Planning Group lessons

said: Jul 5, 2009
 145 posts

I’m starting group lessons with 4 pupils all book 1. I want to plan out a balanced lesson and was wondering what categories people include in the lesson.

bow exercises
violin hold

I’m finding it hard to work out how many things I can do in a 45 min group lesson. I’m thinking of doing 5 pieces plus a game for each piece.

Do people think I’ll have enough material for 45 mins ?

Laura said: Jul 5, 2009
Suzuki Association Member
358 posts

A 45min. group lesson actually passes by quite quickly!

It’s best to have a lot of pieces and activities planned, and you might not end up using them all. (Better that way, than to be stalling to fill up the time.) Over time you’ll get a feel for the group dynamic, which will be the key determining factor in how much you do during a class. Then you’ll be able to modify your group lesson plans accordingly.

Don’t forget the extra time it takes to check everyone’s pinky finger, have everyone else check everyone’s pinky finger, having the fun “consequences” for poor pinky finger positions, etc. Oh, and all of the “my turn to be the leader next!” That sort of thing ends up taking more time than you think.

said: Jul 6, 2009
 145 posts

Thank you for this purple tulip!

I have a 3 and a half year old who has had about 6-7 lessons joining the group. Any suggestions in how I can involve him ? He’s learnt bow and violin hold so far and we’ve done one lesson with bow hold.


Laurel said: Jul 14, 2009
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

I find that with 3 and 4 year olds, just giving the group instructions (i.e., Show me your best bow-hold, or Let’s do the numbers game for getting violins on shoulders) will get them copying the other kids! Fine-tuning the details can be done in private lessons.

If the other kids are playing songs, he can do air-bowing, or bowing on his shoulder. Or he can be the one to go around and check for covered-up violin shoulders or bent bow thumbs.

Good luck!

Jodie St Clair said: Oct 2, 2009
Jodie St Clair
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Eugene, OR
16 posts

I actually take one of those topics and make it the theme for the whole group class. That way as we play pieces I have that topic in mind as a teaching point. I may do 2 weeks dedicated to bow hold, 3 to violin position, 2 for dynamics, 2 for listening, etc…. I plan out the term this way and it helps me from getting stuck in playing the same games and doing the same things each group.

Eugene Suzuki Music Academy

Sara said: Oct 2, 2009
191 posts

I have a game called “music bingo” on hand. My students beg to play it. I don’t play it every time but on those times when it seems I have gone through all there is I pull that out. They learn from it and don’t know they are learning and the enjoy it.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

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