How to Optimize Zoom for Music Lessons!

Sep 23, 2020

As a musician in the time of COVID, you may have begun using Zoom for your lessons or classes. If that’s the case, there are a few things you should know about this interesting app to help you get the most out of your musician experience.

Let’s dive right in!

The Basics

Zoom can run within your computer’s web browser, but it tends to work a pit better running as an app on a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Download Zoom

First and foremost, you’ll need to get the app. Luckily, Zoom is free! Go to, or the Apple Store or Google Play for your devices.

Make Sure You Have a Good Connection

This will all be for naught without a halfway decent internet connection. If you’re using a computer, a wired ethernet connection is preferred, but if you must rely on WiFi, try to get as close to the hotspot as you can. Lastly, other devices on your network that are streaming can eat up bandwidth. Try to make sure you’re not sharing your connection!


Before jumping into a real zoom meeting, it’s wise to try joining a test meeting at to get to know the app and make sure your audio and video are working properly.

Joining a Meeting

Zoom sessions are called “meetings.” You instructor will provide a link for you to click to access your particular lesson or class meeting. When the time comes, or shortly before, simply click the link. This will load the Zoom meeting and you’re ready to go!

Musical Audio Considerations

You’ll want to adjust the audio settings within Zoom for the best musical experience. To do so, once inside the Zoom app, go to Settings, then Audio. If you’re already in a meeting, the Audio Settings can be accessed by clicking the ^ next to the microphone symbol in the lower left corner.

Use Headphones

When it comes to your audio, we recommend setting the speaker volume to 100% and wear headphones. If you don’t wear headphones, Zoom will struggle to tell the difference between what you are saying or paying, and the sounds coming from the speakers (Zoom not only hears what people say into their microphones, it also hears what comes out of their speakers). Without headphone, virtual interaction becomes difficult.

Besides, if you’re using your phone or tablet, chances are the speakers just won’t cut it on their own, anyway.

Use “Original Sound”

Zoom was designed for people to speak to one another in meetings, not play music together. That means the audio is set up for speech, not music. That includes “noise reduction.”

That hum in the background? Zoom will tend to think it’s a loud air conditioner and will try to remove it. That note you’re trying to play? Same thing! You’ll need Zoom’s original sound setting to disable all the extra audio processing.

There are two steps to using it:

First, you have to show the option.

This cannot be done during a meeting – it can only be done before:

If you’re using a phone or tablet:

  • Launch Zoom, but instead of tapping “Join,” tap the gear symbol.
  • Choose
  • Scroll down and turn on the Use Original Sound

If you’re on a computer:

  • Go into (Launch Zoom, but instead of tapping “Join,” tap the gear symbol.)
  • Select Audio from the menu on the left.
  • Tap the Advanced button in the lower right.
  • Finally, check the box that says “Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone.

And then:

  • Set the Suppress Persistent Background Noise and Suppress Intermittent Background Noise settings to Disable.

Second, you need to enable the feature:

This part is done once you’ve entered a meeting, and is a little different from computers and mobile devices.

If you’re on a phone or tablet:

  • Tab the “” button, and then tap “enable original sound.” If you see “disable original sound” then it is turned on and you are ready.

If you’re on a computer:

  • Simply tap “Turn on Original Sound” at the upper left corner of the window. If you see “Turn off Original Sound,” you’re all set.

More Options for Original Sound

When you turn on Original Sound, two more features become available. You can find and activate them in Settings > Audio > Advanced:

  • Disable echo cancellation. If you’re using a headset or directional mic, then echo shouldn’t really be a problem. Therefore, disabling echo cancellation will cause fewer strange audio artifacts.
  • High fidelity music mode. This uses more CPU and bandwidth, but if you’ve got a good device and a strong internet connection, you’ll want to check this box!

Your Microphone

Zoom will automatically adjust the level of your microphone by default. Usually, if you’re only using Zoom to chat, that would be great. But it can cause problems for playing music. Disabling this option will mean that you’ll have to set the level yourself, but it’s well worth it.

Unfortunately, the microphone level is always set to “auto” on mobile devices, but you can change it on your computer like so:

  • Go into Settings by launching the app and tapping the gear symbol instead of joining a meeting.
  • Select Audio from the menu on the left.
  • Uncheck the box under Microphone that says “Automatically adjust microphone level.”
  • We recommend setting the microphone at 100, but you may have to play with it a little to get the best results.

Zoom has quickly proven itself to be a powerful tool during these uncertain times. There’s plenty of settings and features to explore to get the most out of your Zoom musical experience. You’ve just got to be adventurous enough to search through settings.

If you’re looking to get in on the virtual music action, look no further than The Music Studio’s Online Lessons! Sign up today, we hope to see you soon!