The Pioneering Group Piano Classes

About KeyNotes Music Story

KeyNotes Music debuted in April 2016 with very defined goals and, like many breakthroughs, a necessity to fill a void.

Melanie Bowes, a school music teacher, knew she wanted music to be a large part of her children’s life when they were newborns and toddlers, which was simple because there were so many lessons at this age!

Melanie recognized as they grew older that there was nothing she could do to maintain their musical experiences, at least not until they were much older and could begin official instrumental tuition.

Melanie’s mother’s friends began inquiring about these music lessons after she ventured on a very specific path for her own young children, namely taking lessons in the Suzuki method, where children can start young but there is a massive willingness on both the student and the parent’s part, but after learning more, they didn’t want to commit quite as much as they would need to!

Melanie then decided to start taking private piano lessons! Small-group instruction in an age-appropriate and constructive manner would bridge the gap for children aged 4-6 who were too young for formal education.

KeyNotes Music has evolved into much more than a program for young students in the five years since its inception, with many students opting to learn stuff in their groups far beyond the initial stages.

In June 2019, KeyNotes Music introduced a licensing subscription allowing other teachers to utilize the application in their own studios, and KeyNotes lessons are currently being taught in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Australia.

The Pioneering Group Piano Classes provide a choice of curricula to meet the needs of each kid and their current level of piano proficiency.

Little KeyNotes Programs

Little KeyNotes is a 4 to 5 year old program that uses an age-appropriate play-based method to teach short two-bar phrases utilizing 5-finger positions and plenty of songs and activities! It is written on a pre-reader stave.

Little KeyNotes teaches the fundamentals of piano playing via music, activities, and, of course, a group environment.

Overview

A summary of the abilities and ideas taught in the Little KeyNotes program.

The Pioneer Group has written out exactly how they approach piano instruction in this skills and ideas overview, knowing how important it is to have an overarching strategy.

The Key Difference

Their program stands out because of its cycle curriculum and differentiation methodology.

Each song includes several degrees of difficulty, allowing each youngster to develop at their own rate.

The curriculum is adaptable because of its cyclical nature, which allows new students to join a class at any time.

Musical Elements

Music appeals to children. They intuitively and naturally comprehend far more than we realize. The Pioneer Group can assist them in applying this understanding to various goals. 

Why is a high pitch appropriate for a bird? How can one demonstrate the distinctions between a snail and a beetle using tempo? 

There are lots of possibilities to explore musical aspects in relation to people, tales, concepts, and emotions thanks to the themed workbooks. They also feature a variety of games to make the exploration even more enjoyable!

Pitch 

When it comes to highs and lows, youngsters don’t need much exposure to pitch. They go even farther, thinking about how pitch may be utilized to portray various personalities or storylines.

Dynamics

Children learn how louds and softs may affect the atmosphere in music via songs and activities, as well as adjusting the dynamics of the playing. This builds tension and creates some wonderful moments of amazement.

Tempo

Learning Italian words and being able to march, tip-toe, and dance in rhythm with the music, whether it is fast or slow, is an extremely vital (and enjoyable) ability.

A strong understanding of keyboard geography

Little KeyNotes pupils learn what notes are, where they are, and how to locate them on their own. They are provided anchors to assist them to expand their information and be able to explore a piano or keyboard without gimmicks or tricks through plays, melodies, and pompoms. 

The pupils learn that a C is a C, not some random animal or item. They are excellent at singing the musical alphabet and can use this skill.

Child’s Play

At this age, learning via play is a well-established notion, and fortunately, The Pioneer Group can simply guarantee that they are fulfilling this critical learning process.  

First and foremost, they provide students the opportunity to play and explore the piano! Something that they genuinely enjoy! Then they may use games to teach skills and concepts. Each of these games adheres to the workbook’s topic and incorporates the learning goals for each session.

Technique from the very start

Finger strength, 5-finger positions, and a bubble hand posture are all improved with the items. 

The Pioneer Group has games and exercises that help students learn about the many sounds that may be produced by playing the piano in different ways, and they are related to the stories they are presenting.

Supporting you to support your child

They believe that parents’ involvement in their child’s piano-learning journey is critical to the child’s confidence, self-efficacy, and tenacity. As a result, they have a section on their website where parents may view practice videos for each course. This is in addition to the weekly parent practice papers that instructors might distribute.

Structured for maximum impact

For small children, lesson structure is essential for ensuring that they learn new skills and ideas while reinforcing and revisiting prior ones. They do this by using a fast-paced, multi-activity lesson structure that is appropriate for this age group and caters to a range of learner types.

The Pioneer Group also ensures that the structure and substance of their lessons are consistent from week to week so that children can manage their expectations and behave in the manner that they understand is proper.

Here’s an example of their usual structure:

 

  • As a starting activity, play a game or sing a song to introduce a new subject.
  • Building a floor piano out of laminating keyboards and finding the note for the lesson with pompoms
  • Finding the note on the main piano, coloring it in, and sketching the letter name in the workbook
  • Singing and playing the lesson song in front of the piano, singing lyrics, finger numbers, and letter names
  • Once they are prepared, the kids practice at the keyboards (with headphones) and play their work solo and in groups.
  • The session concludes with a game or song, as well as a badge!

Accompaniments

Accompaniments assist to bring the works’ programmatic components to life while also ensuring that everyone remains on schedule!

Because they aim to emphasize the many distinct and fantastic sounds created on only one instrument, the accompaniments are played on the piano.

Workbooks

Each of the five worksheets in Little KeyNotes lasts around 12 weeks. Each workbook has a central theme that everything learning, playing, and gaming revolves around.

Storytellers Program

Storyteller is a program for children aged 6 and up. The songs are used to depict the tale and incorporate musical elements and keyboard methods. A pre-reader stave is used to implant piano foundations.

Storytellers, a group piano curriculum for beginners, teaches young students the fundamentals of piano playing through stories, songs, games, and, of course, the group environment.

Storytellers Workbook

Each song in their novels serves as a plot point. The following themes run across all of their games, graphics, and songs:

A summary of the abilities and topics taught in their Storytellers program.

They’ve written out precisely how they address piano training in this technique and ideas overview, knowing how important it is to have an overarching strategy.

Musical Elements

Kids may describe how music might reflect people, feelings and emotions, and tales by making links between music and the surroundings. They foster this awareness by focusing on the musical aspects, with each narrative focusing on various perspectives.

The Storyteller’s Workbooks are Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Pitch, Jack, and the Beanstalk: Dynamics, Tortoise, and the Hare: Tempo, Three Little Pigs: Structure, and The Gingerbread Man: Articulation & Technique. 

Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Pitch

When it comes to highs and lows, youngsters don’t need much of an introduction to pitch. They go even farther, thinking about how pitch may be utilized to depict the three bears. 

Students also contain games and auditory exercises in which they analyze which pitch is higher or lower, whether a melody moves up or down, and whether notes move in steps or skips.

Jack and the Beanstalk: Dynamics

Kids learn how to depict the individuals in the tale using louds and softs through songs and games, as well as by adjusting the dynamics of their playing. They learn how to employ dynamics for expression and narrative, as well as how to modify their dynamics.

Tortoise and the Hare: Tempo

With youngsters, tempo requires no explanation, but knowing Italian phrases and being able to march, tip-toe, and dance in rhythm with the music is a vital (and enjoyable) ability.

The characters sprint at various speeds and play games to see how pace affects their storytelling.

They have a fantastic opportunity to perform at various tempos as an ensemble, paying close attention to each other and building an internal pulse.

Three Little Pigs: Structure

The construction of their three small pigs’ cottages wonderfully illustrates the form and structure of music! They think about musical patterns and how songs are structured differently.

Their tale must follow a precise format, with Wolf’s song interspersed between each home and the pig’s answer!

The Gingerbread Man: Articulation & Technique

They use the narrative of The Gingerbread Man to reflect articulation and how to accomplish it, using the vast number of sounds and sonorities they can generate on the piano. If their pig joins the race with a snappy articulation or their Little Old Couple uses accents to indicate their wrath, articulation aids us in understanding their tale.

Singing for Success

Singing is an important aspect of the learning process because it allows youngsters to connect non-musical settings with tunes and attain rhythmic correctness. 

They sing the lyrics, the finger numbers, and the letter names since songs are much simpler to recall when starting to learn a piece and can aid in the learning process.

Game on

The group situation is ideal for learning through games! The Group may use games to not only implant information and concepts, but also to demonstrate comprehension depth. All of the games are closely related to the lesson’s and song’s goals. 

Foundations Program

Be a part of the Foundations, a group piano program for students ages 6 and up who want to improve their piano abilities and musical literacy via fun topic-based songs, activities, and, of course, a group setting.

The Foundations program is divided into two sections: Part 1 and Part 2. The first Foundations course focuses on treble clef reading, while the second concentrates on bass clef reading. The students study solo and group repertoire.

Foundations Workbooks

The following subjects are the basis for all of the games, graphics, and songs:

Reading and Musical Literacy

The Foundations curriculum is all about reading and musical literacy, having established love of creative piano playing and its key concepts through the beginner program (Storytellers).

With Foundations One, the group focuses on the treble clef before moving on to the bass clef with Foundations Two.

Of course, games and creativity remain at the heart of how they teach and learn.

Space

The songs take you on a voyage through space, with “Lift-Off” mastering chromatic scales, “Through the Atmosphere” incorporating crossing hands, “Moon Walk” honing piano duet abilities, and the fantastic “Alien Battle March,” a three-part ensemble.

Space Invaders focus on melodic and harmonic intervals, whereas Rest in Space focuses on rests and enharmonic (Team Flats v Team Sharps). There are several ways to improve treble clef reading abilities, including games like the Starry Skies note match game.

Momentous Melodies

For Momentous Tunes, they adapted some of the most well-known songs, such as Happy Birthday, for Foundations students, ensuring that each has a distinct learning objective. 

Happy Birthday focuses on upbeats and dotted rhythms, Ode to Joy on stepping and skipping notes, Pachelbel’s Canon on the ostinato, and Mary Had a Little Lamb on basic chords. 

These are only a few of the songs in this workbook, along with their learning elements, plus there are plenty of activities and group playing possibilities!

Mythical Creatures

The Mythical Creatures tracks allow us to further explore how music might portray specific intentions, whether it’s the werewolf sneaking about or the unicorn clippity-clopping.

Articulation, along with the techniques required to accomplish distinct varieties, aids in the depiction of characters. Semitones, harmonics, and compound time are also covered!

My Passport

They take a journey across the world, looking at music from China to Spain and many more places in between! New intervals, scotch snaps, crossing over hands, and triplets are all introduced. 

They learn to increase the tempo jointly in the Russian “Kalinka” and play in a circle in the Ghanaian “Senua.”

Film Music

Film music is such a fascinating subject, and they get to hear some of the most amazing snippets! After that, they play a variety of genres, including Pirates and Spies. 

They learn about chromatic scales, tonality, syncopated rhythms, and ledger lines via songs and games. They complete the workbook by writing a song for their own made-up superhero!

Note Reading

The way learners are taught to read notes is crucial to their success. Before they begin reading, they make sure they understand all of the basic principles of the piano, such as where the notes are, hand posture, and finger numbers.

They use both directional reading and mnemonics because they believe that combining the two techniques provides pupils with the best chance of learning to read.

They also distinguish between the treble and bass clefs, and they play a lot of games!

Why Group Piano?

Sharing any pastime with others is the greatest way to stay involved in it. You join a group of artists by learning in a group. You meet new people, enjoy the thrill of producing music, and teach one other. Learners become pals with like-minded artists and form profound, strong bonds within a group.

Peer Motivation

More than one student learning at a time isn’t what group piano is all about. The Pioneer Group believes in collaborative learning – learning together at KeyNotes Music! 

For younger students, studying collaboratively is both enjoyable and helpful, and social motivation is a critical component of collaborating learning’s success.

Students can be encouraged by listening to and observing their peers’ successes and attempting to mimic their success in a group environment; they can also support each other if they get stuck, and they can offer and learn from their classmates’ comments.

All workbooks have diversity built-in, with four challenge levels accessible for each piece, allowing youngsters to explore the music at their own pace. Using this strategy inspires kids to undertake the next task after seeing one of their peers do it.

Creativity

Students are capable and empowered to make innovative judgments regarding the compositions they perform by learning about the many parts of music.

The components of music are examined at each KeyNotes Music level, and students are given the opportunity to test out and explore what they’ve learned through guided musical activities.

This is taken a step farther into Storytellers when one musical aspect becomes the center of the workbook and is examined on a deeper level. A supervised compositional activity is included at the conclusion of each workbook to enable students in applying what they’ve learned in the context of the workbook’s subject.

These are techniques that one can investigate jointly because of the group set up and extended lesson periods.

Ensemble Playing

Ensemble playing is inextricably linked to group collaboration. Playing and singing in an ensemble has several advantages, the most notable of which is that it is enjoyable.

Playing together helps one improve as a musician and has a lot of health advantages. Better mental and social health, shared experience, and increased understanding of our own history are some examples.

Other advantages include collaboration, attention to detail, keeping individual responsibilities, strengthening knowledge via play, supporting a leader, occasionally becoming the leader, higher heart rate, the ability to keep going, and many more!

Learn by Playing Games

Games are an enjoyable, interesting, and participatory method to learn about music. Aside from the piano, we employ a range of games and exercises in classes to promote learning and teach new ideas. This guarantees that all learning styles are accommodated and makes learning more pleasant for everyone.

Begin Younger

Many young children are just not prepared for the focus of one-on-one music classes, which have historically followed a linear manner. Group learning helps younger children to discover and explore music in a low-intensity style.

The novel cyclical curriculum enables children learners to study at their own speed, and the sessions are packed with a range of engaging musical activities designed to appeal to all learning styles.

Home practice along with fun is critical to a kid’s success when learning the piano, and they have prioritized assisting you in supporting your child at home. For each class, your teacher has practice papers that define weekly assignments. In addition, we have devoted an entire area of our website to practice videos that you may view with your child at home.

Your Vision As a Parent 

You are a parent who notices your kid’s receptivity to music and wants to discover a way to foster and deepen their passion for music.

You recognize the significance of music and instrumental learning in a child’s life, both emotionally and intellectually.

You can see how inventive studying piano in a group is; all you need is a program to enroll your child in!

The Pioneer Group is excited to help your youngster develop a passion for music and the piano. Get started right away.