Piano can be a lonely activity. The opportunities for ensemble and group playing tend to be less common than with other instruments, and it can leave students feeling…all alone. This is why building a sense of community within the piano studio is so important. Piano can be fun and social too!
That’s where the piano community comes in!
Laura Kahar runs a thriving piano studio in Sydney. Alongside regular private lessons, students also attend eight group lessons a year. These group classes are organised by age, and give students an opportunity to play for each other and learn as a team. Challenges and competitions are also run between students in each group, encouraging effective practice and progress.
The consistent group lessons throughout the year allow Laura’s students to see they’re not alone in their musical journey. Laura believes that being part of a wider community not only makes piano learning more fun, but can also help with teen retention rates. Teenagers are social creatures, and when piano means hanging out with friends, they’re more likely to keep taking lessons.
You won’t want to miss this podcast with Laura today, not only does she have fantastic ideas, but her positivity is positively infectious!
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How Laura fosters a sense of community in her studio
- Studio wide incentive and challenge ideas
- How to organise and schedule groups
- How Laura stays ahead of the planning required for group lessons
- Some of the activities Laura uses in her group classes
- How a sense of competition drives students forward
- Why themes make everything more fun and easier to plan
- How to make your older students “piano mentors” for your youngest students
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 andSara Campbell called Group Teaching 101.
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Items mentioned in this podcast:
- Teach Piano Today
- Color in my Piano (Joy Morin)
- Teaching Piano in Groups
- Let’s Play Music
- Laura’s studio website
Laura’s Favourite Links for Inspiration:
Thank you for Tuning In!
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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How do you build your piano community?
Are group lessons part of your studio package? Do your students know each other? Did today’s podcast inspire you to finally give group lessons a try?
So curious….how do you manage to teach that many students? Do you teach during the day as well?
I teach before school and after school on weekdays, and a full day (7.30am to 6.00pm with 2x 30mins break so I can express milk..o and eat!) on Saturdays. On Thursdays I have a few pre school students and siblings who are home schooled who come for lessons during the day. I survive and keep my energy levels up with daily yoga and meditation. Hope this helps.
TIM TOPHAM!!! You’re awesome. What you’re doing is awesome.
Thank you SO MUCH for the opportunity – SO SO MUCH FUN!!!
How fortunate are we (educators) to have this amazing website of yours.
You’re the best! THANK YOU!!!
Gday Laura – great interview. What an inspirational teacher you are, congratulations! I loved hearing you speak about how you interview the parents and engage them in their child’s piano learning experience. Also the group experience of making friends while learning – so important for a successful music learning experience I believe.
You’re going to have a great bunch of minions work for you in the future! I’m just up the road at Dee Why if you’d like to have a coffee sometime – cheers Paul
@paulmyatt:disqus Paul!! THANK YOU!! Means a lot coming from the ‘group classes’ guru! Haha yes my magical minions – they are the inspiration 🙂