Sunburst is now offering online lessons and programs through Zoom! We put together a guide to help students get the most out of their online lesson experience.

ZoomEquipment/Connection

In order to connect to Zoom.us, you will need one of the following devices:

  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • Mac or PC with Camera and Microphone (recommended)

You’ll also need an internet connection that can handle the call:

  • WIFI Internet with speeds of at least 5mbps download and upload.
  • Zoom calls work over strong 4G LTE connections and use approx 500mb per hour.

Other recommended equipment: 

  • Headphones (recommended)
  • 2nd Device w/ speaker to play music in the room with you
  • Stand for phone or tablet

Getting Setup

  • Download and install the Zoom.us App:
  • To join the meeting:
    • Click “Join Meeting” in the Zoom app
    • Enter in our phone number for the meeting ID: 412 475 8280
    • Enter your Full Name for Screen Name
    • click “Join”
  • Please join the meeting at least 5 minutes early to make sure we can start on time.
  • Follow onscreen prompts to allow Zoom to use your camera and microphone.

        

Waiting Room and Lesson

We have a little virtual waiting room set up to help make connecting students and teachers as easy as possible. 

  • Once you’re in the waiting room, our admin will check in to make sure you’re good to go with all of your equipment and everything, then we’ll move you to a room with your teacher as soon as their available. 
  • Make sure to unmute your microphone
  • At the conclusion of your lesson click “Leave” then:
    • If you have more questions for the admin click “Return to Main Session” and follow above steps to initiate a chat.
    • If not, click “Leave Meeting”

Other tips and tricks:

Headphones / Microphone

Since music is the name of the game, having both students and teachers wear headphones greatly improves the overall experience. Headphones with a microphone (such as apple air buds or a gaming headset) are even better. Also, if you have an audio interface at home, try setting up headphones and a microphone through your computer for the best possible audio! Let us know if you have any questions as far as equipment and best practices go, we’d be happy to help.

Improve Audio by Turning Off Noise Suppression

Zoom has an automatic feature called noise suppression that can cause loud instruments to cut out during calls. Unfortunately, it can only be disabled on a Mac or PC (this is the main reason we recommend using a computer over a phone or tablet).

In the Zoom App, navigate to:

Preferences>Audio>Advanced> 

Then set both "Suppress background noise" options to "Disable"

 

Playing Music

Playing or singing along with recorded music is a big part of lessons. The best way to facilitate this is to have a separate device with speakers in the room with the student, that can play audio from Spotify, Youtube etc., this allows you to hear the music well enough to play along to without latency, and lets your teacher better observe.

Lesson Materials

Your instructor may share lesson materials with you during your call. They will be put up on the screen and If you’d like to save them for later, take a screenshot: 

  • IOS:     HOME + POWER buttons
  • Android:      Press the Power button for a few seconds. Then tap Screenshot.
  • Mac:       COMMAND + SHIFT + 4 then drag and click
  • PC:       PrtScn button

Your instructor may also email lesson materials after the lesson to the email address on your account.

Record Your Lesson

You can record part or all of your lessons to review later while practicing! 

  • On Mac/PC - Click Record along the bottom, then select Record to Computer
  • IOS - Instructions here

It’s that time of year again! We’re excited to announce our 2020 Spring Break and Summer Camp Lineup! At Sunburst, our camps are all about learning new and fun aspects of music-making, working together on multimedia projects, and performing in front of a live audience. This year our campers will create an EDM-inspired playlist of their own beats and loops, put together a 90’s rock show for the ages, write and perform a funk-rock opera, and record an album of all-original music in our recording studio. 

Sign up before March 1st and get $50 off! We have multi-camp and referral discounts available, and financial aid as needed. Read about our camps and sign up here, and let our admin team know if you have any questions.

Beats and Loops Resize90s Punk CampFunk Opera posterCamp Studio 1

60224231 1228666227302338 3344494331930083328 nCheck out some of these upcoming shows from Sunburst students and instructors and support local music! 

3/13 - hunnycomb single release with Donora at Spirit Lodge

  • Catch Sunburst instructors Chloe, Kevin and Casey and Sunburst News Editor in Chief, Alex
  • Doors 9:00PM
  • $10 Advance / $13 Door
  • 21+

3/21 - Tunnel Vision at Sunburst

  • Spring into Spring with an evening of classic rock featuring Tunnel-Vision (Lead by Sunburst student Richard) and opening act Sunburnt (One of our SBR 21+ Bands).
  • Doors 6:00PM, Show 6:45-9:00PM
  • $10
  • BYOB

3/28 - 2020 Sunburst House Band debut performance at Pittsburgh Ed Fest

  • The inaugural show for this year’s house band takes place at Pittsburgh Ed Fest at Oakland Catholic High School
  • Show 1:00-1:20PM

printable summer activity planner binder 03We know that summer is a busy time for our students between vacations, summer camps, and spending time outside.

That’s why we offer a special pricing model to help students keep up their practice and keep their time slot with their favorite teacher even if they have to miss a little bit of time between June, July and August.

Be on the lookout for details on this year’s Summer Lite Plan next month, and let us know if you have any questions - it’s never too early to start mapping out your summer plans.

sam bio picOur teacher of the month for February is our amazing voice teacher Sam!

What kind of music do you like to play?

I always sang really classical stuff in college, and that's still my go-to, but lately, I've enjoyed playing guitar and singing some more contemporary stuff, and seeing how my "classical" voice can be used in a popular music context. 

How did you get into music? 

I always loved singing, and when I was 13 I started taking voice lessons and never stopped. I went into college undecided about what I wanted to do, and I ended up majoring in music because it was the one thing I always came back to. 

What's your favorite thing about being a teacher? 

I love helping people discover their own potential. I know first hand how powerful it feels to have your voice to something you didn't know you were capable of, or to feel pride in something you've been working on, and as a teacher, I get to guide students through that experience and it's awesome.

Any advice for aspiring musicians out there? 

When it comes to voice, there's a misconception that you need to have some kind of innate talent to be a singer or a voice student. Plenty of people, of all ages, start piano or guitar without knowing anything beforehand, and voice is the same way. Anyone can learn to sing, and it takes just as much practice and hard work as any other instrument to be good at it. 

Sunburst is starting a songwriter video series where we’ll be featuring students of all ages working on their own original music. It’s a great opportunity for any of our students to highlight what they’re working on, and a great milestone to work towards. We'll be announcing our first shoot in the next month.

Please RSVP here if you’d like to participate!

 

Sunburst is welcoming 3 new instructors this month! Here's a little bit about each of them:

Ryan Hoffman squareRyan - Guitar and Uke Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I'm a runner
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Indie Rock
  • Why do you love music?: Music can be different things in so many different ways. It can be peaceful, energizing, or calming. It is a great way too of channeling your emotions.

 

Aaron SquareAaron - Voice Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I'm fluent in German
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Indie Pop
  • Why do you love music?: Music is a great way to meet people and connect with them! 

 

 

Matt Price Square

Matt - Drum Instructor

  • Fun Fact: I know how to juggle!
  • Favorite Genre of Music: Instrumental music from ambient electronics and progressive metal
  • Why do you love music?: Music is a universal language that is a tool for expressing the inexpressible.

We are working on some new options for supplemental programs geared towards our adult students, and we would love to get some of your ideas! We’ll be hosting a focus group for our adult students on Saturday, January 25th from 3-5pm, and would like to invite any adult student to come and share their ideas.

Please RSVP by emailing, calling, or stopping in at the desk, and let us know if you have any questions.

House Band

The Sunburst House Band is an exciting opportunity for our most dedicated students to really get serious about playing and performing. Each year we hold an audition open to any students ages 10-17 to try out for voice, guitar, keyboards, bass or drums. Afterward our panel of judges will select the most advanced students for each instrument and draft a 6-8 person group for the 2020 Season.

The House Band meets once per week on Sunday evenings for rehearsals and performs upwards of 20 times per year at a variety of shows and events all over Pittsburgh. The band also records regularly and works on original material.

Full information on how to prepare for our House Band Auditions can be found here.

We’d also like to say here that going through the process of an audition is a valuable skill-builder in and of itself, so we’d like to encourage absolutely everyone interested to audition.

There are a few shows left for the 2019 House Band, catch them this Friday 1/10 performing at Sunburst!

We’re super excited about the official launch of our new WSBR: Sunburst Radio program! In this program, students will learn the ins and outs of music production, recording, beat making, podcasting and more! Check out the first episode and sign up for a free trial of the class!