TC250: Creative Piano Mashups with Rebecca Singerman-Knight

With COVID and lockdown, a lot of teachers and students have been faced with the challenge of learning online. Teachers, especially, have had to think of ways to make online lessons more fun and engaging.
In this episode, Rebecca Singerman-Knight, shares how she did this through her Lockdown Mashups activity with her students which has encouraged them to compose, sing, and play music that they really love.

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[02:37] Rebecca shares about her teaching and studio.
[04:02] She talks about her childhood piano lessons.
[06:16] How her teaching looked before she joined TopMusicPro membership.
[08:58] Pain points of teachers who join the membership.
[10:14] Coping during the time of lockdown with her students and working on Lockdown Mashups with them.
[20:29] Steps she took to do the Lockdown Mashups with her students.
[21:16] Resources and apps she used for checking her lessons.
[25:36] Rebecca shares the mashups of her students.
[38:52] Tailoring the activity for the students.
[40:30] Mashups and combinations she has up her sleeve at the moment.
[42:40] Teaching tips for teachers.
[45:55] How she came across the TMP community and how she uses it.
[52:26] Advice for teachers who want to join the membership.

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

Links & Resources Mentioned

Today’s Guest

Rebecca Singerman-Knight is a piano teacher based in Teddington, South West London. Rebecca worked in the corporate world for 15 years before leaving to set up her own private studio. She tailors her teaching to her students’ specific interests and provides a varied musical experience in her lessons. In this podcast episode she shares how she got creative with her lessons during lockdown doing piano mashups with her students.
Thank you for tuning in!
Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.
If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.
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TC248: Building community with the help of piano parents coupled with other teachers with Shelly Davis

The encouragement of piano parents to their children plays a huge part in their growth as a student. But, as piano teachers, we also have a role to play in collaborating and connecting with parents and other teachers to help our students succeed.
In this episode, Shelly Davis shares the lessons she has learned over the years by  teaching piano, as well as interviewing so many teachers, parents, and students on her podcast, the Piano Parent Podcast.

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[02:40] Shelly gives us an update and peek behind the scenes on her Piano Parent Podcast.
[05:17] The technological advancements she has gained since starting the podcast.
[07:10] Lessons from the podcast that she has applied in her teaching life.
[10:40] Shelly tells us about how music teachers have a different level of parent support at home.
[15:12] Advice for teachers to help connect with their studio parents better to inspire students.
[19:01] Having parents feel that they are in a combined partnership with the piano teacher.
[23:21] Challenges that make it hard for parents to help at home.
[27:25] Shelly tells us more about the concept of the community of teachers.
[34:08] Advice and thoughts about parents and music education.
[38:32] Shelly tells us more about her new project.

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

Links Mentioned

Today’s Guest

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

Newzik is a unique digital score platform that lets you work in real-time with other musicians. With over 100,000+ users, Newzik lets you organize your scores in a digital library accessible at all times, enrich your scores with multimedia files including YouTube videos, and most importantly share your scores and markings in real-time with your band, your students, or your entire orchestra. Newzik offers a free-forever option as well as affordable subscriptions with unlimited storage and extra features such as Maestria, the first Optical Music Recognition technology based on artificial intelligence, which lets you turn paper into interactive digital scores.
Thank you for tuning in!
Consider implementing the ideas from this podcast by writing several actionable steps for your teaching practice if it’s inspired you.
If you enjoyed today’s show, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, which helps other teachers find our show.
Stay updated by subscribing to this show, and get automatic delivery to your device every time a new episode goes live! We publish on Fridays weekly.

TC245: Are Recitals the Best Way to Assess Students? with Tom Donald

Have you ever wondered whether recitals and forcing kids to perform on stage is really the best way to assess their growth in their music learning? For the longest time, recitals have been teachers’ go-to but as time and technology have changed music and lessons, so have these assessments.
In this episode, Tom Donald shares creative ways of looking at his students’ progress and how this process has helped both his students and studio.
Join us in this interesting conversation as we dive deep into the alternatives you also might want to consider for some of your students who maybe are doing things more in the composing, recording, and songwriting realms.

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[04:42] Tom tells us about himself and his music school.
[05:54] Different ways to assess the progress of our students.
[09:40] How they started recording their students’ music.
[12:17] The music recording process.
[16:18] Releasing the music to the public.
[19:01] Several styles of releasing music for children.
[20:25] The reason behind calling his students members.
[21:06] The packages he offers and the marketing he does for lessons.
[22:20] Tom shares secret wins on teaching.
[23:47] How student releases can come back as great marketing for their studio.
[26:00] Students releasing music for the fun of it.
[27:44] Update on his performances.

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

Links Mentioned

Today’s Guest

Tom Donald is an incredible jazz pianist and also one of our expert teachers in TopMusicPro.
He is a passionate advocate for the use of chords and improvisation in all music learning. He’s also a champion for the struggling adult amateur by connecting them with their inner genius. He’s a real coach. He’s worked on musical transformations with countless students over the last two decades and now heads up the London Contemporary School of Piano.  In this episode, we discuss some of the innovative ways he has implemented in his school to assess 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.

TC242: Understanding Dyslexia: How teaching language relates to teaching music with Becki Laurent

Did you know that 1 in 5 people in the USA have dyslexia? So, if you’ve got 20 students, the odds are pretty high that at least four are dyslexic. Therefore, understanding dyslexia is an important tool to have.
In today’s episode, Becki Laurent joins us to talk about how we can better reach our music students that struggle with this learning challenge.
We discuss myths, misconceptions and tips for teaching students with dyslexia. Becki also shares the components of the Orton Gillingham method of teaching reading and how we can incorporate these in music teaching.
It’s a super informative and interesting episode you won’t want to miss.

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[03:13] Becki shares how she got on the journey of teaching music to kids with dyslexia and ADHD.
[13:41] The conversation you need to have with your students’ parents.
[15:54] Top 5 Myths for teaching students with dyslexia.
[23:03] Understanding dyslexia and why rhythm is so important in teaching dyslexics.
[28:02] How using the process of teaching dyslexics can help any student become better. 
[34:42] Components of the Orton Gillingham teaching method and how we can apply it to music.
[43:19] Sample strategies you can use to teach students.
[51:02] Tips for making the process of learning fun for students.

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

Links Mentioned

About our Guest

Becki Laurent is the director of a music school in West Texas. Her superpowers include ADHD, listening, analyzing and getting things done. She doesn’t sleep much and can often be found on Facebook at all hours of the day and night in all the time zones of the world.
Today’s Sponsor

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!
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.