Group Class Ideas

Patricia Burton said: Nov 3, 2016
Patricia BurtonCello
Flagstaff, AZ
1 posts

I teach a joint Cello Book I and 2 class consisting of 3 students. One student is very early Book I (Lightly Row) while another is late Book I (Long Long Ago) and the 3rd is in mid Book 2. I’m struggling to keep the Book 2 student interested in class while also making sure that the early Book I student is not left out of class.
Any suggestions of games or activities to play with the different songs that could be played by everyone or modified to be played by everyone would be very appreciated!

Edward said: Nov 4, 2016
Edward Obermueller
Suzuki Association Member
Morris Plains, NJ
73 posts

One feature of violin group classes is upper level kids learning duet parts for Book One. I don’t know if this exists in the cello world. If not, can you get the Violin Duet book and transpose it to key of D and bass clef? So your book 2 students can learn the Book One duet parts and accompany on Lightly Row etc.? There may be other duet/trio versions out there that I’m not aware of with cello parts.

Can the Book 1 students be coached to play along on open strings, or only when the open C string is appropriate, for example in the Bach Minuets where there are repeated Cs?

Can the Book 2 student learn the descant/obligato to Twinkle in D? That’s really challenging to memorize and play together with younger Twinkle, really good ensemble practice.

Could you have the book 2 student demonstrate a bowing technique from a book two piece that pairs well with book 1, such as long slow bows paired from Book 2 and then do Lightly Row?

Other age-range activities could include taking a break from instruments and playing hangman to learn musical terms (I use a small portable white board slate for that), and do basic note reading and/or key signature reading.

Very important question, one I would love to hear more answers applied to my violin students as well.

Happy practicing,

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