Sunday, March 13, 2016

Group Keyboard Lessons

Group keyboard lessons are an inexpensive way for several students to get professional guidance from a piano teacher. The classroom community helps many students stay motivated, and the teacher is able to teach students of similar abilities in a quick and efficient manner. It doesn’t always make sense to take group keyboard lessons if you are an advanced player, but it is a great alternative to private lessons for beginners.

Preparation


Group piano lessons are generally more structured than private lessons. With group piano lessons, the instructor creates a course outline and then works with students to learn the material. This may mean that some students will have to wait for others to catch up and others may hold a class back when trying to learn new skills. For this reason, the teacher has to prepare lessons that are basic in nature and avoid progressing too quickly.

Class Sizes


Class size is an important issue. If the class size is too large, it will be very difficult to teach all of the students and monitor their progress. Most group piano classes have four to eight students. An even number of students is preferable so that students can work together on in-class assignments. Class size is also dependent upon the number of available pianos.

Instruments


Group piano classes rarely use actual acoustic pianos. Most of these classes use digital touch-sensitive keyboards that respond to the degree of force the student places on the keys. This replicates the action of a regular piano since forceful notes sound louder and a light touch produces a quieter response. Digital keyboards also have the advantage of allowing pianos to hook into a main teacher workstation that permits the teacher to selectively monitor individual students. The advantage of using headphones is also a plus since students can practice privately without other students hearing them play. The teacher is also able to selectively pair students so that they can hear each other’s pianos simultaneously.

Group Activities


Group activities are a plus for group piano lessons. Students can pair up and play duets with one student playing the melody and the other playing the harmony. They can then reverse roles to ensure that both students get a chance to play both parts. Students may also work together to quiz each other on notes, and even meet after class to practice together in their spare time. The camaraderie of group activities is a valuable bonus for students that take group lessons.