Why Class Piano?
Hi, I’m Matthew Mason, owner and creator of Pianicity Class Piano. I’ve taught piano for 23 years, having started back when I was a piano performance major at the University of Houston. Why did I create Pianicity Class Piano? Because I got tired of watching students practice. Allow me to explain.
Over the years I’ve taught piano to hundreds if not thousands of students, both in one-on-one and class formats. The one-on-one lessons were mostly privately taught, while the classes were taught at the university level. If this surprises you, you’re not alone. Most people are surprised to learn that class piano is taught at virtually every music department of every college and music conservatory in America.
When you’ve taught that many students for that long, you start to notice certain patterns. One thing I noticed was that with one-on-one students, the vast majority of the lesson was spent watching the student struggle with the piece they had started at the lesson the week before. The reason for this was simple: they hadn’t practiced during the week. So what invariably ended up happening was I would spend the majority of the lesson (that the parents were paying good money for) watching the student simply practice the piano with my help. Had they practiced during the week, they could have simply played the piece through once or twice, fix a few problems, and we’d start a new one.
I noticed I didn’t have this problem with the students I was teaching in the classes. They would show up better prepared, more excited to be there, and oftentimes chomping at the bit to show off their new piece to the other students. There was so much more energy in the room, and so much less dread on their part. They actually looked forward to the classes! The students would interact with each other, compete with each other, and encourage each other. In fact, when a class really finds its groove, there is a kind of synergy happening that quite a sight to see, it really is special and very unique. In short, the students read music better, they played better, and they had more fun doing it.
This is why we teach piano as a class, and why we think it is superior. Ask yourself, how many people do you know that took piano as a kid but gave it up and can barely play anything now, much less read music? I’m guessing quite a few. Perhaps you’re one of them. Well, chances are 99 percent of those people took piano lessons one-on-one from the teacher down the street. I’d say the conclusion to draw from that should be obvious.