To Group or Not to Group
This is a question I get often and I would like to address this.
When I started Studio 88 in 2006 I studied this concept extensively. I visited different areas that teachers were having amazing success with piano in group lessons. I did my research.
This is what I found, after 13 years of teaching group lessons.
Parents want the best for their children— best schools, friends and extra-curricular activities. Many parents want their child to be a part of music, somehow, whether it is in band, orchestra, singing, or playing an instrument. Being a part of Studio 88 allows you and your child to have the flexibility to choose an instrument that fits them. Whether in group or private lessons, the benefits of music lessons enrich their lives like nothing else will!
Research has confirmed that learning and making music in a group setting improves quality of life and even helps us build deeper relationships. Parents who worry about their children making friends should seriously consider placing their children in group music lessons. The benefits of being a part of a group with shared interests and a common purpose and goal cannot be stressed enough. Below is a list of just some of the benefits I have personally witnessed throughout my many years of teaching.
Technical Music Skills
Learning music theory (the writing and ‘whys’) of music, can sometimes be a challenge and honestly, boring… but learning music theory in a group gives the teacher opportunities to teach theory in fun and engaging ways that will help your child enjoy and learn more about music. Ear tracing is also another skill that is best learned in group training.
In a group setting, children are exposed to different types of music and instruments that allow them to be more flexible and versatile in their playing. We have been fortunate to experience the amazing digital pianos with thousands of sounds at our fingertips. With this, I am able to teach students how a stringed instrument sounds and how to play strings to SOUND like true string players. This is just an example, but this generally helps students understand orchestration and learn how other instruments sound right at their fingertips!Not only does playing in a group piano lesson teach other instruments, it allows them to play as a team and many times I use ensembles to teach them how to read their own part and play as if we are an orchestra. This cannot happen in a private lesson.
Overcoming Shyness and Fear of Playing for Others
Private lessons can put a lot of pressure on a child, or anyone for that matter! Many adults feel intimidated with one on one lessons. Playing in a group helps students relax and enjoy the music even more. Since your child will be playing music in front of people every week, they become less inhibited and more confident in playing their instrument. If your child is shy or bashful, or fearful, group piano lessons could help them overcome insecurity and build confidence—all the while, making new friends!
Motivation and Positive Competition
If you are a parent, you know that nothing can motivate your kids more than their peers. In group lessons, your child will be motivated and inspired to work hard and try new things.
Playing music in group lessons also encourages positive competition. Children can learn from and encourage each other to enhance their musical skills.
Playing in ensembles and regularly performing helps develop a sense of team spirit that is not really achieved in private music lessons. Playing music in a group helps develop music skills, as well as a support system among the kids as they work together and encourage each other. I have seen this happen SO often. Children helping other children, wanting the other child to succeed as much as they are, cheering each other on as they learn a challenging piece of music.
These are only a few of the benefits your child would receive if given the opportunity to be in group music lessons. Each of these reasons also helps your child develop socially as well as see their value as a group member. They will grow in creativity and be more likely to sing in a group as opposed to a private lesson. I love to have my students learn to sing and play! I do this as my profession, besides owning the studio and teaching… and it has given me more performing opportunities and been SO much fun for me since I was very young!
Also, if your child tends to have a short attention span, the variety of options and activities available to them in a group setting helps them find something they really enjoy!
Benefits for Busy Moms
If you think these lessons only benefit your child, think again! Knowing that your child is making friend and acquiring lifelong skills in a safe and professional environment will bring your great joy and appreciation of watching your child work hard and be so happy that they are becoming more successful with each lesson! As an added bonus, you have an hour of time to run errands or just have a few moments for yourself!
At Studio 88, we offer a nice area to wait, or if you need some de-stressing or just a good body workout, we offer Yoga with Kelsie downstairs in our new space! Give yourself a treat as your child learns piano and enjoy an hour on us!!
Group music lessons offer so many benefits for you and your child. They will learn so much about music, making friends and developing skills that will benefit them for years to come!
—-Beth Dean, 2020