Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach yoga, Nia, and stretch online!

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Posts Tagged ‘Block Rocker’

Keep It Simple To Start

Posted by terrepruitt on November 4, 2020

I keep hearing new teachers ask about teachers’ setup.  In this post I am specifically talking about Nia.  Since Nia has started conducting training online we are just getting a wealth of opportunities to meet (via Zoom) and learn various things.  I feel as if in every meeting there is one question about the Trainers’ set up.  I am posting this because when I hear the question about set up posed to a TRAINER the answer usually is $$$$$$.  I have been Zooming classes for seven months.  I started using a borrowed microphone.  It is an awesome mic, but it wasn’t GREAT for movement classes because it, the computer, or Zoom would decide what was “noise” and needed to be canceled, sometimes my voice and/or the music would get silenced.  Students need to hear both.  I just want to share about my set up because it might help someone get online.  Once online and teaching one can upgrade from there.

Some Nia teachers work in studios so they have a lot of equipment available to them.  Some Nia TRAINERS are the same.  But some Nia teachers, especially ones just starting out might want to keep it simple (less expensive) at first.  It is a HUGE investment to spend $400 on a microphone.  That was the cost of what one trainer shared she was using — and that didn’t include all of the equipment needed to make it work.

We are all doing it differently and we all have different needs, so I am not here saying anything is better than the other, I am saying that if you are new and you want to jump on Zoom and start teaching and you don’t want to invest in an expensive microphone and all that equipment (mixing boards, cables . . . I don’t even know) it requires, there are other options.

I am borrowing a laptop and a monitor with a camera in it.  I am using my ION Block Rocker.  I bought a wireless mic.  And my husband bought me a cable so the computer can be directly connected to the router (all the way across the house) and not use wireless.

First of all, connect directly to the internet . . . in other words avoid using wireless if you can.  If you can’t then try to make sure your device is in “line of sight” of your router.  I found doing that made a difference.

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The wireless microphone I purchased came with a splitter.  The splitter connects the wireless microphone transmitter to the computer AND it has a place for the AUX cord for my speaker.  My speaker is wireless, but I want to eliminate any factors that can cause lag so I connect via an AUX cord.  The speaker is also battery operated, but I plug it in.  My music is playing from iTunes via Zoom directly to the students, the speaker is for ME to hear the music.

For Nia I used a big monitor with the camera.  It is easier for me to see my students when I am moving around the studio (ie. living room with white curtains as back drop).  For the yoga and stretch classes I teach I use laptop and its camera.  Since I am more stationary in yoga and stretch I can see my students fine on the laptop.

Since I am not teaching a lot of classes right now the Kimafun Wireless Microphone I bought works great.  As time goes on and needs change so may the equipment, that is usually the case, but for now, I am just sharing, in my opinion, to start out you don’t have to spend a lot of money.  It is kind of like teaching, starting small . . . keep is simple with the option to expand as you go.

What are you using?  Do you have any advice for new teachers?  Do you have any advice for teachers new to online/Zoom teaching?

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Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I do hope it helps someone!

Mic on Amazon

Posted in Online Classes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »

Rockin’ The Block Or More Accurately My Nia Classes

Posted by terrepruitt on June 17, 2014

I teach Nia for the City of San Jose and the YMCA.  I have been teaching Gentle Yoga too, but that is different.  The Gentle Yoga classes are usually smaller both the actually room we are in and the number of people.  And with yoga we don’t need the music loud so often times my iPhone in the middle of the yoga mats serves us just fine.  But with Nia we need the music loud.  Not “Zumba-loud” because I still need to be heard over the music, but loud enough that I can hear my music cues and people can get a sense of the music.  With most of my classes the number of students is more than yoga and the venue is larger.  I actually have taught at some places where the audio system did not work so I tried using my phone and it did not have enough volume.  With Nia people follow my lead, but they also move their body in their own way so it helps them dance when there is music to dance too.  So since I teach in all different places and the audio system is not always the same I have a variety of speakers.  I had been looking at one for a couple of years, but never wanted to invest the money.  But one day my hubby and I were at Costco and we saw a device I had been looking at.  He wanted to get it.  I hemmed and hawed, but we came home with a Block Rocker.

I had almost bought one before but with every model they came out with something different so I was trying to decide which one to purchase.  Then they came out with a Bluetooth enabled version.  I wanted to know that I could still use an Aux cable because Bluetooth can be spotty.  I had not been able to determine that from my shopping online at first.  And then I forgot about it until I saw it in Costco.  We pulled it off the shelf and checked it out.  Read the box to make sure it would play music both ways — via Bluetooth or a cable.  And my hubby put it in the cart.  All the way around the store I kept thinking, “Yes.  No.  Yes.  No.”  and on and on.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaWe came home with it.  We plugged it in and hooked it up to our devices.  It was pretty cool.  Both my husband and I have used it around the house.  It does GREAT house sound.  Our house is an acoustical “weird-mare”, but it works great.  Both of us have used it out in the yard.  But none of that is in a big room with people in it.  And I am not complaining that the rooms I have been teaching in have sound systems.  That is GREAT.  I am very fortunate.  I have not had the opportunity to use my big speaker.

My Group Ex Nia Class with the City of San Jose on Tuesdays and Thursdays is normally held in the dance studio.  But this summer there is Summer Camp in there for the kids one week every month.  So at the beginning of the year my supervisor moved us from the dance studio to the Multipurpose room.  I didn’t know if this room had an audio system.  I have been telling my class for months that we were going to be in the MPR for a few classes this summer.  Then for the past two weeks I have been reminding them of the actual dates.  I would have been very upset with myself if I had shown up and not be prepared.  Here I have been preparing them for months and then I didn’t have music.  I am soooooooooo glad I thought about my Block Rocker.  This is EXACTLY what it is for.

I even remembered to charge it the night before.  Ya see it is a Bluetooth device and it has a rechargeable battery so it can be used totally cordless.  Squeeeee!

So I used it today and it worked GREAT.  I am super happy.  I love it when things work out.  I am so glad that Costco had it and it was such a good deal.  As I said, I had been shopping for them for a couple of years and was happy this one was priced lowest of them all.  Even though it was the newest model.

Here is some information copied from the ION website:

•Streams music wirelessly from any Bluetooth music-playing device or phone
•Works with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android devices, and more
•Input for a microphone (came with a microphone), instruments and other audio sources
•High-quality microphone included
•Built-in digital AM/FM radio and retractable antenna
•USB port for charging iPad, iPhone, or other devices
•Built-in battery provides up to 50 hours of use
•Bluetooth range of up to 50 feet
•High-output powered 2-way speaker
•1/8-inch auxiliary input for amplifying other audio devices
•Recessed wheels and telescoping handle for portability
•Rugged design to withstand heavy use
•Projects high-fidelity sound up to 150 feet away
•Built-in cradle for your smartphone, iPad, or other device

It does not have an equalizer so it will not be “perfect” sound.  It is what it is.  It is great . . . in my opinon . . . for exercise classes.  Oooo, I am so excited.  You know me, I like to share when I am excited about things.  When I learn of something that helps make MY life easier I like to share.  I like to let you know so perhaps it can help one of you.

Can you see yourself owning one?  Do you think you could use one?  Do you like to have people over for outside grilling and/or BBQing?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »