My First Piano Adventure – in a group setting

Posted on Dec 7, 2016 in Class Routine, Methods

My First Piano Adventure for the Young Beginner by Nancy and Randall Faber and published by Hal Leonard is one of those piano methods that I love to hate and hate to love.

Strong words.

In the world of “purist” piano teachers it may come across as an atrocity to the world of piano pedagogy. And in the real world of piano teaching it is a treasure just waiting to be unlocked.

My First Piano Adventure for the Young Beginner by Nancy and Randall Faber

I write this with no guilt of conscience because I have been back and forth from “purist” to “real world” and for those of you in the real world of piano teaching, where the success of your studio depends on fulfilling your customer’s needs and your sanity, My First Piano Adventure is a life saver.

I teach 4 to 5 group piano lessons a week, each one with a different age group, lesson book and skill level.  Having a pre-planned lesson helps me to be flexible with what the class needs each week.  After many struggles in the planning department, below is the lesson plan I have finally settled into.

It is not innovative.

It is not original.

I’m sure someone else has also figured this out. However… when I needed it I did not find it.  So I just thought it would be good to put it in the cloud to share.

The 60 minute lesson is divided into 5 segments with an optional Parent Time at the end.  At this age (5 and 6) the parents, in general, are more willing to come into class for instructions on how to help with their child’s practice time at home.

Group Lesson Plan – Book A

Week 6

  1. Music Circle – students join me on the music rug to sing the  “theme song” (with the CD) about our piano friends. Today in our music circle we are also working on ear training with Tucker (the dog) in our Writing Book A p. 25.  Students circle a pink poodle or a dalmatian while listening to notes that go UP, DOWN or REPEAT.
  2. At the Piano – Students move to the Teacher Piano (teacher sits at piano, students stand around her/him.) Today we are learning Dinosaur Music Night on page 40-41 of the Lesson Book. After demonstrating/teaching students either play it at the teacher’s piano or at their individual pianos as a group.
  3. Game Time – ROCK ON! this is a game I received from a subscription to Teach Piano Today’s piano game club.  It reviews 2 & 3 black keys.  Of course you can use you this time to play any game you already own!
  4. At the Piano – students return to their individual piano and we review the chants, songs and play the songs.  We follow the order in the book in order to avoid going back and forth looking for page numbers!
  5. At the Table – students move to a table or floor to work on pages 24 & 25 of the Writing book A for a review of directional reading and higher, lower and repeated sounds.
  6. Parent Time/Homework Assignment (optional) – Parents join the class for the last 10 minutes.  This is where you can strengthen the bond in that student-teacher-parent triangle and promote the importance of reviewing what was done in class, at home.

There are so many ways to add variety to this plan and it is already laid out for you in the book.  No need to “reinvent the wheel”!

I really appreciate “pre-planned” lesson plans.

During a regular week I teach a college methods class, four to five different group lessons and 20 private lessons, without any help from another adult.  I know there are many other teachers that do the same and even more…and we are not even taking into account all the office work that needs to get done! Pre-planned lessons keep me sane!

I would love to read about your lesson plans for group piano!

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