200 episodes

Join the topmusic.co team as they interview other teachers and experts in the field of music teaching. Enjoy free resources, guides, training and ideas so that you can keep your students inspired and motivated all through the year. Discover new ways of teaching, find out about the latest music releases, get connected with your local community via online events and training and listen as we interview composers, teachers, bloggers and presenters as they share their ideas about music teaching in 21st century.

TopCast: The Official Music Teachers' Podcast topmusic.co: Helping you become a more successful music teacher

    • Courses
    • 5.0 • 45 Ratings

Join the topmusic.co team as they interview other teachers and experts in the field of music teaching. Enjoy free resources, guides, training and ideas so that you can keep your students inspired and motivated all through the year. Discover new ways of teaching, find out about the latest music releases, get connected with your local community via online events and training and listen as we interview composers, teachers, bloggers and presenters as they share their ideas about music teaching in 21st century.

    TC212: Is Tonaly the Ultimate App for Chord Progressions?

    TC212: Is Tonaly the Ultimate App for Chord Progressions?

    With Tonaly app, our latest favourite theory/composition tool, we found a better way to teach and have fun using chord progressions in music lessons. (Ever had trouble explaining and using the circle of fifths easily with students? Us, too!)

    Christian Hengst, the Tonaly app developer and a bass player himself, joins us on the podcast to talk about the app’s unique features.

    He goes into what this app can do for your chord-challenged players, to get them motivated about progressions, keys, and modes, and also explores what bugged him in the first place about the circle of fifths, causing him to develop this elegant, interactive app!

    Tonaly app also completely aligns with the 4-Chord Composing Framework, a creative lesson plan for teaching chords.

    If you’re interested in using it for your teaching, we’re giving away free app codes to 20 lucky individuals on this podcast. So, stay tuned!

    Transcript of the show about the Tonaly app

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

    In this episode, you’ll learn how the Tonaly app works



    * [04:14] Christian tells us about his musical background.

    * [08:44] The story behind developing the Tonaly App.

    * [11:17] Getting inputs from the community to add features to the app.

    * [13:42] Common users of Tonaly.

    * [17:06] Tonaly is only built for iOs, not (yet) for Android.

    * [18:03] Tim demonstrates how to use the Tonaly App on his iPad.

    * [18:50] Christian tells us about one of the coolest features of the app and how it works.

    * [20:25] Tim walks us through his favourite features.

    * [23:59] How affordable is the app?



    Links Mentioned about Tonaly app



    * Download the Tonaly App

    * Tonaly Website

    * TopMusic.co YouTube Channel

    * TopMusic.co Instagram



    Show Sponsor



    About our Guest



    Christian Hengst is an app developer and bass player based in Germany. He created one of the best-designed and best-looking chord playing apps called Tonaly.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

    Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes or on my Facebook page. Reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to show’s ranking and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally.

    Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.



    With Tonaly app, our latest favourite theory/composition tool, we found a better way to teach and have fun using chord progressions in music lessons.

    • 30 min
    TC211: The 3-step strategy to successful 30 minute piano lessons with Julie Duda

    TC211: The 3-step strategy to successful 30 minute piano lessons with Julie Duda

    Learn how to plan 30 minute piano lessons that are excellent but also seriously fun! Give your students the inspiration and motivation they need, which will also improve retention in your studio.

    In our conversation, Julie Duda unpacks her three-point strategy to keep students engaged in lessons both in-person and online. Julie also talks about the resources she created to streamline and fit creative activities into 30 minute length piano lessons. Find them here in Julie’s store here on TopMusicMarketplace.





    Transcript of the show about creative 30 minute piano lessons

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

    In this episode, you’ll learn Julie’s three strategies for fitting creativity into 30 minute piano lessons:







    [03:28] Julie’s transition from classroom to piano teaching.

    [07:04] She tells us about her current studio.

    [11:50] She shares her 3-step strategy for creative 30 minute piano lessons.

    [13:48] Using games to teach students from multiple levels.

    [17:15] Applying her strategy to online lessons.

    [18:30] Julie shows us her lesson folder.

    [19:11] Using stickers for more than just fun

    [19:46] Utilising Tonara to help keep track of student activities.

    [20:44] How she conducts better 30 minute piano lessons.

    [21:45] Ending her lessons with a system and games like Taco Tuesday.

    [23:41] Find the perfect students for your studio.

    [26:30] How to save time in lessons.

    [28:03] The formula for successful lessons.

    [31:06] Working with advancing students.

    [32:14] Her process of cleaning her studio.

    [34:08] Incorporating kids’ love of sports in lessons.

    [38:20] Offering Apple Studio field trips to her students.

    [40:01] Activities she does for student retention.

    [41:46] Things that have really had an impact on your ability to get where she is now.







    Links Mentioned



    *  Julie Duda Music Studio shop on TopMusicMarketplace Find all of Julie’s games, online lesson props, and printable sticky notes.

    * Julie Duda Music Studio Website

    * Julie Duda Instagram



    About our Guest



    Julie Duda is a piano studio owner and creator of innovative resources and games for music teachers. Her studio is well known for personalized, organized and creative piano instruction. Her studio and innovative teaching practices have been highlighted on Wendy Stevens’ blog, Upbeat Piano Teachers and Tonara Studio. Her studio website features over 60 digital resources for music teachers with the best available now on The TopMusicMarketplace.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of ...

    • 46 min
    TC210: Daniel Patterson on why studio marketing matters at any stage

    TC210: Daniel Patterson on why studio marketing matters at any stage

    In this episode, you’ll learn how studio marketing tips can help your studio quality at any stage, even if your spots are already all filled. Daniel Patterson, one of the top thinkers about music studio marketing, joins us talk about better marketing tips for music teachers.

    His focus is on understanding the mindset and needs customers. You’ll learn to reframe how you talk about your lessons program in ways that families really value.

    Then, keep listening to discover the real reasons families inquire for lessons but don’t complete signups, or why they might join your studio but not support the activities you offer, and drop out quickly.

    The secret about retention and enrollment might not actually be about your teaching at all. Instead look at the way you’re communicating value to student families about your studio offerings.

    Transcript of the show about studio marketing

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

    In this episode, you’ll learn how to genuinely connect with piano parents and families in your studio marketing:



    * [02:17] What’s keeping Daniel busy at the moment and the current services he’s offering.

    * [03:24] The reason he created this presentation.

    * [06:22] Why do you need marketing even if you’re already happy with your studio and students?

    * [08:36] Freebies from Daniel

    * [9:42] The 5 questions you need to ask about marketing.

    * [12:12] Daniel’s goals for you at the end of the presentation.

    * [13:56] Reasons why students aren’t sticking to our studios and how we can solve this issue.

    * [15:17] What is marketing?

    * [30:03] Why you need to market?

    * [40:00] When should someone market?

    * [41:11] Where should you market?

    * [43:45] How can you market effectively?

    * [50:10] Wrap up.



    Links Mentioned



    GrowYourMusicStudio.com/Tim



    About our Guest



    Daniel Patterson is a classically trained pianist, author, educator, blogger, and marketing consultant. He is the founder and owner of GrowYourMusicStudio.com. Since 2016, he has helped over 350 studio owners grow their music studios, hire and train staff, and develop better systems for education and retention.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

    Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes or on my Facebook page. Reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to show’s ranking and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally.

    Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.



    In this episode, you’ll learn how studio marketing tips can help your studio quality at any stage, even if your spots are already all filled. Daniel Patterson, one of the top thinkers about music studio marketing, joins us talk about better marketing tips for music teachers.

    His focus is on understanding the mindset and needs customers. You’ll learn to reframe how you talk about your lessons program in ways that families really value.

    Then,

    • 52 min
    TC209: Christopher Oill teaches Tim composing *LIVE*

    TC209: Christopher Oill teaches Tim composing *LIVE*

    In this episode, you’ll learn a functional framework on how to teach composing with your students, including a free printable handout to walk you through the creative process.

    Our good friend Christopher Oill joins us to teach composing using his unique five-step compositional process.

    And, in this show, he runs me through the whole process LIVE. No practice, no preparations – he teaches me how to compose on the spot.

    Chris discusses and outlines his process step-by-step and gives you practical tips to implement in your creative teaching today.

    Transcript of the Show

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

    In this episode, you’ll learn how to teach composing:



    [03:08] Christopher tells us about his piano education and current studio.

    * [03:46] What is the 5 Step Compositional Process?

    * [05:17] How the process works for online lessons.

    * [05:55] Tips on what teachers can do while listening to the podcast.

    * [06:37] The overall view of the process.

    * [08:23] Step One: Think

    * [11:20] Chris and Tim come up with a composing idea.

    * [13:02] Step Two: Outline

    * [18:07] Step Three: Research

    * [28:28] The process of creating melodies.

    * [33:43] Step Four: Sketch

    * [40:08] Tips for reviewing compositions of students.

    * [42:12] Step 5: Shape

    * [47:40] Using this process for kids.

    * [49:08] Do students need to notate their music?

    * [50:52] Christopher tells us about his 2 Newly released publications.



    Links Mentioned



    * Sink the Lighthouse YouTube Video

    * Oill Piano Universe Website

    * Oill Piano Universe YouTube Channel



    Today’s Freebies on how to teach composing

    Below, find a free fillable template very graciously written by Christopher Oill, walking you all the way through composing in five thought-provoking steps.

    And listen to audio of two pieces Chris & Tim worked on:

    🎹  Sailing

    🎹  Basketball

    TopMusicPro members will find the sheet music to these two pieces free — see member library resources.

    About our Guest



    Christopher Oill is an exclusive composer for FJH Music Company, a proud owner of the Oill Piano Studio and a concert pianist. In all of his teaching, performing and composing, he pushes the limits of innovation and creativity keeping the world of piano pedagogy fresh, inviting and exciting.

    Today’s Sponsor



    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

    Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes or on my Facebook page. Reviews are extremely helpful when it comes to show’s ranking and you can bet that I read every single one of them personally.

    Lastly,

    • 56 min
    TC208: Amy Jorgensen’s pivot to a total Virtual Piano Academy

    TC208: Amy Jorgensen’s pivot to a total Virtual Piano Academy

    In true entrepreneurial form, when life handed Amy a change of plans with career, she catapulted forward to open a dream venture: a virtual piano academy.

    Amy Bastow Jorgensen joins us on the TopCast today to talk all about her new startup platform where she’s serving students online with remarkable results, all while freeing up her time from the typical 4-9 pm late teaching hours schedule.

    Amy started out as a composer and in-person piano teacher before venturing out into the world of online teaching. If you’re curious about more flexibility with teaching 1:1 lessons, and how to present material in ways students naturally learn best, you’ll be surprised at what Amy has found.

    Related: Eps. 192 The Flute Coach’s non-teaching dream studio details Christie Gallen’s online lessons academy

    Transcript of the Show

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

    In this episode, you’ll explore Amy’s virtual piano academy



    [03:46] The composing work Amy was doing before.

    * [04:45] Working as a teacher and composer at the same time.

    * [06:51] Helping others become composers through her community, Composerfy.

    * [11:20] Her experience in embarking on a new career outside music.

    * [20:32] Coming back to her career in piano and music and exploring how she could teach in a COVID world.

    * [23:20] Exploring her options in teaching lessons online.

    * [28:03] A peek at the lessons she conducts at Virtual Piano Academy.

    * [32:08] How the Virtual Piano Academy platform works for students.

    * [36:40] Working on her website on her own.

    * [38:31] Amy tells us more about Tutorial Scores.

    * [40:24] Her current approach and how it works with adults and younger students.

    * [42:11] What she’s doing to market her academy.

    * [44:33] Challenges she has faced in her business.

    * [47:34] Her advice for teachers who want to build their own business like Amy’s.

    * [49:51] The scalability of her business model.

    * [51:52] Awesome offers from Amy



    Links Mentioned



    Referral bonus program for teachers: Get $99 referral credit for students you refer to Amy’s Virtual Piano Academy. Details:

    www.virtualpianoacademy.co/pages/referral-program

    * Composerfy Website



    About our Guest



    Amy Jorgensen, née Amy Bastow, is an award-winning composer, classically-trained pianist and music educator.

    Amy’s composition work with James Cameron has earned her an Australian Academy Award Nomination. She recently founded Virtual Piano Academy in 2020. It’s an innovative platform that transforms the way students learn music.

    Today’s Sponsor



    Get 10% off your first TopMusicMarketplace purchase. Use code: PODLAUNCH10



    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

    Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes or on my Fa...

    • 56 min
    TC207: Rote Teaching Queen Paula Dreyer on Composition

    TC207: Rote Teaching Queen Paula Dreyer on Composition

    Our dear friend Paula Dreyer joins us on the TopCast to talk about rote teaching and composition today. You’ll explore how you can use rote music with your own students to inspire composition and go way beyond boring reading-only methods with piano students.

    This rote and reading approach is especially well suited for beginning students and older students.

    Paula Dreyer’s Little Gems for Piano book series features brilliantly levelled rote pieces perfect for lessons or recitals.

    She also recently launched the Piano Flow Summer Intensive course for teachers, and her original solo piano album called Central Star, coming out in Fall 2020.

    Transcript of the Show

    If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.



    * Related: TopMusic Sheets is our monthly digital sheet music book, available to all TopMusicPro members! Paula’s duet book (TMS vol5) will be available through September 30, 2020. Check out our membership options here.Watch Paula and Tim demo Paula’s duet compositions from TopMusicSheets vol.5 :



    In this episode, you’ll learn about rote learning with composition with Paula:



    [04:04] A peek at her current studio and projects.

    * [07:35] Paula talks about her new Central Star album.

    * [08:18] What is rote teaching?

    * [09:08] The story behind her Little Gems books of rote & reading pieces.

    * [11:35] Her background in music training.

    * [17:42] About her teaching studio

    * [19:24] The reason she decided to self-publish Little Gems for Piano.

    * [28:22] Biggest advantage for teachers in adding rote music for beginner students.

    * [30:37] The connection between reading and rote music.

    * [31:31] Advice to teachers in using rote for beginner lessons.

    * [34:11] Hardest thing about her journey on creating her books.

    * [35:41] Paula talks about her feature on TopMusicSheets for the month of September 2020.



    Promo & Links Mentioned



    * Special offer on Paula Dreyer’s compositions at her site: Use coupon code SAVE15 for 15% off on *one-time downloads.

    (This offer is good for digital sheet music only, marked one-time use. It excludes studio-licensed digital books.)

    * Get 10% off your first TopMusicMarketplace purchase. Use code: PODLAUNCH10





    * Piano Flow Group Intensive



    About our Guest on rote composition



    Paula Dreyer is a pianist, educator and composer making music in a unique style that draws upon influences of classical, Spanish, film and improvisational music. She seeks to inspire, include and connect individuals through her globally successful Little Gems for Piano Educational Series. She recently debuted her original solo piano album, Central Star.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    In conclusion, there are a lot of podcasts you could be tuning into today, and I’m grateful that you’ve chosen mine. Whether you’re at the gym, on the bike or in the car, I know that you and your students will get lots out of what you learn in the long run.

    Just make sure you try out some of the ideas before they get lost in the business of your next lessons!

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it by using the social media buttons on the left of the page.

    Also, kindly consider taking the 60-seconds it takes to leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on Apple Podcasts or on my Facebook pag...

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
45 Ratings

45 Ratings

rachelmariacox ,

Gave me a much needed refresh

I recently have been binge-listening to this podcast after discovering it online, feeling very close to burnout and looking for ways to renew my passion. Tim has absolutely changed the way I view my business and my teaching and I have so many creative ideas to implement, leaving me inspired and ready for the new year! Perfect not just for piano teachers but all musicians (I teach piano and voice and manage a studio). Thank you Tim for all the amazing content - you have gained a listener for life!

Selina Phan ,

Bringing music teaching into the 21st century

Great podcast Tim! Loving all of the interviews, I gotten mounds of insights and it has challenged me to improve my own teaching. Super ideas which I incorporate into my lessons one step at a time 😁

maryjaneas ,

Tim Topham podcasts

I have just about listened to all 155 podcasts by Tim Topham. I am continually inspired by each episode with something to energise my teaching.
The podcasts are very clear and engaging and the questions Tim asks his guests always lead to an informative discussion.
This is my favourite piano teaching podcast.

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