones, focus on posture, air support, intonation, etc.

  2. Scales: Play slow+fast with various articulations, always with metronome

  3. Technique: Method book assignment, use metronome

  4. Solo Repertoire: see lesson notes, focus on musical expression

  5. Other: Band music assignments, music you want to play/review

My Music Staff Features

  Sunday, December 10, 2023 by Elana Segal | Music Lessons

Getting started with My Music Staff:

  1. Setup your portal. Each student/parent will have access to a personal MMS Portal to view lesson assignments, reschedule lessons, track progress and more.
  2. Sync the lesson schedule to your preferred calendar. Go to "Calendar" » "Options" » "Sync Calendar". 
  3. Setup lesson reminders via email or text message through “Profile Settings” in your portal.
  4. Attendance and lesson notes will be taken at the end of each lesson and will be available for view in the student/parent lesson portal.
  5. If you need to cancel/reschedule a lesson, visit the calendar. Find the lesson you wish to cancel. Click the lesson, then “cancel lesson”. MMS will issue you a “makeup credit”. You can then pick any open lesson spot to reschedule your lesson.