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Music Teacher Tip #56 - Zoom

If you are trying to teach music using Zoom, there are some built-in features that make Zoom awesome for talking, but not so awesome for music. For example:

Zoom will automatically suppress what it perceives as background noise. Unfortunately, it perceives any continuous sound as “background noise.” Since music is usually continuous, if Zoom is left on the normal settings, it will try to suppress all music. This causes the sound to go in and out. If your music sounds like it’s pulsating, it means you need to change your advanced settings.

Zoom also has a built-in feature that automatically keeps the volume at a moderate level. This is really helpful if you’re in a meeting and a dog starts barking, but if you want to hear someone changing dynamics as they perform, this feature will cause all of their playing/singing to sound like it has no dynamic range.

Luckily there are advanced settings in Zoom that you can adjust for optimal musical performances. I’ve run into some challenges though as I’ve tried to describe to others how to make these adjustments. It’s easiest if your student is on a laptop or other computer, but the directions are a little different if they’re on a tablet or smart phone. Luckily, this article clearly describes all adjustments that need to be made and how to make them on different types of devices.

I hope this helps those of you who are using Zoom as a teaching platform.

Happy teaching!

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