#043: How to Tailor Your Teaching to Meet Every Student’s Needs in Group Music Lessons with Melanie Bowes

In this episode, the founder of KeyNotes Music and leading expert in group lessons, Melanie Bowes, joins us today to share her great knowledge on running group lessons in your studio. KeyNotes Music is a group piano program, which focuses on collaborative group learning in the foundation stages of piano. Melanie shares with us how she started as music teacher to creating her group piano program, which is now being used in over a hundred of music studios around the world. She also discussed the importance of building resilience in your students as well as tips on how you can manage high achiever and unruly students more effectively in your group lessons.

  • Melanie shared a brief overview of her background, from being a school teacher to creating her own curriculum for music teachers.
  • Her group piano curriculum, Keynotes Music program, and how it evolved over time.
  • What works well when teaching younger children vs teaching older kids.
  • How to manage high achiever students vs students on the other end of the spectrum in group lessons.
  • The value of developing the students’ skills deeper instead of giving them a linear pathway to learning.
  • Melanie tells us about her Keynotes program and how it differs from other regular piano curriculum.
  • Some insightful tips in transitioning and helping you on your journey to become a better music teacher.
  • The benefits of group lessons over private lessons, particularly for kids.
  • The difference between competitive vs collaborative games.
  • Practical tips and strategies on running group lessons better, especially if you have unruly students.
  • How do you actively nurture some resilience within your student?
  • Melanie tells us more about the Keynotes program and how it evolved overtime.
  • How she grew her group lesson program, which is now being used in over a hundred studios at the moment.
  • Advice for people looking to go and create their own curriculum.
  • Final piece of wisdom from Melanie for the listeners.

Links Mentioned

Guitar Teaching Resources Mentioned

Today’s Guest

Melanie Bowes is the founder of KeyNotes Music, a group piano program which focuses on collaborative group learning in the foundation stages of piano. Having taught for many years as a school music teacher, plus her extensive post-graduate qualifications in music education, Melanie has brought together all her experience and knowledge to support teachers in delivering innovative and progressive group classes. Her work in curriculum design and research into how children learn in the wider sense have led to the creation of KeyNotes Music which uses a cyclical curriculum structure and differentiated learning to ensure maximum impact on learning and the management of individual learners within group classes.

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