Piano private lessons have been around for centuries. All the famous composers (Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, etc) all had a teacher or several teachers to train them. Private lessons are one of the most effective ways of teaching a musical instrument. You get specialized help, someone that knows your strengths and weaknesses, but also knows how to motivate you to get to the next level. You have that one on one connection, but you working together. Teachers are a personal coach and maybe even a little bit of a psychiatrist at times!
Piano teachers have recently been branching out the last few decades. Games and activities are not uncommon in a private lesson. Fun repertoire and story-like music is also another avenue of learning. Another aspect of music teaching that has grown the last few years is group lessons. Group lessons are not only popular now, THEY’RE VERY EFFECTIVE. Don’t get me wrong, that private lesson is important and necessary, but group lessons are so good for a young musician as well.
Here’s a summarized list of what a group class can help your child learn and do:
- Motivates them to apply their musical understanding through games and activities.
Let me just talk about this one….. when a student learns a new concept about music, it is now their responsibility to apply this to a piece of music they are currently learning or in the future. With a game, this musical concept takes on a whole different meaning by reinforcing their knowledge and understanding. Games and activities are geared to be educational AND fun. Mostly, they are there to help them find different ways to apply their knowledge and understanding of music.
2. Inspire them to pursue excellence.
Students are motivated by many different things. Some students have extrinsic motives (outward praise or award) and some are motivated intrinsically (inner desire and motivation to do their best). Students who perform are most likely going to want to get to a higher level. At a group lesson, when students see their friends/peers playing and performing (or getting involved in a group class and apply THEIR knowledge of music) it makes them feel inspired to learn more.
3. Introduces new musical information.
It is much easier for students to learn harder concepts in this format rather than trying to introduce it to them through the one on one style. For example, I probably would not introduce eighth notes to a 5 year old, but in a group lesson setting, I can tell said 5 year old what an eighth note is and they most likely will remember the information without ever playing an eighth note. It’s amazing what their little minds can remember! Now when I introduce the eighth note in their private lesson, they already know what it looks like.
4. Fosters camaraderie within the studio.
Students love to be encouraged. When they are encouraged, they will encourage others. And the circle goes around and around. It is so good for students to be teachable and to enjoy seeing their peers succeed.
5. Builds confidence.
When a student can see how far they have come and have that group class as a reference, it builds confidence because they realize how far they have come and they are not in this alone. This is not a comparison party, but just a time to recognize other musicians and be challenged to do our best. Regardless of age or level, all students should realize their potential.
There are many more reasons why group classes are helpful and beneficial. I barely touched the brim. I hope this sheds some light on the matter and that it helps parents see the importance and place for it.
I cannot wait for our Kick-off Class in a few weeks! I have some things planned (like an escape room….whatt?!?!) that I know the kids are going to enjoy.
Have a great rest of the summer!