Converting Private to Shared
Jane S., Australia
Without wanting to repeat too much of what has already been said, I just wish to report on my experience with moving from private to shared.
At the end of 2005 I notified all my private students that I would need to move them into a shared lesson, or I could find them another teacher. I mentioned all the benefits, but also explained that time restraints and family commitments prevented me from taking private students any more. All chose to stay and try it.
One child, whose parents were not keen, but who decided to try it for one term, even though they really thought private was best for her, had this to say. I asked how she was finding the switch to a group of 5 in level 4. They have reported “Emily actually much prefers it, and really enjoys the group. We are happy for her to stay.” Another parent said to me the other day, ‘ have you got a larger group for her son to join’, she really thought it was more beneficial for him.
I am now looking at joining existing shared lessons of 2 and 3 to form larger groups. I still take private lessons, but only temporarily. I tell them that I can get them started and access them over perhaps 4 weeks or so, to help me decide which shared or group lesson will best suit them. This gives me a chance to really assess where they will best fit.
In the holiday breaks I offer a series of free lessons, like workshops, to those who are newly enrolled. This gives me another opportunity to access and best group and select for shared lessons.
In the past I have grouped kids together only to find that they don’t really go that well together. I need an opportunity to get to know them first. That way I get a higher rate of successful matches, when timetabling students together.
I have to be honest and say, I now find private lessons…….Boring and unstimulating. Groups take more energy, but give back more energy!!!!
At our next recital I intend to get them join into teams, to compete in a CATCHING CHORDS COMPETITION.
This will bring students together to form a team and work together to beat other teams.
We already have a timing game at the end of each group lesson, where they have to better their last time.
E.g. Children line up at top end of piano and one at a time, have to find either, c chord RH (level 1kids) all the way down, or CAGE chord 4 times, or Bishop St chord 4 times, of FABE with drop to Bishop. I time them.
The kids love it, and are excited about the challenge of a race (or sorts) while they have an audience to cheer them on. Makes for a noisy ending to a recital.