A Great Way to Teach Strings!
For many years now, I’ve been teaching a program which gives students two weekly lessons: a group class and a private lesson.
In our weekly one-hour group class, the children learn basic musical structure and ear training through the use of singing games, moveable-do sol-fa, and reading and writing activities which are hallmarks of any Kodaly program. They also learn to play their instruments with each other in an ensemble, and they learn to play for each other as soloists. The three main functions of the group class, then, are learning the elements of music through singing, ensemble work, and solo performing.
In our weekly half-hour private lesson, which is attended by a parent, students get the individual attention they need, especially with violin technique; and also giving teachers the chance to customize the curriculum according to the needs of the student.
With this model for lessons, the children really do get a comprehensive program for developing complete musicianship. It’s amazing to see how much they learn in such a short time! Having seen the result, I encourage you who are involved in your own studio to include group classes as part of your program. As the children interact with each other, you’ll see that it makes practice more essential and fun! You also have the advantage of controlling the learning sequence of both group and private lessons. It’s so much less confusing for the children when what they are learning in their group class is also what they are learning at their private lesson. Love it, love it, love it!