Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is ToneRow?

    ToneRow is a simple way for teachers and students to have one-on-one lessons online and to engage with one another. We provide best-in-class videoconferencing with video annotation, scheduling, and social networking features to enable a meaningful learning experience.

  • How much does it cost to join?

    Membership is completely free. Our goal is to provide great tools at no charge so teachers can focus on building their studio, and students on learning from the best teachers for them.

  • How do I find a teacher and book a session?

    You can browse teachers’ profiles, and search through filters for results tailored to your needs. If you want to contact a teacher or book a session, you must be signed into ToneRow.

  • How is payment processed through ToneRow?

    All financial transactions occur via PayPal. ToneRow does not obtain or collect credit card or bank information from its users. When students book a session, payment information is held by PayPal until 24 hours after the session ends, at which point payment is then processed.

  • Can I pay with any currency?

    All prices are listed in USD and all payments are received in USD. If you pay with a different currency, PayPal will convert the money to the equivalent amount in USD. An additional fee may be applied. Please see PayPal’s policy regarding foreign currency transactions. Click here to view PayPal's foreign currency transactions policy.

  • Does ToneRow use Skype?

    No, we have integrated an advanced videoconferencing platform optimized for high quality audio and video music transmission. It’s an innovative and exciting technology that currently works on Chrome, FireFox, and Internet Explorer. Based on your equipment and network speed, you now have the potential to communicate with near CD-quality audio and HD video.

  • Is the lesson platform like other commonly used videoconferencing services?

    In addition to superior audio quality, ToneRow's videoconferencing has layout options optimized for lessons: side-by-side, which is best for comparison of teacher and student motion, landscape v. portrait to accommodate vertical instruments (like the double bass) and horizontal ones (like the guitar), and large/small to see the other party more closely. Also, lessons are recorded by default to allow students to review lessons and thereby accelerate learning. Either party may delete the recording if desired.

  • What are the technical requirements for using your video platform?

    A Mac or PC laptop or desktop with an up-to-date version of Chrome, FireFox, or Internet Explorer. A built-in camera and microphone. For a better experience, simple earbuds help, and for higher quality, we recommend an external USB microphone (for example by Apogee, Blue, Audio-Technica, or Shure), a professional headset or USB speaker, and for greater mobility, a HD webcam. A broadband connection with a recommended minimum download and upload speed of 5 Mbps.

  • How do I test my internet connection speed?

    You can test your network bandwidth at speedtest.net. A minimum speed of 5 Mbps (download and upload) is recommended. The higher the bandwidth, the more stable the audio and video connection.

  • What do I need to start giving or taking lessons?

    At minimum, you will need a computer with a front-facing camera, a built-in microphone, and a broadband connection. If you feel your video and audio quality aren’t up to your expectations, using an earbud is helpful, though we recommend investing in a good USB mic and USB speaker or headset. It’s always a good idea to have a pencil, tuner and metronome nearby in case you need them. And don’t forget your music and your instrument!

  • What kind of internet connection do I need?

    Any high-speed DSL, FiOS, or cable connection works. However, the faster your connection speed, the better your audio and video experience will be on ToneRow. You can check your upload and download speeds at speedtest.net.

  • How do I manage time zones and scheduling?

    ToneRow automatically adjusts to your computer’s time zone. Everything you see on the site will be in your current time zone. Likewise, the other party sees lesson requests and lesson times in his or her time zone. When making lesson requests, don't adjust lesson times to the other party's geographical location – just schedule it in your own time zone and the computer will do the rest!

  • When can I enter the lesson platform?

    Teacher and student can enter the video platform independently any time within 30 minutes of the lesson. This is especially useful if you want to check your video setup ahead of time so as not to use up precious lesson minutes to make adjustments. You can leave the platform and re-enter at any time during the lesson.

  • What happens if I get disconnected during a lesson?

    Not to worry! If your wifi decides suddenly to disappear or if you accidentally exit the video platform, you can always re-enter at any point during the lesson. Just go back to your lesson page and the magic words 'Enter Video Lesson' will be there for you.

  • What is 'Meet and Greet'?

    'Meet and Greet' is a feature that allows students to book a free introductory session with a teacher. It is available only if the teacher has chosen to offer it, and can be used just to chat for a few minutes or for a lesson. It's up to the teacher and student.

  • Does ToneRow offer group lessons?

    At this time, we do not offer multi-party lessons. We are working on integrating this feature as soon as we feel transmission quality will not be degraded. When we do, you will be able to offer group lessons.

  • Why do I need an access code and how to I get one?

    The access code allows students to register on ToneRow. We require access codes to select for a student community that is serious and dedicated. While most students are referred by existing members, including our faculty and students, you can easily reach out to our team. Email us at hello@tonerow.com and tell us why you want to learn on ToneRow. If you are approved, you will receive an access code within 1-2 days.

  • How do I search for a teacher?

    Start by selecting the subject you would like to learn. From the list of recommended teachers, you can browse or add more filters until you find the perfect match.

  • Can I meet the teacher first?

    Yes. On the teacher's profile, below 'Inquire to Book', is the 'Meet and Greet' feature: a one-time free introductory meeting with teachers who offer it. Click on it, and schedule a free session with the teacher you choose. This is an easy way to find out if you're a good fit for each other.

  • How much are lessons?

    Teachers set their own lesson fee. Rates vary by many factors, including experience, student level, length of lesson, geographical location. Make sure you discuss this with your teacher before booking a lesson. The rate you see includes a commission added to the teacher's lesson fee for platform maintenance and PayPal fee.

  • How do I pay for lessons?

    If you are in the United States, the booking process will prompt you to make payment directly with a credit or debit card. You only need to enter this information once per teacher if you wish. For subsequent lessons, the system will remember the card and booking will be as easy as choosing date and time. If you are outside the United States, you will be directed to a PayPal page where you can make payments from your PayPal account or through a credit or debit card. You will be asked to re-enter the information for each lesson. Wherever you are, payment is streamlined and easy. If you have been taking ToneRow lessons outside of the U.S. and then travel to the U.S. and schedule a lesson there, you must remember to change your location in Settings on your computer, then enter your credit card information in your ToneRow account. This is very important, since U.S. and non-U.S. payments methods are different and ToneRow will not automatically recognize you are in a different country if your computer's location isn't changed.

  • How far in advance do I need to schedule a session?

    We encourage you to book a session at least 5 days in advance out of courtesy to the teacher, but you may request a session as little as five minutes prior to session start time. It is then up to the teacher to accept or decline your request. If the teacher does not accept your request, you will not be charged for the session, and you may request a different time. 

  • What is your cancellation policy?

    Cancellations are possible at the latest 24 hours prior to the start of the session on the ToneRow site. There is no cancellation fee and the session is not charged. Most teachers are flexible when it comes to rescheduling. Please contact them at least 24 hours in advance.

  • If I cannot resolve a problem with a teacher, what happens?

    We believe that most disputes can be resolved amicably between teacher and student. However, If you are not satisfied with a lesson, please contact us at hello@tonerow.com within 24 hours of the lesson, and you will be refunded. We will also be glad to help you find a new teacher.

  • What happens if the lesson goes over the allotted time? Do I get charged for overtime?

    No! It is up to your teacher's discretion to give you extra time. You will be charged only what both parties agreed to prior to the lesson.

  • Are my financial transactions and information safe on ToneRow?

    Yes, absolutely. All sensitive payment information – credit card, bank number – is stored with PayPal, not with ToneRow.

  • How can I join the ToneRow faculty?

    All ToneRow teachers are vetted to maintain high teaching standards. We encourage you to apply by clicking "Join the Faculty" on the homepage. If you have questions about the process, write us at hello@tonerow.com. We're always happy to answer questions.

  • How do I get notification of a new student?

    When students are interested in taking lessons with you, they will inquire to book from their ToneRow account. You will then receive a notification of their request and once you've approved them, they will be able to schedule and pay for lessons on ToneRow.

  • How will ToneRow help me find students?

    It is often challenging for teachers to find new students. With a beautiful, free profile on ToneRow and a ready marketplace for students and teachers, your skills and accomplishments will be visible to students around the world searching for teachers like you. We are working on additional tools to match and connect you with good students, and we will soon be enabling students to indicate on their profile that they are looking for teachers. And with mobile tools and marketing resources, you will be extending your reach further.

  • How can I let people know I'm now teaching on ToneRow?

    Use your personalized web address, tonerow.com/yourname, and publish it on all your promotional material: your personal or professional website, concerto bio, Facebook About page, LinkedIn bio. In particular, adding it to your email signature means every time you send out an email, people will be prompted to go directly to your profile page.

  • What is 'Meet and Greet'?

    This is an optional feature that allows new students to book a free introductory session with you. We recommend enabling it to give new students a chance not only to meet you and for you to assess the student, but to try ToneRow without risk the first time. Unlike regular lessons, 'Meet and Greets' are not recorded. It's entirely up to you whether you want to just chat for a few minutes, or listen to the student play, or give a full lesson. If you do not want to be contacted for a Meet and Greet, you may opt out at any time by going to Account Settings > Meet and Greet.

  • What if I don't want to be contacted by new students?

    Because we know that privacy needs are different for each teacher, we offer three privacy options. To choose your option, go to "Account Privacy" under "Settings." 1) Visible and searchable to all: anyone browsing the internet or ToneRow can find you and look at your profile. This is the default and most open option. 2) Visible and searchable only on ToneRow: only ToneRow users (students and teachers) can browse your profile and contact you for lessons. 3) Visible only to your ToneRow students: if your schedule is full and you do not wish to be contacted by new students, this is the option for you.

  • What are ToneRow’s cancellation and rescheduling policies?

    ToneRow does not allow cancellations within 24 hours of session start time. Beyond that, we trust that you know best what works for you, so you set your own rules regarding lateness, no show, and rescheduling policies. Make sure your student understands these rules from the beginning in order to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Can I schedule lessons with students?

    Yes! Sometimes it's more practical for the teacher to schedule lessons instead of the student. That way, the teacher does not have to wait for students to book. Once students receive the lesson time request, they will be prompted to confirm and go through the payment process.

  • How do I make changes to a booked session?

    We ask students that all changes to scheduling be made at least 24 hours before start of lesson out of courtesy to the teacher. We ask that you return the courtesy to your student. If you need to cancel or reschedule, go to your Scheduled Sessions page and cancel or reschedule the session. Your student will be automatically notified by email.

  • Can I charge different rates for different students?

    We at ToneRow understand the need for flexible rates, especially when you are teaching students from different cultural and economic backgrounds around the world. So we have devised a system to give you the most flexibility. When a new student submits a request to take lessons with you, you have the option to change the rate as you accept the student, as well as any time during the course of your relationship with that student. In addition, if you are giving a make-up lesson to a student who has already paid tuition to a school, you can request that your rate be set to $0 for that student for the duration of the make-up period. Simply send us an email at hello@tonerow.com. All rate changes will be reflected immediately the next time the student books a lesson with you.

  • How do I get paid?

    We use PayPal for payment transactions and session fees are deposited in your account within 24 hours of the lesson. In order for students to book sessions with you, we need the email address associated with your PayPal account. If you do not have a PayPal account, it’s very easy to set up. Go to Paypal's website and sign up, then go to your Profile Settings on ToneRow to enter your PayPal email address.


    One thing to keep in mind. U.S. and non-U.S. payment methods are different. If a student has been taking lessons with you from outside of the U.S. then travels to the U.S. and schedules a lesson, they need to remember to change the computer's location in Settings in order to be billed correctly.

  • Are there fees involved in teaching on ToneRow?

    Our philosophy is that you should receive the total amount of your teaching fee. When a student books a lesson, a commission for platform maintenance and PayPal fees is added to your rate. Your students see a total amount of lesson rate + commission. As we grow, we plan to develop innovative ways to give back to the community.

  • If I cannot resolve a problem with a student, what happens?

    We believe that most disputes can be resolved amicably between teacher and student. However, if a situation occurs where neither party can come to an agreement, a complaint may be filed with ToneRow administration at hello@tonerow.com within 24 hours of session completion and we will help resolve the situation.

  • I am registered as a teacher, but want to take lessons on ToneRow. Can I do that?

    Yes, of course! You do not need a student profile to BE a student on ToneRow. Just find the teacher you want to study with and send a lesson request.

  • I am having trouble starting my session. What should I do?

    Don't panic! Make sure you are connected to the internet and test your connectivity at speedtest.net. Make sure you are using Chrome or Firefox (not Safari). The first time you use ToneRow, Chrome will prompt you to allow access to the computer's microphone and camera. If you still cannot enter the lesson, restart your browser. If this doesn't fix the problem, restart your computer. This fixes 99% of all connectivity issues. Computers are complicated machines and sometimes a simple clean wipe is needed to get things back on track.

  • Why isn’t my camera or microphone working in Chrome?

    When you enter a session for the first time in ToneRow, Chrome will ask you to allow it access to your microphone and camera. Please click “Allow.” Usually, this is all that is necessary. Sometimes, however, another application will prevent Chrome from accessing your mic and camera, and you may have to shutdown and/or restart the other app and Chrome. It this doesn't fix the problem, restart your computer, and then go into Chrome and ToneRow directly before opening any other application. You can find more information on Google’s website or contact us at hello@tonerow.com.

  • I’m in the session but I can’t see or hear the other person!

    This means that the other person does not have his/her camera and mic enabled in Chrome. If they are using Chrome with ToneRow for the first time, they must click “Allow” in the pop-up that appears above the video platform in order to enable Chrome to access camera and mic. Once that is done, Chrome will take over their computer’s camera and mic and you will be able to see and hear the other person.

  • Do I have support?

    We’re here to help. If you have technical questions, you can email us at hello@tonerow.com. We can help you get set up for your first lesson, walk you through a demo, give you tips on equipment and computer configuration, and advice on how to best present yourself on screen.

  • The sound is distorted and video is choppy. What can I do to make them smoother?

    Before your first lesson, turn off 'ambient noise reduction' – it's great for chat, but terrible for recording music. In OS X, go to System Preferences > Sound, click Input, and uncheck the box 'Use ambient noise reduction.' Remember also that the recommended minimum download and upload speeds for a good videoconferencing experience is 5 Mbps. Faster speeds will significantly improve the audio and video quality. The upload speed is especially important. That is what determines how fast the data gets through to the other side. So if you have a high download speed, but the other person has a low upload speed, you will not benefit from the great audio experience that the platform is meant to give you.

  • I’m hearing a lot of feedback. How can I minimize it?

    To minimize feedback, go into your computer settings and lower the gain on the microphone level (bring mic volume down). Adjust mic and speaker levels until feedback disappears and you feel comfortable with the sound level.

  • What are my Privacy options on ToneRow?

    Because we know that privacy needs vary from person to person, we offer three privacy options to teachers on ToneRow. To choose your option, go to "Account Privacy" under "Settings". 1) Visible and searchable to all: anyone browsing the internet or ToneRow can find you and look at your profile. This is the default and most open option. 2) Visible and searchable only on ToneRow: this option increases your privacy and makes you visible only to the ToneRow community. 3) Visible only to your ToneRow students and teachers: if your schedule is full and you do not wish to be contacted by new students, this is the option for you.

  • What is ToneRow?

    ToneRow is a simple way for teachers to give lessons and engage with their students. We provide best-in-class videoconferencing with communication, scheduling, and social networking features to enable a meaningful learning experience.