Teaching Group Piano Lessons:
Tips and Techniques
As with anything, teaching group piano lessons has its advantages and its disadvantages. With group lessons, you can teach more students at one time. This is a definite advantage. Here are some of the things I have learned about teaching group piano lessons for you to consider.
Things You Need
To teach group lessons, you need to have a studio or area prepared for such a thing. Try to have at least one real piano. Other students can play on keyboards.
You may want to have terms or starting times. This way, you can begin a book together and end it together. It also allows for new students to enter the class.
You may also want to get some things to make your studio more like a classroom. By this I mean getting things like a whiteboard and rhythm sticks. Things you will need to teach the students as a group.
Organization! If you're teaching many students, I'd highly recommend a program to help with billing, scheduling, taxes and all the other little details. The one I like the best is the
Music Teachers Helper
. It does all that and provides you with a place to post photos, videos, a website and other things. If you're serious about running a studio, definitely take a look.
If you are teaching children, you need to keep the class size small. I would recommend less than 5 students in a class. If parents come to the class, there can be more. Keep in mind the noise level and potential rowdiness of students.
In teaching group piano lessons to adults, I would also recommend a small group. This is more because adults may want more individual attention and probably they’ll want to hear their keyboard above all others.
Things You Can Do in Groups
In teaching group piano lessons, you can do some things that you can’t do in individual lessons. You can have duets. You can also do fun rhythm activities. You can learn some things more in a classroom style.
If you have an even number of students, they can drill each other on things like notes. Flashcards would work well in this area. Take advantage of the number and play some fun games you can’t play with only one student.
In teaching group piano lessons, you need to be more structured than in private lessons. It’s a good idea to prepare ahead of time what you will be teaching in that lesson. This way, things will go smoothly and you can have any supplies you need ready.
When I taught group lessons, I prepared an outline for each lesson. It does take a bit of work but it’s worth it during the lesson. In the outline I wrote what songs or pieces I would be teaching or reviewing, new concepts to teach, concepts to review and what activities I would use.
I would recommend teaching group piano lessons only for beginners. Once students start playing more classical pieces, group lessons won’t really work well for them. Instead, at this stage, you can have master classes. This is where students come and play for each other. In the master class, students are encouraged to offer input to help the other students.
Those are the essentials to teaching group lessons. Happy teaching!
Teaching Group Piano Lessons
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