Group lessons for piano?

Caitlin Anselmo said: Nov 20, 2016
Caitlin AnselmoPiano
Nashville, TN
5 posts


I’ve built my studio enough to begin group lessons with my students. All of my kids are Book 1 piano students. I’m just wondering, what do you piano teachers do in your group lessons? How long are they?



Monica said: Nov 21, 2016
Monica ChristianPiano
Novar Gardens SA, Australia
3 posts

I’ve done group lessons for almost all of my 33 years of Suzuki piano teaching. They are important for community building both among the parents who participate for the first few years, and of course, the students. I divide the students in groups of similar experience age, not so much current ability. Here is how I usually run my classes.
We begin by singing a variety of things, using solfa and hand signs, or words to repertoire. Ensemble playing on two pianos develops from repertoire ensemble to eight hands arrangements of simple pieces and 12 bar blues written arrangements. This keeps us busy for about 15 minutes.
Then games follow, all of which are either Michiko Yurko’s Music Mind Games, or games I’ve invented. As I’m a singer, there’s a focus on interval training, listening for chords, as well as the usual beat, rhythm, pitch, dynamics and form games.
The final ten minutes of the hour is a mini concert which requires the audience to be settled and appreciative, and requires the performers to announce, bow, play, and bow again. This is great practice for the bigger studio concerts.
Each group gets about ten group lessons per year. Not enough, I know, but every bit helps.
My older students sit around a table in the dining room studying music theory from books, with the assistance of a past student. They are then encouraged to join ‘concert time’.
I hope this is helpful.

Gloria said: Nov 21, 2016
Suzuki Association Member
75 posts

Hi . I have also done music groups for about 20 years, and they are very similar to Monica´s.
I also very strongly recommend attending one of Caroline Fraser´s courses on introducing music reading (cannot recall the exact name of the course), with 2 different levels. She also has a group class session. She teaches those at Holy Names University, in CA, in July every year. They are some of the best course I have taken, ever.
Those pre -reading courses for young students completely revolutionized my approach.

Really, the sky is the limit, but it is good to start with some simple yet effective guidelines. I find that the rhythm of the class is important, to adapt it to the developmental level of the kids.
Hope this helps.

Caitlin Anselmo said: Jan 21, 2017
Caitlin AnselmoPiano
Nashville, TN
5 posts

Thank you ladies very much!! This is very helpful!


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