Get social with us!

Helping people join

Sometimes the biggest hurdle for participants new to Zoom is joining the meeting: navigating the process for downloading Zoom desktop or mobile client app as well as clicking from the invitation to the meeting. For example, people unfamiliar with computers may not know that you can click on underlined or coloured text to open a hyperlink. We recommend these participants have a designated tech buddy to help them connect, as it is difficult for the leader to start their session while trouble-shooting participants' issues.

This Participant Helpsheet developed for CMVic’s Grantville Online is an example of how to help people join and set expectations in positive and accessible language - feel free to use this for new participants.

Etiquette for participant interaction

It is important to set realistic expectations for participants, especially regarding the fact they will be muted and cannot sing or play together in the same way they did when we were in the one room. Pointing people to the chat function and having a dedicated group member monitoring that function is a good way to help participants feel socially engaged while not interrupting your teaching flow and, thereby, the entire workshop. Also having a dedicated time for social interaction before, during or after the session can help keep people feel connected in what is a socially challenging time for many. 

Pointing participants to the view options can help them have a more socially engaging experience. CMVic’s Grantville Online Participant Helpsheet includes an explanation of these functions that also aims to set participant expectations and familiarise themselves with Zoom etiquette

Sharing sound and screen

Using pre-recorded tracks to teach is a great way to have people experience the feeling of practicing with many parts. By using the Share Screen and Share Sound functions you can send your computer sound directly to your participants computers without it going through a microphone, hence it is much clearer at their end.

It is best to mute yourself and all other participants while you share computer sound, as your microphone will have a delay and may create an echo effect. You can’t sing or play along with your track because microphone sound does not process at the same speed as the computer sound, hence you’ll have a time-lag or “latency”. There are some ways around this, including using a mixing desk, or playing your backing tracks into your microphone from another device - which results in much lower quality sound than sound share.

TIP: If you pre-record multiple parts with Audacity or Garageband, then you can mute some parts while you play others without having to make multiple files.

IMPORTANT: Prior to starting your session you should open the files you will be sharing and close any screens you are not using on your computer. This will make it easier to find the window that you are trying to share when you are in the middle of the session.

How to Screen Share and Sound Share

  1. Click the green Share Screen button in the meeting controls panel. 
  2. Select the screen you want to share. You can also choose an individual application that is already open on your computer, the desktop.
  3. Check the box Share Computer Sound (bottom left) so sound played by your computer will play directly through participant devices.
  4. Click Share (bottom right). Zoom will automatically switch to full screen to optimize the shared screen view. 
  5. To exit full-screen, click Exit Full Screen in the top-right corner or press the Esc key. 

TIP: Zoom has a Side by Side Mode that makes the view adjustable so you can see more participants while Screen Sharing. See these instructions for Side by Side Mode when Screen Sharing.

How to Mute and Unmute everyone

You can Mute and Unmute All and ensure people can’t unmute themselves. Importantly you want to mute yourself and Zoom Host - always check that they too are muted. 

Mute and Unmute All Using the Participant Panel:
  1. Click on Manage Participants - - in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window. This will open the Participant Panel which shows the list of people in the meeting.
  2. At the bottom the Participant Panel are buttons for Mute All and Unmute all - Click as required
  3. Check that only the Workshop Leader is unmuted. The Host and MS need to also muted
  4. IMPORTANT: The More drop down button includes an option “Allow Participants to Unmute themselves”. For Grantville Online we will NOT be ticking that box - as giving people the ability to unmute themselves will be disruptive to Workshop leaders.


How and when to use Spotlight view, Speaker view, Gallery view

The Host and Cohosts can Spotlight the Workshop Leader (or performing participant), which enlarges their window for all participants. 

IMPORTANT: Spotlight changes everyone’s view, in contrast to “Pin video” which only changes your local view.

Spotlight Video using the user’s Zoom window
  1. Hover over the participant’s Zoom window.
  2. Click the more icon (the three dots)  
  3. Click Spotlight Video
Spotlight Video Using the Participant Panel
  1. Click on Manage Participants - - in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window. This will open the Participant Panel which shows the list of people in the meeting.
  2. Hover over the name of the participant wyou wish to spotlight, and choose More.
  3. Click Spotlight Video
To Cancel a Spotlight
  1. Click Cancel the Spotlight Video in the upper-left corner of their Zoom window.
  2. This will return the meeting to Active Speaker. 

IMPORTANT: When you turn Spotlight off - all participants are left in Speaker View and will need to choose Gallery View again if that is their preferred mode.


How to find participants in the Participant Pane

Names in the participants list appear in the following order:

  1. You
  2. The host (If you’re not the host)
  3. Phone numbers with no names 
  4. Unmuted participants (sorted alphabetically)
  5. Muted participants (sorted alphabetically)


How to assign host and co-host roles

There are two ways that a Host can make a user a co-host.

Assign co-host using the user’s Zoom window:
  1. Hover over the participant’s Zoom window.
  2. Click the more icon (the three dots)  
  3. Click Make Co-Host.
Assign co-host using the Participant panel:
  1. Click on Manage Participants - - in the meeting controls at the bottom of the Zoom window. This will open the Participant Panel which shows the list of people in the meeting.

  2. Hover over the name of the participant who is going to be a co-host, and choose More.
  3. Click Make Co-Host.
  4. Once a participant has been made a co-host, they'll have access to the co-host controls.


Audio: turning off Zoom’s audio filters

Zoom applies filters to the sound coming in and out of your computer, so that background noise (like music, singing, fans, traffic, etc.) is filtered out of what participants can hear. These filters are what gives singing, instruments and music that strange wishy-washy sound. 

Presenters and participants can turn off these filters so that everyone hears the best quality sound when making music. 

Step-by-step instructions for how to turn off Zoom’s audio filters to improve sound quality: 
  1. Select the up (^) icon next to the microphone in the bottom left hand corner of the Zoom screen and select “Audio Settings…”
  2. A screen will pop up where you can set the volume for your Output (i.e. the sound coming out of your device through a speaker or headphones) and Input (i.e. the sound going into your device via an inbuilt or external microphone). 
  3. Press the “Advanced” setting button in the bottom right of that box to open Advanced settings
  4. Check the box “Show in-meeting option to “Enable Original Sound” from microphone”. 
  5. Suppress Persistent Background Noise - click on the box that says “Auto” and choose “Disable” from the drop-down menu
  6. Suppress Intermittent Background Noise - click on the box that says “Auto” and choose “Disable” from the drop-down menu
  7. Leave Echo cancellation as “Auto” and close the window
  8. In the main Zoom window, an option will now appear on the top left to “Turn On Original Sound”. Press this button and the wishy-washy sound will not be heard by others when you sing or play.  Note: when original sound is on, the text on that button will show “Turn Off Original Sound”. 

Good explainer videos showing how to turn off Zoom’s audio filters:


Video: getting the most out of what you have

The Grantville Online participant instructions (see above) include some basic trouble-shooting if Zoom fails to recognise your external webcam or microphone. If you’re using your devices’ inbuilt camera and mic, here’s a succinct explanation of how to get the best quality sound and video from the equipment you already have. Instructions for Smart Phones start at 6:30s:

TIPS for Zoom video:
  1. Have your primary light source shining on your face and avoid bright lights behind you (especially windows) so you are not back-lit and in silhouette. This could mean putting a lamp either above or next to your camera.

  2. Have your camera at slightly above eye height to give the best angle for faces.

  3. If you want to show close ups of your instrument you could try one of these options:

    1. Join the meeting on a second device (e.g. phone) that is focussed on your instrument and spotlight that window when required. 

    2. If you have multiple cameras set up on your computer with appropriate Zoom permissions, then you can switch camera using the Video pop-up menu (the “^” arrow next to the camera icon located on the bottom left-hand corner of the Zoom screen).


Go to: Index Page; Leading Community Music Online; Choosing the Right Programs for Online LeadingVirtual Rooms for Meeting Up;Project-based Apps for Making, Performing and LearningStoring and Sharing FilesAudio and Video: Home Studio on a Budget