Since its inception 28 years ago, The Music Place has rarely offered group instrumental learning for the simple reason that were not convinced that this type of class could both promote the uniqueness of each child's learning style and still create a genuinely effective learning environment.
If we identify a child's learning style in our unique assessment, then we cannot with integrity expect children whom we know learn differently to learn as well with other kids.
Why offer this now?
After careful consideration and research, we have decided to offer group learning on four basic "starter" instruments for five reasons:
1) You have requested this. Parents have asked for a way in which they can move from our introductory Early Music Awareness classes into instruction on instruments with a reduced commitment of expense and expectation before moving on into private lessons. In these economic times a longer lesson (45-50 minutes) for less cost is a desirable solution.
2) We now have well-defined parameters that will ensure that we not compromise our core values. We want to honor our core values of making learning fun and addressing individual uniqueness, so we will limit group instrumental learning two categories of students:
- For these beginners, we will offer 8-12 week overviews of guitar, recorder or keyboard in which they will learn the basics of the the geography, technique and notation on their chosen instrument. Each child will be inspired by the synergy of making music with others as they apply growing note-reading skills to their own instrument during the class.
b) Those who have studied long enough (approximately 1-2 years) to read music and join a "band".
- Imagine the fun of learning and creating music with others who might even play different instruments. With limited band and orchestra opportunities we will offer "Garage Band" packages in which students who study privately may join a group band class at 50% of the regular price. This offer is also extended private lesson-takers who love to sing. We offer our weekly 45-minute vocal groups for half price as well.
3) Simply put, it is a more efficient use of time and space. We want to be good stewards of the many wonderful large rooms in many of our facilities and of our teachers' time as well, so this just makes sense.
4) FUN! We are now convinced that if done correctly, even instrumental groups can be more fun than private lessons. The power of social interaction in learning cannot be underestimated so we want to take advantage of the motivating effect of positive peer pressure as well as the inspiring sounds generated by making music together with others.
5) Long term learning IS best in private lessons. We maintain the belief that after a basic overview, the positivity of a child's experience comes most consistently from the progress made in the focused learning that can only be made in a private (one-on-one) lesson setting; however because the best solution is a combination of both private lessons & group interactions as noted above, we often encourage students to join a supplement as they begin to play more fluently. See older group instrumental options.
We are thrilled to offer these options to our Music Place Family! We are happy to help you find the session that best suits your student. If you have questions, feel free to call our office for further information. Join in the fun now!