182 episodes

Teacher, presenter and blogger Tim Topham shares all of his piano teaching resources, guides, training and ideas so that you can keep your students inspired and motivated all through the year. Discover news ways of teaching, find out about the latest music releases, get connected with your local community via online events and training and listen as Tim interviews composers, teachers, bloggers and presenters as they share their ideas about piano teaching in 21st century. Tim is a passionate and experienced educator with a dedication to helping piano teachers around the world improve their practice, whether that's about keeping up with pop music, learning some new teaching methods, teaching boys piano, motivating teenagers, or just keeping up-to-date with teaching practice, you'll find it all at the topmusic.co podcast.

Creative Piano Teaching Podcast Education Podcast Network

    • Courses

Teacher, presenter and blogger Tim Topham shares all of his piano teaching resources, guides, training and ideas so that you can keep your students inspired and motivated all through the year. Discover news ways of teaching, find out about the latest music releases, get connected with your local community via online events and training and listen as Tim interviews composers, teachers, bloggers and presenters as they share their ideas about piano teaching in 21st century. Tim is a passionate and experienced educator with a dedication to helping piano teachers around the world improve their practice, whether that's about keeping up with pop music, learning some new teaching methods, teaching boys piano, motivating teenagers, or just keeping up-to-date with teaching practice, you'll find it all at the topmusic.co podcast.

    CPTP Bonus Episode with Philip Johnston

    CPTP Bonus Episode with Philip Johnston

    Here’s a special bonus episode to end the podcast season.  Special guest Philip Johnston discusses a thought experiment to kickstart your thinking.



    Here’s a special bonus episode to end the podcast season.  Special guest Philip Johnston discusses a thought experiment to kickstart your thinking.

    • 8 min
    CPTP180: Melody Bober in Conversation

    CPTP180: Melody Bober in Conversation

    Do you compose your own music? Do you explore music composition with your students? Composers truly bring me in awe with their work and I am so honored to be interviewing a very well-known artist who I’ve wanted to have on the show forever. 

    I thought it would be fun to end Season 3 of the podcast with another one of my Composer Spotlights, which feature conversations with some of your most cherished composers and arrangers, delving into their background, teaching and thoughts on creativity and composition, how they’ve come to be doing what they’re doing, and how they create their amazing works that we love so much.



    My guest today, Melody Bober, is well-known to every music teacher and almost needs no introduction. She is an inspiring composer who creates motivational piano pieces that foster her students’ understanding and love for music. With more than 20 years of music-teaching experience, a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education, a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance, she is in great demand at conventions and workshops for piano teachers across North America. And today she’s going to share her experience and expertise in music composition. It’s a super inspiring interview and I can’t wait to share it with you.

    Transcript

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn



    [06:53] A week in the life of Melody Bober.

    [08:10] The time Melody puts into composing and arranging music.

    [08:48] Her experience in piano lessons when she was young.

    [10:15] Melody’s students in the community center.

    [12:09] The difference of the lessons she had when she was young versus the lessons she gives her students now.

    [13:25] Helping students explore composition.

    [14:33] The reason she became a teacher.

    [15:20] The age she first started composing.

    [16:50] Looking back on her early compositions.

    [17:50] The story behind her name.

    [18:47] The process of how she became a published composer.

    [21:20] The pedagogy of her pieces at the forefront of her mind while composing.

    [23:19] Piano student levels in the United States.

    [24:55] Her approach for composing.

    [26:01] What makes an engaging student piano piece.

    [27:44] Important things piano teachers should include in their lessons to encourage creativity and explore composing.

    [29:06] Her favorite compositions among all her compositions.

    [30:08] The series’ that has gained more feedback than others.

    [31:55] How she got the skills to write in so many styles.

    [35:57] How teachers who are not so strong in composition can encourage students to compose their own songs.

    [38:05] Thinking of titles for her compositions.

    [40:14] How she writes her own music.

    [40:45] Other composers she admires.

    [41:30] The music she plays during her down times.

    [42:55] One takeaway that she wants everyone to know.



    Links Mentioned



    Melody Bober LinkedIn

    Melody Bober 



    Today’s Sponsor

    Tonara creates an inspiring community for music teachers and students throughout the week. With students feeling connected to their teacher and peers, and because of the fun and engaging practice tools built into the platform, teachers can see a dramatic increase in the amount and quality of their students’ practice. Teachers no longer have to worry that assignments will get lost or go unread. Multimedia-rich assignments can be reused and updated quickly, making any assignment a festival of creativity and inspiration. Help your students discover the difference effective practice can make. 

    a href="https://tonara.com/?

    • 47 min
    CPTP179: Finding Flow and Conquering Performance Anxiety with Siskind and Chiu

    CPTP179: Finding Flow and Conquering Performance Anxiety with Siskind and Chiu

    How do you help yourself or your students deal with performance anxiety? It’s one of the things many teachers and students go through whether it be just in front of 1 person or a whole stadium. It can really be nerve-racking!

    Today’s episode is all about the challenges of performance.

    Further, we can help our students with their and our performance anxiety by finding flow in rhythm in our playing. In that vein, we will also be unpacking tips and strategies on practicing routines, and exploring new repertoire for advanced pianists. Plus, we’ll have a look at using Kickstarter to fund performances, projects or anything related to your studio.





    I have invited two incredible pianists to join us in the podcast today, Jeremy Siskind and Frederic Chiu.

    Jeremy is a jazz pianist & composer who has written eleven publications. Frederic is an internationally renowned concert pianist who collaborates with both classical and jazz pianists to bring vivid live concert experiences to all his audiences.

    Transcript of Show on Finding Flow & Conquering Performance Anxiety

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn



    [05:45] Guest introductions for Jeremy Siskind and Frederic Chiu

    [09:40] Jeremy’s background.

    [10:24] Frederic’s background.

    [12:43] The reason behind Frederic’s non-traditional approach on piano recitals and performances and how it looks like.

    [16:21] Their thoughts on traditional classic recitals.

    [21:31] Frederic’s Classical Smackdown concert.

    [23:11] Frederic’s suggestions and strategies, particularly for teachers on performing such hard repertoire so flawlessly.

    [27:49] Jeremy’s approach to managing his nerves.

    [29:11] Is jazz or is classical harder?

    [30:49] Frederic’s classical and traditional piano background as a child.

    [33:10] Jeremy tells us more about Perpetual Motion Etudes.

    [34:25] Tips for students to get into the mindset where they can take off and keep on going.

    [36:36] How videos and recorders can help students go into performance mode.

    [38:16] Frederic’s thoughts on practising performing.

    [44:13] Effects of memorization on performing for Frederic.

    [47:32] Jeremy’s thoughts on the effects of memorization on performing.

    [49:25] Jeremy’s inspiration on doing the Perpetual Motion Etudes.

    [51:21] Funding Perpetual Motion Etudes through Kickstarter and how it worked for Jeremy.

    [54:24] His main reason for using Kickstarter for funding.

    [55:59] Their thoughts on competitions.

    [01:01:43] Closing words from Frederic and Jeremy.



    Links Mentioned



    Frederic Chiu Website

    Jeremy Siskind Website

    Perpetual Motion Etudes for Piano Book



    Today’s Sponsor

    Tonara creates an inspiring community for music teachers and students throughout the week.

    Students can enjoy feeling connected to their teacher and peers. Similarly, because of the fun and engaging practice tools built into the platform, teachers can see a dramatic increase in the amount and quality of their students’ practice.

    In addition, teachers no longer have to worry that assignments will get lost or go unread.

    Multimedia-rich assignments can be reused and updated quickly, making any assignment a festival of creativity and inspiration. Help your students discover the difference effective practice can make. 



    Tonara is available on mobile, tablet, and desktop! So head to a href="https://tonara.com/?

    • 1 hr 8 min
    CPTP178: Running Music Camps and Holiday Workshops in Australia [Case Study]

    CPTP178: Running Music Camps and Holiday Workshops in Australia [Case Study]

    Are you open to the idea of exploring the world of music camps and holiday workshops in your area? Do you want to know what it takes to set these up?

    My guest today, Sofie Arhontoulis, has been a piano teacher in South Australia since 1994, teaching in schools and in her private studio, Saili Music. She is also a gigging musician since graduating from the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide in 1991.

    Sofie has over 25 years of professional experience in the teaching and performing industry, performing live and as a studio musician. 



    Along with Sofie in this interview is her business partner Helen Favretto. These two amazing women have teamed up to run Kidz Jam Factor, offering music camps and art classes side by side during holidays. Find out how they entered and succeeded in this venture to spread their love for art and music and, at the same time, expand their studio marketing and add to their income as teachers.

    Transcript

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn



    [03:27] Introduction for Sofie Arhontoulis.

    [05:18] Introduction for Helen Favretto.

    [06:10] The classes they offer for kids.

    [07:06] Story behind the name of Kidz Jam Factor.

    [07:30] Their inspiration for offering summer camps.

    [09:50] The price at which they offer their classes.

    [10:34] Using their networks and available facilities to offer their classes.

    [10:57] Impacts on their business and student outcomes.

    [12:07] How they offered the classes.

    [13:44] The number of students they got for their classes.

    [15:24] The length of their classes.

    [16:45] The activities they conduct in their classes and how they introduce music.

    [18:13] Their main reason for offering the classes.

    [20:57] Starting their idea from scratch.

    [21:50] Gaining repeat students and getting parent contact details.

    [23:39] The classes they’ll be running in the next holidays and how they market it.

    [25:24] Other types of marketing that they do.

    [26:25] Tips for other piano teachers who are interested in offering camps too.

    [28:03] How Sofie made her connections and was offered the use of a studio for free.



    Links Mentioned



    Saili Music Facebook

    Saili Music Instagram

    Kidz Jam Factor Facebook

    Arty Kids Website



    Today’s Sponsor

    Tonara creates an inspiring community for music teachers and students throughout the week. With students feeling connected to their teacher and peers, and because of the fun and engaging practice tools built into the platform, teachers can see a dramatic increase in the amount and quality of their students’ practice. Teachers no longer have to worry that assignments will get lost or go unread. Multimedia-rich assignments can be reused and updated quickly, making any assignment a festival of creativity and inspiration. Help your students discover the difference effective practice can make. 

    Tonara is available on mobile, tablet, and desktop! So head to tonara.com and sign up for a 30-day free trial, or download the app from your respective mobile store on your device. Let Tonara create happiness in your studio today!

    Get $100 off Annual Inner Circle Membership

    As a valued podcast listener, you’re eligible for a $100 discount on an annual Inner Circle Membership.

    • 36 min
    CPTP177: Are You Fit 4 Piano? Rae de Lisle Unpacks her Interactive Technique Book

    CPTP177: Are You Fit 4 Piano? Rae de Lisle Unpacks her Interactive Technique Book

    What approach do you use when teaching technique to your students? Are you familiar with the techniques you should teach?



    My guest today, Rae de Lisle, is the author of Fit 4 Piano eBook, Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Auckland, and one of New Zealand’s foremost piano pedagogues. Her teaching has produced many outstanding pianists. Aside from the many awards she has been given, her ground-breaking PhD on focal dystonia has resulted in specific concepts about instrumental retraining, leading to many international presentations and keynote speeches. 

    Fit 4 Piano is a fun, interactive e-book designed to assist the development of a coordinated technique. This unique book uses an approach that aligns with all teaching methods and contains more than 80 HD videos of exercises, musical examples, showing how these concepts  are relevant whether playing the easiest pieces or advanced repertoire.  If you want to learn more about technique in a very interesting way, you’ll definitely want to stick around and listen to this episode.

    Transcript

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn



    [10:58] Where Rae is from and the kind and style of teaching she is doing.

    [12:21] What is technique?

    [13:03] How making sounds in piano is the most important thing.

    [14:10] The approach of using fingers versus the whole body.

    [15:19] What made Rae decide to write a book about technique.

    [17:12] The value of the interactivity of the book she wrote.

    [19:17] An important highlight in Rae’s book.

    [20:06] The story of how the images were created in the book.

    [21:19] The reason behind the title of her book Fit For Piano.

    [23:11] Key mistakes that teachers make with beginner students.

    [25:28] The importance of getting movement right from the beginning for beginner students.

    [27:27] Argument on buckling the joint.

    [28:46] General principles for posture.

    [31:25] The approach of detached motion versus legato.

    [32:47] Technique names in her book

    [34:38] Covering all levels of student technique.

    [35:48] Tips for relaxation 

    [37:16] How all methods align well with her approach.

    [38:27] The availability of her book in PDF and ePub form.

    [39:23] How her exercises fit in with teachers approach to scales, arpeggios and others.

    [41:22] The type of teachers who should read her book.



    Links Mentioned



    * Rae De Lisle Website

    * Fit 4 Piano eBook

    * Fit 4 Piano eBook Discount Code: timtophamdiscount2019



    Today’s Sponsor

    Tonara creates an inspiring community for music teachers and students throughout the week. With students feeling connected to their teacher and peers, and because of the fun and engaging practice tools built into the platform, teachers can see a dramatic increase in the amount and quality of their students’ practice. Teachers no longer have to worry that assignments will get lost or go unread. Multimedia-rich assignments can be reused and updated quickly, making any assignment a festival of creativity and inspiration. Help your students discover the difference effective practice can make. 



    Tonara is available on mobile, tablet, and desktop! So head to tonara.com and sign up for a 30-day free trial, or download the app from your respective mobile store on your device. Let a href="https://tonara.com/?

    • 47 min
    CPTP176: A Fireside Chat with Marvin Blickenstaff

    CPTP176: A Fireside Chat with Marvin Blickenstaff

    What approach do you use in teaching your students, especially beginners?



    My guest on this podcast episode, Marvin Blickenstaff, is one of the most well-known and well-loved teachers in the US. He is a teacher, lecturer, performer and publisher with numerous honours and awards under his belt. His extensive background in piano as well as his positive approach to teaching his students make him stand out amongst the crowd. 

    Marvin shared his wide-ranging experience in the world of piano teaching and gave us some brilliant and insightful tips on how to teach students, especially beginners. So if you are teaching beginners in your studio (which I am pretty sure you are!) then you wouldn’t want to miss this episode because you’ll definitely learn a whole lot from this influential piano teacher.

    Transcript

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn



    [06:26] Marvin Blickenstaff’s Bio

    [07:50] Marvin’s current teaching schedule, his students, and the kind of teaching he does.

    [09:47] His association with the The New School for Music Study in Princeton. 

    [11:38] A glimpse into a week in the life of Marvin.

    [13:16] His background learning piano, when he started and how his lessons were like.

    [18:54] His approach of teaching students. 

    [20:49] Marvin’s wide range of experience in studying piano.

    [24:07] Marvin’s current performances and his go-to composers and works.

    [27:06] His catalyst for teaching piano to students and teachers.

    [32:13] Marvin shares mistakes he sees teachers make with teaching, especially with beginners and gives some wonderful examples and tips on how he teaches his own students.

    [39:33] How he starts teaching reading to students.

    [41:14] Most important things he imparts to students on techniques.

    [45:13] Teaching legato for beginning students.



    Links Mentioned



    TopMusicCo Rebranding

    Piano Pivot Live Scholarship



    Today’s Sponsor

    Tonara creates an inspiring community for music teachers and students throughout the week. With students feeling connected to their teacher and peers, and because of the fun and engaging practice tools built into the platform, teachers can see a dramatic increase in the amount and quality of their students’ practice. Teachers no longer have to worry that assignments will get lost or go unread. Multimedia-rich assignments can be reused and updated quickly, making any assignment a festival of creativity and inspiration. Help your students discover the difference effective practice can make. 

    Tonara is available on mobile, tablet, and desktop! So head to tonara.com and sign up for a 30-day free trial, or download the app from your respective mobile store on your device. Let Tonara create happiness in your studio today!

    Get $100 off Annual Inner Circle Membership

    As a valued podcast listener, you’re eligible for a $100 discount on an annual Inner Circle Membership. This discount lasts for as long as you’re a member and whatever price you sign up for today is the price you’ll pay as long as you remain a member. Copy this coupon code to use when you see the “Coupon Code” box:  PIANOPODCAST.

    Thank you for Tuning In!

    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!

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

ManassasVA ,

Mindblown!

I look forward to receiving Tim’s email alerts about upcoming podcasts. I’ve learned so much, been inspired to reach higher goals and motivated to continue learning and growing as a music teacher. This particular podcast was a paradigm shifter for me!

Jim88bo ,

Love this podcast!

I love all the interviews and interesting topics covered by Tim Topham. This podcast is great because of the variety of topics all related to music teaching and not of them can be applied to many instrument studios, not just there piano. I love the insight and inspiration I receive! Top notch podcast! An “A+” for sure!!

2011370Z ,

Amazing and Inspiring Podcasts!

I'm not even a piano teacher but just a person that really likes to play the piano. These podcasts are so informative, inspiring and motivating. I am constantly learning new "stuff" and can't wait for the new weekly podcast. Who knows - when I retire as a CPA I may become an instructor. I really enjoyed episode 151: Motivating Music Theory with Glory St. Germain. She sparked something in me when she made the suggestion of facilitating music theory group lessons. I'll definately me mulling on that idea. Great Job, Tim! Thank you for creating and producing this amazing product. I liked the podcasts so much I did join the Inner Circle and have no regrets other than not enough time to devote to the courses and videos!

Top Podcasts In Courses

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Education Podcast Network