Learning Music in Groups

Once each quarter Music With Sarah Piano & Voice Studio provides “piano party” opportunities for our students.  While it might seem as though these piano parties are just for students to have fun, there are a lot more reasons behind this concept than one might realize.  One of the obvious reasons is that it provides an opportunity to make up lessons that have been missed.  Piano parties are also included in the cost of monthly tuition as an optional bonus.

In addition to the reasons laid out above, there are so many other wonderful advantages to receiving music instruction in group settings.  Studies have actually shown that group instruction is effective in developing both performance and musicianship skills.  Here are some of the advantages of learning in groups:

  • Provides confidence in playing for others.
  • Aids students in developing rhythmic security.
  • Provides opportunities for supervised practice.
  • Stimulates critical listening as students hear other students perform and comment on these performances.
  • Allows students to broaden their musical experiences.
  • Exposes students to a variety of piano materials.
  • Provides a friendly-competitive atmosphere.
  • Allows the teacher to present music fundamentals in a shorter time than if he/she were making the presentation to individual students.
  • Fosters an atmosphere that is conducive to effective teaching of functional skills such as sight-reading, transposition, harmonization, improvisation, and composition.
  • Facilitates the performance of ensembles including duets, trios, quartets, and multiple piano ensembles.
  • Encourages students to develop skills in solving their own problems.
  • Establishes a sense of group spirit and group dynamics that increases motivation.
  • Fosters the development of communication skills.
  • Allows students to learn from peers as well as from the teacher.
  • Provides a setting where drills and exercises can be more interesting and motivating.
  • Increases attention span allowing the lesson time to be longer than private lessons.

Source:  Kowalchyk, Gayle & Lancaster, E.L.  Alfred’s Basic Piano Library: Group Piano Course Teacher’s Handbook, Books 1 & 2.  Alfred Publishing Co., 1997.

So there you have it!  Private lessons may have their own benefits, but learning in group settings can be just as valuable.  Many of the points displayed above are just not things that can be gained from a private lesson experience.  It is our number one goal at Music With Sarah Piano & Voice Studio to give our students the most thorough, comprehensive music education we can provide for them…And have some fun while we’re at it!  🙂

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