Tech Tips

To have a successful online learning experience, we must have the tech tools. Here are the four areas to address:

Internet connection – A reliable internet connection is needed for online study, especially the live lesson component of the Odyssey level.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Use an ethernet cable to connect your device directly to your router. will be a better connection than WiFi. Ethernet cables come in different lengths and can be run from room to room or even floor to floor. 
  • Move your router closer to your music area. This sill make a positive difference. Your internet provider may be able to reroute cables so that service comes into your house at a different location. 
  • If you use wifi, look into a mesh network.
  • Check to see if you’re getting the speed you’re paying for. You can test your speed at Compare it to the plan you’re buying from your internet company. 
  • Internet connect must be steady and reliable in order to have live Zoom lessons that are included in the Odyssey level. Aim for  download/upload speeds of at least 10/5 mbps. 
  • Slower internet is not as much of a problem with the video viewing and exchange components of Compass.


  • Make sure your device is reasonably new (not ancient!) and updated. If you don’t know how to update your device, just google it. It is good practice to update your device regularly and before every live lesson. 
  • Any device works for viewing videos and video exchange.
  • For the live Zoom lessons in Odyssey, a laptop works best due to needed settings for Zoom that are only available on a laptop. 

3. Platforms

  • Flipgrid is used to store the video library and to submit your personal videos – No account necessary. You will be given login and links information when you register.
  • YouTube – My new channel is HERE. You will receive a link to the unlisted videos at registration. 
  • Zoom. No account is needed. To use Zoom, the “web browser client” will download automatically when you start or join your first Zoom meeting, and is also available for manual download HERE


  • Your internet connection will work better if you are the only one online during your music study time. This is especially important during live Zoom lessons. 
  • For the live Zoom lessons, please turn on your device 15 minutes before the scheduled lesson time. This gives you time to warm up on your instrument, update your device, and check your volume, camera, and Zoom settings. Make sure your device is either plugged in or fully charged.  Lessons run on time and back-to-back.  Time spent fixing settings will negatively impact the scheduled lesson time. 
  • If you’re having trouble with internet connection, call your provider and tell them. They can check and fix issues. You may want to upgrade your plan. 

My Setup

On-Stage LPT7000 Deluxe Laptop Stand – This holds my laptop beside my piano. It is adjustable for height and tilt. Much better than using a music stand or table. This was one of the first things I ordered when the pandemic started. 

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920, Widescreen Video Calling and Recording, 1080p Camera, Desktop or Laptop Webcam  The view is crisp and wide (4 octaves). It also has a screw hole in the back so that I can connect it to the adapter on my mic stand.

On Stage CM01 Video Camera/Digital Recorder Adapter This adapter screws onto my mic stand. Then the webcam screws onto the adapter. It makes the webcam secure and completely adjustable.

Boom Microphone Stand – I suspect any brand will do. 

On-Stage Cw-6 6Lb. Counterweight I do not own this but I’ve thought about it. With the boom extended out on the mic stand, the stand becomes unbalanced and in danger of tipping over (I’ve had it happen). So, a counterweight is needed at the base of the mic stand. I feel that these counterweights are expensive. I have a brick on my mic stand base. I don’t really like the brick. I might make a cloth bag and fill it with beans – a giant bean bag. I don’t know. Haven’t really decided. Going with the brick for now.

Last year I also bought a 2020 MacBook Air. That was very expensive but I don’t regret it. My little old laptop just wasn’t doing what I needed it to do. 

Moshi iVisor Screen Protector for 13″ MacBook Air 2020 Before I ordered a new computer, I was getting daily migraines because of staring at screens and my phone. So, when I got my new MacBook Air, I also got this screen protector for my health. It cuts glare and is easier on the eyes. I don’t have any trouble any more. 

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