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 • 120 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.

    TC266: Is classical music dying? A chat with Benjamin Zander

    TC266: Is classical music dying? A chat with Benjamin Zander

    How will future generations experience and value classical music? In this episode, world-renowned conductor Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra joins Tim to discuss the direction of classical music and the influence of the music teaching industry. He shares about speaking at Ted Talks, with anecdotes of Boston Philharmonic Symphony musicians and students of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.



    * [3:14] The responsibility of music teachers 

    * [5:45] Being part of the “healing profession” 

    * [6:30] Our job as teachers 

    * [7:03] the impact of Beethoven and emotion in classical music

    * [8:50] the significance of the upcoming Boston Philharmonic Symphony repertoire

    * [10:00] What to say when you make a mistake 

    * [12:48]  The responsibility of the conductor

    * [14:30] breaking down the formality of classical music

    * [20:05] The depth of classical music when we turn off autopilot

    * [22:09] Boston Philharmonic during covid

    * [23:05] Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra students

    * [29:30] On transitioning from performing to conducting

    * [39:23] Helping students remove extra impulses

    * [43:00] Who we are being in the world

    * [45:50] How the “A method” might work in instrumental studio lessons

    * [53:22] Last word from Benjamin Zander



    Links Mentioned



    * Benjamin Zander Website

    * Benjamin Zander Ted Talk

    * The Art of Possibility Book



    Today’s Guest



    Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra in 1978 and has appeared as guest conductor with orchestras around the world. In 2012, Zander founded the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He is known as a master teacher and speaker on leadership — and he’s been known to do both in a single performance. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues.



    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.



    How will future generations experience and value classical music? In this episode, world-renowned conductor Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra joins Tim to discuss the direction of classical music and the influence of the music teaching industry. He shares about speaking at Ted Talks, with anecdotes of Boston Philharmonic Symphony musicians and students of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.



    * [3:14] The responsibility of music teachers 

    * [5:45] Being part of the “healing profession” 

    * [6:30] Our job as teachers 

    * [7:03] the impact of Beethoven and emotion in classical music

    * [8:50] the significance of the upcoming Boston Philharmonic Symphony repertoire

    * [10:00] What to say when you make a mistake 

    * [12:48]  The responsibility of the conductor

    * [14:30] breaking down the formality of classical music

    * [20:05] The depth of classical music when we turn off autopilot

    * [22:09] Boston Philharmonic during covid

    * [23:05] Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra students

    * [29:30] On transitioning from performing to conducting

    • 1 hr 1 min
    TC265: How Music can Change a Grieving Heart with Leila Viss

    TC265: How Music can Change a Grieving Heart with Leila Viss

    Our good friend Leila Viss, known to many of you as an inspirational piano teacher and speaker, joins us to talk about overcoming grief through music. She shares her personal walk through this topic and how music helped her to process and heal. Leila also presents insights about how the body always keeps the score when dealing with trauma.

    Let us know in the comments if this is your experience, too!



    * [9:23] Leila gives an overview about her NCKP talk entitled “Keeping it together when life falls apart” 

    * [11:47] Leila’s grief playlist and her journey back to finding music 

    * [14:02] Leila’s NCKP talk 

    * [32:58] The importance of music and what it can do for someone else 

    * [36:11] Finding meaning from the accident 

    * [38:06] The feedback Leila received from being open about this painful experience 

    * [40:00] Resources for people who might be facing similar challenges 



    Links Mentioned



    * Leila Viss Website 

    * Leila Viss Podcast – Key Ideas 

    * Leila Viss How to Eat the Frog 

    * Book: The Body Keeps the Score (Amazon affiliate link) 



    Today’s Guest



    Leila Viss is a piano teacher, presenter and author based in Denver, Colorado. She has a mix of styles in her teaching blending, written instruction and reading with lots of creativity. In 2012, she began a blog about piano teaching at leilaviss.com. Her fascination with the iPad and apps resulted in a book called The iPad Piano Studio: Keys to Unlocking the Power of Apps. With Bradley Sowash, Leila co-founded 88 Creative Keys. The six-year event featured webinars and workshops on how to encourage improvisation. At the University of Denver, Leila coordinated the piano proprietary program for three years. Leila presents frequently on national and international conferences. She penned a regular column for The Clavier Companion and currently sits on the editorial committee of the American Music Teachers Magazine for MTNA. As a longtime church organist, choir and worship team pianist, Leila enjoys putting in a fresh twist on all hymns and tunes. Her latest project includes her Key Ideas Podcast, digital cause and writing a book about a devastating family event.  

    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.



    Our good friend Leila Viss, known to many of you as an inspirational piano teacher and speaker, joins us to talk about overcoming grief through music. She shares her personal walk through this topic and how music helped her to process and heal. Leila also presents insights about how the body always keeps the score when dealing with trauma.

    Let us know in the comments if this is your experience, too!



    * [9:23] Leila gives an overview about her NCKP talk entitled “Keeping it together when life falls apart” 

    * [11:47] Leila’s grief playlist and her journey back to finding music 

    * [14:02] Leila’s NCKP talk 

    * [32:58] The importance of music and what it can do for someone else 

    * [36:11] Finding meaning from the accident 

    * [38:06] The feedback Leila received from being open about this painful experience 

    • 49 min
    TC264: When your role as a teacher is threatened

    TC264: When your role as a teacher is threatened

    As a teacher, it is so inevitable to get that one student who makes you rethink your role as a teacher – students who like teaching themselves on YouTube, doing rote learning, and who are just really out of the box. I’ve had that experience. And I know many teachers see this in their studios as well.

    So what do we do when our roles as teachers are threatened? In this episode, Tim gives us explanations ad examples of what we can do and why we should do it.



    * [01:34] Knowing your role as a teacher when you have a student who wants to learn independently through YouTube or rote learning.

    * [03:16] Changing your mindset and approach to guide your students better in what they’re doing.

    * [04:39] Examples of what you can do with students to guide and support them in their learning.

    * [06:05] Why autonomy is so important for a student’s success.

    * [07:57] Teaching teens and adult students based on their goals in learning.

    * [08:43] Tim shares Forrest Kinney’s experience on teaching a student who wanted to learn only the Beatles.

    * [10:22] Ti’m’s experience on teaching a student who was ready to quit learning piano.

    * [11:41] How to put autonomy within the bounds of your teaching approach. 

    * [12:12] What to do with a student who’s fixated on one thing.

    * [14:43] Should students be taught how to read right away?

    * [16:45] Tips on guiding and inspiring students to learn how to read.

    * [19:23] Ideas on handling students.



    Links Mentioned



    * TopMusicPro membersip







    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.



    As a teacher, it is so inevitable to get that one student who makes you rethink your role as a teacher – students who like teaching themselves on YouTube, doing rote learning, and who are just really out of the box. I’ve had that experience. And I know many teachers see this in their studios as well.

    So what do we do when our roles as teachers are threatened? In this episode, Tim gives us explanations ad examples of what we can do and why we should do it.



    * [01:34] Knowing your role as a teacher when you have a student who wants to learn independently through YouTube or rote learning.

    * [03:16] Changing your mindset and approach to guide your students better in what they’re doing.

    * [04:39] Examples of what you can do with students to guide and support them in their learning.

    * [06:05] Why autonomy is so important for a student’s success.

    * [07:57] Teaching teens and adult students based on their goals in learning.

    * [08:43] Tim shares Forrest Kinney’s experience on teaching a student who wanted to learn only the Beatles.

    * [10:22] Ti’m’s experience on teaching a student who was ready to quit learning piano.

    * [11:41] How to put autonomy within the bounds of your teaching approach. 

    * [12:12] What to do with a student who’s fixated on one thing.

    * [14:43] Should students be taught how to read right away?

    * [16:45] Tips on guiding and inspiring students to learn how to read.

    * [19:23] Ideas on handling students.



    Links Mentioned



    * TopMusicPro membersip







    Thank you for tuning in!

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

    • 27 min
    TC263: Building Trust and Connection with All Our Students with Gloria Tham-Haines

    TC263: Building Trust and Connection with All Our Students with Gloria Tham-Haines

    Music brings out our student’s creativity and expressive potential. But when students experience frustration or trauma or stress, we often encounter different responses. What is the role that music teachers play in this situation? And how do we make ourselves aware of our actions?

    Stress and trauma can affect our students which then affects us too. By using therapeutic techniques, we help calm our brains and our students’ brains, consequently unlocking their potential.



    * [03:22] Gloria shares her educational background.

    * [04:09] The story about how she found out about trauma-informed teaching.

    * [0[8:42] Behaviors or examples in the studio that may be related to trauma.

    * [13:15] The biggest pushback that intervention practitioners get.

    * [25:17] The shift in Gloria’s teaching philosophy and how this enabled her teach more because of this.

    * [28:01] Gloria gives an example of how she builds connections with her students.

    * [31:30] Being aware of and addressing the sensory needs of your students.

    * [38:36] The importance of being aware of yourself as a teacher.

    * [40:53] Learning more about the different attachment styles of teachers.

    * [44:02] Working together with parents as teachers.

    * [49:50] Resources available on trauma-informed training.



    Resources Mentioned



    * NCKP Overview Video

    * Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development

    * Book: Beyond Behaviors by Mona Delahooke

    * Pocket Guide to the Polyvagal Theory by Steve Porges

    * The Whole Brain Child and No Drama Discipline by Dan Siegel

    * The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of TraumaBy Bessel Van der Kolk



    Links Mentioned



    * Musica Gloria Piano



    Today’s Guest



    Dr. Gloria Tham-Haines is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and a member of the Music Teachers National Association. She is a Trust-Based Relational Intervention® Practitioner and a national presenter on incorporating Trust-Based Relational Intervention® strategies to build a trauma-informed piano studio.

    Dr. Tham-Haines has recently been named lecturer of music at Oklahoma Baptist University. She has taught class piano and applied piano there since 2017. In 2019, she was selected as a Teacher of Distinction by the Royal Conservatory of Music, Canada. 

    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.



    Music brings out our student’s creativity and expressive potential. But when students experience frustration or trauma or stress, we often encounter different responses. What is the role that music teachers play in this situation? And how do we make ourselves aware of our actions?

    Stress and trauma can affect our students which then affects us too. By using therapeutic techniques, we help calm our brains and our students’ brains,

    • 54 min
    TC262: TopMusicGuitar Unearthed with Tim and Michael

    TC262: TopMusicGuitar Unearthed with Tim and Michael

    We are so excited to share the latest and biggest update at topmusic.co for 2021 – the launch of TopMusicGuitar.

    In this episode, Michael Gumley, Head of TopMusicGuitar, and I will be talking about how the membership and program can help teachers of all ages and stages become better at managing their teaching and business. We chat about the available resources and courses you can take advantage of; building relationships and having a community you can connect with and learn from; teaching strategies that can help your students understand concepts easier and better; and so much and more.

    If you’re ready to take your guitar teaching to the next level, this episode is for YOU.



    * [03:33] Details about what we’re going to talk about in this episode – the TopMusicGuitar launch!

    * [04:40] Michael shares how TopMusicGuitar can help guitar teachers in their teaching and business.

    * [06:10] The power of community in bringing in amazing teachers together to inspire and learn from each other.

    * [09:20] Things that excite Michael about launching TopMusicGuitar.

    * [11:00] Resources members can take advantage of at TopMusicGuitar no matter where they are in their teaching journey.

    * [13:09] Tips on dynamic teaching strategies to help students reach their goals and the impact of using analogies to assist them in understanding concepts better.

    * [19:20] A sneak peek on the core courses under TopMusicGuitar.

    * [26:06] Future TopMusic courses on helping your teaching business grow.

    * [31:38] How the membership can help you become a better guitar teacher, have satisfied & happy students, and grow your business.

    * [34:28] Learn more about what’s in store for you if you become part of our launch crew at the TopMusicGuitar program.

    * [39:41] Details about the upcoming webinar to launch TopMusicGuitar.



    Links Mentioned



    * Join our upcoming webinar on Sunday Oct 17 at 8pm ET / Oct 18 Melbourne at 11am

    * Get on our list and receive the latest updates about TopMusicGuitar

    * Reach out to Michael at michael@topmusic.co



    Today’s Guest



    Michael is a guitar teacher and music educator from Melbourne, Australia. He’s the owner and head teacher at  Melbourne Guitar Academy. Michael brings his passion for and love of all things guitar to each and every lesson and seeks to capture the same excitement and wonder that captivated him during his guitar journey with all of his 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.



    We are so excited to share the latest and biggest update at topmusic.co for 2021 – the launch of TopMusicGuitar.

    In this episode, Michael Gumley, Head of TopMusicGuitar, and I will be talking about how the membership and program can help teachers of all ages and stages become better at managing their teaching and business. We chat about the available resources and courses you can take advantage of; building relationships and having a community you can connect with and learn from; teaching strategies that can help your students understand concepts easier and better; and so much and more.

    If you’re ready to take your guitar teaching to the next level, this episode is for YOU.

    • 48 min
    TC261: Managing Individual Learning in Group Lessons with Melanie Bowes

    TC261: Managing Individual Learning in Group Lessons with Melanie Bowes

    In this episode, Nicola Cantan takes over the podcast to introduce us to Melanie Bowes and the wonderful world of group teaching.

    Melanie has such an interesting perspective on group teaching. If you are absolutely sure that you never want to do group teaching, we encourage you to listen anyway. There’s definitely something here for everyone including just understanding how to differentiate things for different levels of students, teaching online, and so much more.



















    * Common myths and misconceptions about group teaching.

    * Things teachers need to invest in for group teaching.

    * Options for teaching spaces for groups.

    * The differences of private versus group teaching.

    * Mistakes teachers can make when starting to teach groups.

    * The importance of headphones in classes.

    * Dealing with students who are behind or ahead.

    * General progress of students who attend group lessons.

    * Melanie shares more about the KeyNotes Program.













    Links Mentioned









    * KeyNotes Music Website

    * Group Piano Pioneers Facebook Group









    Today’s Guest









    Melanie Bowes is the founder of KeyNotes Music, a group piano program which focuses on collaborative group learning in the foundation stages of piano. Having taught for many years as a school music teacher, plus her extensive post-graduate qualifications in music education, Melanie has brought together all her experience and knowledge to support teachers in delivering innovative and progressive group classes. Her work in curriculum design and research into how children learn in the wider sense have led to the creation of KeyNotes Music which uses a cyclical curriculum structure and differentiated learning to ensure maximum impact on learning and the management of individual learners within group classes.











    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.











    In this episode, Nicola Cantan takes over the podcast to introduce us to Melanie Bowes and the wonderful world of group teaching.

    Melanie has such an interesting perspective on group teaching. If you are absolutely sure that you never want to do group teaching, we encourage you to listen anyway. There’s definitely something here for everyone including just understanding how to differentiate things for different levels of students, teaching online, and so much more.



















    * Common myths and misconceptions about group teaching.

    * Things teachers need to invest in for group teaching.

    * Options for teaching spaces for groups.

    * The differences of private versus group teaching.

    * Mistakes teachers can make when starting to teach groups.

    * The importance of headphones in classes.

    * Dealing with students who are behind or ahead.

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 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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