Have you ZOOMED yet? If not, all of us in the PDC hope you will take advantage of these resources and learn how to access remote lessons, workshops, jams and festivals. 

BASICS – MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE MOST UPDATED VERSION OF ZOOM – all info below may change with the update.

1) Verify that you have a stable internet connection.  The fewer devices/programs using the internet, the stronger the signal.

2) Go to Zoom’s sign-up page to create a FREE account (or go to the App store to download the FREE Zoom for iCloud Meetings App) onto a device with camera and mic: desktop or laptop computer, iPad, iPhone or other type of tablet. Install the App after downloading. 

As a PARTICIPANT, you receive an invitation from a HOST by email.  Click on the link included.  Some hosts also provide a password and a waiting room for admittance into the event for security and management. 

STUDENTS need only the basic, free account. https://zoom.us/freesignup/

HOSTS: Free accounts have a 40 min. limit.  Zoom Pro accounts have unlimited time and other features for a $15 monthly fee.


There are many YouTube videos, tutorials and webinars on the HOW TO & set up.

Some have now come along that help to maximize settings for instrumental music rather than just talking.  Changing the audio settings as well as adding an external mic help increase the clarity of music.

Audio settings, Advanced settings.

• “Automatically adjust microphone volume” should NOT be selected

•  Disable both the “Suppress Persistent Background Noise & Intermittent Background        Noise”.       Leave as AUTO for “Echo Cancellation”.

Explanation of why these settings need to be changed.

https://plgmusic.com.au/news/2020/3/23/best-zoom-meeting-settings-for-remote-music-lessons  –  Info. for ‘remote’ music lessons.

“Turn on Original Sound” – option on computers. Is a toggle in upper left hand corner of the Zoom window. Will then say “Turn Off Original Sound.” Leave it alone.

Test your settings before a meeting or workshop!! Set up a meeting for yourself.


Adding even a simple external USB mic (not a speaker) if your device allows, will greatly improve your sound.  You won’t notice the difference but participants will!! Check out Amazon.  Example –  Conference mic, omnidirectional, for Computers, PC, Mac, streaming, Skype.  Designate the use of this mic in your Zoom settings as well as in system preferences on your device, if an option.


Can open the Chat box to read/write messages when you are muted.


Try out either, depending on group size and purpose of Zooming.


Can click on photo of Ex/ leader – click on 3 dots to Pin (enlarge) to see fuller view of an instrument or instructor.


The HOST admits everyone to the event through a waiting room.  Everyone participating is shown on the screen so be mindful of how you want to look as well as your background.  Fancy backgrounds are available, but they might have some distortion.  Because of sound delay annoyance the HOST mutes all except whoever is leading the tune.  It becomes a kind of a karaoke with each muted player only hearing the lead player and their own instrument.  It helps to have a common repertoire to draw on or music at the ready – whether sheet music, tab or memorized.


Individual lessons can be very successful if the instructor and student each set up their instruments and communication devices to view each other.  Facetime and Skype are other options besides Zoom.  A call and response format works.


Many musicians and organizers are developing plans to offer distance learning and entertainment.

Dulcimer Players News – Dulcimer resources galore!! https://www.dpnews.com


Open the file/sheet music to be shared and close other files on desktop. (Have music files in desktop folder) Host mutes participants except person leading the tune. Host or attendee – Click the green Share Screen icon. Click on the sheet music to be shared, then click on Share. Click on Stop Share to end.  https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362153-Sharing-your-screen


• Avoid Zoom-Bombing!!! Don’t share meeting log-in info. on social media. 

• Zoom security –Waiting Room is used to manage entry of participants. 

Stay up to date on recommendations. Watch tutorials.

• Try out your Zoom set up BEFORE your first workshop, etc. on Zoom.