Innovative Weekly Group Bassoon Lessons – Part 2

In part 1 of this post, I told you about my innovative way to teach more students in a shorter amount of time. Now let me tell you how it went down.

Of the four students originally scheduled for the group class, one never showed up and another dropped out after two months. I had to scramble and we changed the length of the group class from 90 minutes to 60. I was still earning less money with this group arrangement than I would have with a regular weekly 60 minute student, but I didn’t want to leave these guys hanging. Our schedule turned into something more like this:

  • First 5-15 minutes of each class were spent fixing reeds
  • Each student got 10-15 minutes of one-on-one time with me (which wasn’t enough)
  • The student not working with me either played music games on my ipad or practiced
  • Final 15-20 minutes were spent working on band music as a group (they never practiced it at home, it seemed)

After six months of that schedule, another student went on leave for a month. My little group was now a single student. We put him on an every other week 45 minute lesson schedule. Not surprisingly, the student who was on leave didn’t come back.

I don’t think I’ll be trying this group format again. I really had high hopes for it and it has been a disappointment at most every turn. I think the students enjoyed their lessons, but they just weren’t invested enough. I also learned that prepping for these group lessons took a lot of time and energy. Some positives that came out of it were that three of the original four students played in at least one recital and all four of them came to my special reed-making holiday party. My studio also enjoyed more comradery than usual.

Here’s to hoping that all my students want normal weekly 45-60 minute lessons next year…

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