Inside the Studio with Rebecca Pennington

This video shows the introduction of a new piece in a group class online. The students work through the preparation steps as a group, practice the piece on their own, and play for the teacher to receive feedback.Music Featured: "On Tiptoe" from Music Tree 1, AlfredTopics: Elementary StudentsOnline Group PianoReading and RhythmStudent Independence

Teaching Group Classes Remotely

Group classes are a vital form of interaction in the time of COVID-19.Now more than ever before, students cherish opportunities to see familiar faces, interact with peers, and make music with others. Online group classes can operate in much the same fashion as in-person classes with careful planning and creativity. A detailed lesson plan is importa...

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First Looks: Music for Young Children® (MYC®), A group piano program for young children

MUSIC FOR YOUNG CHILDREN (MYC) is a piano-focused music curriculum designed for age-based classes of up to six children (ages 3–9). Founded in Canada by Frances Balodis program's focus on group learning and parental involvement. in 1980, it was most recently revised in 2015, and is now an international&n...

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The Power of Piano Ensembles: Building Collaboration, Musicianship, and Community

I was raised in Caracas, Venezuela, a prominent musical center in Latin America, and I enjoyed seeing how music activities were common in the daily life of this city's youth. Ensembles, choirs, and orchestras were prevalent, and from very elementary to advanced levels string, wind, and percussion students had the possibility of sharing and learning...

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Class piano connections: A Brazil-U.S. group piano project


Collaboration between two foreign countries can be fraught with deadly secrets, dangers, and mysterious politics. Fortunately, in the case of piano classes in Brazil and the United States, these were not the circumstances. In fact, our collaboration fostered creativity and relationships among the students in both countries.  Beginnings When co...

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Dorothy Stolzenbach Payne: Remembering a legendary Cincinnati piano teacher

Dorothy Payne

Last year I stumbled upon a short book called Is There a Piano in the House? This book is about the life of Dorothy Payne, well-known teacher and pianist in the Cincinnati area. I was astonished to read about a teacher who specialized in group teaching and adult learning in the 1950s. This extraordinary woman was chosen Woman of the Year by the Cin...

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Reinforcing the same concepts a different way

Often, in my teaching, I find that I become bored with a piece or activity before my student does. I am excited to move on to the next new concept, new piece, or new technical skill. I constantly have to remind myself that the student hasn't been teaching piano for many years, they only come once a week to their lesson, and they just haven't experi...

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Independent Study Project

When I taught on the college level, I would frequently assign my freshman and sophomore students a composition to be learned on their own. No help from me. They might listen to recordings and would sometimes play for friends, but the preparation was basically independent study. Junior and senior level students would be assigned one of those indepen...

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How do you work on improvisation in your group classes?

Improvisation activities with your group classes can be surprisingly effective. Working with their peers can help encourage and motivate students to try out different ideas and get over any initial hesitation they have about improvising. It is an activity that can engage everyone, and students get to develop their aural skills as they listen to eac...

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How do you teach reading in group lessons?

from the series: Independence Day: Music Reading Craig Sale, Editor Group lessons are able to facilitate the learning of music reading concepts in an efficient, effective manner. A recent Keyboard Companion readership survey showed that roughly half of those responding utilize group instruction in some way - occasional group lessons, week...

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How does teaching in small groups help students' rhythmic development?

from the series: The Heart of the Matter: Rhythm Bruce Berr, Editor It is an often-discussed perception that as we get older, time seems to pass faster and faster. This phenomenon has been observed and written about throughout the ages in many different cultures. I remember my own personal suspicions about this being confirmed when I was ...

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What Do You Like About Group Lessons?

The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent Group teaching takes special skills. I rediscovered this fact last Fall when I began teaching Music Together, a program for infants, toddlers, and their caregivers. True, I had taught regular third and first grade sometime during the Dark Ages of my 20s, but time passes and memories fade. I distinctly...

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How Do You Make Your Summer Lessons Different?

Are you looking for some creative ideas for next summer's teaching? Ideas that will motivate your students, refresh your studio, and provide a change of pace from your regular teaching routine? Then read on!  Our writers for this issue include four independent piano teachers as well as parents and students who tell us how they feel about ...

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How Do You Use the New Technology in Group Teaching?

Although the term group teaching defies a simple definition or universal application, most piano teachers today include some type of group activity in their teaching- from regular weekly or monthly group lessons to an occasional "practice recital." Likewise, every piano teacher uses some form of technology in teac...

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Piano Magazine is the leading resource for pianists, piano teachers, and piano enthusiasts. We bring you informative, interesting, and inspiring ideas on all aspects of piano teaching, learning, and performing. The official name of Clavier Companion magazine was changed to Piano Magazine in 2019.

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