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
    • 4.8 • 118 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.

    TC251: From Elementary Music Teacher to Teacher Mentor with Jessica Peresta

    TC251: From Elementary Music Teacher to Teacher Mentor with Jessica Peresta

    Have you ever had the intention to do something with your career and life shifts that completely? Jessica has that story! As very qualified teacher, she intended to return to the classroom but she pivoted and now she mentors other teachers.

    In this episode, Jessica shares how she grew her business from knowing nothing about growing an audience or building a business to hiring her first employee.



    * [3:19] Jessica shares her background in piano and teaching elementary music

    * [5:14] She tells the story of how she kept going with piano in her teen years

    * [6:59] How Jessica learned to read chord charts

    * [8:05] Here is why Jessica changed her major to Music Education from Piano Performance

    * [9:31] The struggle of being hired at a school with no music program

    * [15:48] How long Jessica ended up staying at the school

    * [18:38] How Jessica shifted to start her own business

    * [20:49] Jessica shared how she started to grow her audience of teachers

    * [23:02] Sources Jessica used to learn how to continue to grow her business

    * [25:03] Opportunities from Jessica’s website and business

    * [28:06] Choosing an outlet that suits your personality and drive

    * [28:45] The question Jessica gets asked all the time

    * [32:46] Why and how Jessica named her business



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * Jessica Peresta Website

    * Jessica Peresta Instagram

    * Jessica Peresta Facebook Page

    * Jessica Peresta Facebook Group



    Today’s Guest



    Jessica Peresta helps elementary music educators thrive in teaching and go from feeling overwhelmed to confident. She is the blogger and podcaster at The Domestic Musician, providing teachers with the music education resources, lesson plans, teacher training, and community they’ve been looking for.

    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 had the intention to do something with your career and life shifts that completely? Jessica has that story! As very qualified teacher, she intended to return to the classroom but she pivoted and now she mentors other teachers.

    In this episode, Jessica shares how she grew her business from knowing nothing about growing an audience or building a business to hiring her first employee.



    * [3:19] Jessica shares her background in piano and teaching elementary music

    * [5:14] She tells the story of how she kept going with piano in her teen years

    * [6:59] How Jessica learned to read chord charts

    * [8:05] Here is why Jessica changed her major to Music Education from Piano Performance

    * [9:31] The struggle of being hired at a school with no music program

    * [15:48] How long Jessica ended up staying at the school

    * [18:38] How Jessica shifted to start her own business

    * [20:49] Jessica shared how she started to grow her audience of teachers

    * [23:02] Sources Jessica used to learn how to continue to grow her business

    * [25:03] Opportunities from Jessica’s website and business

    • 35 min
    TC250: Creative Piano Mashups with Rebecca Singerman-Knight

    TC250: Creative Piano Mashups with Rebecca Singerman-Knight

    With COVID and lockdown, a lot of teachers and students have been faced with the challenge of learning online. Teachers, especially, have had to think of ways to make online lessons more fun and engaging.

    In this episode, Rebecca Singerman-Knight, shares how she did this through her Lockdown Mashups activity with her students which has encouraged them to compose, sing, and play music that they really love.



    * [02:37] Rebecca shares about her teaching and studio.

    * [04:02] She talks about her childhood piano lessons.

    * [06:16] How her teaching looked before she joined TopMusicPro membership.

    * [08:58] Pain points of teachers who join the membership.

    * [10:14] Coping during the time of lockdown with her students and working on Lockdown Mashups with them.

    * [20:29] Steps she took to do the Lockdown Mashups with her students.

    * [21:16] Resources and apps she used for checking her lessons.

    * [25:36] Rebecca shares the mashups of her students.

    * [38:52] Tailoring the activity for the students.

    * [40:30] Mashups and combinations she has up her sleeve at the moment.

    * [42:40] Teaching tips for teachers.

    * [45:55] How she came across the TMP community and how she uses it.

    * [52:26] Advice for teachers who want to join the membership.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links & Resources Mentioned



    * Rebecca Singerman-Knight Website

    * Rebecca Singerman-Knight Facebook

    * Hook Theory

    * Music Notes

    * Rick Beato – Reacting to the Top 10 Songs on iTunes



    Today’s Guest



    Rebecca Singerman-Knight is a piano teacher based in Teddington, South West London. Rebecca worked in the corporate world for 15 years before leaving to set up her own private studio. She tailors her teaching to her students’ specific interests and provides a varied musical experience in her lessons. In this podcast episode she shares how she got creative with her lessons during lockdown doing piano mashups with her 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.



    With COVID and lockdown, a lot of teachers and students have been faced with the challenge of learning online. Teachers, especially, have had to think of ways to make online lessons more fun and engaging.

    In this episode, Rebecca Singerman-Knight, shares how she did this through her Lockdown Mashups activity with her students which has encouraged them to compose, sing, and play music that they really love.



    * [02:37] Rebecca shares about her teaching and studio.

    * [04:02] She talks about her childhood piano lessons.

    * [06:16] How her teaching looked before she joined TopMusicPro membership.

    * [08:58] Pain points of teachers who join the membership.

    * [10:14] Coping during the time of lockdown with her students and working on Lockdown Mashups with them.

    * [20:29] Steps she took to do the Lockdown Mash...

    • 56 min
    TC249: The Art of Communication with Ben Kapilow

    TC249: The Art of Communication with Ben Kapilow

    As a piano teacher or podcast host, it is so important for you to be able to connect and communicate with your students and audience effectively. But this doesn’t come naturally for all of us. 

    This broadcast originally aired on the Ben Kapilow All Keyed Up podcast, shared with permission.

    Ben and Tim discuss tips learned on the art of communicating effectively as teachers and podcast hosts. We also discuss the importance of being student-centred, how you can prepare and stay present in lessons, and why silence can be crucial in effective communication, too.



    * [01:14] Overlap and connection between podcasting and interviewing and lesson delivery.

    * [04:39] How to make lessons student-led for shy students.

    * [08:16] Approaching podcast interviews in a neutral way.

    * [12:22] His experience in rethinking teaching approaches to students.

    * [14:11] The importance of being student-centered.

    * [17:11] Balance of being prepared and being present in podcasting and teaching.

    * [22:03] How Tim has learned to communicate with laser sharp clarity.

    * [28:25] Tim shares more about TopCast and TopMusic.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * All Keyed Up Podcast by Ben Kapilow

    * Ben Kapilow Website





    Today’s Guest



    Ben Kapilow is a music director, teacher,  composer, and podcast host. The All Keyed Up podcast is an interview podcast where he speaks with a wide range of professionals about topics that are pertinent to the field of piano teaching. 

    Ben has served as the Resident Music Director for the Media Theatre for the Performing Arts since Summer 2017. As a composer, his works have been performed by various groups. But one of his biggest interests is writing music for children. His pieces have been performed by about 40 elementary and middle school vocal and instrumental groups.

    Ben currently teaches private piano, songwriting, and voice lessons through the Media Theatre. His studio currently includes approximately 55 students and he is intricately involved in the theater’s education program. He currently holds PreK-12 Music Teacher Certification for the state of Maryland.

    He graduated Pi Kappa Lambda from the Peabody Conservatory with an M.M. in Music Composition in 2017. In 2013, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College with a B.A. in Music and Psychology.

    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 a href="http://www.topmusic.

    • 32 min
    TC248: Building community with piano parents and other teachers with Shelly Davis

    TC248: Building community with piano parents and other teachers with Shelly Davis

    The encouragement of piano parents to their children plays a huge part in their growth as a student. But, as piano teachers, we also have a role to play in collaborating and connecting with parents and other teachers to help our students succeed.

    In this episode, Shelly Davis shares the lessons she has learned over the years by  teaching piano, as well as interviewing so many teachers, parents, and students on her podcast, the Piano Parent Podcast.



    * [02:40] Shelly gives us an update and peek behind the scenes on her Piano Parent Podcast.

    * [05:17] The technological advancements she has gained since starting the podcast.

    * [07:10] Lessons from the podcast that she has applied in her teaching life.

    * [10:40] Shelly tells us about how music teachers have a different level of parent support at home.

    * [15:12] Advice for teachers to help connect with their studio parents better to inspire students.

    * [19:01] Having parents feel that they are in a combined partnership with the piano teacher.

    * [23:21] Challenges that make it hard for parents to help at home.

    * [27:25] Shelly tells us more about the concept of the community of teachers.

    * [34:08] Advice and thoughts about parents and music education.

    * [38:32] Shelly tells us more about her new project.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Links Mentioned



    * Piano Parent Podcast Website

    * Piano Parent Podcast Instagram



    Today’s Guest



    Shelly Davis is the host of the Piano Parent Podcast. She’s been an independent piano teacher since 1990 and has worked with hundreds of children. She currently lives in Texas, has been married for 32 years, and is the parent of four musical children. 

    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.



    The encouragement of piano parents to their children plays a huge part in their growth as a student. But, as piano teachers, we also have a role to play in collaborating and connecting with parents and other teachers to help our students succeed.

    In this episode, Shelly Davis shares the lessons she has learned over the years by  teaching piano, as well as interviewing so many teachers, parents, and students on her podcast, the Piano Parent Podcast.



    * [02:40] Shelly gives us an update and peek behind the scenes on her Piano Parent Podcast.

    • 45 min
    TC247: It’s Just a Job! with Rachel King

    TC247: It’s Just a Job! with Rachel King

    Have you ever felt that sense of dread or burnout over teaching? Well, today’s member spotlight really shines a light on this feeling that we all have from time to time.

    Rachel King had these negative feelings for quite a while but, thankfully, found a way out of it which is what she shares in this episode. She is now enjoying her teaching like never before.

    I’m so thankful because Rachel really lets us into her life and how she’s feeling. She also shares the shift she made, how it came about, and the impact it has had on her teaching and students.



    * [03:34] Rachel shares an update on her current studio and students.

    * [04:36] Her feelings regarding her teaching before.

    * [07:29] What she did to make herself feel enthusiastic in teaching again.

    * [11:12] How she felt after her mindset change.

    * [12:23] The outcomes that happened after.

    * [14:13] The reaction of students to the change.

    * [15:53] Her new approach to teaching students.

    * [17:32] Feeling less anxious and frustrated about lessons.

    * [19:30] Rachel talks about liking her students better and students performing better after the change.

    * [20:00] The changes she saw in her relationship with money and the income that she’s making.

    * [20:58] Being able to stand firm on her studio policies and increasing rates because of her new mindset.

    * [24:29] Rachel’s response on emotional investment in teaching.

    * [27:54] How Rachel found out about TopMusicPro.

    * [30:33] Sharing how she justifies the investment she’s making at TMP.

    * [31:54] Future plans for her studio.



    Transcript of the show

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

    Today’s Guest



    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.



    Have you ever felt that sense of dread or burnout over teaching? Well, today’s member spotlight really shines a light on this feeling that we all have from time to time.

    Rachel King had these negative feelings for quite a while but, thankfully, found a way out of it which is what she shares in this episode. She is now enjoying her teaching like never before.

    I’m so thankful because Rachel really lets us into her life and how she’s feeling. She also shares the shift she made, how it came about, and the impact it has had on her teaching and students.



    * [03:34] Rachel shares an update on her current studio and students.

    * [04:36] Her feelings regarding her teaching before.

    * [07:29] What she did to make herself feel enthusiastic in teaching again.

    • 34 min
    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

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
118 Ratings

118 Ratings

Missbg123 ,

Inspiring

TopCast is the podcast I look forward to listening. Tim invites interesting guests who share their ideas and experience on topics that are relevant to piano teachers. I have enjoyed the diversity of speakers and topics and highly recommend this podcast to teachers of all levels.

texbj ,

Highly recommended for music instructors!

I have listened to this podcast for several years and have grown so much in my teaching from what I’ve gleaned from this podcast. Highly recommend for music teachers of all levels of experience and genres.

kiteens ,

Susan Bressette Measuring Success in Smiles

Thank you, Susan!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the whole world of teachers could embrace all the struggling learners of the world with your enthusiasm.

I am a music teacher in a school for over 100 children with severe developmental disabilities. I have degrees in Speech therapy, MA Ed. Special Education, and am Suzuki trained, and have been teaching music lessons for over 40 years.

I have taught children with cerebral palsy, blindness, deafness, TBI, Downs Syndrome, autism and multiple disabilities.

I learned more from your podcast today than I have from many others. Thank you for your inspiration and hard work. Your work will carry on through all teachers who have the blessing of hearing you speak. All the best to you and your family.

Kit Bednar, from TheMusicKit.org (site incomplete as of 9/14/20)

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