Extending Music Programming to Additional Rooms

Given the COVID related limitations on the number of youth in a room and limits on contacts with staff members, here are some thoughts on how to have an instructor in one room providing lessons to a group of youth in another room.


The easiest way to do this is by setting up a Zoom session between an instructor and the various youth participants.  The general idea is that each participant joins the same Zoom session and the instructor can watch them play their music. The instructor can also offer one-on-one feedback by using Breakout Rooms. The following describes the process in greater detail.

Read More

How to run a Zoom music session

The instructor invites each participant to join the same Zoom session.  Each participant will need to have their own Zoom device to join the session, which could be any of the following:

  • Laptop
  • Desktop
  • Chromebook
  • iPad
  • Smart phone

NOTE: It would be great to be able to connect the instruments or the production equipment directly to the participant’s Zoom device, but unfortunately this capability does not currently exist for Zoom – so the Zoom device really just captures the video and audio of the participant using their instrument or production gear.

The instructor uses Zoom to see and hear every participant as they perform  

  • The instructor runs a workshops without being physically present with the participants
    • All participants sign into the same Zoom meeting 
    • Instructor provides participants with general instructions and expectations for the lesson 
    • Participants can all be in the same room, or they can be isolated in different rooms
  • Using Zoom breakout rooms
    • With Zoom breakout rooms, each participant can be in their own breakout room to get individual instruction, and then be added back into the larger Zoom session for group instruction.  
    • The instructor enables Zoom “Breakout” rooms (https://youtu.be/Zc5GkepLIVQ
    • Participants could be assigned to different breakout rooms depending on things such as their: 
      • Skill
      • Song choice
      • Instrument 

Musical Equipment Recommendations

In order to get the best musical sound using the built in microphone of each Zoom device, we would suggest following these guidelines for the various Workshops your instructor might lead.  

  • Voice Workshops
    • For basic Voice workshops you can use the built in microphone of the device your participant is using to connect to Zoom.  This may not be of high quality, but is fine for this purpose.
    • Optional – Advanced setups could include an external microphone and audio interface
  • Guitar, Bass and Ukulele Workshops
    • Each of these instruments generates its own sound which can be picked up by the built in microphone your participant is using for Zoom. 
    • For each instrument you will need:
      • Acoustic guitar – guitar, stand, tuner, and pick 
      • Electric and/or Bass guitar – guitar, stand, small amp, instrument cable, tuner, and pick 
      • Ukulele – Ukulele, and tuner
    • Recommended Equipment: 
      • Electric Guitar/bass – Fender Strat Squire or Epiphone Les Paul style (or equivalent) with practice amp
      • Yamaha JR1 3/4-size Acoustic Guitar – $150/each
      • Include a bag/case (if available) 
      • Note: ¾ size guitars may be easier for various ages to use (if available) 
      • Kala Ukulele Starter Kit – $60/each
  • Drum Workshops
    • The drums generate their own sound which can be picked up by the built in microphone your participant is using for Zoom. 
    • Each drum set will need:
      • Practice pad – Pad and sticks
        • Optional – Pad mount/stand (otherwise – setup on desks/tables) 
      • Electric Drum pad – Electronic drum pad and sticks 
    • Recommended Equipment: 
  • Beat Making Workshops
    • We highly recommend using an iPad-based Portable Music Production Station – $1200/each.  This will give each participant an iPad, midi-keyboard, microphone and controller – everything they need for making beats.

Additional Resources: 

To download a full, editable version