The Benefits of Learning Music in a Group

Group Class











The Benefits of learning music in a Group

We are a social being and we feel a need to belong. Thus we feel good if we are with our families or friends. Learning music when  the child is about the age of six and below, group lessons will more enjoyable; they are not only learning from their teachers, they are also learning from their peers. As for children who are six and above, some still cannot take individual lesson too well. In fact, we have cases of parents putting their child in individual lesson too soon, it resulted in a lack of interest and the child ended up not progressing as fast as their peers who stayed in group lesson. Providing a suitable condition and environment for their learning is vital to ensure the success at this early age. A child is only ready for individual lesson if he/she can focus at least about half an hour on an instrument.

More importantly, there are many other forms of musical training like ensemble playing, part-singing, rhythmic training etc. that can only be done in a group setting and these training are just as vital. We will describe in detail what are the advantages of these music trainings


Why is ensemble playing important?

Music is a language. Language is used to communicate with each other. It is going to be extremely boring if you choose to make music alone, locked in a room, without any communication with other people (apart from the teacher). Children learn to listen to each other when they play in an ensemble, learn to count to develop a strong rhythmic sense. They also learn to hear the different parts played by their friends, learn the importance of orchestration and tone balance and developing the spirit of cooperation among themselves. Listening to yourself is also an important skill to hone as it will help us improve our playing . A lot of students do not listen when they are playing or practising and cannot spot the areas they have to improve. Thus their progress will be hampered when they progress through the graded syllabus as they do not have the necessary training from young.

There are just too many advantages to talk about!


Why is two-part singing important?

It concerns the ability to hear different parts: We advocate two-part singing in our early childhood music group classes. This is an extremely important training for the young. Our ear is capable of hearing at least 4 parts, solely played on the same piano! This is what we call harmony training.

The following quote from one of the leading music educator of the last century, Zoltan Kodaly, succinctly describes why singing (aural training) is so important:

"A child who plays before he sings may remain unmusical for a lifetime"


Theory Studies

Understanding of music theory is very crucial to a child’s development of knowledge and appreciation of music on the whole. Understanding music theory allows them to relate what they have learnt on paper and use it during their practical playing. Moreover, it also allows children to value what they have learnt and put it into practical playing. There are many theory activities and games that can be carried out in a group music class. This way of subconscious learning is definitely more interesting and effective than learning from the book and worksheets in an individual setting.



As we can see from the above, there are many plus points for learning music in a group. Parents usually have the fallacy in believing progress would be faster in an individual setting at a very young age. If a good music course has all the ingredients of a holistic training needed to build a strong musical foundation, the musical progress of your child will be just as fast (sometimes even faster when they progress up the graded syllabus as they have all the foundations built). If however the group music class only provides music and movement lessons, then the child may not be getting all the trainings needed to progress further effectively into graded studies. 


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