Group classes are included in tuition and are important for developing performance skills, ensemble playing skills, and additionally provide the opportunity for rapport with peer violin and violists. Especially helpful for beginners, group classes are supplemental, monthly events grouped by age and/or ability.
Older and/or more advanced players are often grouped into small ensembles, which follow a different curriculum specialized to the needs of the ages/abilities of the students.
Beginner (generally through Suzuki book 3) students play both as a group and perform individually with the piano accompaniment in a super low-stress environment. Often classes include a group music game or two.
Group classes usually run about 45-60 minutes from in-the-door to out-the door and normally take place later in the afternoon on Sundays. If your normal class time takes place during a group class time, makeup lessons are provided.
*PLEASE NOTE: These are student only events, please plan to drop off your child, even if you normally attend lessons.
These group lessons are intended as a stepping stone to building good performance skills and experience, and many (especially very young or very beginner) students can be very shy. For most beginners, group class is the very first time to try out performing, and it is important to provide the opportunity to experience performances as a fun, relaxed, “sharing” activity as much as possible.
A parent may be quite familiar and obviously a friendly, reassuring presence, for their student; and meanwhile they may be an unintentionally intimidating one for another (especially young or new) student as they take the role of “audience member”.
For some student groups, especially those of school age (and somewhat inexplicably, and occasionally unpredictably), a parent presence changes the dynamic of the entire group in a way that is not always beneficial to the productivity of the class.
Finally, I often encourage students to try out new or not quite polished pieces at group lessons, and it is helpful to have a chance for a “rough draft” performance before presenting to the community at large.