Mixed Ages- part 3

Posted on Feb 25, 2019 in Class Routine, Featured, Methods, Planning

It is so exciting to see the many ways that group piano teaching has blossomed over the past 20 years. I’ve mentioned the different styles before, and with today’s post I wish to highlight just one.

Read part 1 and part 2 here.

The group piano class for mixed ages allows students to build friendships, experience music in different ways and empower them to work independently.

grouppianoteaching.com

Planning

The Chart

Create a chart for the number of students in the class.  I strongly suggest a group of 4 students if you are teaching solo, 6 or more students if you have a teacher assistant/co-teacher.

The Cards

Create a card for each student which has activities in the order they should happen.  Each card will have the activities in a different order. Students who work at a quicker pace will spend more time practicing!

Sample #1

The following chart was created for 4 students/4 activities plus ensemble. Each student has their own piano book for solo pieces (method book).

Card 1Card 2Card 3Card 4
EnsembleEnsembleEnsembleEnsemble
Play for TeacherMusic TheoryMusic HistoryComposition
Music TheoryPlay for TeacherCompositionMusic History
Music HistoryCompositionPlay for TeacherMusic Theory
CompositionMusic History
Music TheoryPlay for Teacher

Sample #2

This next chart was created for 6 students/6 activities + practice time +iPad – Time management will be best with a teacher assistant.

Each student has their own piano book for solo pieces (ex. Method book)

Card 1Card 2Card 3Card 4Card 5 Card 6
PlayTheoryHistoryHistoryTheoryiPad
iPadPlayComposePracticeHistoryPractice
PracticeiPad PlayComposePracticeCompose
ComposePracticeiPadPlay ComposeTheory
TheoryComposePracticeiPadPlayHistory
HistoryHistoryTheoryTheoryiPadPlay

Questions

  1. Does each student only get 10 minutes to play for the teacher? It varies and depends on what the student needs assistance with.  
  2. What if I don’t have an iPad? The above table is just to show what I do with my classes.  The use of the iPad is not necessary.
  3. What resources do you use? I am positive that all piano teachers have a closet or bookcase full of resources that can be used! I will be sharing mine in an upcoming blog post.
  4. With 6 students, do they ever get a chance to play out loud or together? When it is the students’ turn to play for the teacher, it always happens at the grand piano.  That is the way I do it. There is no harm in having the student play with both teacher and student on headphones.
  5. How do the students know when move on to the next activity? Students who like to be first at everything will usually move to the next activity on their own, however most of them wait for me to call out the next move.
  6. What do you use for music theory? see answer to question #3.
  7. How much planning does this take? All piano lessons require planning! Ever since I started planning studio activities and repertoire a year in advance, weekly planning takes less time.
  8. How do you prepare students for recital, festival, competitions? Every student has their own solo repertoire they are working on towards recital or any other performance they might encounter. However, my students do not participate in any festivals or competitions outside of what happens at the studio.  
  9. What does the teacher assistant do? The teacher assistant answers any additional questions students might have regarding the pieces they are working on or any of the planned activities on their card.
  10. How do the students know what to do for each activity? I give instructions at the beginning of class.  The first few weeks they will be getting used to the routine, so be patient!

More questions?

Let me know in the comments and I will try to answer them as best I can!

2 Comments

  1. Mixed Ages - part 1 -
    March 15, 2019

    […] Part 3 […]

    Reply
  2. Mixed Ages - part 2 -
    March 15, 2019

    […] Part 3 […]

    Reply

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