Group Classes

Mary said: Sep 18, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
4 posts

When I started my studio, all the students were beginners so levels were not an issue. But, as I added students, there started to be an obvious problem with combining the 3-6 year olds with the 7+. Now that I have enough students to split the group, I will be doing two classes monthly so that the older children aren’t insulted to be with the little ones and theory topics can be taken further.

Initially I only used the group class for performance opportunity. Then I slowly started to add some Music Mind Games. As some of the kids got older (starting at age 4 and now being 6), they wanted to answer all the questions without allowing the younger/newer ones time to think and answer. So, the age differential does become a bit of a problem once theory is introduced. One possible solution would be to do some basic stuff, then release the younger kids and do a bit more with the older ones. But, again, I can tell that the older kids are not thrilled to be with the little ones…

Mary

Elizabeth said: Sep 27, 2013
Elizabeth Kilpatrick
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
4 posts

I can totally relate! Do you have any good group lesson ideas to do with kids who are pre-twinklers mixed in to students that are early book 1?

Elizabeth

Mengwei said: Sep 27, 2013
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
120 posts

I start my group class with the more advanced kids who play up to Etude. I actually ask everyone to come at the same time, but they know that I only ask them to play first if their Twinkles are solid. This currently splits the class in half; the age range for both is 5-9. In a few months I’ll most likely have to readjust.

When everyone joins in, we basically play only open E. We do posture and listening/following activities without LH (although I just realized that some of them could do their 4 on A instead). Then we set the violins aside for more rhythm/concentration/memory games at higher difficulty. I didn’t buy Music Mind Games materials but use some concepts. I’ve started on solfege (movable do!) to reinforce singing, feeling, and relative pitch and will eventually introduce notes on the staff. I also want to do “feeling” type activities for other concepts such as beats, phrases, major/minor, etc.

If I had 3 and 4 year olds on box violins, I’d put them in their own class. They could join the main group once they switched to a real violin.

Elizabeth said: Sep 27, 2013
Elizabeth Kilpatrick
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
4 posts

Thanks!

Elizabeth

Nicole Wilton said: Oct 23, 2013
Nicole Wilton
Suzuki Association Member
Piano, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
2 posts

Adding weekly group lessons in my studio has changed everything about my studio.
While I have taught for 21 years, doing weekly groups just began a few years ago.
I feel a whole new sense of community with my student and with their families> They know each other better, they feel more connected and they get the experience of playing for their peers all the time!
Some of them even get together for their own “piano performances” or talent nights.

It requires planning and time of course but it’s so worth it. I do short work segments- rhythmic/melodic dictation etc combined with fun games like composer memory, rhythm bingo, legato lake and more (most of which I purchase at Suzuki conferences and workshops).

We also take to have little parties, to celebrate special events, birthdays, holidays and the like!

Nicole Wilton
Piano, Canada

Veronica said: Jan 13, 2014
Veronica Ramirez Alonso
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education, Guitar, Piano
Ambato, Ecuador
1 posts

Hi, Nicole.

I am a latinamerican member form Ecuador and I am also starting with group
lessons, can you explain briefly how to play those games? especially legato
lake…

composer memory, rhythm bingo, legato lake.

I

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