- Benefits of taking piano lessons in a group
- Downsides of learning the piano in a group
- Guidelines for registering to play the piano with a group
- How are the Piano Lessons taught in a group?
- What is the price range of learning the Piano with a group?
- The Ages Suitable for Piano Associations
- Definitions for Groups
“Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky
Becoming a famous Pianist like Richard Strauss, Franz Joseph Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart take time patience and consistency.
In a recent article by the Guardian Arts, a pianist said “playing the piano is the single most important that has enriched my life and it is a fulfilling and challenging passion. It enriches you as a person in so many ways. One of the biggest benefits I have derived is the discipline it instills in you. The only way to learn an instrument is to practice regularly- almost daily.
Whether or not you decide to learn through a group, online or take a private class, the decision is up to you to know the best way to learn to play the piano.
We will be talking about the benefits and downsides of finding a group to learn to play the piano in this article.
Benefits of taking piano lessons in a group
The piano can be learned in various ways. At a music institution, private or public school, in a group or taking private lessons at home. Regardless of the method you choose, each has its own set of benefits and downsides.
Learning how to play the piano with a group of people is almost like learning in a school however their teaching methods may vary.
A music school focuses more on the basics and theoretical aspects in their teaching method whereas the group style is more practical oriented.
If you are looking at learning the more complex and advaxxnced stage of piano, then leaning in a school is an option to look into though they are a bit more expensive.
The major benefit derived from learning to play the piano through a group is the ambiance. It is usually a very relaxed environment where learning to play the piano is very interesting.
You will be able to practice in a fun way while a skilled teacher is by your side.
It is also like a real school where there is a course outline and the progress of each student is monitored. The student will be taught the best way to practically learn how to use the piano.
An added advantage is the price range of learning the piano through a group is usually cheaper than that of a private school.
The upper hand in learning in a group is their lack of restriction and accessibility. Additionally, the fewer the students the better accessibility you have to the teacher.
Prior experience is not needed. It is a class open to all manner of individuals interested in learning how to play the piano.
Downsides of learning the piano in a group
Learning how to play the piano in a group of course also has its downsides.
One of the cons is simply the pace at which you can learn. If you are a fast or a slow learner, this will definitely affect your progress since learning is with a group of people. There are no personalized lessons for each individual since the piano teacher is concentrating on the class as a whole.
It is, therefore, a vital process for you to always practice at home yourself and monitor your progress level in order not to lag behind during the classes.
It is advised to change groups or enroll in a music school when you feel the beginners' class is no longer suitable for you and an advanced level is needed to further your interest in playing the piano.
Before registering with a group, make it a duty to know the maximum number of students per class because the more the students, the more difficult the music teacher will be able to monitor the progress of each student.
In addition, it is important to know that the music teachers will likely not be a professional pianist like the ones in a music school. There is actually no law that states the teachers in a beginners group should have the required degree like those in a music school.
In Nigeria, there are different requirements and qualifications needed to become a qualified music teacher.
- B.A or B.Ed ( Music) or PGDE Music Education
- MUSON (Musical Society of Nigeria) Certified
- Teaching experience in music. This will be an added advantage
- Ability to work well with, and relate to, children of all ages
- Effective classroom management skills and know how to assess and grade your students' progress
- Ability to implement technology in the classroom
It is key to note that being an excellent pianist will not necessarily make you a good music instructor.
Additionally, it is important to know that the methods adapted in teaching will go a long way in determining the progress of each student.
However, some groups offer fantastic lessons and some of them are even like music schools that teach you to play the piano at a professional level.
A good example of a music school that offers piano courses in a group is the MUSON Society of Nigeria. The amount you pay is dependent on the type of class you begin with. They offer courses at the basic, diploma and the master level.
A large number of Nigerian music teachers belong to the Music Teachers Association of Nigeria. If you decide to go through their Facebook page, you will most likely know if the music teacher in your group is a qualified music teacher or not.
The pace of innovation has brought about how to learn to play the piano online with the aid of computer-assisted music courses either from a qualified musician or software.
Guidelines for registering to play the piano with a group
Joining a group at the beginning of the year is paramount whether or not you are registering as a fresher or taking a refresher course.
However, some groups allow you to join at any point in time but of course, it will benefit you more if you join at the beginning of a new class.
One of the good things about learning the piano in a group is that no prior experience or interview is required. Anyone is accepted based on the openings available that suit the course you are interested in.
It is strongly advised to attend trial classes of different groups to know the number of students and training methods adopted by the teacher before registering with any group.
It is important to know the reason why you want to learn how to play the piano. Whether or not it is for fun will aid your decision in choosing a group to start with.
How are the Piano Lessons taught in a group?
As earlier stated, piano lessons taught in a group are similar to the ones taught in a school. The student is expected to work both on the theory and practical aspects.
The duration per class is from 30 to 60 minutes depending on the age, level of the student and the group. The more advanced class can be anything between an hour to two hours. It is also a known fact that the more you play the piano, the better you become.
As a matter of fact, the method adopted in teaching varies from one group to another. While some groups are particular about the fun in the learning process, some other ones are all about the structure adopted in the learning process.
What is the price range of learning the Piano with a group?
The prices in a piano group or piano association are far lesser than the tuition fees charged if you are learning with a private music school.
Some groups have access to grants and sometimes government funding which makes their prices more affordable for the masses.
Additionally, some juicy discounts are always involved for example some can indicate that the more people you bring to learn, the more discount you and your partners get.
Payment plans are also available to people learning with a group. You could pay monthly, quarterly or yearly based which is however based on your agreement with the group.
It is important to note that prices are largely dependent on the location of the group and the courses being offered. In a city like Lagos or Abuja, prices can be double or triple what you might pay compared to some other states.
The Ages Suitable for Piano Associations
A child can start learning how to play the piano from 6 years old or even as soon as they can learn to read a music sheet or write.
Since there are no suitable pianos for children below 6 years, it is very important that the child is positioned well enough to reach the piano keys without any hassle. How you position yourself is very vital to your learning process.
Everyone is always welcome to register with a group or piano association, unlike music schools that have some criteria before entry. There is no restriction upon registering in a group. The interest you have to learn how to play the piano is majorly the criteria.
The method adopted by a professional music instructor in teaching a child is definitely different from that adopted in teaching an adult. There are beginner and advanced courses for both children and adults.
The ambiance in a group learning how to play the piano is mostly joyful and fun.
Definitions for Groups
Learning the Piano is not solely about playing the instrument but also understanding some vocabulary to enrich your musical knowledge.
Here are a few music vocabularies to arouse your interest.
What does a Chord mean?
The sounding of two or more notes at the same time.
What is a Flat?
Indicated by a stylized ♭ sign, shows that the note before which it is placed should be lowered by a semitone. Flat can also mean that a note is out of tune, sounding lower than it should in this case.
What is Neoclassical?
Neoclassicism is a style of music used by composers in the 20th Century which incorporates Classical and Baroque structures within their works. Stravinsky, Ravel, and Hindemith are all composers who experimented with the style.
See how you can learn how to play the piano all by yourself.