Group and Ensemble Classes

General Information / Group Class Schedule / Group Class Lists

Group classes are an important aspect of instrumental study. In the early stages of the child’s musical adventure they provide a social context in which to play the instrument.

The groups are kept fun and are used for reinforcement of the skills and techniques being learned in their private lesson, as well as building “team” skills. Playing together and listening to others as well as the teacher are important aspects of instrumental playing.

The children are also given chances to play “solo” in front of their peers and this eases the stress of recital playing.

As the children progress, the groups become more centered on developing ensemble playing and more subtle aspects of music such as dynamics and different bow strokes.

Music theory and reading is incorporated as the children become more advanced.

Eventually the group classes become primarily small orchestra classes, and the children become familiar with watching a conductor and playing as a section while being aware of the other sections in the orchestra.

Regularly scheduled piano accompaniment at the classes enhances the musical experience and helps prepare for concerts.

The groups should not be considered primary learning classes, though there can be some primary learning introduced through them. They predominantly reinforce and build on things learned through the private lesson. Even though the children may be a part of school or other orchestras it is useful for them to participate in the group lessons and ensembles as these are tailored directly to my students and what I believe is important for them to learn at that time. They are usually smaller than the school groups allowing for more personal feedback and guidance from the teacher.

Some of the repertoire worked on in the groups will be performed at recitals each semester.

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