• SteveB

The first online piano lesson

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

I decided to try an online lesson with a student who I see face-to-face once a week. She's learning a range of contemporary piano styles from blues to jazz and reggae. I teach by ear so it's not important to see a musical score. It is important however for the student to see how I am playing the pieces, for example fingering and general technique.

Having seen some great examples of piano teaching using an overhead camera angle, I decided to find out how to achieve this with the equipment I had. The iPhone was an obvious choice given it's high quality video.

The Epocam HD app turns the iPhone into a webcam, for around $10. You can feed the signal to your computer via wireless or USB. USB is recommended for best quality. Maximum quality available is 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p).

A screenshot of Epocam HD app on iPhone
Epocam HD app


  • Both of us enjoyed the lesson, which seems a good indicator.

  • The iPhone webcam quality was superb. Unfortunately it froze if I changed camera to the laptop and then tried to return to the Epocam. I may not have set it up correctly, but I will explore more soon.

  • My piano student also pointed out that she would like a copy of the lesson in video. I can see this being popular with students, if the teacher has time to process and upload the video.

Other resources

Nahre Sol has produced a great guide to filming piano keys overhead.

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