I believe that in order for students to be motivated they need to build relationships that share a common goal.
Strength in numbers boosts performance. Students enrolled in my program are grouped into small PODS or TEAMS receiving more one-to-one time (twice a week) than the traditional once a week approach.
Dr. Suzuki had the right approach regarding group classes and the inspirational benefits of healthy competition, drive and determination; all very important for social growth.
My program explores a more intensive approach to group class. During the course of a year a smaller number of students can be grouped more easily in a POD that fits their playing skills and another POD that meets their skills at a school grade level. This is more difficult to achieve with a group class of 8 students ranging from ages 4-8 years. And the overall benefit is that they get a little more individual time with the teacher twice a week.
INSTRUMENTAL GROUP INSTRUCTION
Groups that meet for instrumental instruction are limited to no more than 3 students in a beginning POD and in the higher levels a maximum of 2 students in a TEAM. Depending on the program level of the student, each student will receive individual instruction during their group instrumental tutoring session; similar to a master class setting.
For example, in a beginning POD setting a beginner receives 5-8 minutes of individual instruction with the teacher perhaps working on a soft bow balance or a preview of a new piece, and in the more advanced TEAMS a student receives 20-30 minutes of individual instruction on their working piece.
GROUP MUSICIANSHIP/THEORY OR PERFORMANCE
Students are grouped by grade level and meet with the teacher a second time during the week to work on musicianship skills such as aural training and the theory and history of western music. These groups may have from 2 students to no more than 4 students in a group. Students in books 5+ are enrolled in the Chamber Orchestra which explores other types of literature outside of the Suzuki Philosophy.
All Students do get to experience playing in a larger group once a month in our monthly Saturday Suzuki Repertoire Group Class, which may continue to fan the flames of motivation.