ABC's of Group Experience — by Jacqueline Maurer
Arrival — Arrive early with time for unpacking and tuning and time to catch
your breath! Help the class to start on time!
Behaviours — Loving, courteous and respectful behaviours are cultivated. We try
to respect each other and others' feelings.
Community — People working on common goals have a sense of belonging, and bonds
are strengthened between them.
Discipline — Classes are enjoyable within a disciplined framework. Students
learn to follow a leader and develop many cooperative skills.
Exhilaration — Contributing to a large group sound and accomplishing shared
group goals are exhilarating activities. Group experience provides a showcase for skills!
Frequent performances — Frequent ensemble and solo performance opportunities
build confidence and ease of playing.
Games — Games have a purpose! They teach techniques in fun ways and give
students a chance to take a break.
Head to Heels — Group time is a chance for teachers to gently remind students
to play with their best postures.
Interest in the child — If you spend a large block of time with your child,
he/she can sense the importance you attach to these activities.
Joy — Work is joy. Participation gives a sense of accomplishment which is an
important part of the happiness journey. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.
Keeping skills sharpened — Students should be well-reviewed before group
classes. Then pieces can be worked on in a confident and challenging way.
Listening — Listening skills improve by listening to directions in class,
learning audience listening manners and developing a heightened awareness of tone and musicality.
Motivation — A direct by-product of all of these points will be increased
enthusiasm for playing the instrument.
New ideas — Teachers have new and different ideas which can be shared in a group
setting and among themselves.
Observation — Observe each other's postures and techniques, poise of recital
soloists, more advanced players and the many interactions of parents, children and teachers.
Peer interaction — A group class spurs growth in a way that teachers and parents
Quick reflexes — Quick reaction to instructions. Mental agility. Quick reflex
Reinforcement — Reinforce, review and revise techniques and musical concepts
learned in private lessons.
Socializing — Friendships are made between students and parents and teachers.
Problems and successes can be shared in a relaxed and informal way.
Team work — Team competition instead of individual competition is recommended for
group classes. The results of team efforts can be very rewarding.
Unison playing — Ensemble and unison playing offer various challenges and bring
awareness of different combinations of sound.
Variety — Some teachers are high energy, some have a more relaxed style. Some are
right brained, some left. Some sequential, some holistic. Children learn to adapt to their group
teachers' different styles.
Working on polishing pieces — After notes and bowings are learned, details of
phrasing, intonation and musical ideas can be refined in a fun and challenging way.
eXpectations. — Vary from parent to parent and child to child. With a variety of
faculty and classes, these can be met at different times and in different ways.
Yielding results — Yields of highest quality and quantity for our youth from
Zest — Zest for music!
Jacqueline Maurer maintains a private studio in Denver and teachers for the Denver
Talent Education program. Jacqueline is a registered SAA Teacher Trainer.