200 episodes

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

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

    • Courses
    • 4.8, 112 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.

    TC202: Making Music Theory Fun Online with Sproutbeat

    TC202: Making Music Theory Fun Online with Sproutbeat

    Teaching music theory online just got a burst of fun and colour from Sproutbeat, a digital theory app.

    Our guests today are Eik Mar and James Laughlin, founders of Sproutbeat, which has full-colour digital theory worksheets and games you can use on a tablet for teaching – without any printing or storing messy papers!

    Whether you teach online or offline, Sproutbeat’s worksheets and games will truly benefit you and your student.

    In this episode, Eik and James share the beginnings of Sproutbeat and how it evolved to where it is today. We also talk about Sproutbeat – what it is, how it works, the benefits of using the product, and so much more.

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn how to add some fun into teaching music theory online – or in-studio!



    * [04:29] A little background on Eik and James.

    * [05:20] Developing an app idea for music theory online

    * [06:11] Eik’s current studio.

    * [06:42] Working together as husband and wife.

    * [08:01] What is Sproutbeat?

    * [08:41] Resources available on the platform that work for online and in-person lessons. 

    * [09:26] How students submit their work to teachers on Sproutbeat.

    * [10:42] The story behind the name Sproutbeat.

    * [14:01] Main pain point or struggle that teachers have that SproutBeat can solve.

    * [15:20] How the app can increase kids’ desire to want to learn.

    * [17:04] Organizing files inside Sproutbeat for easier access.

    * [19:32] Accessing the app through different gadgets.

    * [20:56] How the platform looks and works.

    * [23:05] Upcoming features of the new version of Sproutbeat.

    * [25:51] Integrating Sproutbeat on your iPad and Zoom for teaching students.

    * [27:19] Top tips for teachers doing theory or using games.

    * [29:00] Sproutbeat plans, payments and marketing strategies.

    * [32:13] Special discount for listeners – 25% coupon code!



    Links Mentioned for



    Sproutbeat Website



    * 25% off Discount Code: topmusic2020





    * Sproutbeat Facebook Group



    About our Guests



    Eik Mar, Sproutbeat co-founder, is a classically trained pianist, author and music educator who has been teaching small children to play the piano for about 20 years. She’s always believed that if she could make music education more engaging for her students, they would learn faster and retain more information, thus, providing the inspiration for SproutBeat.

    James Laughlin is co-founder of SproutBeat and a web developer and entrepreneur. He’s a people person who is constantly developing new ideas for online services to make life easier and bring people together.

    Thank you for tuning in!

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

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

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

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

    Lastly, don’t forget to a href="http://www.

    • 36 min
    TC201: Unpacking Our New TopMusicPro Lite and Evolution Tiers

    TC201: Unpacking Our New TopMusicPro Lite and Evolution Tiers

    We all learn best when the best minds all come together, ask questions, support each other, share ideas. And that’s what having and being part of a membership like TopMusicPro is all about. 

    Not every teacher has the same plans and goals. But regardless of where you are in your teaching journey, we can support you in your teaching.

    On today’s TopCast episode, I’m going to share the top benefits and inclusions of the 3 plans we have under TopMusicPro to give you an idea of what you can get with the membership. Choose a membership level that suits both your budget and the stages of teaching and business that you’re in.

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn about the different offerings on our TopMusicPro tiers:



    * [03:00] The benefits of our Lite plan.

    * [07:26] Our core membership offering – the Studio plan.

    * [10:33] The discounts we offer with the TMP Studio & Evolution plans.

    * [13:55] The new Evolution plan inclusions.



    Links Mentioned



    * Join TopMusicPro

    * Log in at TopMusicPro



    Show Sponsor for TopmusicPro Tiers episode 201





    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!

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

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

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

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

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

     



    We all learn best when the best minds all come together, ask questions, support each other, share ideas. And that’s what having and being part of a membership like TopMusicPro is all about. 

    Not every teacher has the same plans and goals. But regardless of where you are in your teaching journey, we can support you in your teaching.

    On today’s TopCast episode, I’m going to share the top benefits and inclusions of the 3 plans we have under TopMusicPro to give you an idea of what you can get with the membership.

    • 22 min
    TC200: Jacob Collier Talks Music and Education

    TC200: Jacob Collier Talks Music and Education

    Jacob Collier, the 4-time Grammy award-winning young music legend from London, joins us today on a very special episode, no. 200 on the TopCast show.

    Hailing from North London and playing seven different instruments, including distinctive vocals, Jacob’s sense of harmony and tonality is evident in his signature style. He records all of his albums from his music room at home.

    (Don’t miss seeing the video version of this episode, available in TopMusicPro membership, to glimpse the overhead view of this incredible space!)

    Jacob shares so many things on this episode from the story of how he started playing, to his approach to chords and harmony, to his thoughts on music education. He also shares advice for students and teachers.

    We’re treated to a very special performance mid-show as well!

    Transcript of the Show on Jacob Collier

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn Jacob Collier’s insights on chords and more:



    * [05:17] Coming from a musical family, Jacob shares his exposure to music and instruments from a very early age. 

    * [06:59] Jacob’s start in learning music, including the piano.

    * [08:36] The importance of chords in teaching and learning music.

    * [11:55] Childhood musical experiments

    * [17:01] His skills in playing multiple instruments  

    * [20:15] His thoughts on practice vs. playing

    * [24:33] Jacob’s advice for teachers to encourage more listening because it is so crucial and it’s been so fundamental in his own journey.

    * [30:35] His experience with formal music education.

    * [34:18] Making a pivot in his plans with Quincy Jones 

    * [35:44] Jacob shares the story behind Djesse, his quadruple album.

    * [38:00] His love for performing with other people.

    * [39:04] Jacob gives us a glimpse of his music room.

    * [40:50] His special performance of “You Got A Friend”

    * [43:40] Up and coming online gigs we should watch out for.

    * [45:05] Jacob’s inspiring words for teachers on encouraging students to be more and do more.



    Links Mentioned



    * Episode 100 – 100th Episode Special: Our Favourite Conversations From The Last 2 Years

    * Episode 127 – John Schmidt from the Piano Guys

    * Jacob Collier Website

    * Jacob Collier YouTube



    About our Guest Jacob Collier



    It’s not often one encounters an imagination with the depth and proficiency of Jacob Collier’s. The London-based, 25-year-old is dubbed by many as one of the most innovative musicians of his generation. In 2012, Jacob’s self-made YouTube tutorials achieved legendary status in the music world, attracting the praise of such luminaries as Herbie Hancock, David Crosby, Steve Vai and Quincy Jones, who manages Jacob to this day.

    Jacob’s debut album, In My Room, which was crafted entirely in his room at home, and which, if you’re a Top Music Pro member, you can actually watch this interview with me and see inside his home studio; went on to win two Grammys.

    His success has led to musical collaborations and fans including the likes of Coldplay, Ty Dolla $ign, Tori Kelly, Daniel Caesar, H.E.R., Charlie Puth, Kehlani, Jessie Reyes and Finneas to name a few.

    In January 2018, Jacob began designing and creating a recording project on an unprecedented scale – a quadruple album called Djesse: 50 songs divided between four volumes with each operating within a separate musical universe of sound,

    • 48 min
    TC199: How Rock Out Loud Outperforms Zoom for Music Lessons Online

    TC199: How Rock Out Loud Outperforms Zoom for Music Lessons Online

    Today we’re taking a look at Rock Out Loud Live, which is well-positioned to take over Zoom’s market share for online music lessons.

    We’ll meet Mike Grande, the founder of Rock Out Loud Live, and hear why he’s created this new teaching platform, niched specifically for musicians and just released in July 2020.

    In this episode, Mike and Tim talk about the pain points teachers (and parents) experienced with lessons on Zoom or other video-based platforms, and how Rock Out Loud was made to solve those limitations and help you win back clients.

    We are going to unpack everything that this online music lesson platform offers – from great features, better audio quality, chords on-screen, affordable fees, and more.

    You are not going to want to miss this episode because this will change your online music lessons in the best way possible.

     

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn how Rock Out Loud Live is a better platform for your online music lessons:



    * [02:35] Why July 17 is a very special day for Mike.

    * [03:41] His crazy idea of launching RockOutLoud.Live and competing with Zoom.

    * [04:36] A little background on Mike’s current profession.

    * [06:57] Getting into music teaching and building a school.

    * [08:31] Juggling his business and career at the same time.

    * [09:56] Starting a school just before COVID-19 hit.

    * [10:40] Reopening his most recent studio and getting back in the game.

    * [11:35] The genesis of Rock Out Loud.

    * [12:45] Why Zoom struggles with audio and how he made it better through his platform.

    * [15:15] Sample audios from Zoom and RockOutLoud.Live

    * [17:18] The future of music teaching past lockdowns.

    * [18:26] Benefits of the hybrid approach for teaching.

    * [18:54] Great features of the Rock out Loud platform.

    * [24:25] The differences of the free and paid version.

    * [25:33] Using different devices to access the Rock Out Loud Platform.

    * [27:23] Has it solved the issue of being able to play duets in real time?

    * [28:46] The best feature that comes with the platform.

    * [33:08] Exploring the ability to add different camera views.

    * [35:30] Feedback of teachers on using various instruments on the platform.

    * [37:55] Available free and paid plans on Rock Out Loud. 

    * [41:37] Simplest way to join rooms on the platform.



    Links Mentioned



    RockOutLoud.Live



    About our Guest



    Mike Grande is the founder of Rock Out Loud Live and the owner of two elite music schools in New York and New Jersey. When he’s not rocking out at one of his music schools, he wears his corporate suit as Chief Technology Officer and Chief Information Security Officer for a specialty financial institution on Park Avenue.

    Show Sponsors for How Rock Out Loud Outperforms Zoom





    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 a href="https://rockoutloud.

    • 45 min
    TC198: Broadway Composer Andrew Gerle on the Art of Songwriting

    TC198: Broadway Composer Andrew Gerle on the Art of Songwriting

    In this episode, we’ll meet Broadway composer Andrew Gerle and learn about the art of songwriting, sight reading and auditioning successfully.

    Andrew is an award-winning composer and lyricist, music director, and author who came from a classical background. His love for theatre has brought him to work on dozens of Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional and touring productions in New York City.

    He teaches musical theatre performance, theory, and composition at the Manhattan School of Music.

    We touched on important topics including the changes and challenges in the lives of musicians and performers brought about by the pandemic. This conversation brings useful tips and information for teachers and performers alike.

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, you’ll get insightful information and tips on auditioning, sight reading and the art of songwriting:



    * [01:59] Getting to know Andrew’s background in music and theatre.

    * [05:54] A glimpse at a week in the life of a working composer

    * [07:02] Andrew shares his ultimate dream.

    * [08:49] The impact of COVID-19 on performers and musicians and how it has brought out innovation and creativity in them. 

    * [10:38] How Andrew’s network of connections helps in the work that he does.

    * [11:35] His process of writing musicals.

    * [13:31] Great tips for becoming a confident sight reader.

    * [18:50] How Andrew developed top skills for sight reading.

    * [21:47] Advice for teachers who are training students to sight read.

    * [25:06] Andrew shares information about his book, The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition. 

    * [27:06] Insightful tips for performers on having successful auditions.

    * [32:22] The reason why his love for classical music remains in addition to his focus on musical theatre.

    * [35:18] The most important music theory elements that every student of music should know.

    * [38:26] Theatre songwriting approaches for students.

    * [43:08] Do students really need notation?

    * [43:58] The notation software that Andrew uses.

    * [45:00] The surprises and challenges brought about by the current COVID-19 situation.



    Links Mentioned



    Andrew Gerle Website

    Book: The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition

    * Book: Music Essentials for Singers and Actors (Hal Leonard/Applause Books)

    * Benefit album: Artists in Residence, avail. on Apple Music



    About our Guest



    Andrew Gerle is a composer/lyricist, librettist, pianist and author. His works for the theatre include the musicals Meet John Doe (Jonathan Larson Award, cast album on Broadway Records), Gloryana (Kleban Award, Richard Rodgers Award), The Tutor (three Rodgers Awards) and La Tempesta (with Fantasticks lyricist Tom Jones, Tokyo premiere 2019). He has performed as piano soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra (as winner of their Young Artists Competition), the Yale Symphony Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and on programs for National Public Radio and Television.

    He has served as musical director for many Off-Broadway, touring and regional theater productions, and been a pit and rehearsal pianist for Broadway productions including An American in Paris, Matilda and Ragtime. Andrew is also the author of The Enraged Accompanist’s Guide to the Perfect Audition and Music Essentials for Singers and Actors (Hal Leonard/Applause Books), and is on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music.

    This spring, he produced and engineered the benefit album Artists in Residence, featuring all new songs and performances from Tony and Gr...

    • 50 min
    TC197: The Truth About Family Life and Piano Teaching with Rosemarie Penner Part 2

    TC197: The Truth About Family Life and Piano Teaching with Rosemarie Penner Part 2

    This episode is the second part of my conversation with Rosemarie Penner on balancing family life and piano teaching.

    Rosemarie unpacks her top tips for time-saving technology in studio management. Plus, she’s also giving us a rundown of the apps she can’t live without! If you are a teacher treading in the world of online teaching at the moment, what Rosemarie shares will be very useful for your studio right now.

    In this episode, she also shares a big change she’s planning for her studio and two books that have made a big difference in her personal and professional life.

    Missed the first part of this conversation?



    Listen to Episode 196 with Rosemarie, part 1

    In part 1, we talked about avoiding burnout, setting realistic expectations, creating healthy routines, communicating with family and keeping track of the things you have to do. You’ll especially love hearing about Rosemarie’s Ladder of Priorities which helps her get the right balance in work and life.

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn about apps & tech to help with family life and piano teaching balance:



    * [01:56] What to do with notifications on technology devices.

    * [04:16] Setting rules/policies for parents on texting and emailing on weekends.

    * [06:34] Tips for teaching using technology, systems and apps.

    * [13:00] Preconceived notions and how these can hold you back.

    * [14:22] The big change that’s happening to her studio.

    * [18:00] Two books that have changed her perspective.

    * [22:59] The benefits she’s been getting from the TopMusicPro membership.

    * [25:10] Products that she sells at the Top Music Marketplace



    Links Mentioned

    Apps:



    * Planboard

    * Google Drive

    * You Record

    * Music Memos

    * Canva



    Books:



    * Do Less by Kate Northrup

    * Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo



    Links:



    * The Unfinished Lesson at the TopMusicMarketplace

    * The Unfinished Lesson Website



    About our Guest



    Rosemarie is a writer and boutique piano studio owner who has been teaching for over a decade. She has a bachelor of education with a focus on special needs education. Her website, The Unfinished Lesson, is her guide to all the skills that take teaching and running a business from overwhelming to fulfilling, She provides creative strategies and smart tech ideas to solve the challenges of running a business while keeping students coming back for more. When she’s not teaching, Rosemarie loves spending time with family, baking, drinking tea, and baking vegan goods.

    Today’s Sponsor



    tonebase is an online education platform that gives you access to the world’s leading classical musicians. With our library of 400+ video tutorials, you can unlock the insights of GRAMMY award-winning players, international competition winners, and pedagogues from top music schools like Juilliard and Yale. Whether you’re just starting out and looking to learn foundational techniques or ready to take on the most advanced concepts and pi...

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
112 Ratings

112 Ratings

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