I am developing an approach to teaching adult group piano by conducting the group as an ensemble.
It occurred to me that most pianists never get a chance to play with other musicians. At most they may play duet or accompany a singer but to play music the way string quartets or bigger ensembles, such as rock bands or orchestras, that is extremely rare.
For one thing, if a group needs a pianist, it needs only one. There’s no room for two or more.
Another is that the way someone learns to play the piano is one on one such as through individual, private lessons.
Nowadays, with digital pianos that have buttons for strings, jazz organ, harpsichord, guitar, choir, etc., it’s possible to simulate a bigger ensemble with just pianists.
Adult beginners learn much more quickly than children. But they can easily get bored or time-challenged by other responsibilities and “drop out.” To prevent dropping out, there has to be some social accountability such as in a group situation. In a group, they learn to listen, play in time, and participate in a way they can’t in individual lessons. Group dynamics makes piano playing fun and enjoyable.
Finally, it’s cheaper to take group classes than individual lessons.
As a Hawaii state resident, it’s just $212 to take 16 weeks of piano classes either 2.5 hours each or twice a week for 1.25 hours at college — compared to $100 per hour for individual lessons at market rates. [Read my post about the comparison.]
I’m arranging music for different levels of pianists to play together. By doing so, I can have different levels in one class.
SAVE THE DATE:
EARTH DAY JAM — free one-hour workshop at UH Maui College on Tuesday April 22nd.