Zoom setup guide

Follow this guide to get the best online learning experience with Zoom

Zoom software

Update your Zoom software regularly

Zoom is frequently improving its software. I recommend updating Zoom every two weeks.
How to update:

Change audio settings

By default, Zoom tends to cut out the sound of instruments (especially violin) as if it were merely background noise. This problem can usually be rectified by changing the audio settings.

Follow the steps in this article to change your Zoom audio settings.

Camera angle

Camera angle: Please angle your webcam so that the whole instrument and student are in view. Placing the camera above the student’s eye level is ideal.

This camera angle is fairly good. The piano keys and the student’s fingers can be seen. The upper half of the student is visible. A slightly higher camera angle pointing down onto the student would be even better.

This camera angle is fairly good. It would be even better if the camera was further away so that the student’s arms were fully visible.

This camera angle is not suitable. The camera is too low, not all the keys can be seen and the child is not fully visible.

This camera angle is not suitable. The student’s bowing hand is hidden because it is on the wrong side of the student. The camera is also too close to the student.

Webcam & Microphone

Invest in a good webcam and microphone. It will make a huge difference to your lessons.

A good webcam will often include a good microphone. The best way to know if you have a suitable webcam/microphone is to test it or ask the teacher how the sound is on their end.

Unfortunately, many webcams/microphones that are built into devices are not of suitable quality. In general, the following devices have good webcams/microphones built into them:

  • iPhones, iPads, Macbooks and other Apple products
  • The latest Windows computers over $1500
  • The latest tablets over $800

If your windows computer needs a better webcam/microphone, I recommend a Logitech C922 webcam.

For ever better sound, I recommend using a Blue Yeti or Blue Yeti Nano microphone for audio and the Logitech C922 for video.


Place your light source behind the camera

The light source (window, lamp) should preferably be behind the camera. Avoid shadows on the student’s face as this can make communication challenging.


Larger screen sizes are better

A phone should be used only as a last resort as the screen size makes it difficult for the student to see the teacher and to see symbols displayed on the screen.

Sam often uses an interactive whiteboard while teaching on Zoom. Student find it much easier to write on the whiteboard when the screen size is approx 10″ or greater.

Higher resolutions are better

A screen with Full HD (1920×1080) or greater is ideal.


You’re nearly ready to start your lesson. Use the checklist below to make sure that you have
everything on hand for your lesson:

  • Pencil
  • Practice Chart from the last lesson
  • Music book
  • Instrument, ready to play (violinists and cellists can use a digital tuner to tune their instrument in advance)