It’s group piano month at topmusic.co, and we’re kicking off with Paul Myatt and Gillian Erskine. Paul & Gillian run thriving group based piano academies, Forte Schools of Music. They believe that teaching piano in group lessons is not only a quality option, but the best option for creating well-rounded musicians.
Both Paul & Gillian first started teaching group piano classes through the Yamaha piano method. Gradually they started to want things that the Yamaha method didn’t offer, and began designing their own curriculum. Their group lessons now incorporate elements of the Orff, Kodály and Dalcroze methods.
Students at Forte begin in group classes, and start to add some private instruction as they move into intermediate repertoire, but the group classes always remain the core part of their instruction. Within the group lessons students explore music through movement, ensemble playing and performing for the class.
Paul & Gillian have so many great ideas about effective group teaching, and how to get started in small ways incorporating group concepts in your studio. Take a listen to find out more about this unique music school.
If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.
How would you like to access step-by-step instructions and resources for running group classes? Are you ready to try adding some group teaching to your studio or trying a summer camp this year? How cool would it be to hear first-hand from people already ‘in the trenches’ and grab all their best ideas?!
It this sounds cool, then you MUST check out the latest webinar series from Tracy Selle and Sara Campbell called Group Teaching 101.
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There are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine.
Being a full-time teacher myself, I know how busy teachers are and how much time, effort and passion we put into our students. Sometimes, the last thing we want to do in our time off is listen to more piano teaching stuff! So, well done for using this time for self-improvement.
Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run. Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons.
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Did you enjoy this different approach to teaching? Was there anything you found challenging?
Are you thinking about trying out group classes after today’s podcast?
Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.