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opinions please....

(23 Posts)
cupofteainpeace Mon 02-May-11 20:40:39

I am an instumental teacher and was wondering...
Do parents prefer 1-2-1 30 min lessons,
or small/large group lessons?
Also, in or out of school?

Many thanks.

tryingtoimprove Mon 02-May-11 21:01:29

Ideally on school premises before/after school - no ferrying around, no lesson time missed.

1-2-1 as I did both as a child, and from my own experience although 3/4 group lessons were cheaper for my parents, not substantially so, and the amount that I learnt per lesson compared to individual was substantially less.

marialuisa Tue 03-May-11 20:40:19

1-2-1 without a doubt. Mixed feelings on in/out school. DD has done both and from September all music lessons will be out of school, primarily because she's fed up of having to miss class (although she didn't mind missing break) but also because she loses so much through the summer holidays.

cupofteainpeace Tue 03-May-11 22:22:14

Thanks.
As a teacher I am constantly being told by authorities that group teaching is the way to go.
I can see group teaching has a place, but believe there is a real desire for parents who can afford it for 1-2-1 teaching as well.
Any other opinions?

tryingtoimprove Tue 03-May-11 22:52:55

I was reading somewhere (can't remember where) about that group lessons are the most productive way for children to learn an instrument. I couldn't disagree more.

For example my kids school, does a 30 minute group lesson of 5 children (for free) per week in yr 2 on recorder and yr 3 on violin, my dc are musical they do not learn in these lessons, they are too basic for them, because in a group it has to be based on the lowest denominator.

maggiethecat Thu 05-May-11 00:14:24

Think individual lessons with group training eg orchestra is good.

cat64 Thu 05-May-11 00:24:13

Message withdrawn

crazymum53 Thu 05-May-11 08:36:04

I would say that group lessons are fine if all the pupils are at the same standard so are able to play together etc.

ZZZenAgain Thu 05-May-11 09:01:18

agree with Maggie, in our experience that is what worked best

ZZZenAgain Thu 05-May-11 09:09:00

actually the other day dd's guitar teacher said that he has a problem with a group of his. They are about 7 years old and two in this small group refuse to practise at all. So what can he do? The group cannot progress much onto new material if two of them are stuck at a particular level. His problem is the way it is organised there have to be a certain number of dc within the group for it to be run and if those 2 who do not practise were moved out and taught more slowly in a joint class or individually for instance, the lessons would be discontinued. In your case I suppose that would be different, the groups could be reorganised with parents presumably paying more to continue with smaller numbers if you did it outside school.

SarkyLady Thu 05-May-11 09:14:29

Depends what you mean by group lessons.
If you mean a group of 3-5 kids of different natural abilities all trying to learn basic skills then IME this is a waste of everyones time. Those with natural talent get bored while those less able get frustrated and embarrassed.

If you mean a group of kids who already have some basic skills learning to play together where their parts are carefully matched to their ability level then this can be absolutely fantastic and is one the most rewarding form of music for most kids. Especially those without the aptitude/inclination for solo performance.

ZZZenAgain Thu 05-May-11 09:17:27

wondering too what instrument? For percussion /drumming, I think it could be the best approach even. For violin personally I wouldn't choose a group lesson

cupofteainpeace Thu 05-May-11 22:53:29

So basically, parents prefer 1:1 lessons with ensemble group playing as well.
I do too.
Some group teaching works well, in groups up to 4 with beginners, but feel it becomes less suitable as pupils progress.
So I am stuck with a) work for a music service with pay and conditions, but sell my soul to large group teaching, right the way up the grades, or b) work privately with no conditions, pension ect but teach the way I believe in.

I suppose these are normal life decisions really.
What to do.......

cat64 Thu 05-May-11 23:01:49

Message withdrawn

cupofteainpeace Thu 05-May-11 23:21:14

cat - thats pretty much what I do!!
Where are the supporters of group teaching up to grade 8 that I keep hearing about though? Mixed instrument group teaching? Mixed abilities in a group?
I keep on being told that is the way forwards......

Not on MN obviously.

cat64 Thu 05-May-11 23:43:09

Message withdrawn

ZZZenAgain Fri 06-May-11 06:28:09

mixed instrument group teaching? Cripes, wouldn't fancy being the teacher - unless you mean something like a strings ensemble or orchestra for all instruments - both of which have been brilliant for dd but that is in^ ^addition to individual tuition, not in place of it.

What I have found good is chamber music and jazz workshops where the dc are divided into groups more or less according to age. I am wondering how you could teach large groups up to grade 8. I know Suzuki teachers use a combination of both group and individual lessons but it would be very hard IMO to teach a group of say violinists in a large group up to grade 8. Wondering how anyone can be advocating it instead of individual tuition for any reason other than affordability really, agree with cat.

When you say you have been told large groups is the way to go, how large a group would that be?

ZZZenAgain Fri 06-May-11 06:29:07

workshops not grouped according to age obviously, sorry I meant according to ability.

cupofteainpeace Fri 06-May-11 13:41:17

I agree personally with you, which is why I struggle with the official line I am given. How I teach atm is in small (2) groups of very similar ability or 121 for 20 or 30 mins depending on ability.
HOWEVER,
I am expected to teach mixed brass lessons in a groups of 5-9, involving a 2 grade ability level. eg. 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, 2 baritones, ranging from grade 3- to grade 4+ levels of ability.
I have never actually done this, but it is the way things are going. Also, grade 8 groups are expected to be like instruments in groups of maybe 3 or 4 pupils.
There is also wider opps whole class "teaching" going on too. I haven't done that either!
Don't get it.

GarnishWithALemonTwist Wed 11-May-11 18:13:57

Mixed ability teaching? No, no way. Definitely one to one lessons. Maybe when children are older and more experienced there will be some benefit in learning as part of a group in addition to having private lessons, but not initially. Also, my preference is that music teacher goes into schools, child is called from whatever lesson they're in, have their 30 minutes and go back to the classroom. That way the day is not too long for the children what with all other activities and stuff. If they miss literacy or numeracy, catching up on 30 missed minutes a week is not a big deal. My DS usually misses assembly or PE though...

cupofteainpeace Fri 13-May-11 19:32:10

So, there is probably enough parents out there to warrant old fasioned 1-2-1 style teaching.
As long as schools support private teachers going into schools.
Thanks all.

roisin Sat 04-Jun-11 14:46:49

1-2-1 definitely.
In school is easier for us, as long as the child is motivated and focused and remembers to go to lessons. And if the teachers are good and motivated. (SOME school peripatetic staff are not great.)

It is a pain that there are long holiday breaks though. ds2 just has 30 lessons a year, which isn't that many.

cupofteainpeace Mon 06-Jun-11 21:16:29

roisin - agree that the holidays are long. I teach in hols ad hoc on a private basis as long as the parents are willing to babysit my dc whilst I teach!!!

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