Group Classes Versus Private Lessons

How Do Group Classes Work?

Class size: Each class contains a small number of students and 1-2 teachers, depending on the level. All group classes include violin, viola or cello. You must bring your instrument to class (rentals here) and practice on it between classes. Chairs, music stands and music will be provided for you.

Online Support: More and more content is being put up on our website to help you learn the group music faster. When you sign up, you will receive a password to the Violin Class Resources Page which has sheet music, videos and MP3 files to help you learn as fast as possible.

Difficulty Level: The class is programmed to not be too difficult, but to push you along. If you never practice, you will have a hard time keeping up. If you practice 1-2 times per week, you will barely keep up. If you practice 3-4 times per week, you will be right on track. If you practice 5-7 times per week, you will be ahead, and will be very comfortable with the pace of the class.

Your head teacher has been teaching for over 14 years and is very familiar with how different people learn at different speeds. In all orchestras, there are two violin sections: Violin I and Violin II. Violin I generally has the more complicated, harder and higher parts and Violin II generally has the easier, lower, supporting parts. Here, we use this model to our advantage, even in the most beginner classes, to not only keep the music and learning interesting and fun, but also to give a slight challenge to the faster and more experienced students, and to keep the slower and less experienced students moving along.

The student orchestra is a group of students, some of whom are returning semester after semester. Thus, you can expect the orchestra pieces to become more difficult over time. Orchestra pieces generally do not repeat from one semester to the other. 1st Violin plays the more challenging part while 2nd violin supports them with a slightly easier part.

Schedule: Each level of class is held twice a week. You may attend one or both classes. Take the Absolute Beginner schedule as an example. Classes are held on Tuesday night and on Saturday morning. Tuesday’s class material will be repeated on Saturday morning. Let’s say you signed up to attend once a week and you plan on attending on Tuesday nights. One week you have a stressful week at work and you aren’t able to practice much. You can come to the Saturday class as additional practice. Or, you normally come Saturdays but are out of town one weekend. You can reschedule that Saturday for a Tuesday. To keep pace with the class, try to keep the make-up class within the same week, or as close to that as possible. Some students want to make progress as fast as possible, in which case they sign up for 2 classes per week. Since semesters are 10 weeks long, they would opt for a package of 20 classes. And, if you would like to come twice a week but can’t make it to every class, there is a package of 15 available.

As a note, you may use your package for classes of any level. E.g. If you start the semester and realize the class is too easy for you, you can switch to a higher level class at any time. Or, if you want to brush up on your basics, you can use one of the classes in your package to join a lower-level class one evening.

Expiration and Cancellation: In a private lesson, the teacher is blocking off a time slot in their calendar for you, preventing other students from signing up for a lesson at that time. Therefore in private lessons, a 24 cancellation policy exists. However, in group classes, the affordable price gets you access to classes all semester, with no penalty for cancelling classes last-minute or no-showing (though please do inform your teacher as soon as you know so they may plan properly). However, at the end of the semester all lessons in that package expire. They are not transferable or interchangeable with private lessons or any other good or service.

Comparisons: Having trouble deciding between group classes or private lessons? Many students take both simultaneously. It’s fun to play in a group, and there is a degree of accountability. Private lessons help you excel technically and hastens learning time. If you have no musical background, or would like to speed progress, consider doing both. If you are on a limited budget or schedule, you might have to choose one or the other during active semester times.

Group Classes Vs. Private Lessons

Absolute Beginner Beginner Late Beginner & Student Orchestra Private Lessons
Students 3 – 8 3 – 10 3 – 16 1
Teachers 1 – 2 1 1 1
Location 307 W 36th St 307 W 36th St 307 W 36th St 307 W 36th St , Midtown West, or Your Home in UES, Harlem, Morningside Heights, Long Island
Length 60 mins 60 mins 60 mins 60, 45 or 30 mins
Frequency 1-2x/week 1-2x/week 1-2x/week Typically 1x/week though can be more depending on availability
Class times Tues night & Sat morning Wed night & Sat morning Tues night & Sat afternoon As it fits your schedule
Performance at end? no yes yes Encouraged to participate in the biannual concerts
Cost of a single class $36 $36 $36 $70 for 60 min,          $55 for 45 min           $40 for 30 min            for most teachers.
Cost per class if purchased in a package $32.50 in a 10-pack   $30 in a 15-pack        $26 in a 20-pack $32.50 in a 10-pack   $30 in a 15-pack        $26 in a 20-pack $32.50 in a 10-pack   $30 in a 15-pack        $26 in a 20-pack $65 in a 5-pack
Cancellation Policy None/No penalty None/No penalty None/No penalty More than 24 hours required, or the full lesson fee will be due
Expiration Date Single class – never Single class – never Single class – never Single lesson – never
Package – at end of semester Package – at end of semester Package – at end of semester Package – never
Sheet music provided Yes Yes Yes Not always
Classes/lessons can be purchased online Yes Yes Yes Yes
Classes/lessons can be scheduled online Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be rescheduled online Yes, to any other offered class time Yes, to any other offered class time Yes, to any other offered class time Yes, to any available time on calendar
Can be cancelled online Yes Yes Yes Yes
Can be financed (package broken into partial, scheduled payments) Yes Yes Yes No
Focused on reading music and technical skills Yes Somewhat Somewhat Yes
Focused on listening & musicality Somewhat Yes Yes, definitely Somewhat
Learning alongside your peers Yes Yes Yes No
Offered online No No No Yes
Online tools on to assist Yes Yes Yes Only for Absolute Beginner level
Moves at your own pace No, though there is an assistant teacher to help No No Yes

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All Access Pass to Group Violin Classes

All Access Pass to Group Violin Classes