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Teaching Group Piano Lessons (Read 3705 times)

Offline florentin

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Teaching Group Piano Lessons
« on: October 19, 2013, 02:54:01 PM »
I taught piano lessons individually for years, but in the last two years I taught, for the first time, in a group setting also.

Currently, I teach piano lessons in two different group settings. One setting is a piano class in a public school where I am Music teacher, and another is at church where we have a piano lab.

I would appreciate a discussion on the topic, with others who have taught lessons in a group setting.

1. What are some challenges you faced, and how did you solve them?

2. How did you differentiate between individual and group assistance/advancement?

3. How did you differentiate between individual and group assessment?

4. What material(s) have you used?

5. What type of pianos were used?

6. What else would you add to the discussion?

Thanks for your participation.
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Offline faulty_damper

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 04:11:44 AM »
1. Too many students.  Keep class sizes small.
2. Each student works on his/her own theory books.
3. There is no formal assessment needed.
4. Children's books.
5. Acoustic pianos or keyboards.

Offline florentin

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 06:21:57 AM »
thanks
"Piano Devotions For Little Fingers" Book/CD
Original Hymn Arrangements
Score Story Lesson  Devotion
http://www.florentintise.com/

Offline rebeccapiano

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 12:45:26 PM »
When I was in university, I had a keyboard class that I attended for harmony. We had about 10 in a class and all of us had sophisticated Yamaha Clavinovas capable of half pedaling and weighted keys. We were given sheet music with chord progressions (it was a harmony tutorial) and we plowed through them as our instructor would go around the room, from her desk, hitting buttons whilst listening to us play through the system and giving us feedback through her microphone.

Seemed to work, except I suppose you'd need fancy and expensive technology! Mind you in the 19th century, 6 hand piano work (two pianos, four players) was a trend. Have you looked into the work of Robert Pace? He devised the Robert Pace method which advocated group learning.

I don't teach piano in a group but I do teach music in groups. It's mostly Orff/Kodaly work though.
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Offline florentin

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 04:10:59 AM »
Rebecca,

I also teach Orff on a regular basis. Are you Orff certified?

"Piano Devotions For Little Fingers" Book/CD
Original Hymn Arrangements
Score Story Lesson  Devotion
http://www.florentintise.com/

Offline echristensen

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 11:55:45 PM »
Very interesting discussion, thanks! I have taken group lessons in college but never taught them, I can see how there would be many new challenges to face.

Offline Mayla

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #6 on: November 23, 2013, 06:24:26 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline Mayla

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #7 on: November 23, 2013, 06:53:37 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #8 on: November 23, 2013, 08:25:09 PM »

- I still need my own practice time and some sort of fuel for my own growth, of which is currently extremely limited.  So here again, I must basically ignore a very deep and important part of myself that very much wants my attention but to which I cannot give it.

I think this happens with teachers, the key is giving of yourself so others can grow. And often it is taxing on ones own growth regarding the same arena, I.E. musical growth. Instead the growth is about how to teach better and better, perhaps.  I see the complexity of your situation for sure.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline Mayla

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #9 on: November 23, 2013, 08:37:10 PM »
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"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline Bob

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #10 on: November 23, 2013, 08:47:53 PM »
How is everyone set up for instruments for students in a group piano situation?  I've seen college set up where every student has their own standup keyboard with headphones, etc.  but it doesn't seem realistic for some places money-wise.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline zillybug

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Re: Teaching Group Piano Lessons
«Reply #11 on: November 30, 2013, 03:38:53 AM »
I take group lessons at a music school in addition to a private lesson weekly. There are group lessons and private lessons for both children and adults. The classes have no more than 8 students and many of the adult classes have less. My class usually has between 4 to 5 students. The students are grouped by level from complete beginner to those of us who have played for a few years as adults and also in the past. In my case I took a lot of music in college but then did not play for over 35 years before returning to the piano about 3 years ago.  The director teaches all the adult classes. She covers some theory and ear training as well as repertoire. In my class, we are usually working on both solos and duets and sometimes quartet pieces. I would never give up my private lesson but it is nice to be with others and play together. I have to say I have been impressed with how well some of the beginners have done after just a few months of group lessons. The classrooms all have  8 digital pianos of good quality and a Steinway or Yamaha grand piano to play solos or duets on.