Updated: Jan 31, 2019
Many of us had instrument lessons as children, most certainly in a one-to-one set-up. Some of us loved our lessons, a few of us may have practised, but ultimately, most gave up, and indeed regret this today. But the idea of group learning of an instrument is completely novel. A set-up that is established in other countries feels alien to us in the UK, even though we accept that we learn almost every other skill within a group or class setting. I have written a blog post about the benefits of group learning, but what type of child (or family, as it is really the parent who is choosing!) attends our group lessons?
Over a year and a half into the KeyNotes journey, I have learnt so much about who it is that loves our group piano lessons, and they can be grouped into distinctive categories. Do you and your child fit into any of the following?
1) Early Years Learner. Most piano teachers won't take children on until they are confident readers (usually around age 6), and yet, because our curriculum begins with learning by ear, with letter names and rhythms (rather than going straight into pitch notation), we can take children as young as age 4.
2) Sociable Learner. Many children find the intensity of a one-to-one lesson difficult to manage as there is nowhere else in their lives that they are expected to work/learn this way. Parents recognise that learning with others, in a more informal environment, will help keep up their child's enthusiasm and motivation for learning. The group setting also lends itself so well to interactive tasks and approaches that just aren't possible in traditional lessons. And let's face it, peer motivation (and a little healthy competition) is the best type there is for giving a child the determination to progress/meet objectives.
3) Experienced Learner. We are getting more and more requests from people whose child has been playing the piano for a while (one-to-one) and is at the point where they either give up or try something different - this is where group lessons are great!
4) Dual Learner. Much the same as the experienced learner, but the parent has spotted the potential for group lessons to keep their child engaged and enthusiastic on the piano and so are taking both one-to-one and group lessons.
5) All-round Learner. Many parents love the fact that our lessons begin with listening tasks where children develop the ability to describe music using appropriate vocabulary; the group setting enables us to play many theory and listening games (which wouldn't work one-to-one) and our curriculum nurtures creativity through composing, as well as relating music to a story. There is also a lot of singing within lessons, as well as solo and ensemble performances at the end of each lesson.
If you would like to sign up for a three-week trial at any one of our locations, please visit the classes page to register: www.keynotesmusic.co.uk/