UPDATED For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

To help you get the most from my online Pilates classes, a few tips…

WiFi Signal

First, try and have the device you’re using to access the class as near to the router as possible.  The router should face in towards the centre of the room.  Next, remove/turn off any cordless devices nearby, e.g. phones, baby monitors and any other devices that use a WiFi signal.  This will ensure you have the best WiFi signal you can get.

Better still would be to connect to the router via an ethernet cable.  You can ask your internet provider if they can provide one (Virgin Media sent me one without charge) or alternatively they are readily available to buy from a variety of retailers that stock computer accessories.

Finally, shutdown all the other apps etc that you may have running in the background so that all your device’s resource is concentrated on running Zoom as efficiently as possible. It also stops you being distracted during the class by notifications etc popping up.

Audio

I use an external USB mic during my online Pilates classes.  To optimise the sound quality still further I’d recommend you change the Zoom audio settings on your device.  It’s very easy to do.

If you use the Zoom app on your tablet or phone, simply click the gear icon on the home page to access the ‘Settings’ page…

…then scroll down and make sure the ‘Use Original Sound’ button is switched on…

That’s it.  You’re now all set to hear me without any noise suppression, which can make the audio signal chop in and out.  Noise suppression is helpful in a busy office environment where there is a lot of background noise but not necessary in an online Pilates class at home setting.

If you use a laptop or desktop, the above process is very similar plus you have a few more advanced setting options which will enhance the audio even further. You can make these changes before the class as follows…

First, open up Zoom Client, go to the home page and click on the gear icon top right to access the ‘Settings’ page…

On the ‘Settings’ page, select ‘Audio’ and uncheck the box next to ‘Automatically adjust microphone volume.’  This now allows you to control the volume of your speakers and mic by moving the sliders…

On the same ‘Audio Settings’ page, click the Advanced button bottom right, which brings up this screen…

Check the box next to ‘Show in-meeting option to ‘Enable Original Sound’ from microphone.’  Then in the ‘Audio Processing’ section of this page, disable the ‘Suppress Persistent Background Noise’ and ‘Suppress Intermittent Background Noise’…

You can also make the above changes after you’ve joined the online class in the 5-10 minutes before we begin.  In the bottom left of the screen next to the mic icon is an arrow.  Click it and you can see ‘Audio settings’ at the bottom of the list.  Click this and it brings up the screens shown above so you can make the changes I’ve described.

Speakers

To further enhance the sound quality during my online classes, you might want to use external USB speakers.  Almost any on the market will give you better quality sound than the internal speakers in your device.  I have the Creative Pebble Plus 2.1 Speaker Set –  not too expensive, very good sound quality and nice design.

Video

Finally, I use a webcam instead of the internal camera on my laptop so the quality of the images should be top notch.

Hope that helps.  See you online in class soon.

 

 

Pre-class Chat

One of the many benefits of going regularly to a Pilates class is the social aspect – the friends you make and catch up with each week.  This is particularly important for those who live alone or who, due to the pandemic feel they’ve become a bit disconnected from others.

To address this I’d like to provide more of a chance for people to chat before my online classes.  From the 7 June I’ll be opening up each session fifteen minutes ahead of the start time.  I’ll use the Zoom gallery view setting so you can see as well as hear each other.  If you’d rather not be seen just leave your video off.  I piloted this idea in last Friday’s class and it went down well.  It also means those of you who have family and friends  from other parts of the UK who attend the online class with you, have a chance to connect more.

As always the Pilates session itself will start dead on time, microphones and videos will be off and I’ll use the usual Zoom speaker view setting so you can just see me doing the exercises with you and hear my instructions without any background noise from others.

For those who’d prefer not to join the pre-class chat, no problem.  Simply log on in the five minutes before the start time.

See you soon.

To close, here’s Billie Marten.  Eyes closed, volume up to experience the song in all its glory…

New PILATES X MELISSA online classes

I’m now able to offer online Pilates classes via Zoom. I’ve found a way to make each class “closed” by which I mean only accessible to those who have been through the proper booking, registration and payment process. This is essential so participants are safe and I remain covered by my insurance.

The online classes will take place on Mondays 1230 to 1330, Wednesdays 1915 to 2015 and Fridays 0930 to 1030. They will start this Wednesday 15 April and cost £6.50.

Everything you need to know about them – who they’re suitable for, what to expect from the class, how to book and pay, how to join the class on the day etc, is on the Online Classes page of my website.

To close, here’s Hannah from this year’s The Greatest Dancer competition with a stunning contemporary dance piece to inspire our Pilates movements.  Sequin catsuit – want!