We are extremely excited about our after-school piano program. The program is a 50-minute class held once a week, during the school year. The classes start immediately after the normal school day has ended. We limit our class size to 10 students in order to create the best learning environment possible. Each student is given their own electronic piano to play during the class time.
It is an extremely unique program in that students learn piano in a group setting. Traditionally, piano lessons are held on-on-one with the teacher. We’ve discovered that while this method is viable and works, there are greater advantages to teaching piano in a group.
- Confidence: Students are more confident playing for and with other students. Every week the students play together and develop a sense of community, but also individuality. Consequently, if one student is asked to play a particular piece, the fear and lack of confidence normally associated with this type of request is greatly diminished, if not gone altogether.
- Rhythm Games and Activities: I’ve discovered that students who learn rhythm in a group setting are often able to count rhythms and keep a steady beat far better than those who don’t learn in that setting. One reason is that playing in a group setting forces the student to make sure his/her part is absolutely perfect. Another reason is that the group course corrects. Whenever a student begins to go off course rhythmically, they hear themselves in context to the class and quickly connect themselves.
- Teamwork: In group settings, students are able to learn and experience teamwork. Consequently, when new material is presented, the students grasp it much quicker.
- Positive Peer Pressure: There is nothing like seeing positive peer pressure in action. Students continually encourage each other to play and improve. One of the greatest joys for a student is playing a piece for the class and hearing the encouragement from their peers before, during, and after the complete piece.
- Challenging: Students instantly are able to do more work, go farther, and practice together when participating in a group because attention spans are longer.
- Social: In today’s society social networking is a big deal, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… Group piano is the ultimate social network, where students learn and grow together. There is nothing like spending an hour or so accomplishing something positive with your friends.
These are just a few reasons why we believe our after-school piano program can benefit students.