Monthly Group Class Information

A Vital Part to Learning Music:  The Group Classes

 

One of the special components of our program is the Group Classes.  Once a month, both guitar and piano students meet to share their songs with each other, learn music theory, music history, and musicianship.  When students are ready, they are invited to play in duets or small groups.  Students are taught how to perform naturally and confidently, as well as how to be supportive and encouraging listeners.

 

In the group classes, your child will:

 

♪ Achieve a higher skill level more quickly.

♪ Get motivated to play more!

♪ Build self confidence.

♪ Learn a more complete picture of music, so they learn “outside the box.”

 

 

Achieve a higher skill level:  Every time you share a piece you've learned you get better at it.  You gain even more skill than by just playing it on your own!  


Get motivated to play more:  "I want to play the song she played!" a student will often say after hearing a peer play a more difficult than her own piece. 


Build confidence:  When you're with kids your own age doing the same thing and on the same journey--becoming a musician--you get to see that, though we may be at different skill levels, we all have similar challenges, fears, and hurdles to overcome when learning music.  You can relax and encourage each other on the journey.  And, after playing, each student gets a cheer!


Learn a more complete picture of music:  Music is more than notes on a page.  It is more than the latest teenage idol's hit song and video on YouTube.  It is more than "getting up in front of everyone and playing a song."  It is more than trying not to make mistakes.  "play it right."


While these aspects are all part of playing music, we don't want to loose sight of the long term goals:  What is your favorite song?  Why do you like it?  How does it make you feel?  How does playing it make you feel?  How does playing it for someone else make them feel?  How does it change the way you look at things?  


These are just some of the questions we get a chance to experience the answers of in the Music with Michael program.  g on their instrument which is not in performance condition yet.  Goal:  to help the child acclimate to playing comfortably in front of others and to learn the piece better.  Each student is given cheers and support by the other students.  


Topic of Teacher's Choice: to help expand students' awareness of different music genres, musical groups and musicians, and to learn music notation and song writing.

 

 
Does My Child Have to Play?
Please note that students—adult and children alike—are never forced to play at the group classes or recitals. However, it is highly encouraged for them to do so when they are ready because, the more a person plays in front of others, the more they “embody” their piece, the more used to it they get and the more confidence they gain in themselves as musicians. 
When in question, parent, teacher and student together decide when the student is ready to perform at the group class.
 
Group Lesson Benefits

Group lessons add innumerable benefits to your child’s music education.  Among them are

  • To give each child the opportunity to practice performing a piece.  My firsthand experience teaching students, and as a musician, myself—shows that when a person plays a piece in front of others they learn it better, and most often jump to a higher level of skill.
  • To motivate the student to play more.  As each child sees what the others are doing, they are inclined to play more and move more quickly in their studies on their own.
  • To give the students an opportunity to practice performing in a low-pressure, informal setting, where positive feedback is emphasized, rather than rating or judging.  This gives the student more permission to become and express their inherent creativity and natural ability on their instrument.
  • To encourage students to support each other, whatever their age or skill level.
  • When the student is ready, he or she can have the opportunity to teach a certain aspect of music they are currently learning, (a scale, chord progression, dynamics, hand position, etc.).   Studies have shown we retain 20% of what we see, 30% of what we hear, 50% of what we write, 80% of what we experience, and 90% of what we teach.
  • To learn a topic chosen by the teacher regarding musicianship, music notation, and well-known musicians.
  • To learn about a different music genre, musical group, to expand each students’ awareness of the vast world of music.
  • To play together, in an informal due or trio.  Similar to the learning growth that takes place when performing, a natural growth of skills happens when playing in a group.  Rhythm, listening, and communication skills, as well as confidence, appreciation, motivation to learn more, and joyfulness are all enhanced.