I recently joined a boxing gym. Even though there are days I could barely stand let alone walk, I keep going back for more. I also go to Zumba class at another gym. I’ve been doing Zumba for over 2 years now. I have never enjoyed working out… until the last couple years, that is. Before I started Zumba classes, a workout meant go on the treadmill, or elliptical or some solitary exercise machine. What I realized is when I’m on a machine, I am not motivated. I don’t push myself like I should be pushed and frankly I’m just down right bored. The group style classes motivate me, push me to do better (or at least keep up) and it’s fun! (Even though I feel it the next day…)
I think this is the same for our students. Piano in particular can be a “lonely” instrument. You can’t just pick it up and play it wherever you want. Yes, keyboards are portable, but it’s not as easy as say a violin or flute. However, there are plenty of group opportunities that piano students can take apart of so it doesn’t have to be such a lonely learning experience. I hold group classes quarterly in my studio. (No regular lessons when we have group) In addition to those quarterly group classes I hold a Christmas camp and Summer camps. Because of these settings I have seen my students become friends with each other. I have noticed that when they might have felt like quitting they held on because they wanted to continue to participate and see their piano friends in the group classes and performance events. They push themselves a little more, they encourage each other, we play for and with each other and we have fun!
Next week my students come back to lessons after having a break and we have our Fall Kickoff! (School starts back Monday as well) This is my 3rd year holding a Fall Kickoff when students return and I love it! In the past I had found that when students return the first week it ends up being a “wasted” week because they really need a little time to get back in the groove. By kicking our first week off as a group, it becomes a week to gear up and motivate. Then when they return for their regular private lesson the following week they are ready to go. I picked up my Piano Olympic/Assignment workbooks last week and am ready to go as well! For those who have purchased the Piano Olympic workbook in the past (or even those who didn’t) I added an assignment page you can download. Be sure to go to my store to find that attachment. What I did this year was combine my Piano Olympic workbook and assignment pages to make a complete assignment book for students. They turned out great!