Our Online Lessons

Find out more about taking online singing lessons here at Singing Lessons Dublin.

What I wish I knew before I started teaching music lessons online!

We can all agree the last few years have been filled with more twists and turns to last a lifetime! In March with had to come to terms with first wave of Covid-19, myself like many other private music teachers found themselves bringing their lessons online for the first time. This was a scary and daunting process for all of us. Throughout those first few months I learnt a lot of the do’s and don’ts to successful online teaching. As we now face another lockdown and moving our lessons once again online, I wanted to share a few useful tips I wished I had when I started online teaching! These tips can be used to guide both student and teachers alike.

‘Sorry what? you’re breaking up’ Good internet connection

I know this seems like such an obvious one but honestly, there is nothing worse than constantly having video/audio cut out mid lesson. Always check your internet connection before starting online lessons.

Everyone’s using the internet!

This brings me nicely into my next point, be aware that in these times where everyone is either working or studying from home, not to mention the endless phone use and Netflix watching, the internet can only do so much! Pick your lesson times wisely try avoiding ‘high traffic’ times so you can get the most out of your lesson!

What video format to use?

Decide on what format- Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp video, FaceTime the possibilities are endless! As a teacher I like to offer a range of options so that students have a choice and can use what is most comfortable for them. For students it might be a case of whatever is available to them. Discuss this prior to the first lesson to decide on the best format that suits everyone. Here is a quick rundown on the most used ones:


2020 the year of Zoom, everyone loves it, and we cannot forget all those Zoom quizzes! Most people are now familiar with this, so it is a good option. As a teacher I recommend paying for the Pro its well worth it! You can easily set up and managed your lessons, also you are not limited to 40minutes with the free version. Here is all the pricing: zoom.us/pricing

WhatsApp Video

Most people use WhatsApp on their phone to message but there is a small video button located on the top right when you go into an individual chat, press that to make a video call and away you go. This is probably this most popular among my students.


iPhone users are very comfortable with this and again only involves having the persons number and locating the video call button.


Ah Skype - pretty much like zoom but you do not have to pay for it to get unlimited video time, but both users need an account. Unfortunately, most people do not use this anymore so it’s a bit of a hassle to have them set up an account. This would be the least popular option among my students.

‘I can’t see you!’ Placing your camera correctly

Work out your set up- you need to make sure that the camera can see you and the piano. This is very important for both teachers and students. If you are a piano student, make sure the camera is angled slightly above and at the keys so the teacher can see what you are doing. If you are a singer, set up your camera facing you then take a step back so your teacher can see you fully. Sometimes the first lesson may take a bit of adjusting to get the right angle but let you teacher guide you. Try set up the camera as best you can before the lesson- the best trick I have is to use a music stand to place devices on-it works wonders for laptops, phones and tablets! Younger students will need a parent or guardian with them during the lesson so they can help with the camera set up.

This is like the stand I have: AxcessAbles SM-501 Orchestra Conductor Sheet Music Stand (White).

Setting up the lesson

Once the lesson day and time is arranged, its best to have the student/parent or guardian call the teacher on the agreed format- like them coming to an in-person lesson. Sometimes students are running late or have forgotten I usually give them a few minutes and send them a reminder text.

But how can I teach singing online?!

Once everything is set up- teaching piano is straight forward, the only issue I encountered was you cannot play with them because of the latency in sound. Unfortunately, this latency caused some difficulties when I started teaching singing.

Normally, I accompany my students on the piano in their lessons for their scales and pieces. This unfortunately is not the case for online lessons. The latency in the sound makes accompanying students online extremely difficult.

Instead of playing their warmups, I now just show them the warmup and give them the starting note and let them sing A cappella. When it comes to the songs its not as easy to let them sing A cappella particularly with beginner singers or songs with tricky intonation and key changes! The student needs to source a backing track. This is where the need for a second device comes in. Most of my singers use karaoke tracks from YouTube as they are free and easily accessible, also its helpful if the lyrics come up and are highlighted as they sing.

Here is an example of a good karaoke track: youtube.com/watch?v=t2y9wgBZk_k.

A lot of my students have their lessons on a phone and use a laptop to play the karaoke track. If students are using a laptop for their lessons, they will need a separate device to play the track from.

The Sound just dropped!

This one caught me out initially and I did not know what was going on! When my student started singing with a louder karaoke/backing track the sound level would just drop dramatically at the loudest parts to almost nothing. Basically, there is an inbuilt function that causes this to happen when the sound level goes above a certain level on one end, it overcompensates by reducing it on the other. I have experienced this with the use of phones rather than laptops. The solution is just to get the student to turn down the volume of the track!

So, there you have it all the things I wish I knew before starting online lessons. I know this is a strange and unsettling time for us all but being able to continue teaching music is keeping me sane and brings me so much joy!

Stay safe everyone, Emma (info@singinglessonsdublin.com).

graphical divider

Continue Reading