Benefits of Group Lessons

Ruth Ann Godfrey said: Jun 6, 2017
Ruth Ann Godfrey
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Salt Lake City, UT
4 posts

I have a parent in my studio whose child cannot make it to her level 2 group lesson. I have told them to come to the book 1 group lessons because I believe the experience is still valuable. What sorts of comments can I include in urging them to bring their daughter to the “Lower level” group since she has swimming lessons during her book 2 group lesson time?

Sincerely, Ruth

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 6, 2017
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
1017 posts

If the student has truly mastered everything in book 1, then things like “leadership opportunity”, and
“pay it forward”
(others who are higher level than this student have helped this student learn; this student should pass the favor on to the “next generation” of students in your studio)

And
“every book 1 song is an opportunity to practice a harder technique from book 2. Use the book 1 songs to master the technique, and book 2 will be a breeze”

You could also give an opportunity each week for one harder level piece that the book 2 student can showcase for the class, in which case, this is also a

“performance opportunity”

etc.

Paula Bird said: Jun 6, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
394 posts
Ruth Ann Godfrey said: Jun 7, 2017
Ruth Ann Godfrey
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Salt Lake City, UT
4 posts

Thanks Jennifer and Paula, your responses are extremely helpful! I have some other ideas too, such as, “Socialize with the other students”, “Improve your ability to play perfectly in the group”, “Practice note reading and sightreading,” (this can be done with students at various levels in one group), “participate in ear training games and rhythm games”, “practice being supportive and respectful of the other students although they are her same age are not at her musical level.”

Thanks again, you’ve helped me think through this!

Sincerely, Ruth

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 7, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

Be sure to charge them for the group sessions whether they come or not. That usually takes care of a lot of excuses.

Kay said: Jun 13, 2017
 Violin
9 posts

I have way more success with my violin students when I include group playing sessions in my program. Group playing is so important on so many levels. I hold them weekly to maintain continuity of attendance.

Kay Woods

Ruth Ann Godfrey said: Jun 13, 2017
Ruth Ann Godfrey
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Salt Lake City, UT
4 posts

Hello Kay, yes this is a great idea. I hold them twice a month in the summer. Weekly is better and gives more strength to the studio community. Thanks for your input.

Sincerely, Ruth

Joanne Shannon said: Jun 13, 2017
Joanne Shannon
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Los Angeles, CA
49 posts

I do group once a month as we can’t play all together on the piano. However, we all perform and do Music Mind Games. It gives everyone something to look forward to and gives parents a perspective on where their child is heading.

Rebekah said: Jun 13, 2017
Rebekah Hanson
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
18 posts

Duets are always a great way to get more advanced students involved with younger groups. They add so much with all the great harmonies!

Mary Taylor Allen said: Jun 14, 2017
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Cello, Viola
Stillwater, MN
4 posts

I hold weekly group sessions for three levels. Beginners, early Book One (30 minutes) time catered to those involved, especially for the summer.
For “readers” Chamber Music weekly/one hours sessions. These are Orchestra students, late Book One, early Book Two students. We play early chamber music, rounds & canons, orchestra parts music and Fiddle ( these pieces are mostly by ear or memorized) We have so much enjoyment,in the music, that when I ask them at the end of the summer, if they are ready to stop. They clamor “No let’s go one more week !”
For Advanced students books 4 and 5. We play Advanced Chamber Music/ one and a half hours/ 2-3 times monthly. These students get very busy! Scheduling is tight.
No performing is planned. So that we can simply enjoy the music and take our time and challenge ourselves. But sometimes we do play at a Retirement Home or outdoor event.
This is my first post. Sorry, if it is too long. But I am super committed to the Group experience as a teacher and for my students. There is simply no other way to develop aspects of the student without it. Also parents need encouragement to understand the value of the Group. I offer it at a very reasonable rate $15 per session, because of multiples, and a discount for monthly commitment, $38 for 3-5 sessions! (free for those in need) Young teachers do this it develops your teaching like nothing else.

Mary Taylor Allen

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