Viewing a virtual performance

Usually in advance of the concert date you will receive a hyperlink to a webpage you'll visit to view the performance. Do check that you have this and click the link to confirm that it works ahead of the concert. You'll most likely be guided to a page indicating that you're in the correct place and to return on the date / time that the performance is scheduled for.

Do I need an account?

Most online performance platforms allow the audience to attend an event without needing to create an account on that given platform. However there are sometimes advantages to setting up a free account such as the ability to write a comment or message to the performers and other audience members, which is ideal for showing appreciation or if appropriate asking questions. If you do choose to do this, do create your account in advance of the performance as it may take several minutes to do so.

Select a location to view

Most audience members will be watching performances in their home. Here are a few changes to your environment you can make to create the best viewing experience.


  • Dim the lights or close the curtains so you can focus your attention on the event


  • Find a comfortable spot and if needed move your chair to directly face your computer / device screen

Minimise distractions

  • Choose a place free from background sounds and digital distractions

Screen position

  • Position or tilt your device's screen so you have a clear line of view and are at a comfortable distance from the image

Select a device

There are pros and cons to using a computer, smartphone, tablet or smart TV to view an event. Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of each:

Home computer or laptop:

  • using your preferred web browser you should be able to access the performance
  • adjust screen brightness to its maximum level
  • use the 'full screen' button to fill the screen with the performance
  • using your computer's headphone socket you can easily plug in headphones or an external speaker / hi-fi system to improve the sound quality
  • close any other computer programmes whilst viewing a performance as these can lower your computer's processing power

Smartphone or tablet

  • rotate your smartphone to a landscape position to allow the performance to fill your screen
  • adjust your screen's brightness to its brightest setting
  • if watching alone do use a pair of headphones
  • connect your device to its power supply to minimise the risk of a low battery mid-performance
  • turn on 'do not disturb' setting on your phone to avoid interruptions
  • close any other phone apps as these will drain battery power and processing speed
  • position your device so you do not need to hold it for the duration of the performance

Smart TV

  • ensure you can access the viewing hyperlink (sent out by the organisation hosting the performance) on your TV, a way to do this is to email yourself the hyperlink and login to your email account on your Smart TV
  • follow the link in advance of the performance date to see how your TV responds to the link. You may be able to watch the performance within your TV's web browser or whilst following the link you may be instructed to install a free app to view the performance (YouTube, Facebook etc)

View on TV

It's possible to connect many computers and tablet devices to a standard (non-Smart) TV via a cable, allowing you to view the performance with the comfort of a larger screen

Necessary equipment:

  • a TV with a HDMI cable input - this is how most set-top boxes or DVD players connect to the TV
  • a computer or tablet device with a HDMI output or that will accept a HDMI adapter:
    • PC computers / laptops commonly have an inbuilt standard 'Type A' HDMI output socket
    • Apple computers / laptops will usually require a specialist HDMI adapter
    • Many Android tablets have inbuilt mini 'Type C' or micro 'Type D' output sockets. Alternatively some models will require a specialist HDMI adapter
    • Apple iPads require an additional HDMI adapter
  • a HDMI cable: the end going into the television will be HDMI 'Type A' (standard) and the end going into your device will either be HDMI 'Type A' for PC computers / laptops and some device adapters or HDMI 'Type C' (mini) or HMDI 'Type D' (micro) for devices with smaller HDMI sockets

To view your device on your television:

  • once connected with all the necessary cables and adapters turn on both the television and device
  • select the 'HDMI' input from your televisions listed sources
  • follow any instructions that may pop-up on your device's screen once it recognises that it is attached to an external screen
  • now you should be able to see what your device is displaying on your TV, whilst continuing to control the device as you would usually when not attached to the external screen
  • the audio from any videos or livestreams viewed will also come through your TV's speakers

Troubleshooting internet connection issues

If your internet connection struggles to stream video content there are a few things you can do to enjoy a virtual performance unhindered by connection issues:

  • if possible make sure your chosen viewing device is the only device online at the time of the performance

  • if using a computer or laptop use an Ethernet cable to plug into your internet router box, this will be faster than a WiFi connection
  • on your computer / device make sure all other programmes and apps are closed

Are you watching a live event?

  • When viewing a live performance you can lower the video quality which is less strain on your internet connection. To do so, click the 'settings' button usually displayed with a cog logo on the bottom right-hand corner of the video and select 'quality' to choose the appropriate setting

Are you watching a pre-recorded video performance?

  • If your video is buffering, pause the video and leave it for a few minutes to allow the video to load before pressing play to continue watching

The best sound

Most computers and tablets / devices have low quality built-in speakers so to get the best quality we recommend either using a good quality pair of headphones or connecting to an external speaker or hi-fi system

External speaker

How to set up:

  • many devices allow you to plug an auxiliary audio cable from their headphone socket and into an external speaker or hi-fi system
  • if your device and external speaker are Bluetooth enabled you can launch these settings to wirelessly connect the external speaker


  • avoid using any bass boost settings on an external speaker / hi-fi
  • be careful that your computer volume isn't too high as this may cause your external speaker to distort. If you wish to increase the volume use the volume controls on the speaker or hi-fi system


How to set up:

  • plug your headphones into your device's headphone socket if using wired headphones
  • if your device allows you could also use wireless Bluetooth connected headphones


  • over ear style headphones are often more comfortable and better sounding than earbud headphones
  • be aware that a live online performance could have volume disparities so be careful not to listen with the volume too high as the level may rise within the performance

Interact with the performers

A benefit of an online event is that the audience can easily interact with the performers and other audience members

  • It's likely that the platform that you are viewing a performance on will allow you to write a visible comment as the performance unfolds. Do use this feature to ask questions, give feedback and show appreciation to the performers.

Virtual round of applause

  • Sadly the performers won't hear your applause at home so make sure to use the comment / chat feature to show your appreciation as it will be very tricky for the performers to gauge feedback and reactions without a traditional in-person audience

We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.