May I Ask You A Question?

Posted on Dec 31, 2014 in Logistics, Methods, Technique
Recently I received a lovely email from a teacher in a nearby city who is wanting to begin to offer group lessons.  I thought it would be a good idea to share her questions and my answers – I’m sure there is someone else out there who is wondering the same thing!
1. When have you found the best time to offer this type of class? Fall, spring? Fall is normally the best time to start a new class – parents are looking for new activities to enroll them in after school.  In the Spring classes which began during the Fall session continue their course and seldom have new students.

2.  Do you finish the book in a semester? My semester is only 12 weeks which makes it a bit rushed if I plan to finish the book.  Two semesters is what it took this year and it was a perfect fit.

3.  How fast is the pace, 1 unit a week or does it take longer? I go at the student’s pace. By the 3rd week into the semester I have an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the group and I adapt my lesson plan accordingly.

4.  What do you do when a student is absent? My studio policy states that there are NO MAKEUPS – most of the time the parents email me asking for the assignment, but if they don’t it is not a big deal. Concepts are always reviewed and repeated in class.

5.  What do you do if the pace of one varies greatly from the rest? If the difference has to do with piano skills I would offer another class or private lessons.  If it is maturity (too young?) I would probably talk to the parent and present the facts – then we would make a decision together.

6.  Do parents watch, or are kids dropped off? Parents are always welcome to stay during class, however I ask that they do not interrupt, interact or talk while in the classroom.  This past semester parents stayed outdoors and created their own social gathering.  My group classes require that the parent join the last 15 minutes of class.
What are your concerns about group piano?

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