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 • 115 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.

    TC217: Penelope Roskell’s Top Tips for a Healthy Technique

    TC217: Penelope Roskell’s Top Tips for a Healthy Technique

    Learn about success tips for teaching a beautifully healthy technique for all students. Today, we’ve invited the UK’s foremost specialist in technique, Penelope Roskell, to talk about playing freely, utilising whole body/whole person teaching approaches.

    On the podcast today, Penelope talks about her book, The Complete Pianist: from Healthy Technique to Natural Artistry. Her book covers all aspects of piano technique for teachers, students and pianists of all levels to learn from.

    Transcript of the show about healthy technique tips:

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn more about teaching healthy technique to students.



    * [04:47] Penelope’s teaching background.

    * [06:37] Remarks on online classes with advanced students.

    * [07:14] Background teaching story  

    * [08:40] Piano teaching has evolved in the past decade

    * [11:00] Going about the right way of teaching piano technique.

    * [13:07] Penelope’s purpose behind writing this book 

    * [17:02] Various ways to utilise this guidebook

    * [18:25] Finding solutions for common technique problems 

    * [19:08] Incorporating videos in the book’s lessons and explanations.

    * [21:12]  Main book sections  

    * [24:49] Talking about her favourite parts  

    * [27:15] Penelope talks about common mistakes in teaching approches

    * [32:00] Example: detached playing versus playing legato too soon.

    * [34:52] Where to find Penelope, her book, and the courses & workshops she offers.



    Links Mentioned



    Penelope Roskell Website



    About our Guest



    Penelope Roskell is an international pianist and Professor of Piano and Pedagogy at Trinity Laban Conservatoire in London. She is the author of The Complete Pianist, from healthy technique to natural artistry and of The Art of Piano Fingering. She is also the foremost UK specialist in helping pianists prevent and recover from injury.

    Today’s Sponsor



    Thank you for tuning in!

    I encourage you to implement the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.

    And if you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show. I do read every single one review personally, too!

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



    Learn about success tips for teaching a beautifully healthy technique for all students. Today, we’ve invited the UK’s foremost specialist in technique, Penelope Roskell, to talk about playing freely, utilising whole body/whole person teaching approaches.

    On the podcast today, Penelope talks about her book, The Complete Pianist: from Healthy Technique to Natural Artistry. Her book covers all aspects of piano technique for teachers, students and pianists of all levels to learn from.

    Transcript of the show about healthy technique tips:

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn more about teaching healthy technique to students.



    * [04:47] Penelope’s teaching background.

    * [06:37] Remarks on online classes with advanced students.

    * [07:14] Background teaching story  

    * [08:40] Piano teaching has evolved in the past decade

    * [11:00] Going about the right way of teaching piano technique.

    * [13:07] Penelope’s purpose behind writing this book 

    * [17:02] Various ways to utilise this guidebook

    * [18:25] Finding solutions for common technique problems ...

    • 39 min
    TC216: Teaching Gamified Sight Reading with Percussionist Nathan Petitpas

    TC216: Teaching Gamified Sight Reading with Percussionist Nathan Petitpas

    In today’s episode, we unpack Nathan Petitpas’ sight-reading resource called Dots and Beams. Nathan is a percussionist, drummer, composer and music educator based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

    Understand how this versatile resource works and how different it is from the rest.

    Nathan shows us how we can use this in our lessons by putting me under the pressure of doing some live sight-reading and rhythmic & melodic exercises.

    We use excerpts from his book, which you can download here before listening to the show you can follow along on the exercises we try.

    Transcript of the show about teaching sight reading

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

    In this episode, you’ll get a glimpse of teaching sight reading the gamified way:



    * [04:04] Tim shares about his experience about playing percussion.

    * [05:57] Nathan’s current studio.

    * [07:06] Teaching percussion online.

    * [08:14] The story of how Tim came about interviewing Nathan.

    * [09:18] Nathan tells us about his resource, Dots and Beams.

    * [11:22] How his books are different from other sight-reading books.

    * [18:35] Going through some sight reading exercises with Tim.

    * [36:18] Instructions for teachers in the books.

    * [38:28] Rhythm exercises.

    * [49:08] Rhythm and Pitch Exercises.

    * [57:10] Incorporating the sightreading exercises into your lessons.





    Links Mentioned



    TopMusicMarketplace: Dots & Beams

    * TopMusicTeaching Facebook Group



    About our Guest



    Nathan Petitpas is a percussionist, drummer, composer and music educator based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. As an educator, Nathan has taught drum set, percussion, Western music theory, composition and piano. He currently teaches private drum set and music theory lessons in his private studio as well as theory and percussion through the Regent Park School of Music in Toronto.

    Nathan holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from Acadia University and a Master of Music Degree from the University of Toronto both with a concentration in Percussion Performance. Connect with Nathan at NathanPepitas.com

    Today’s Sponsor



    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.



    In today’s episode, we unpack Nathan Petitpas’ sight-reading resource called Dots and Beams. Nathan is a percussionist, drummer,

    • 1 hr 5 min
    TC215: Research-backed insights on piano student retention with Karen Gerelus

    TC215: Research-backed insights on piano student retention with Karen Gerelus

    Research-backed insights on piano student retention with Karen Gerelus

    100 students will start piano lessons this year and 98 will quit before they reach proficiency. Learn the reasons why students quit piano and how to help!

    This episode features guest Karen Gerelus speaking on research-based insights about piano student retention.

    Transcript of the show about piano student retention

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn how extrinsic and intrinsic motivation affects piano student retention:



    * [03:47] A short introduction on Karen and her studio.

    * [05:58] Talking about her research work called Parting Ways with Piano Lessons – comparing motivation between continuing and dropout piano students.

    * [08:17] Focusing on retention in her research.

    * [11:46] Key factors for students quitting.

    * [12:59] The impact of parents being in the music lesson. 

    * [15:16]Self-Determination Theory

    * [19:30] Motivating kids externally at the start is okay. Hopefully, the intrinsic will take over.

    * [22:27] Karen shares her own story on quitting and coming back to piano.

    * [27:16] Explaining the quote “There is no relationship between practice time and motivation.”

    * [28:15] Thoughts for teachers about practicing and having a tough-love stance, a hard stance on, or being relaxed about it.

    * [32:42] Karen talks about what she found out about students dropping out because of the lack of popular repertoire.

    * [37:57] The reason why teachers are often quite resistant to offering autonomy in musical choice in their lessons?

    * [40:01] Giving students show-off pieces to boost their confidence and retain their interest.

    * [42:05] Recommendations for bridging the gap between external motivation and internal self-motivation in students.

    * [48:57] Karen talks about the most basic point of her research.



    Links Mentioned



    * Hear related episodes about movitation:

    * TopCast 122: The Motivation Equation with Samantha Coates (Part 1)

    * TopCast 123: The Motivation Equation with Samantha Coates (Part 2)







    * Karen’s research paper: Parting Ways with Piano Lessons: Products, Invoked Reasons, and Motivation Related to Piano Student Dropouts

    * Research paper on Predictors of Student Dropouts





    About our Guest



    Karen Gerelus is a third-generation piano teacher and scholar whose work has been featured in prominent academic journals and pedagogy conferences. She holds a Master of Arts in Piano Pedagogy, several artist diplomas, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary where her research focuses on identity and motivation in piano students. Find her work at GerelusMusic.com.

    Today’s Sponsor



    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,

    • 51 min
    TC214: The 5 Myths of Improvisation with Bradley Sowash

    TC214: The 5 Myths of Improvisation with Bradley Sowash

    This episode on improvisation myths features guest Bradley Sowash. It originally aired in 2017.

    If called on to improvise on the spot, do you feel out of your element? Learn about the five most common myths and roadblocks that hold musicians back from creative playing and improvising.

    Bradley helps us sort out the incorrect assumptions and to understand how to play like a personalizing artist, which is simply bringing your own notes to other people’s music.

    While we’re at it, we’re throwing in some quick and easy accompaniment patterns you can use to teach creativity right away.

    Transcript of the show about improvisation myths

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn about the 5 myths of improvising effortlessly on piano:



    * [04:52] Bradley defines improvisation.

    * [10:22] 1st myth.

    * [13:56] 2nd myth.

    * [17:09] 3rd myth.

    * [20:19] 4th myth.

    * [27:07] 5th myth.

    * [31:01] Improvisation styles using left hand patterns.



    Related Links

    Find Bradley’s resources for sale, including the Boogie Lickipedia and others at TopMusicMarketplace

    About our Guest



    Bradley Sowash is a jazz pianist, composer, and educator specializing in improvisation. After many years as a touring performer and recording artist, he turned his attention to introducing “recovering classical pianists” to the joys of musical creativity in online jazz piano classes, at teacher conferences, and through his widely-acclaimed publications. Find him at BradleySowash.com

    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.



    This episode on improvisation myths features guest Bradley Sowash. It originally aired in 2017.

    If called on to improvise on the spot, do you feel out of your element? Learn about the five most common myths and roadblocks that hold musicians back from creative playing and improvising.

    Bradley helps us sort out the incorrect assumptions and to understand how to play like a personalizing artist, which is simply bringing your own notes to other people’s music.

    While we’re at it, we’re throwing in some quick and easy accompaniment patterns you can use to teach creativity right away.

    Transcript of the show about improvisation myths

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn about the 5 myths of improvising effortlessly on piano:



    * [04:52] Bradley defines improvisation.

    * [10:22] 1st myth.

    • 40 min
    TC213: Becoming the CEO Teacher with Kayse Morris

    TC213: Becoming the CEO Teacher with Kayse Morris

    Changing your mindset can increase your teaching income tenfold. This is the story that Kayse Morris of the CEO Teacher shares with us on the podcast.

    Kayse is a former classroom teacher turned entrepreneur who turned her life around by selling her teaching resources. Today, she is a passionate entrepreneur eager to help teachers sell their resources in different platforms online.

    Transcript of the show about Becoming a CEO Teacher

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn how to develop your CEO teacher mindset:



    * [02:58] Kayse’s experience of being a classroom teacher to teacher of teachers.

    * [06:08] The story of Kayse’s first online sale.

    * [07:05] How being an online business owner has changed her family life.

    * [09:08] How selling online products has helped and impacted her personally.

    * [10:43] Starting her business selling online products while teaching.

    * [11:44] Kayse shares the growth of her sales online.

    * [12:44] Using marketing to grow her business.

    * [13:33] Starting a YouTube channel that drives people to her business.

    * [14:22] The catalyst for starting a business that helps teachers sell online.

    * [16:02] Kayse talks about mindset on money and charging for your work.

    * [19:00] The issue of imposter syndrome on teachers.

    * [21:27] Kayse tells us about the CEO Teacher resources, her podcast, and her course.

    * [24:44] Kayse and Tim talk about their teams that help in their business.

    * [26:38] Traits of the CEO Teacher Mindset.

    * [28:54] Talking about the closed door mentality of teaching in America.

    * [30:05] The best marketing she has done for bring people into her websites and programs.

    * [32:18] Investing in her own professional development and reframing the financial investments in her mind.

    * [34:00] The people she follows in the courses she has done.

    * [36:37] Using Instagram to connect with her audience and convert sales.

    * [39:31] Kayse shares how she uses Facebook ads.

    * [41:11] The business map of secrets for teachers wanting to make selling a part of their income.



    Links Mentioned



    Kayse Morris Website

    * The Business Map of Secrets



    About our Guest



    Kayse is a teacher, online business owner, boy mama, wife, and Peloton fanatic. She helps educators leave a legacy online by building a sustainable teacher business to impact more students, teachers, and parents worldwide and to live the life they love. She supports teacherpreneurs as they start, grow, and scale their businesses through The CEO Teacher Podcast, The Make Your Mark Membership, and The CEO Teacher Academy.

    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.topmusic.

    • 40 min
    TC212: Is Tonaly the Ultimate App for Chord Progressions?

    TC212: Is Tonaly the Ultimate App for Chord Progressions?

    With Tonaly app, our latest favourite theory/composition tool, we found a better way to teach and have fun using chord progressions in music lessons. (Ever had trouble explaining and using the circle of fifths easily with students? Us, too!)

    Christian Hengst, the Tonaly app developer and a bass player himself, joins us on the podcast to talk about the app’s unique features.

    He goes into what this app can do for your chord-challenged players, to get them motivated about progressions, keys, and modes, and also explores what bugged him in the first place about the circle of fifths, causing him to develop this elegant, interactive app!

    Tonaly app also completely aligns with the 4-Chord Composing Framework, a creative lesson plan for teaching chords.

    If you’re interested in using it for your teaching, we’re giving away free app codes to 20 lucky individuals on this podcast. So, stay tuned!

    Transcript of the show about the Tonaly app

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

    In this episode, you’ll learn how the Tonaly app works



    * [04:14] Christian tells us about his musical background.

    * [08:44] The story behind developing the Tonaly App.

    * [11:17] Getting inputs from the community to add features to the app.

    * [13:42] Common users of Tonaly.

    * [17:06] Tonaly is only built for iOs, not (yet) for Android.

    * [18:03] Tim demonstrates how to use the Tonaly App on his iPad.

    * [18:50] Christian tells us about one of the coolest features of the app and how it works.

    * [20:25] Tim walks us through his favourite features.

    * [23:59] How affordable is the app?



    Links Mentioned about Tonaly app



    * Download the Tonaly App

    * Tonaly Website

    * TopMusic.co YouTube Channel

    * TopMusic.co Instagram



    Show Sponsor



    About our Guest



    Christian Hengst is an app developer and bass player based in Germany. He created one of the best-designed and best-looking chord playing apps called Tonaly.

    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.



    With Tonaly app, our latest favourite theory/composition tool, we found a better way to teach and have fun using chord progressions in music lessons.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
115 Ratings

115 Ratings

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)

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!!

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