Teaching Piano in Groups by Christopher Fisher
It has been an honor to chat with teachers from all over the world about group piano teaching.
One of my most favorite things to do is to match them up with the best resources available that I am aware of.
One of these timeless resources is Christopher Fisher’s book Teaching Piano in Groups. It is an excellent textbook for the scholar and also a refresher course for those with years of experience.
As I talk with teachers who are implementing new group piano programs there is a growing need to back up the claims of benefits.
Teachers need to be able to quote an expert, a book, a peer reviewed journal, anything that is not just an inspirational quote on Facebook!
Read The Book
The best way to saturate yourself and grasp the benefits of any subject you are learning about, is to read. Let’s not rely solely on someone else’s summary or review of the topic. Let’s take the time to read.
Just like practicing the piano. Even if your preferred repertoire is pop music, to be good at it you are not going to rely only on YouTube videos – you will have to find an expert and go deep.
Teaching Piano in Groups is one of those deep reservoirs that we should become familiar with in order to have higher level conversations about what is happening in our group piano classrooms.
Tidbits of Information You’ll Find in the Book
Here is a taste of what you will find in the introduction of this book.
- “Group piano instruction provides teachers with opportunities to deliver a comprehensive music curriculum to more students in less time”. (p.8)
- “Groups foster prime conditions for problem solving”. (p.9)
- “The group setting is a social structure organized according to a common interest: the piano….which provides students with the opportunity to develop their keyboard skills among peers who will support [them]…” (p. 9)
- “The group environment gives students the opportunity to develop communication and social skills and also aids in the development of leadership initiative.” (p. 9)
- “The group lesson is an effective place for students to develop a strong rhythmic foundation.” (p.10)
- “The group environment is a prime location for teaching piano technique. ” (p.10)
- “The group lesson can facilitate supervised practice opportunities.” (p.10)
I encourage you to spend time in this book and find those talking points that you need when explaining group lessons to the parents in your studio, administrators in your school and that quiet voice inside your head that tells you that group piano lessons couldn’t possibly work!