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Instructions for music lessons via distance learning at Allegra

During 2020 we demonstrated that we could continue with remote lessons without compromising your quality music education. We were excited to return to in-person lessons in 2021 but have continued with a virtual and hybrid model for those families not comfortable with in-person instruction. As with any new experience, video lessons can seem strange at first, but soon you will be enjoying your music lessons rather than focusing on the new way of taking them! The following simple guide will help you prepare for at-home lessons with Allegra to be conducted as we protect the health and safety of our families. Please read carefully:

Prepare your  space by placing a low table or flat chair in front of your instrument or your creative space where you can work with your instructor to properly position the camera. Tablets without a stand will require some creative positioning with books and possibly masking tape on the back to keep them secured.

  • Piano students will place the device to the right side of the keyboard just above hand position. Bring a generous pile of books which can be used to increase and decrease the height of your device.

  • Violin, voice and other standing instruments will need the device in a higher position. Try positioning the device on a taller shelf or bookcase.

  •  Guitar students will sit in position with the instructor able to see your strumming and fingering.

  • Theater, Dance, and Drama: plan for as much space as possible! Open up a space in the center of the room so you can move around. Use a wireless headset or earbuds, or test your speaker and microphone for both near and far since you will be changing positions during your workshop.

Most of all: don’t panic! If you are unsure of how to position your device. Your instructor will assist you in finding the optimum position for the lesson audio and video.

Allegra is partnering with Zoom Video Technologies to provide a stable and high-quality video conferencing platform. While no live internet-based video is perfect, Zoom offers the best in the market. Zoom will run on your Mac or PC laptop, iPad or Android tablet, or smartphone*. While Zoom can run in a web browser, we recommend you download the desktop or iOS/Android app so that you can install and test the software prior to starting your lesson.

Please select the device with largest screen and best quality camera and microphone. Virtually all laptops and tablets have cameras and microphones, and many desktops come with webcams. Please go to the Zoom download page at where you will find easy links and instructions to download for your device.

*Due to small screen size, smartphones are not recommended but can be used.

Once installed, Zoom is easy to use but may require a few adjustments to allow access to your device’s camera and microphone. To make that easy, we will host a test classroom where you can come and try out your settings. Just as with your music lesson, once logged in, you will be placed in a waiting room where your instructor will let you in at your scheduled time.

To open a test classroom, call or text Allegra at 908-874-4351 for the link and times those test rooms are open.

As you connect, your device will ask to be allowed to connect to your camera, and also your microphone. Please allow these requests. As you connect, you will also see a prompt to “connect to internet audio” please click this button. Once you see the following message: “Please wait, the meeting host will let you in soon.” Success! You have made the connection. Once you are logged in, we know you are there and will admit you into the video conference as soon as possible where we can test your sound and video.

Watch the video to set advanced audio settings for laptop and desktop computers.
Once changed, your computer will remember these settings.

Make sure you have your lesson/workshop link to be sent via email
Just as you do for your in-person lessons and workshops, you will receive confirmation of your  lesson time, and will receive the classroom link to your instructor’s online classroom. Once you have this link, it will remain the same each day/week.  Once again, if your connection does not work as anticipated, don’t panic! We will work with you to resolve your connection and positioning issues. Your instructors are excited to show students the special things they can do with online video lessons!

Parents/Guardians: please join the first online lesson to see how it is conducted and ensure your system is working

Please call  908-874-4351, text 908-428-4963, or email if you have any questions. We look forward to seeing you!

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