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

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 47 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.

    TC246: Why ALL students need to sing with Nikki Loney from The Full Voice Podcast

    TC246: Why ALL students need to sing with Nikki Loney from The Full Voice Podcast

    Have you ever considered implementing singing in each of your lessons? Or is it already a part of your teaching routine? There is so much benefit to be gained from this exercise and this is what Nikki Loney and I are going to talk about today.

    Nikki is the owner of The Full Voice, The Full Voice Music (a publishing company), and host of The Full Voice Podcast. In this episode, she shares some practical tips and ideas for getting started in including singing in instrumental lessons.

    It is so valuable in teaching and learning instruments which is why singing is also a core part of my No Book Beginner Framework. It’s about how I teach in those first 3 to 10 lessons without any reading and without any method books. But there is a lot of singing, chanting, and clap backs, and musical conversations, and percussion, and all that kind of stuff because it’s so important.



    * [03:16] Nikki’s story of how she came to do what she’s doing now.

    * [08:21] The importance of singing for instrumentalists.

    * [15:45] Initial things we can do with students ages 6 and 7 for singing.

    * [20:45] Enhancing lessons with singing work.

    * [23:26] Her take on Kazoos.

    * [24:03] Improvements teachers who start encouraging singing in their lessons can expect from their students.

    * [27:55] Nikki tells us about the Full Voice Podcast.

    * [30:59] She shares about her publishing company Full Voice Music.

    * [36:15] Final thoughts from Nikki. 



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * The Full Voice Website

    * Free Resources from The Full Voice



    Today’s Guest



    Nikki Loney is a voice teacher, podcaster and vocal music resource creator from Canada. Nikki has been working with singers of all ages and abilities for 30 years. She discovered her teaching inspiration came from her youngest voice students. Her evil agenda is to inspire teachers to welcome young singers into their teaching studios. And her publishing company, Full Voice Music, has been intriguing voice teachers with fun and educational, vocal music resources for more than 20 years now.

    Today’s Sponsor











    Newzik is a unique digital score platform that lets you work in real-time with other musicians. With over 100,000+ users, Newzik lets you organize your scores in a digital library accessible at all times, enrich your scores with multimedia files including YouTube videos, and most importantly share your scores and markings in real-time with your band, your students, or your entire orchestra. Newzik offers a free-forever option as well as affordable subscriptions with unlimited storage and extra features such as Maestria, the first Optical Music Recognition technology based on artificial intelligence, which lets you turn paper into interactive digital scores.









    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.

    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.

    • 39 min
    TC245: Are Recitals the Best Way to Assess Students? with Tom Donald

    TC245: Are Recitals the Best Way to Assess Students? with Tom Donald

    Have you ever wondered whether recitals and forcing kids to perform on stage is really the best way to assess their growth in their music learning? For the longest time, recitals have been teachers’ go-to but as time and technology have changed music and lessons, so have these assessments.

    In this episode, Tom Donald shares creative ways of looking at his students’ progress and how this process has helped both his students and studio.

    Join us in this interesting conversation as we dive deep into the alternatives you also might want to consider for some of your students who maybe are doing things more in the composing, recording, and songwriting realms.



    * [04:42] Tom tells us about himself and his music school.

    * [05:54] Different ways to assess the progress of our students.

    * [09:40] How they started recording their students’ music.

    * [12:17] The music recording process.

    * [16:18] Releasing the music to the public.

    * [19:01] Several styles of releasing music for children.

    * [20:25] The reason behind calling his students members.

    * [21:06] The packages he offers and the marketing he does for lessons.

    * [22:20] Tom shares secret wins on teaching.

    * [23:47] How student releases can come back as great marketing for their studio.

    * [26:00] Students releasing music for the fun of it.

    * [27:44] Update on his performances.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * London Contemporary School of Piano

    * Shivank Menon YouTube 



    Today’s Guest



    Tom Donald is an incredible jazz pianist and also one of our expert teachers in TopMusicPro.

    He is a passionate advocate for the use of chords and improvisation in all music learning. He’s also a champion for the struggling adult amateur by connecting them with their inner genius. He’s a real coach. He’s worked on musical transformations with countless students over the last two decades and now heads up the London Contemporary School of Piano.  In this episode, we discuss some of the innovative ways he has implemented in his school to assess students.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.

    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.



    Have you ever wondered whether recitals and forcing kids to perform on stage is really the best way to assess their growth in their music learning? For the longest time, recitals have been teachers’ go-to but as time and technology have changed music and lessons, so have these assessments.

    In this episode, Tom Donald shares creative ways of looking at his students’ progress and how this process has helped both his students and studio.

    Join us in this interesting conversation as we dive deep into the alternatives you also might want to consider for some of your students who maybe are doing things more in the composing, recording, and songwriting realms.



    * [04:42] Tom tells us about himself and his music school.

    * [05:54] Different ways to assess the progress of our students.

    * [09:40] How they started recording their students’ music.

    * [12:17] The music recording process.

    • 38 min
    TC244: Supporting your local community with Mike Grande

    TC244: Supporting your local community with Mike Grande

    We’ve got a return guest today, Mike Grande, who actually came on the show about a year ago right at the start of the pandemic. 

    We’re doing a catch up on what he’s been up to, how he handled the closure of his half a million dollar school in New York 5 months after it opened, and the great things he has done and is still doing to help his students, their families and his local community.

    Of course, we’ll also be talking about his Rock Out Loud Live platform and how things are going with that since it started during the start of the pandemic.



    * [04:09] Mike shares his experience with building his music schools and how Rock Out Loud Live started.

    * [06:48] The reason why Mike decided to build a new platform for online lessons.

    * [10:34] How he handled the situation his studio was in during COVID.

    * [15:42] The story behind his recent award.

    * [19:52] How hybrid lessons are going to play out in the future.

    * [22:39] Using virtual lessons for make-up lessons.

    * [24:34] Mike gives an overview on Rock Out Loud Live.

    * [27:10] Features of Rock Out Loud Live.

    * [30:26] The number of users the platform has today.

    * [31:50] Rock Out Loud Live pricing and inclusions.

    * [32:59] Talking about back up plans for your business.

    * [36:44] Mike shares his presentation on One Inch at the Teacher Turbo Conference.



    Today’s Freebie

    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * Rock Out Loud Live

    * Mike Grande’s Email

    * Zoom vs Rock Out Loud music mode test with Clinton Pratt

    * Teach less, make more and enjoy every minute by becoming a more entrepreneurial music teacher



    About our Guest



    Michael Grande is the owner of two music schools; one in New York and one in New Jersey. In November 2019, after spending over $650,000 building out his New Jersey school; Rock Out Loud, he was told he had to close due to COVID-19. As the music education world went to ZOOM for Virtual Music Lessons, Michael decided to accelerate the production of his own Virtual Music Lesson Portal; RockOutLoud.live. RockOutLoud.live is the world’s FIRST Virtual Music Lesson portal designed for music educators that is three years in the making. To date, Rock Out Loud Live is now being used in 113 countries, hosts over 40,000 lessons a week and has 4000+ music schools currently using the platform for their Virtual Music Lessons.

    Today’s Sponsor



    Are virtual lessons with ZOOM driving you MAD?

    Audio issues, trouble connecting?

    RockOutLoud.LIVE is a virtual music lesson video platform made for music teachers who want to provide their students with the ultimate virtual music lesson experience. Inside the RockOutLoud.LIVE video application, you’ll have access to resources like sheet music searches of a library of songs along with chords you can share across screens to your students in real-time. Plus, your student can download their virtual lesson notes while inside the virtual session! It’s cheaper than your Zoom account and gives you all of the tools to teach in an interactive lesson. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial by visiting RockOutLoud.live today.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice ...

    • 45 min
    TC243: Quick bites: Unpacking Evolution innovations with Tim Topham

    TC243: Quick bites: Unpacking Evolution innovations with Tim Topham

    Are you one of those teachers who want to expand their business while not trading time for money anymore? You can do it with a little bit of imagination and a lot of help from TopMusicPro Evolution. In this episode, Tim unpacks Evolution Innovation from inspiration he has found in some of our current Evolution members. 

    Whether you want to launch an online course, membership, subscription service, sell arrangements or sheet music online, compose, or write a book, we will help you through that process.

    Listen in to learn more about this and how music teachers (not just piano teachers!) have benefited from it. 

    Related: attend this free 45-min webinar on how to start your own music teaching business idea. topmusic.co/3secrets



    * [02:10] Do you have secret projects at the back of your mind?

    * [03:39] Learning how to build an online music business through Music Teacher Startup.

    * [05:52] Idea samples of teachers who are a part of our evolution membership.

    * [10:16] Top benefits of joining us.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * Music Teacher Startup



    Today’s Sponsor



    Are virtual lessons with ZOOM driving you MAD?

    Audio issues, trouble connecting?

    RockOutLoud.LIVE is a virtual music lesson video platform made for music teachers who want to provide their students with the ultimate virtual music lesson experience. Inside the RockOutLoud.LIVE video application, you’ll have access to resources like sheet music searches of a library of songs along with chords you can share across screens to your students in real-time. Plus, your student can download their virtual lesson notes while inside the virtual session! It’s cheaper than your Zoom account and gives you all of the tools to teach in an interactive lesson. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial by visiting RockOutLoud.live today.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.

    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.



    Are you one of those teachers who want to expand their business while not trading time for money anymore? You can do it with a little bit of imagination and a lot of help from TopMusicPro Evolution. In this episode, Tim unpacks Evolution Innovation from inspiration he has found in some of our current Evolution members. 

    Whether you want to launch an online course, membership, subscription service, sell arrangements or sheet music online, compose, or write a book, we will help you through that process.

    Listen in to learn more about this and how music teachers (not just piano teachers!) have benefited from it. 

    Related: attend this free 45-min webinar on how to start your own music teaching business idea. topmusic.co/3secrets



    * [02:10] Do you have secret projects at the back of your mind?

    * [03:39] Learning how to build an online music business through Music Teacher Startup.

    * [05:52] Idea samples of teachers who are a part of our evolution membership.

    • 16 min
    TC242: Understanding Dyslexia: How teaching language relates to teaching music with Becki Laurent

    TC242: Understanding Dyslexia: How teaching language relates to teaching music with Becki Laurent

    Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the USA have dyslexia? So, if you’ve got 20 students, the odds are pretty high that at least four are dyslexic. Therefore, understanding dyslexia is an important tool to have.

    In today’s episode, Becki Laurent joins us to talk about how we can better reach our music students that struggle with this learning challenge.

    We discuss myths, misconceptions and tips for teaching students with dyslexia. Becki also shares the components of the Orton Gillingham method of teaching reading and how we can incorporate these in music teaching.

    It’s a super informative and interesting episode you won’t want to miss.



    [03:13] Becki shares how she got on the journey of teaching music to kids with dyslexia and ADHD.

    [13:41] The conversation you need to have with your students’ parents.

    [15:54] Top 5 Myths for teaching students with dyslexia.

    [23:03] Understanding dyslexia and why rhythm is so important in teaching dyslexics.

    [28:02] How using the process of teaching dyslexics can help any student become better. 

    [34:42] Components of the Orton Gillingham teaching method and how we can apply it to music.

    [43:19] Sample strategies you can use to teach students.

    [51:02] Tips for making the process of learning fun for students.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * Becki Laurent LinkedIn



    About our Guest



    Becki Laurent is the director of a music school in West Texas. Her superpowers include ADHD, listening, analyzing and getting things done. She doesn’t sleep much and can often be found on Facebook at all hours of the day and night in all the time zones of the world.

    Today’s Sponsor





    Are virtual lessons with ZOOM driving you MAD?

    Audio issues, trouble connecting?

    RockOutLoud.LIVE is a virtual music lesson video platform made for music teachers who want to provide their students with the ultimate virtual music lesson experience. Inside the RockOutLoud.LIVE video application, you’ll have access to resources like sheet music searches of a library of songs along with chords you can share across screens to your students in real-time. Plus, your student can download their virtual lesson notes while inside the virtual session! It’s cheaper than your Zoom account and gives you all of the tools to teach in an interactive lesson. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial by visiting RockOutLoud.live today.



    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.

    Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.



    Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the USA have dyslexia? So, if you’ve got 20 students, the odds are pretty high that at least four are dyslexic. Therefore, understanding dyslexia is an important tool to have.

    In today’s episode, Becki Laurent joins us to talk about how we can better reach our music students that struggle with this learning challenge.

    We discuss myths, misconceptions and tips for teaching students with dyslexia. Becki also shares the components of the Orton Gillingham method of teaching reading and how we can incorporate these ...

    • 1 hr 3 min
    TC241: YouTube Masterclass with Carlos Pacheco

    TC241: YouTube Masterclass with Carlos Pacheco

    Have you ever wondered whether YouTube could be a powerful marketing channel for your studio or business? If you are an aspiring content creator or are already creating videos for YouTube, you should definitely tune in to this YouTube masterclass episode.

    Carlos Pacheco, our YouTube channel manager, joins me to tackle the questions you have about using YouTube to market your business.

    He answers the common questions aspiring content creators have such as how often you need to post, what you can do, what you can’t do, what YouTube likes, what it doesn’t like, what if you get a copyright strike; all those kinds of questions. 



    * [02:29] Carlos gives us a short intro about himself.

    * [05:10] How Carlos has helped us grow our YouTube channel since 2018.

    * [07:14] Making money through our AdSense revenue.

    * [09:29] Tips for teachers who want to use YouTube as a part of their marketing strategy.

    * [15:43] Can going viral help with your channel?

    * [17:22] How the YouTube algorithm works and how it worked for one of my videos.

    * [20:58] The sweet spot for YouTube to like your channel more.

    * [23:21] What you need to do to become successful on YouTube.

    * [26:07] Carlos’ thoughts about sending people off YouTube to get their emails, buy products, etc.

    * [30:05] Using YouTube as an educational platform.

    * [32:50] Mistakes people make when starting a channel.

    * [34:31] Directing people to your website from YouTube.

    * [36:46] The process of monetising your videos.

    * [38:31] Advice for uploading back-up videos on your channel.

    * [39:46] Handling copyright disputes and claims.

    * [42:56] Top metrics to watch out for on YouTube.

    * [45:27] Posting videos about products you sell.

    * [47:01] The most important thing to remember in posting YouTube videos.

    * [49:37] Building tags for your videos.

    * [51:49] Why you need to put a call-to-action on your videos.

    * [53:29] 5 top tips for content creators.

    * [57:53] The importance of using creative thumbnails.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Show Sponsors

    RockOutLoud.LIVE is a virtual music lesson video platform made for music teachers who want to provide their students with the ultimate virtual music lesson experience. Inside the RockOutLoud.LIVE video application, you’ll have access to resources like sheet music searches of a library of songs along with chords you can share across screens to your students in real-time. Plus, your student can download their virtual lesson notes while inside the virtual session! It’s cheaper than your Zoom account and gives you all of the tools to teach in an interactive lesson. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial by visiting RockOutLoud.live today.

    Links Mentioned



    * Carlos Pacheco LinkedIn

    * Carlos Pacheco Twitter



    About our Guest



    Carlos Pacheco is a consultant and a YouTube audience strategist who’s been working and advising creators, producers, content owners, and distributors all about channel growth, content optimization, piracy protection, and monetization strategies since 2012.

    Thank you for tuning in!

    Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts,

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

Eerrtyy ,

Fun, exciting and a fabulous resource for all piano teachers

I found topcast about three years ago when I was looking for inspiration in my piano teaching. Full of inspirational guests from around the world, Tim offers the piano teacher a one stop shop to explore and connect with leading piano teacher around the world. My mind opened up to the many wondering and innovative teaching ideas, which have made everyday teaching day joyful!

zoevrachnas ,

Best Podcast I’ve ever listened to

Where to start with reviewing Tim’s podcast...! This is a jam packed, super engaging and incredibly helpful podcast for music teachers. I’m new teacher (violin) and I have been bingeing the podcast for the last few months. Each week Tim interviews someone completely different from the last and the common denominator is a love of music education. Oh wow I could go on for days about the poddy! Thank you Tim and the team. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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!

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