Teaching Arrangements to Groups
Shelly E., Utah
How do you go about teaching arrangements to a group of 5? They don’t have SHMs, so do you mostly have them learn through watching. But how do you process it into their fingers at the lesson? Do you have them each take a turn at the piano while every one watches? I’ll be teaching a group of students who already know DCT and have had a good amount of prior experience, so I’ll be doing the arrangements for DCT starting next week. Do you use keyboards and check it little by little or how? I just ordered the workshop arrangement audio so hopefully that will help give me some guidance.
Sheri R., California
Here is what I do: Use keypads a lot. Have people speak instructions aloud and describe what they’re doing (important for small groups or private as well). I will ask each person to say one thing about the arrangement.
Have just one or two demonstrate while others watch or have 2 or 3 at piano at the same time and then the next 2 or 3. I tell them to work it out at their own pace or they each do it alone while others watch. Usually I don’t teach entire arrangement in one lesson–just a portion of it–mostly they are unfolded over 2 or 3 weeks so it’s pretty doable to have everyone in a small group try at keyboard.
To help students with remembering arrangements tell them to do these 5 things in the first 24 hour period after learning–they will increase the likelihood of them remembering:
- describe aloud in lesson
- describe aloud in car and play on keypad in car–good opportunity to encourage them to buy another keypad for their car
- play as soon as they get home
- play right before bed
- play before going off to school or work.
If these 5 steps are taken the memory is helped and they are less likely to forget. If they forget they can call someone else in the class. They may not remember it all but will get better at remembering with time. In the meantime they learn plenty just from sitting at piano and trying to figure it out. NO NOTES TAKING!!
If you teach at the beginning of lesson, try to review it at the end of the lesson before they leave.