193 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, 107 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.

    TC191: Jennifer Foxx on Online Summer Camp Programs

    TC191: Jennifer Foxx on Online Summer Camp Programs

    In some parts of the world, seasonal camps season is upon us, but what does it look like running online summer music camps? 

    Jennifer Foxx, a Top Music Pro expert teacher and owner of Music Educator Resources, talks to us about running great online summer camps for your piano students. If you’ve never thought about having one, I’m pretty confident that after you listen to this episode, you’ll be looking at the concept in a different light.

    Jennifer shares heaps of information on how she conducts her camps, where she gets resources, how you can make it work with templated kits ready-made, and so much more. Particularly, in this time of COVID-19, Jennifer shows us how you can still continue your students’ learning and practice through fun and engaging online summer music camps.

    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 creating engaging online summer camps for your students:



    * [04:55] Jennifer’s basis behind running online music camps.

    * [06:50] Benefits of teaching online in a camp format.

    * [08:08] Why summer camps are still relevant this year and during this pandemic.

    * [09:35] An overview on the camps that she runs.

    * [10:36] Differences between doing live vs. online camps.

    * [11:48] A look at how she runs her camps.

    * [13:52] Advantages of online camps.

    * [15:29] Pros and cons of buying or creating your own resources.

    * [16:40] Great summer practice ideas teachers can implement.

    * [20:34] A quick recap on practice packets and workshops.

    * [21:59] Her membership to Daniel McFarlane’s Supersonics Piano.

    * [24:06] Assigning summer practice buddies between students via Tonara.

    * [26:22] Jennifer’s tuition structure and cost pricing her summer camps.

    * [28:46] Scheduling lessons for camps or practice packets.

    * [30:09] Communicating with parents on setting up classes.

    * [31:10] Jennifer’s resources at the Top Music Marketplace.

    * [33:25] Tips for teaching online.



    Links Mentioned



    Music Educator Resources Website

    Music Educator Resources Shop at Top Music Marketplace

    Supersonics Piano

    Tonara

    Top Music Marketplace



    About our Guest



    Jennifer Foxx is one of our TopMusicPro expert teachers. She has been teaching piano for over 30 years and running summer camps for 25 years. She creates helpful resources and tips for fellow piano teachers through her business, Music Educator Resources.

    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.

    • 38 min
    TC190: Inspiring and Motivating Teens with Jerald Simon

    TC190: Inspiring and Motivating Teens with Jerald Simon

    Learn about inspiring and motivating teen piano students in this podcast episode.

    Jerald Simon of Music Motivation joins us in a rebroadcast of one of our favourite shows from last year. One of the interesting points Jerald shares in this conversation is a story about one of his students coming in for a lesson and literally saying he didn’t want to touch the piano keys! 

    We talk about how and why he started composing music for his teenage students and the awesome outcomes he achieved from doing so. Teaching isn’t just about being rigid to help the students learn their chords, notes, etc. It’s more about inspiring and motivating your teens to play and make the music their own.

    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 motivating teens in piano:



    * [03:46] Jerald’s background and studio.

    * [04:36] The types of classes he teaches in his studio.

    * [05:43] Teaching a transfer student who hates piano.

    * [14:49] Hooking students to learn piano.

    * [18:56] Finding music that connects with your students.

    * [21:15] Tips for teachers to have their students take ownership of their cool songs.

    * [23:44] Using backing tracks during lessons.

    * [25:45] Boosting students’ self-esteem in piano recitals.

    * [27:59] Jerald’s compositions and YouTube videos.

    * [30:21] Starting spot in teaching students to play.

    * [32:48] Top tips for motivating teenagers.



    Links Mentioned



    Jerald Simon YouTube Channel

    * Music Motivation Website

    * Special Promo Code for TopCast listeners: get 20% off on Jerald’s Cool Songs repertoire with code “timtopham”



    About our Guest



    Jerald Simon is the founder of Music Motivation, a company that provides music instruction through workshops, seminars, concerts and performances in the field of music and motivation. He is a composer, author, poet, music mentor, and piano teacher primarily focusing his piano teaching on music theory, improvisation, composition and arranging.

    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.

     



    Learn about inspiring and motivating teen piano students in this podcast episode.

    Jerald Simon of Music Motivation joins us in a rebroadcast of one of our favourite shows from last year. One of the interesting points Jerald shares in this conversation is a story about one of his students coming in for a lesson and literally saying he didn’t want to touch the piano keys! 

    We talk about how and why he started composing music for his teenage students and the aweso...

    • 43 min
    TC189: 5 Tips for Teaching Piano to Teens

    TC189: 5 Tips for Teaching Piano to Teens

    What does it take to become the go-to piano teacher for teenagers? In this episode, I’m giving you my 5 tips for teaching piano to teens.

    Most of my tips are actually relevant to teaching students of other ages, too – including adults. I cover strategies you can use to approach teaching piano to teens and adults versus younger children and relate piano practice to a teenager’s way of thinking. 

    Teaching teens isn’t just about having them learn chords and read music. And this episode will help you understand what to do, how to connect with your teens, and make lessons relevant, relatable and fun.

    Transcript of the Show

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

    In this episode, hear tips on teaching piano to teens:



    * [04:08] Must-ask questions for your teen students

    [05:27] Getting teens to read music

    * [06:41] Encouraging teens to play something they like

    * [08:01] Building relationships with your students.

    * [11:03] Flexibility in teaching structures.

    * [15:20] Be cool and build rapport with your students.

    * [21:03] Be relevant – connect with your student’s lives

    * [25:34] Use technology to teach and inspire teens and adults.

    * [27:49] Be yourself and have fun.



    Links Mentioned



    * Top 10 Pop Songs for Piano Students

    * How to Make Piano Scales Fun

    * Holiday Piano Technical Work Ideas

    * Best iPad Apps for Piano Teachers

    * Piano Adventures Accelerated Method 

    * Piano Pronto – Jennifer Eklund

    * Supersonics by Daniel Macfarlane

    * Fired Up – Jennifer Eklund

    * “Way Cool” Keyboarding by Debra Perez

    * Piano Safari

    * Apps / Programs Mentioned:



    * Decide now!

    * Piano Maestro

    * Chromatik

    * Hook Theory







    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,

    • 30 min
    TC188: Inspiring Students with Interest-Based Learning with Tony Parlapiano

    TC188: Inspiring Students with Interest-Based Learning with Tony Parlapiano

    What if you created a studio experience where instead of lesson books, students study based on their preferences? In this episode, I chat with Tony Parlapiano, who focuses on interest-based learning. 

    Tony is definitely doing something right because his student retention is off the charts with most families staying until the end of high school. Amazing right? This is probably an approach that not many teachers are practising. That’s why it’s really interesting to dive deep into the set-up and structure of these lessons. 

    We talk about the way he teaches, incorporating basic and theoretical topics in lessons, not having recitals, dealing with learning plateaus, and so much more. Whether you’re teaching classical or pop, there’s so much to learn from Tony’s experience.

    And, P.S. I know you’re wondering too – YES, that is his real last name! 🙂

    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 more about teaching students through interest-based learning



    [06:30] Tony’s current studio and students.

    * [08:38] His experience with lessons when he was a kid.

    * [11:01] Learning to play the piano at a later stage.

    * [13:13] The story of how he started teaching music.

    * [14:53] His approach to teaching students.

    * [19:13] Incorporating basic and theoretical topics while teaching students.

    * [24:46] Recitals, performances, and concluding studies.

    * [26:02] Teaching students based on their interests.

    * [30:11] Dealing with students who experience plateaus in learning.

    * [32:39] Having good student retention.

    * [34:54] Tony talks about popMATICS.

    * [39:26] His way of teaching students to compose or play pop music.



    Links mentioned



    popMATICS 101 Facebook Group

    * popMATICS Website

    * popMATICS YouTube



    About our guest



    Tony Parlapiano is a piano instructor and the creator of popMATICS, a concept-based music curriculum that approaches learning by listening and reading through writing. Tony resides in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and carries a copy of his birth certificate for anyone who questions the authenticity of his last name.

    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.

     



    What if you created a studio experience where instead of lesson books, students study based on their preferences? In this episode, I chat with Tony Parlapiano,

    • 45 min
    TC187: Noa Kageyama and Rob Knopper on Maximizing Results with Online Lessons

    TC187: Noa Kageyama and Rob Knopper on Maximizing Results with Online Lessons

    Are you a piano teacher and tech newbie trying to figure out how to maximize your results with online lessons? In this episode, I’m sharing audio from a webinar I conducted with Dr Noa Kageyama A.K.A. The Bulletproof Musician and Rob Knopper from the MET Opera Orchestra. 

    You’ll get heaps of ideas to help you get started with your first online lesson or improve your current ones. We share tips for setting up your tech, teaching approaches to use, steps to becoming more effective as an online teacher, and so much more. 

    We can all agree that for beginners in online teaching, it’s hard work at the start with a bit of a learning curve for some of us. But if you persevere to learn about using the right equipment and systems you need, your journey to online teaching will only start to go upwards from there.

    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 jumpstart your online lessons:



    * [05:18] The tech you need to get started with online lessons.

    * [06:24] Working on your online teaching workflow.

    * [10:05] Benefits of teaching online.

    * [12:53] Examples of making online lessons better.

    * [16:05] An effective way of teaching students.

    * [18:33] Two approaches to teaching online.

    * [22:50] Setting up your tech ahead of time.

    * [27:00] Tips for taking notes and writing exercises during an online lesson.

    * [31:35] Can you play together with your student during online lessons?

    * [33:19] The best platforms and settings you can use.

    * [37:15] Suggestions for teaching young students online.

    * [38:28] Are online ensemble-based lessons or rehearsals possible?

    * [39:40] Recommendations for tech equipment investments.

    * [42:41] Marketing your piano lessons online.

    * [44:14] Websites to check  when looking for piano teachers online.

    * [44:48] Convincing skeptical parents to avail online piano lessons.

    * [46:33] Teaching rates for online versus face-to-face.

    * [47:29] Zoom vs Skype.

    * [47:58] Microphone recommendations for piano students.

    * [52:32] Using 2 cameras with Zoom.

    * [53:56] Plugging in more USBs in your computer. 

    * [54:10] The issue of using bluetooth headphones or microphones when going live.

    * [54:39] Using headphones for students and teachers during lessons.



    Resources and Apps in this Episode



    TopCast Episode 21: Performance Anxiety: Helping Students Cope – the Bulletproof Musician

    Internet Midi

    Logitech c900

    AudioTechnica 4040 Microphone

    ManyCam



    Links Mentioned



    Noa Kageyama A.K.A The Bulletproof Musician Website

    Rob Knopper Website



    About our Guests



    Photo Credits for Noa Kageyama: Rosalie O’Connor Photography Instagram | Facebook

    Noa Kageyama is a performance psychologist and a part of the faculty of The Juilliard School.

    Rob Knopper plays percussion with the greatest orchestra on eart...

    • 35 min
    TC186: How Carly Walton Teaches Online While Travelling the World

    TC186: How Carly Walton Teaches Online While Travelling the World

    How many trips have you missed because you had lessons to teach? In this podcast episode, I have with me the queen of all things online teaching, Carly Walton. You’ll learn how she teaches online while travelling the world, without the dreaded makeup lessons.

    I really admire her passion to help teachers overcome their fear of technology; and you’ll definitely feel that, too, in our conversation as she talks about her experience. 

    We talked about so much online teaching goodness that I can almost guarantee you’ll have an idea of how to set up your online classes after listening to this podcast. Carly shares her effective and creative online teaching techniques, methods, apps, and tech stack that make piano teaching easily doable even outside your home. 

    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 Carly teaches online while travelling the world, without missing a beat:



    [03:06] Creating resources that help teachers teach online.

    [04:47] The benefits of online teaching.

    [06:35] Tips for travelling and teaching piano at the same time.

    [09:43] Recorded video lessons versus live teaching. 

    [10:15] Should you offer make-up lessons?

    [11:52] What she loves about Tonara.

    [13:19] Her current students’ ages and abilities.

    [14:43] The travel and at home tech stack she uses.

    [16:46] Using Internet Midi to improve your teaching and play duets.

    [18:45] Key points in improving sound quality for online classes.

    [21:41] Online teaching experiences of teachers in her community.

    [23:58] Adapting to the new way of teaching.

    [24:53] Teachers continuing their online classes after the COVID-19 pandemic.

    [25:53] Things we can improve in our online teaching.

    [27:33] Ideas for off-bench activities for online lessons.

    [28:59] Using apps for teaching.

    [30:03] Teaching theory to students.

    [31:33] Her favourite methods or approach she uses online.

    [33:25] Carly’s comprehensive online teaching course.

    [37:54] Top tips to get started with online lessons today.



    Special Promo Mentioned:



    Amazing news for TopCast listeners– Carly has decided to extend her “pay what you can” special offer for her online teaching course for a limited time! Please visit her website here to check out the details.

    https://www.teachmusic.online/course



    Resources & Apps in this Episode



    XKey Air

    MV88

    Tonara

    Classroom Maestro

    Music Flash Class

    Tenuto App

    SproutBeat

    Fundamentals of Piano Theory Books on Amazon

    Piano Adventures

    Carol Matz Interactive Piano Method



    Links Mentioned



    Teach Music Online Course

    Teach Music Online Facebook Group

    a href="https://www.linkedin.

    • 42 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
107 Ratings

107 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!

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