10 Reasons to Teach Piano in Groups

Posted on Jan 23, 2015 in 10 things

dorla recital

Let’s be real.  Teaching children to play the piano in a group setting is not easy. To adults? Maybe. But lately every time I think of group piano I have visions of a certain class.  Six students. Ages 6-8. Two of them talk continuously. One always want to follow his own agenda. Another one thinks I don’t realize she is playing a different song. One just turned 6 and the other is about to be 8. Wow!

Why DO I still teach piano in groups?

  1. Energy.  Not the energy I need but the energy generated from belonging to a group of people with a common purpose. It fuels their attitudes towards learning.
  2. Singing. Have you ever tried to sing with your private piano student? It can be awkward. When I start singing with a group there’s a better chance that one of the students will follow along. If we can sing our songs, playing them at the piano will be so much easier.
  3. Games. We definitely should not spend our lesson time sitting at the piano. I don’t even recommend it for an adult class. There are so many resources for piano board games which review music concepts, that teachers have no excuse for not owning at least two (or three)!
  4. Ensemble. ahhh! The sound of 6 pianos playing in harmony! Yes, it takes time and practice but in can happen every week not just on special occasions!
  5. Dancing. Even though I no longer use this curriculum I still borrow some of their dances to incorporate into class.  Rhythm becomes a natural thing when your whole body is involved.
  6. Discipline. The goal of my teaching is to prepare students to be music lovers. Not only the type that downloads a track on iTunes but the music lover who attends recitals, symphony concerts, belongs to an ensemble group or just takes it through life in any shape or form.  This requires discipline.  Discipline to follow a teacher, a conductor, a leader. Discipline to practice.  Discipline to understand a different language. In a group the variables are always changing.
  7. Teach More. Reach More. What about students who cannot pay for piano lessons? Do private teachers have the time to offer more than one or two scholarships? Can schools hire enough teachers for 500 students each week? Probably not. A group setting can provide piano lessons for more.
  8. Preschoolers. You can schedule them earlier in the day. They are not tired from being in school all day. You can can teach at their preschool. This is a popular group!
  9. Retirees. You can schedule them earlier in the day.They are not tired from being in school all day. You can serve wine at the recital!
  10. New students. After the success you will experience with your group class  students eventually  transition into private lessons. These students will be some of your best!

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