Group Piano

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Each term, we offer groups for all ages based on student interest and teacher availability. If you do not see a class schedule that works for you, please send us a message through the “Contact” button above with your child’s name, date of birth, and available days, and we will try to open a new class!

All students are required to have a piano or a keyboard on a stand with full sized weighted keys, a music stand, a piano bench at the appropriate height, and a pedal. Pianos are available for rent and purchase at Musically Minded Academy. Contact us for rates!

Group Piano Levels for Ages 4-6


Piano Teachers at Musically Minded Academy use the Faber and Faber “My First Piano Adventures” books and CD’s to supplement learning in group classes. Here is a note from the authors of these books:

“With students at age six or less, piano teaching becomes an adventure for both the child and the teacher. We’ve set aside our seriousness and inhibitions to join the child’s world in a playful exploration of music and the keyboard. Through imagery, metaphor, and a diverse world of sound, we seek to develop a foundation of aural perception, eye tracking, and physical coordination. There is special opportunity to develop perceptual ability at a young age. Skills unfold while we engage the child’s inherent love of music.”

Fun and Imagination for a Spirit of Play – We take students into a musical “playground” where we explore, hear, look, and learn, fully engaging the children with visual, auditory, and kin esthetic (feel/touch) activities.

Activity Based Learning for Focused Attention – Activity based learning correlates to the child’s age (5 minutes for a 5-year-old). Students move from table, to piano, to white board, and back engaging the child in the rhythm of each lesson.

Creative Metaphors for First Technique– Essential aspects of piano technique are introduced using child centered technique activities to teach rounded hand shape, arm weight, and rising wrist motion.

Movement and Singing for Rhythm and Pitch – Students are encourages to use their bodies and voices in various speeds, moods, and keys finding their own steady beat to play in time with their fellow students.


Classes names are based on the names of the books used in this series. There are three levels of books: A, B, C.

LEVEL A:  A1 is a preparatory class that takes students through the first 3rd of this level. A2-A3 continue through the end of the Yellow books.

LEVEL B:  B1-B3 take students through the Blue books

LEVEL C:  C1-C3 take students through the purple books.

 

Each of these courses (A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3, C1, C2, C3) are about 7 weeks long. Once A1 is complete, students enroll for an entire year in our program in tracks that cover certain levels.

Group Piano Levels for Ages 6.5-9


Classes names are based on the names of the books used in this series. There are 8 levels of books: P, 1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4, 5.

The Primer Level introduces the keyboard, note values, and the grand staff. Students play in Middle C Position and C Position through recognition of steps and skips, and learn letter names independent of finger number. Musicianship is built through the use of dynamics and coloristic experimentation with the pedal.

Level 1 introduces all the notes of the grand staff, elementary chord playing, and the concept of tonic and dominant notes. Students play in varied positions, reinforcing reading skills and recognizing intervals through the 5th. Musicianship is built with the introduction of legato and staccato touches.

Level 2A introduces eighth notes and includes C, G, D and A major and minor 5- finger positions. Transposition and functional harmony skills are presented in highly musical settings.

Level 2B presents cross-hand arpeggios and the full major scales in the keys of C, G, and F. Use of connected pedal and a variety of repertoire keep the students musically engaged as they explore I, IV, V7 chords.

Level 3A introduces 3/8 and 6/8 time signatures and the triplet. Students learn the chromatic scale, the 7th, one-octave arpeggios, and explore the key of D major through motivating and exciting pieces.

Level 3B offers appealing repertoire for a smooth transition to the intermediate level. Introduces the octave, the one-octave minor scale, motive and sequence, all 12 major and minor triads, triad inversions, syncopation, and an introduction to sixteenth notes.

Level 4 stresses chord inversions, sixteenth notes, and minor keys. Attention to graceful touch and dynamics continues to focus the student pianist on musical expression.

Level 5 continues to build musicianship with the circle of 5ths, cadences, flat key signatures, and the three forms of the minor scale. The use of octaves, arpeggios, and dynamic playing across the range of the keyboard develops pianistic skill for the intermediate student.

Benefits of Group Instruction

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  • Lower cost  — Group students all pay a portion of the rate for the classes, thus group lessons are less expensive than private instruction.
  • Peer learning is inspiring  — Students who learn together form a team and support each other in their learning process. Being part of a healthy group is inspiring and motivating for students.
  • Peer modeling is powerful  — Observing and participating in educational settings with peers inspires a healthy inner dialogue–“I am struggling to learn this. I do not know that I can do this. Oh, look at them! Look at how they are learning. I  see  now that I can do it!”
  • Musicianship skills  – Successful group playing requires sharp listening skills. Learning to sync, listen and musically collaborate with others develops strong musicianship.

 Instructors

AnnaTeacher Anna Orias  is the founder and director of Musically Minded Academy. She  has training and experience in many forms of group piano instruction.

Anna’s career has been devoted to fostering musicians. This work goes beyond basic music instruction. Through the medium of music education, she works to teach life skills to students. She believes that all people have artistry and creativity inside that is a seed, ready to grow. Once the conditions are right, the creativity emerges.

 

The instructors integrates their teaching knowledge with the material that is presented in method books to create a structured and dynamic learning environment for each specific age range.

Group lessons require a team effort to be successful. Instructors work with students to develop group dynamics that are supportive and inspiring. Parents/caregivers, instructors, the administration and the students work together to create a dynamic and powerful learning environment. Everyone must do their part to put the pieces in place. Students need to feel safe, supported, encouraged, challenged, and inspired to learn. Parents need support to help figure out how to schedule regular daily practice time and to assist their children with maintaining the pace of the class. The administration needs to ensure that everyone is well informed about rooms, scheduling, policies, tuition, etc.. The instructors need to constantly evaluate each students needs while keeping the spirit and vibrancy of the group.

Group learning can be a powerful educational experience and Musically Minded Academy aims to grow our Group Piano program.


2 Responses to Group Piano

  1. Romy Falck says:

    Mattea has never had lessons before & really wants to learn. Her summer goal is to learn how to play the piano..

  2. Amanda Staab says:

    Hi there,
    I just posted information about when my daughter would be available for a group piano class, but I didn’t see any place for my contact info. I’d like to sign my 4 year old up. Please let me know what is available and the costs!
    Thanks!
    Amanda Staab

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