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

Brazil
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 c...
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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, we...
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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 w...
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What Do You Like About Group Lessons?

​The Magic Triangle: Teacher/Student/Parent ​G roup 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 distin...
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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 teach i ng-  from regular weekly or monthly group  l essons to an occasional "practice recital. "  Likewise, every piano teacher uses some  form of technol...
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It's Never Too Late: Adult Piano Study

Brenda Dillon is on the faculty of Brookhaven College  in Dallas, Project Administrator for the National Piano Foundation, co-author of Acquiring Music Fundamentals, Design for Music Reading, Group Piano Study Guide, and Essential Steps and Piano Patterns, and Past Chairman of the Texas Group Piano Associatio...
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