Frequently asked questions

RMG Online Lessons

How do we set up an online session?

RMG Online Lessons uses Zoom.us as the chosen platform for online sessions, which offers a free basic service that provides more than enough features for one on one sessions. The user interface is fairly simple and compatible for both Mac and PC. Once enrolled and scheduled for a session, you will receive an invite email from Zoom.us with a link to click on to enter the session. Follow the instructions for installation of the Zoom application. It is recommended to give yourself 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the session to set up your computer and equipment just in case there may be some trouble shooting involved.

If there are complications involved on your end, we can communicate via chat to assist as much as possible to set up your end point. If the problem exceeds the limitations of our technical knowledge, we can contact Zoom technical support for further assistance.

Assuming that there are no complications setting up your end point for the video conference, there are a few things to keep in mind. You will need a microphone and headphones/speakers to be able to communicate and hear with. Most laptops have built-in microphone and speakers, and the way to check is to look under System Preferences > Sound. Zoom allows you to test your microphone and headphones/speakers to ensure you are sending and receiving signal. It is highly recommended to use headphones instead of speakers, as the close proximity of speakers and a microphone can cause echoes and feedback loops.

Once you have received the Zoom invite to the session, click on the link from Zoom to run the installer package. Zoom will then prompt you to join with either phone call or computer audio. Choose computer audio. Prior to selecting computer audio, you should select test speaker and microphone to ensure your equipment is working properly.

Once you have joined the session, there are a few preferences to select to optimize your session.

  • Click on Zoom.us in the upper left corner.
  • Choose Preferences
  • Under Microphone, make sure the box is deselected next to “Automatically adjust microphone settings”
  • Make sure the three check boxes under audio are also deselected.
  • Close Preferences Window.
  • Select Meeting tab in upper left corner
  • Choose Gallery view to change vew so that both participants are equally viewable side by side in the same size windows.

There are a couple of quick commands that will come in handy to remember:

  • Command + Shift + N = Change cameras

(Good if you have two cameras, one for close-up of instrument and hands, and one for over-all view.)

  • Command + Shift + A = Mute audio; unmute audio
  • Command + Shift + V = Mute video; unmute video

The Zoom sessions do have the capability to record and save the session, using the Record icon in the bottom right of the screen. The video and audio can be saved on your computer as an MP4, and it’s recommended to save the file either on your local hard drive, or a Cloud service to free up space on your computer.

What books and other materials do I need for lessons?

Rivas Music Group offers products from Hal Leonard and Alfred Music Publishing, which means that we have the ability to provide the materials you need to help you excel towards your goals. Although we have access to music method, technique, and songbook publications, instruments, accessories, and other items, the materials needed for lessons should be considered obtainable from any provider, whether it’s Amazon, or your local music store down the street. With that being said, we ask that you check with us first, to see if your materials can all be purchased as a one-stop shop for your convenience.


  • Instrument
  • Accessories, such as tuner, picks, sustain pedal
  • Method book(s)
  • Manuscript paper
  • Pencil
  • Notebook and Binder

Online Essentials:

  • Laptop
  • Webcam
  • Microphone
  • Headphones and speakers

Method Books:

Guitar – Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition (Books 1,2,3)

UPC: 073999498486

ISBN: 9780634047015

For kids - Alfred’s Kid’s Guitar Course Complete

UPC: 038081514680

ISBN: 9781470632021

Piano – Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course Level 1, Adult All-In-One Course (Lesson-Theory-


UPC: 038081422855

ISBN: 9780739082423

Alfred’s Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist In 60 Exercises

Small, Allan

UPC: 038081012377

ISBN: 0739017330

Piano For Kids - Alfred’s Kid’s Piano Course, Complete

UPC: 038081448268

ISBN: 9780739092576

Bass – Hal Leonard Bass Method Complete Edition (Books 1,2,3)

Friedland, Ed

UPC: 073999950748

ISBN: 9780793563838

Ukulele – Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 1 Plus Chord Finder

Lil’ Rev, Chad Johnson

UPC: 884088550592

ISBN: 9781617804571

Hal Leonard Ukulele Method Book 2

Lil’ Rev

UPC: 884088095123

ISBN: 9781423416180

For Kids – Alfred’s Kid’s Ukulele Course Complete

Ron Manus, L.C. Harnsberger

UPC: 038081452302

ISBN: 9780739093665

Mandolin – Hal Leonard Mandolin Method Book 1, Second Edition

Rich DelGrosso

UPC: 073999951028

ISBN: 9780793568789

Additional Recommended Resources:

Instruction Books:

Basic Rhythmic Training

Robert Starer

Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory

Surmani, Farnum Surmani, Manus

Carl Fischer Guitar Grimoire Scales and Modes

Adam Kadmon

Carl Fischer Guitar Grimoire Chord Encyclopedia

Adam Kadmon

Carl Fischer Guitar Grimoire Chords and Voicings

Adam Kadmon

Hal Leonard Guitar Aerobics

Troy Nelson

Hal Leonard Bass Aerobics

Jon Liebman

Hal Leonard Piano Aerobics

Wayne Hawkins

Hal Leonard Ukulele Aerobics

Chad Johnson

Pumping Nylon

Scott Tennant

Mobile Apps:

Pro Metronome

Designed by EUM

What is the attendance policy?

Please allow yourself 15 minutes to set up your equipment, as well as to test your microphone and video using Zoom’s test option prior to the beginning of each session. You will see the option when you open the Zoom session, and are prompted to choose computer audio or phone call. Remember to select computer audio.

If an event has come up that will prevent us from proceeding with the lesson, please notify me 24 hours in advance in order to reschedule the session. Unless it is an emergency situation, all make-up lessons will be granted with a 24-hour notice before the lesson.

What is the lesson rate and payment policy?

RMG offers weekly lessons with the option to schedule 30-minute blocks or hour sessions.

Rates are as follows:

30-minute lessons are $95 per month for one lesson per week (4 lessons)

1-hour lessons are $171.00 per month for one lesson per week (4 lessons)

Full payment is due prior to the start of the first lesson and billed monthly. For your convenience, we have online payment options and we accept all major credit cards.

RMG uses Square merchant services for fast easy payments, with the option to set up recurring payments. Clients are billed monthly with payments due no later than the 1st of each month.

I just need to prepare for an audition, can we do a pro-rated set of training sessions?

Absolutely. We can customize a pro-rated plan to cover the series of training lessons you desire to take before your audition.