Why Supplemental Group Piano Classes Can Benefit Your Musical Growth
Through supplemental group piano classes, students find community with other musicians, gain experience performing music for others, learn new musical concepts, receive encouragement and inspiration from other students, and discover collaborative music-making opportunities.
During the most formidable years of my musical training, I received musical instruction through both private music lessons and supplemental group class settings. During private music lessons, I received personalized instruction custom-tailored for my needs and musical growth. Those weekly lessons served as the cornerstone of my musical education. However, looking back, I realize how much of a role supplemental group piano classes also served in my musical development.
So, what are the group piano classes and what are their benefits? Why study the piano with others?
What are supplemental group piano classes?
Supplemental group piano classes supplement the work of weekly piano lessons. These are not the same as group piano lessons, where one teacher teaches a group of students how to play the piano at the same time. Though the names are similar, group piano classes do not replace private weekly instruction. Group piano classes can take many forms and varieties. As a youth, group piano classes included performance opportunities, peer critiques, music theory instruction, and collaborative music-making experiences. In college, group music classes provided these same elements but sometimes took the form of a traditional masterclass with a guest expert providing instruction.
What are the benefits of supplemental group piano classes?
1. Students find community with other musicians.
Many activities are more fun when done in community. The study of music is often a solo endeavor, especially for solo instrumentalists like pianists. Practice time happens alone behind closed doors and the opportunity to collaborate with other musicians can often be minimal. When musicians gather together, magic happens. We realize we aren’t alone in our love of the craft. We hear stories of others’ successes and failures. And we find the motivation to keep pursuing our goals.
2. Students gain experience performing music for others.
If you want to get good at something, you have to practice the skill. Studying music requires a commitment to consistently practice our instrument. But did you ever pause to think that we should practice performing our instrument as well? Every week, students practice performing through their nerves as they perform their prepared pieces for the teacher. But performing on stage, in front of friends, family, or strangers can take performance anxiety to a new level. Through group piano classes, students can practice performing through their jitters and grow in their confidence to perform in front of an audience.
3. Students learn new musical concepts.
Group piano classes often present educational material that might not come up in their specific lessons. Whether the topics are formally taught in a group setting, or discussed tangentially, students can learn much about music history, music appreciation, music theory, performance techniques, practice techniques, musical form and analysis, the biomechanics of playing, and so much more!
4. Students receive encouragement and inspiration from other students.
Through conversation and observation, students find encouragement and insight not only from the instructor but from other students as well. Students can be exposed to new composers, new ways of thinking about the piano, and new solutions to their musical dilemmas.
5. Students discover collaborative music-making opportunities.
Group piano classes not only put us in contact with similarly-minded individuals but create opportunities to collaborate together. Find a new duet partner, accompanying role, or band member! As rich as the musical experience can be as an individual, creating music with others is a sensation like no other. My most meaningful musical experiences have been those when making music with others.
Blossom Piano Studio Group Piano Classes
In reflecting upon my remote piano studio, my current offerings, my past experiences as a music student, and my current experience as a writing student, I’ve realized that one piece has been missing from my piano studio….. a larger community.
I've been asking myself lately, "How can I give my remote piano students access to the larger musical community beyond the one they have with me as their teacher? "What would it look like to offer a gathering opportunity to my remote piano students so they could be mutually encouraged, inspired, and celebrated?"
The answer? Group piano classes.
I’ve decided; it is time to expand! I'm excited to announce that I will be offering group remote piano classes starting in Fall 2023, with a “trial” run in July 2023.
If you are a current piano student you will be hearing more about these offerings in my monthly newsletters. I am so excited to share this additional program with you!
If you are not a current piano student, but you are looking to study the piano in conjunction with a musical community, contact me today. This group piano class program is still in development, but I want YOU to be a part of it!
The process is simple:
1. Fill out an inquiry form. 2. Schedule a call to talk about your musical goals. 3. Let's get started!