Your opinions of group guitar teaching

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Catire
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Catire » Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:55 am

My first lessons were with a group. They taught me the very basics, and were a wonderful introduction to the guitar. For me it was useful, in part because I was not the sole focus of attention, it gave me some time to reflect, and, also, to observe the other students, and it was easy on the pocket, something witch, at the time was a serious consideration. I doubt that it would be a effective way of teaching the more advanced aspects of guitar playing, but as an introduction, I can't think of a better way to go.
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Bill B
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Bill B » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:08 am

I used to teach group lessons at a summer music camp for the college I taught at. It would not be ideal for a highly motivated student, but I think once I had done it for a few years i got to the point where we could be almost as effective as one on one, and for many students it was probably less intimidating to be sitting their with their friends than alone with a new teacher.
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andreas777
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by andreas777 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:03 am

Bill B wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:08 am
It would not be ideal for a highly motivated student...
I think this is the crucial point. If you have highly motivated students in a group, then they might feel not challenged and are annoyed of other members in the group with a lower skill level. So I think it's important to adjust the expectations at the beginning of a 'group guitar teaching'.
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malc laney
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by malc laney » Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:17 am

Carlos Bonell did , and maybe still does group lessons in Duke street , and because he knew his pieces inside out he covered all corners and comers .
Meaning , it depends on the person and their prep, not something that can be book learnt.

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Adrian Allan
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Adrian Allan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:01 pm

malc laney wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:17 am
Carlos Bonell did , and maybe still does group lessons in Duke street , and because he knew his pieces inside out he covered all corners and comers .
Meaning , it depends on the person and their prep, not something that can be book learnt.
I think this is for adults who are all above quite a reasonable level. In a way, a masterclass is a form of group teaching.

However, what I really had in mind was the nuts and bolts of guitar tuition to children who are still learning the basics, right up to intermediate level.
In my opinion, most group teaching is a money making/saving compromise. I used to do it for some music authorities, but at the time I needed the cash and was self employed. However, it was far from ideal, but there are no doubt better teachers than me who could make it a more effective experience.
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Goose997
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Goose997 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 12:54 pm

I am now 4 years as a student in an adult guitar group. With the amount of practice I do, I find it better than individual lessons (I could probably only practice enough in a week to benefit from a 15-30 min individual lesson). Since I am not prepping for any exams etc., this is good enough for me.

I started from beginner (did not know any note on the guitar), and now can quite comfortably play 'Lagrima', 'Adelita', etc. I know the notes of RDLA, only need to practice speed, etc.

So yes - I am on the positive side. I found that there is also opportunity to learn from what other students are taught, how they play, their repertoire choices etc., so the social aspect of this is also very helpful.

I cannot see how group classes would work in a two cases: learning piano (too much technique, scales, etc. to be mastered and played each lesson), and preparing for exams, where individual attention is key to scoring well.
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Robin
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Robin » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:52 pm

I have taught general group guitar classes in the past and did not find that they were particularly successful in teaching real value to the students for many of the same reasons cited: varying skill levels and differing learning styles. I also found that some students have very specific ideas about what they wanted to learn and if the class doesn't match their ideal, they lose interest.

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to teach an introductory classical guitar class that is ensemble based. The class consists primarily of retired individuals with varied guitar playing experience. The class has only met once and I do expect to encounter differences in learning pace, style and skill. One thing that might be different is that all of the people enrolled want to learn classical guitar and they all desire to build a community based classical guitar ensemble. They have a strong common interest and common goal which, I believe, will add considerable value to the class experience.

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lagartija
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by lagartija » Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:12 pm

Robin, I will mention one thing I have experienced in playing in an ensemble group of varying levels and I hope it will be helpful in having success with your group. :-)
In the group I was a part of a number of years ago, at least half were more experienced in reading than I was and had played many of the pieces that were chosen for years. The pieces were all new to me and I was an inexperienced sight reader. I was unable to partipate without a lot of stress when we were expected to play a piece at first sight. I did not have the experience to be able to just play what I could and keep track of the place we were in the music. I asked if we could decide before our meeting what pieces we would be playing and which parts we would play so those of us who were not good readers would be able to fully participate. After our parts were assigned, I took the pieces home and practiced my part diligently. When I went to the next meeting, thinking I was well prepared, the tempo they chose to play exceeded that which I had been practicing ! There was no indication of tempo on the scores I had and the group, without conductor, would often speed up on slow pieces so that everything was played at a similar tempo even if it *was* marked largo or andante or presto . I found this to be unbearably frustrating.

So the short of it all... when you give people a piece to play, give a bpm target at which they should practice for the next rehearsal. That will probably help the less experienced members a great deal.
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Non Tabius
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Non Tabius » Sun Sep 17, 2017 4:58 pm

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:31 pm
"Some people know the price of everything, but the value of nothing. Others know the value of everything, but the price of nothing!"

Group lessons are cheaper than private lessons, but what is the yield? I am against group lessons, it doesn't work. Convince me if I am wrong!
If this were a court case, Erich, I would have to concede and agree with the Prosecution, in that the Defense sadly, has no convincing evidence to the contrary to prove you wrong.

Rasqeo
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Rasqeo » Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:35 pm

I can't see how a group lesson can ever be effective in teaching students of different abilities, personalities, learning style etc. At least not in the beginner, early intermediate stages where so much of learning the instrument is overcoming technical challenges. Many of those technical challenges will be unique to the individual. How can that possibly be addressed effectively in a group lesson?

Michael Butten
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Michael Butten » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:08 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:12 pm
I stopped doing any group lessons over a decade ago and find offering an ensemble is enough for those who like a sociable side.
Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy used to say (something to the effect) no player you've ever heard of started in group lessons.
While its true that most other instruments work well in groups, well the orchestral ones certainly and they can benefit from a kind of group spirit of competition (and the better players can drag up the lesser) I always tended to find that it was OK except when somebody really needed some kind of personal attention because you could never really give it. The lesser players can drag the better down by inhibiting the progress they are capable of. Swings and roundabouts.
About the only positive I can give to group lessons is it can give a try to some who might otherwise not, and if they take to it in a big way its cool - casting the net wide so to speak.
I studied with Michael Lewin and I started in group lessons! I hated them though, and I think the teacher got my parents to move me to individual lessons pretty quickly. I also dislike teaching them, it's very rare that you have two or more students that progress at the same rate, so someone is always being held back.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Your opinions of group guitar teaching

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:48 pm

Michael Butten wrote:
Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:08 pm
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:12 pm
...
Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy used to say (something to the effect) no player you've ever heard of started in group lessons...
I studied with Michael Lewin and I started in group lessons! I hated them though, and I think the teacher got my parents to move me to individual lessons pretty quickly. ...
Oops, but if I was remembering that comment of Michael's aright, it was probably from the early 90s ... before your time :)
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