Group piano classes are not a common offering at the high school level, but it is exciting to watch them thrive as a good use of our personnel and facility resources. Not to mention, they're just fun. :) Things I love about group piano:
- Positive peer pressure: it is healthy and motivating for students to learn music in a peer group. As a teacher, I work hard to help each class build camaraderie and a spirit of encouragement. I must admit, that's pretty easy to do with the students at BFA. It is so much fun to watch them challenge each other.
- Varied literature: students are learning two to three times the amount of music that they would be learning in private lessons as they listen to their classmates perfect performance pieces alongside their own.
- Ensemble playing: The first time I really played in an ensemble was in college. The experience was transforming to my playing and in helping me realize how God had put me together. I am energized by people, and when given an opportunity to play with others it is really incredible. For introverts and extraverts alike, the experience of playing with a group emphasizes skills like steady tempo, playing through mistakes and sight-reading. These skills are essential for a budding musician.
The picture below is of one of my Piano 1 classes last fall on a performance day. They're a mix of day and boarding students. All but one of them are in a Piano 2 class this spring. I have especially enjoyed watching them grow over two semesters this year. What a privilege it is to teach!