How to Video Chat
Using the Lessonface video platform is easy. You need a relatively recent computer or tablet with a webcam and a reliable internet connection.
Private, One on One lessons: At the lesson time, log in, go to your dashboard, and click 'Join.' You can set up a test before the class with one of the support staff HERE.
Group Lessons: You will receive an email invitation to the session the day before it starts. If it's a group class that takes place over multiple weeks, you will get the invite the day before each of the sessions.
Read on to learn how to make sure your live video lessons are as high quality as possible.
There are three main factors to the quality of the video:
- Web connection or bandwidth – 500 kbps recommended. The video streaming will work at less but not as well. You can test your speed by going HERE and clicking “Begin Test.”
- Processing power of your computer – Quit all non-essential programs while you’re in the session. This is probably the simplest (and cheapest!) way to improve the quality of your connection, and more effective than you think.
- Camera Quality - More on this below.
What You'll Need
Many, many laptops these days come with built-in cameras and microphones, as do iPads and Tablet devices - which work great and simply with lessons on Lessonface. Give that camera a shot first (you can do so by contacting us - we're happy to set up a trial session to test out your equipment, or you can book time directly on our Support Schedule by clicking here). If you're not happy with the results, you may want to invest in an external camera.
If you do need a camera, our favorite external webcams are made by Logitech, HP, or Microsoft, and start at $40 or so. The Logitech 9000 series are popular and solid webcams - they're the webcams we use at Lessonface Headquarters.
Using the computer screen as the sole source of light will lend a blue cast in the web stream. Ideal light would come by using a three-point lighting system, but really just turning on an overhead and a desk lamp should be good, or being in a room well-lit by daylight. Being close to a bright window can cause glare.
Setting the Scene
Make sure you can get far enough from the camera so that your instrument will be fully visible in the stream - but not so far away that you're too small to see. We've used the Lessonface platform with instruments of great variety in terms of size and shape - from harmonicas to harps. It's pretty easy to see what's going on, so long as you pay attention to what's on-screen and what's not (and of course your teacher will be there to tell you if he or she can't see).
It is worth mentioning that you should be aware of what the camera will pick up. Look over your shoulder. Is there anything on camera that would rather was not? As far as clothing goes, in my experience just so long as you're comfortable and dressed for the lesson you’re fine (i.e., just like real life).
Don't be intimidated by video-chatting. It's easy and fun.
To get started, register with the site - it's free and only takes a minute.