Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
Ad (Piano Sing)
How to Make Your Piano Sing
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
131 registered (aceydawg, accordeur, AndyJoe, Anne'sson, acollins, 43 invisible), 1523 Guests and 19 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#2073910 - 04/30/13 03:02 AM Any experience with master classes or group instruction?
AaronD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey
Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and pretty new to teaching piano (about a year and a half). I've been reading around here a bit, and I'm excited to learn from all of you!

I'm wondering if any of you have experience with hosting master classes or other types of group instruction for your own studio. Not like basic piano class, but focused more on musicality or technical aspects of playing.

I teach about 25 students at a local music store, and was thinking about taking my top 6 or 7 students and having an extra group session maybe once every couple of months. I'd have students play pieces for each other, works in progress would be welcome, and I'd give a bit of instruction in front of the group. Maybe each session would have a focus, like tone, or expression, or....sight reading. Basically we would develop a bit of community, share our progress, have some fun in a low-pressure setting, and I could address some things I not always able to squeeze into their individual lessons.

Any thoughts/experiences with something like this?

Thanks!
Aaron
_________________________
BM Piano/Church music ministries
Piano Teacher

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2073998 - 04/30/13 08:30 AM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7410
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA


Welcome to the forum, Aaron. Yes, your intuition is correct. Many of us do precisely what you're proposing.

Although I teach from a home studio, there is no reason you cannot emulate what I and several others do (with variations). Which is, once a month, hold a group performance session. Actually, it is much more than that. We begin with students receiving their monthly issue of Piano Explorer magazine, where we learn about the composer of the month, and various foundational aspects of music. In the Fall and Winter months, I add a component of music theory, and the second half of the 90 minute session is performance by students, where not only do we perform for each other, but we learn various phases of performing, not just playing notes.

As for masterclasses, our chapter of MTNA hosts master classes for students through out the year, so there is no reason for me to duplicate that effort. When students need and are prepared for a masterclass, we sign them up.

Best wishes on your teaching career.

John
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#2074041 - 04/30/13 09:32 AM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
pianopaws Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/18/13
Posts: 71
Loc: North Carolina, USA
I host a monthly group class in my studio. We play music games, listen to works by famous composers, practice our performance skills, and do duets and trios. It is alot of fun and reinforces what we are doing in our lessons.

If you decide to go with a "masterclass" format, be careful that the students are comfortable with the idea of being critiqued in front of the rest of the class. For students who have never done a masterclass and don't know what it is like, this can be stressful. I might save that format for older students who have music at or near performance level prepared.

Good luck and have fun!
_________________________
M.M., Piano performance and pedagogy
Member, MTNA and NCMTA

Top
#2074283 - 04/30/13 03:10 PM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
pianoSD Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/20/13
Posts: 57
Loc: San Diego, CA
I only have a few older students (and 2 of them I teach online), but I recently did a group session like this with my 4 local adult students in San Diego (I don't think this is as effective with children).

To be honest, it was the most fun I have had teaching. The students, whom had never met each other before, hit it off immediately. Maybe it was by chance, or maybe because they had something in common, but it couldn't have worked out any better on a social level.

Musically, it was just as fun. I had them each play a piece that we had worked on in our lessons as well as piece of their own choosing. The discussion, thoughtful critique, enjoyment, and even laughs between these pieces was incredible.

I gave some group instruction at the end of the session, but since I had so much fun, I refused to charge them for the session. I can't wait to do it again.
_________________________
My Piano Lessons - Schedule Me Online!

Top
#2074305 - 04/30/13 03:30 PM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1376
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Aaron, it's a fine idea. By all means give it a try, and you can shape these classes as you wish, and learn as you go. If the classes are indeed successful, do them more often than you are contemplating. Once a month, perhaps, or every 6 weeks.

PianoSD has raised the important issue of whether you would charge for such classes. If you teach through a music store, the store may dictate this issue for you. There are good reasons to charge, given your time and preparation, but it might be hard to convince students or parents to pay an extra fee.

Top
#2074306 - 04/30/13 03:31 PM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
kck Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/10
Posts: 269
My kid does this monthly in a class of about a dozen kids. It's in a master class format and the kids in the group can play from like Fur Elise level to concerto level (ages 10-17). It has been extremely valuable!


Edited by kck (04/30/13 03:31 PM)
_________________________
Amateur musician, piano and violin parent

Top
#2074442 - 04/30/13 06:43 PM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7410
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
PianoSD has raised the important issue of whether you would charge for such classes. If you teach through a music store, the store may dictate this issue for you. There are good reasons to charge, given your time and preparation, but it might be hard to convince students or parents to pay an extra fee.

FWIW, my group lessons are included in the annual tuition, thus turning it into a use it or lose it scenario.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#2074585 - 04/30/13 11:17 PM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AaronD Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/13
Posts: 10
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks for the welcome and all your insight so far! It sounds like it can be a very meaningful investment of time. PianoSD, I'd like to think I'd have as much fun as you did with it!

The music store where I teach actually only distributes new students to us, standardizes tuition, and provides rooms for teaching (we pay some rent). All other interaction, including payment is directly between student and teacher. They also have a spacious room for recitals that I could use with no extra charge. I'm undecided about charging extra, but I may just use a brother/sister's back to back time slot so I'd be getting paid for their lessons anyway...

I can see how it may be a problem for younger or more sensitive students. So I'd have to be selective on who I'd invite. I'm a little bit concerned about the difference in level for some of the ones I'd like to invite - maybe Late Elementary/Early Intermediate to Early Advanced. Seems like a big gap, but I don't currently have a lot of students at the later levels, and these would be students who are progressing and excited about the piano. If we did any musical activities or games, I'd probably give them stuff based on their level and lot of encouragement. What do you guys think about that level gap? Is that too big?
_________________________
BM Piano/Church music ministries
Piano Teacher

Top
#2074669 - 05/01/13 01:19 AM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1376
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Hard to know about the level gap. If you keep this away from piano performance, and more steered toward musical games, that might be better. It's scary to be around much more advanced players, though it can also be invigorating.

You could pair up kids of differing levels, so that everybody has a buddy.

My advice is simply to try a session and see how it goes. You can make changes each subsequent session, especially if each one is considered a one-off, special event.

Top
#2074751 - 05/01/13 05:22 AM Re: Any experience with master classes or group instruction? [Re: AaronD]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5558
Loc: Orange County, CA
Definitely group the kids by level.

I've held "dressed rehearsals" before exams and festivals, and I tried various formats. Definitely go with a pre-planned set of questions and ask each student to do the following:

1) announce the title, composer (and maybe the historical period if you're doing a theme)

2) say how long he/she has worked on the piece, is it a work-in-progress, or is it nearly polished?

3) state one or two specific goals that the student wishes to accomplish in this particular performance.

Then, after the performance, go around the room and ask for feedback.

Another way to get feedback is to have a pre-made form for each student, and list several things to listen for (tone, rhythm, dynamics, phrasing, etc.) that people can generally tell even without knowing the music. And have the kids grade each other anonymously. The writing method also helps the shy kids who don't want to talk in front of other people.

In my experience, older kids (high school) tend to give better feedback, as their listening skills are better honed.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving!
(ad) Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Yamaha CP Music Rest Promo
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
(ad) Piano Music Sale - Dover Publications
Piano Music Sale
Sheet Music Plus (125)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Hello all
by Jytte
11/27/14 02:10 PM
Happy Thanksgiving
by JoelW
11/27/14 01:12 PM
HAS ANYONE EVER PLAYED THIS?
by LuisFelix
11/27/14 12:29 PM
Piano evening at my teachers house
by Peter071
11/27/14 10:04 AM
Freelance collaborative pianist - money issues
by MiguelSousa
11/27/14 10:02 AM
Forum Stats
77067 Members
42 Forums
159399 Topics
2341524 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission