Rob demonstrating use of comical video filters, a tuba and fez hat have been added
Rob, with a comical tuba filter

Rob Innes is a ‘Knowledge Exchange‘ student from the University of Plymouth – Rob has taken part in, and supported PMZ’s weekly percussion session for adults ‘Baton Beats’. He wrote a guide for us, with some his tips for taking part in a Zoom music workshop. ‘Baton Beats’ is led by PMZ Intergenerational Coordinator and Music Leader, Rob Tilsley. Find out more about the session here. Over to Rob

1. Relax

It can feel as though everyone is watching you all the time but unlike a real meeting you won’t know who is looking at you. For instance, perhaps you’ve been late to something in person, and everyone in the room turns to look at you? That won’t happen on Zoom. Or, if it does, you won’t know, so why worry.

2. If you feel comfortable to, turn your microphone and camera on

We want to hear and see you if you’re okay with that. It can be very helpful for the leader to see how everyone is doing, they might also be able to sense if something is wrong and help.

3. Make sure your settings are correct

You need to turn your microphone right up so that it will pick up the sound quickly. It has been found that Zoom is not too music friendly and that the settings, especially for the microphone need to be adjusted. Be patient.

screen capture of zoom settings panel

4. Watch and listen carefully

Take your eye off what’s going on for one second and you may miss something. See 5.

5. If you do miss what’s happened, don’t worry

Keep calm and carry on, just think of it as a improvisation. As long as you are trying no one will mind, we all make mistakes. Do not forget – the person who didn’t make a mistake, didn’t do anything.

6. Be prepared to join in.

Your thoughts, opinions and what you do, are just as important as everyone else. Everyone has something to add, your opinions and ideas are never wrong.

7. The more you become involved, the more you get out of the session.

Immerse yourself in the music, let it fill you with satisfaction and to get at the centre of who you are.

8. If you can, get some silly backgrounds or facial add-ons, they are fun.

Wear a silly hat, it all adds to your own participation. Get creative!

9. Speak up if you notice something worth mentioning

If you see someone is trying to say something and they are being overlooked – bring it to the Music Leaders attention, they will be very grateful. How many times have we ourselves felt that we are being overlooked when in fact we are not, it is just that the leader has either forgotten or hasn’t seen our signal.

10. Above all. Enjoy Yourself

The more you put into it the more you will get from it.