Three Types of Group Piano Programs

Group lessons are an excellent way to earn some extra income in your piano studio. There are a few different ways to do this, but I’m going to focus on three: Group introductory music classes, group beginner piano lessons for children, and group beginner piano lessons for adults. For each type of group class, I’ll list some examples for you to look into.

What is a group class?

A group class is really just teaching more than 1 student at a time. Most teachers do smaller classes, about 3-6 students at once, but some teachers do more. It’s really up to you, what you’re comfortable with, the age of the students, and the program you’re using.

Why group classes?

Children learn well in groups. They feed off of each other, help each other, and wish to show the teacher and other students what they can do. It’s also a way for a piano teacher to get more students into their studio at once. You can teach four students in one hour, instead of giving four individual 30 minute lessons over two hours.

Introductory music classes:

Most group programs for preschool and kindergarten aged children are more of an introduction to music than they are piano lessons. You teach them the letter names of the keys on the keyboard, the notes on the staff, dynamics, and introduce them to different types of instruments. Usually these classes also involve singing, crafts, and movement. The younger the student, the more guidance they’ll need, and the shorter their attention span.

Young Student Group Programs:

  • KiddyKeys – I haven’t used this program personally, but really enjoy what the creator, Kris Skaletski, has done with Jennifer Eklund and the Roadtrip! Series. I looked into this program extensively, but without really enjoying teaching in a group setting myself, couldn’t make the investment. You need to both pay for the program (which is $1000+), and for a license if you teach at more than one location or have more than one teacher in your studio.
  • MiniMusic – This is a much smaller investment, as far as preparing for group classes goes. Even if you decide that group classes aren’t for you, the flash cards and piano scarf are very useful.
  • Kindermusik – This is pretty recognizable by parents, and usually offered at a music school.
  • Music Together – Another great program, ages 0-5. You’ll need to attend a workshop to become certified.

Group beginner piano lessons for children:

With a group piano class, you’ll take a beginner piano method designed for very young children, and teach it to more than one child at a time. Some people only do beginner lessons this way, with 3 or more children at once. Other people give these group classes in addition to the private piano lesson. For instance, a student could have a private lesson each week, and then a beginner group class once a week or once a month, depending on the teacher.

Group beginner piano lesson methods:

  • Piano Safari – This one is great, there are so many online resources and the authors are more than happy to help with questions.
  • My First Piano Adventures – This method is fun too, with training videos online.
  • Music for Little Mozarts – Just another idea. You can take any early lesson book and make this work. This one also has an iPad app.

Group beginner piano lessons for adults:

For this, you’re going to need more than one piano or keyboard in the studio. Each adult will need their own piano to practice at during the class. Many people use digital keyboards because the students can plug in headphones and practice what they’re working on while the teacher comes around. The most common method to use is Alfred’s Group Piano For Adults. This method is also on several teaching apps, including Piano Marvel, which is perfect for the group setting.

Test the waters:

One of the best ways to see how you like teaching in groups is to take your existing students and hold a special “party.” I’ve tried this for several Christmas parties. We get together and I have all the games in my studio, a few special new games they haven’t seen, and an activity like Rhythm Cups that they all learn together. Although this isn’t quite the same as teaching a beginner piano lesson in a group setting, it gives you a feel for the dynamic of engaging and guiding multiple students at once.

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What type of group classes do you teach? Is it something you do occasionally, or part of your regular schedule? Comment below to let me know!

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