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Deliberate Practice

by Tim Topham

My summer holiday reading this year centered on a book called Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin (highly recommended). The really positive revelation in this book is that the ‘most talented’ people in the world in any pursuit only get there by masses of hard work and ... Deliberate Practice

05/24/2011 Read more

Deliberate Play v. Deliberate Practice

by Tim Topham

Deliberate Practice I’ve talked at length in previous posts about the importance of “Deliberate Practice”, a phrase made popular in Geoff Colvin’s brilliant book, “Talent is Overrated”, in making your limited practice time more effective. But can you actually do too much practice? We’ve all heard that “too much of anything is a bad thing” ... Deliberate Play v. Deliberate Practice

11/13/2011 Read more

5 Ways To Help Your Students Feel Performance Ready

by Georgina Wilson

Performances can be scary. Can you remember how you felt as a music student walking onto a stage for the first time? Do you remember your hands shaking as you played your first note? As teachers we can help our students feel less nervous about performing, and boost their confidence, whether they're playing in a recital, a competition, or an exam.

03/06/2023 Read more

Piano Practice Guides for Motivating Students [Free Resources]

by Roberta Wolff

Have you ever wondered how a student’s practice diary or assignment book can best support their development as a musician or if there’s even any point in writing things down each week? Have you ever wondered if there are better ways that you can guide your students to practise effectively during the week? Many of us ... Piano Practice Guides for Motivating Students [Free Resources]

02/23/2016 Read more

1000 Hours to Competence « Music Teacher’s Helper Blog

by Tim Topham

Should 10,000 hours really be the benchmark? You’ve no doubt heard rule of thumb that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice to become a master of something. The statement originated in Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers” and, even if you haven’t read it, you’ve no doubt heard the statistic. It has since been used by many authors in discussing high-achievement and ... 1000 Hours to Competence « Music Teacher’s Helper Blog

12/22/2014 Read more

Voyeuristic Practice?! How watching other performers can make you a better player.

by Tim Topham

I was watching a TV program last week called “Test your brain“, a series developed by National Geographic Channel which explores how the mind works. The first episode was all about memory (interesting enough for musicians), but the second episode entitled, “You won’t believe your eyes”, really got me thinking about the effect of visual ... Voyeuristic Practice?! How watching other performers can make you a better player.

09/19/2012 Read more

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Preparing For an AMusA Performance Diploma Exam – Why Bother?!

by Tim Topham

I recently sat and passed my Associate Diploma of Performance (called the “AMusA” piano exam in Australia) with Distinction. Needless to say, I was ecstatic! It was a project that I’d been working towards for around two years, having last sat a piano exam when I was 12 and having had a break of around ... Preparing For an AMusA Performance Diploma Exam – Why Bother?!

02/09/2012 Read more

The hardest thing about practice is…not playing on!

by Tim Topham

One of the hardest things about effective, deliberate practice is knowing when to stop! Have you ever experienced this situation: You decide to work on a small phrase of your music, perhaps just a bar or hand position change to a tricky chord, only to find a few seconds later, you’ve already gone on and ... The hardest thing about practice is…not playing on!

08/06/2011 Read more

5 Must-Have Books For Guitar Teachers in 2023

by Michael Gumley

Even as teachers, we're still learning. From discovering new teaching methods, ways of practicing, or business skills, reading books can help you improve as a guitar teacher and a business owner.

04/27/2023 Read more

Is Your Teaching Limiting Your Studio Growth?

by Dave Simon

Learn the 3 mindsets of studio owners and find which type you are!

01/10/2021 Read more

Improve Your Piano Teaching through Self-Assessment

by Leah Coutts

Self-assessment to Improve your Piano Teaching It’s that time of year when many of us have just received our students’ exam results and sent out progress reports to parents. Tracking student progress is definitely an important activity, but what about our progress as teachers? Is the fact that our students are returning to us next ... Improve Your Piano Teaching through Self-Assessment

12/18/2013 Read more

How to get addicted to practising piano

by Tim Topham

If you want to be really, really good at something, you have to be addicted to it. You need to be in a state where you are thinking about it all the time, even when you’re not doing it. You talk about it, you have friends that do it, you dream about it. Imagine having ... How to get addicted to practising piano

08/27/2011 Read more

If your practice sounds good, it’s not practice, it’s just playing!

by Tim Topham

Last night at my student’s mid-year recital I reminded all my students and their parents that practice, if effective and done properly, should not sound “nice” all that often. Why? One simple reason. For students to push themselves to learn harder pieces and conquer new technical difficulties, their practice will necessarily sound pretty bad more ... If your practice sounds good, it’s not practice, it’s just playing!

06/24/2011 Read more

Preparing For Performance Success

by Tim Topham

Preparing students for a performance or an exam is a lengthy process. From setting goals and establishing a purpose to preparing students for the unexpected, there’s much to consider.

09/18/2023 Read more

Child Protection Considerations for Instrumental Music Teachers

by Rebecca Stewart

Child protection is important in all areas of life. It's vital that you're aware of the legal and ethical implications of protecting the vulnerable people you come in contact with as an instrumental music teacher.

09/04/2023 Read more

3 Reasons To Play Games To START Your Music Lessons

by Georgina Wilson

When you think about playing music games in your lessons, you possibly think about leaving them until the end of the lesson. They act as a reward for work well done. Something to look forward to. But what about reversing that process and using them at the START of the lesson?

08/07/2023 Read more


by Timz Fojas

08/02/2023 Read more

7 Reasons To Play Music Games During Your Lessons

by Georgina Wilson

When it comes to music lessons, you want to cram in as much learning as possible. Thinking about fitting in a music game is just out of the question. But after reading these seven reasons, you'll be re-planning your lessons to fit in one or two...

07/26/2023 Read more

PRESTO Framework Case Study: Veteran Val

by Georgina Wilson

For teachers who have been teaching a long time, it can be easy to feel stuck in the same routine. The PRESTO Framework can help you adapt to a more modern approach of teaching.

06/26/2023 Read more

Guitar Challenges E-Book

by Timz Fojas

06/05/2023 Read more

Teaching Music Lessons In 2023

by Tim Topham

The world has changed since you first started taking music lessons. Discover what's working (and what's not working) in music lessons in 2023.

06/12/2023 Read more

Introducing The PRESTO Framework

by Tim Topham

The PRESTO Framework guides music teachers through all the steps they need to follow to build and run a successful music studio.

05/30/2023 Read more

Best Ways To Learn Guitar Faster

by Bear Greenholtz

Are you looking for the best ways to learn guitar fast? Check out these top tips from Bear Greenholtz!

06/02/2023 Read more

The Real Reason Teens are Quitting Piano – Part 1

by Tim Topham

Are Your Teens Quitting Piano? Here’s how to motivate them: Is it just me or is it getting harder to stop teens quitting piano lessons? No one has any time, every after-school minute is jam-packed with activities, and despite the costs and logistics of piano lessons, practice always takes a back seat to everything else ... The Real Reason Teens are Quitting Piano – Part 1

05/08/2023 Read more

Lead Sheets: A Piano Teacher’s Guide

by Georgina Wilson

Lead sheets open up a whole new world of music for our students. But if they're not in your piano teacher toolkit it can be tricky knowing where to start. Let us help you!

05/01/2023 Read more