Zoom music lessons and the 40 minute cut off

Are you getting caught out by the 40 minute limit on zoom?

I’ve read a lot of posts during lockdown about music teachers having only one student in the lesson, but then another one enters the waiting room setting off the timer. It’s annoying isn’t it!

There’s a lot of sense in getting the pro account as it makes for an easier life, but have you looked into the scheduling feature in the free account?

I’ve noticed a lot of misconceptions about it, so thought I’d tell you about my setup in case it helps other teachers. It’s easy to fix up and you only need to do it once for each student.

When you open zoom, click on ‘Schedule’ and enter the student’s name in the ‘Topic’ box at the top. Don’t add in any details in date and time and instead tick the ‘Recurring meeting’ box. This means you can start a meeting with that student at any time you like, simply by clicking on their name.

Monday morning, Tuesday afternoon – open the meeting whenever you wish! It stays in your list of meetings when you open zoom until you choose to delete it.

Make sure the ‘Waiting room’ box is also ticked when you set things up . This way while you are in another lesson or meeting with a different student, they will be there waiting for you until you arrive yourself and admit them.

Click on ‘show meeting invitation’ after creating the scheduled meeting, copy the meeting ID and password, then send to your student via email and text. Tell them this is their permanent lesson ID to use at every lesson.

If you have a lot of students though, like me, then you can end up with a long list of meetings. This is easily solved by organising each student by day. So all my students who are on a Monday have a capital letter A before their name (e.g. A Sarah Smith, A Lucy Jones etc.), Tuesdays have a capital B and so on.

It makes them so much easier to find. You could go one step further by adding numbers so they appear in the order you teach them (e.g. A1 Sarah Smith, A2 Lucy Jones etc.).

No more getting cut off and you can still use the waiting room facility in the free account. Hope you find this useful!

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