Games, Group Classes

My New Monthly Group Lessons: “Piano Parties”

Now that I have enough students to do so, I have begun holding monthly group lessons with my students.  I tried it a few times last year, but ended up with a poor turnout both times.  Fortunately, now I have enough students to make it worth the effort.  I call them “Piano Parties.”

Right now, any of my students under age 15 are invited.  My youngest private students are 4, so this makes for a very wide range of ages!  Eventually, my goal would be to split them into groups by age/level, but for now, I am just happy to give them some kind of group lessons.  I am keeping them very fun and informal.

Our first one was a back-to-piano pizza party last month, and I completely forgot to blog about it.  Oops!  🙂  I’ll tell you about it now.  Continue reading “My New Monthly Group Lessons: “Piano Parties””

Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Music Camps

A Hello Song & Goodbye Song for Group Classes

When I shared about my method of lesson planning for groups classes a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned a Hello Song and Goodbye Song that I use with my young students.  Someone asked which ones I use, so I thought I would let you hear them in this quick video:


Hello, it’s time,
For music class today.
Let’s have, some fun,
With ____, _____, and ______.  (Fill in blanks with students’ names.)

Goodbye everybody, yes indeed,
Yes indeed, yes indeed.
Let’s make music again next week,
Yes indeed my friends.
Goodbye ____.  (Fill in with student’s name. Repeat this line as needed, then sing the first 4 lines again.)

There are lots of different Hello and Goodbye Songs out there to choose from – just google it and you’ll see!  These were just two that I liked that I found somewhere online.

Early Childhood Music, Group Classes, Music Camps

How I Lesson Plan for Group Classes

I’ve had a few requests lately from readers regarding more info about what kind of activities I do with my Homeschool Music Classes and Piano Readiness classes, so I thought it might first be a good idea to first give you a peek into how I lesson plan for group classes.  Although I don’t lesson plan for teaching private lessons, I do always make a plan for group classes.

At each class, we begin and end with a “Hello Song” and “Goodbye Song.”  Students like having this routine, and they are very good at reminding me about the songs if I forget about them!  I have the students tap the beat on their knees (as we sit cross-legged on our carpet squares) while we sing.  That way, I can tell if they are engaged even if they aren’t singing all the lyrics for one reason or another.

When I lesson plan the evening before the next day’s class, I try to include the following things:  Continue reading “How I Lesson Plan for Group Classes”

Conferences, Group Classes

OhioMTA Conference (3): Performance Practice Made Easy, by Marvin Blickenstaff

The next session was given by the fabulous Marvin Blickenstaff:

Performance Practice Made Easy: Rules of Thumb for the Piano Student

As teachers, we are always interested in fostering independence in our students — perhaps most importantly in the aspect of interpretation (making music musical and artistic). This is an elusive thing to teach.  It’s about getting beyond the notes.  It’s taking the dots on the page and transforming them into something that can change our lives.

Mr. Blickenstaff then told us about the Repertoire Classes he holds each week with his private students.  Students must announce their piece, the composer, and give some kind of explanation as to why the composer wrote the piece.  The students listening must take notes on what the performing student said, and also write down how the piece made them feel.   Continue reading “OhioMTA Conference (3): Performance Practice Made Easy, by Marvin Blickenstaff”