School of Music


Master of Arts in Music Education (MA)


Curtis Smith


Group Piano Lessons


Education | Music


The purpose of this study is to determine the potential benefits of offering classroom piano lessons as part of the curriculum in public elementary schools. The research reviews the educational, neurological, and cultural potential benefits a child may receive if they study the piano. Further study examines the availability for teachers to receive training in teaching group piano, the methods of setting up a piano classroom, and materials needed for such a program in the school system. Records of the history of group lessons showed that this method of teaching has had periods of success and periods of decline in the United States. The times that suffered from a downfall in the program are attributed mainly to times of war and financial decline. Advocates such as Raymond Burrows have furthered the concept, as well as Robert Pace, whose work eventually has led to the ongoing training of teachers across America through seminars and music journal articles. Qualitative research consisted of interviews with three participants who currently or previously taught piano lessons in a public or private school system. The results of this study indicated the teachers’ opinions of group piano lessons varied according to their own experience. The analysis of the data indicated that teachers who have school systems that include a piano class in the curriculum have greater success. Research determined the existence of a difference of opinion as to whether group lessons or private lessons are the best methods of teaching students.