Creativity
blog posts

Teach music confidently without the stress

CPTP077: How to Teach Lead Sheets and Chord Charts with Susan Deas

by Tim Topham

Teach lead sheets and your students will be more likely to be lifelong pianists. In fact, Susan Deas surveyed teachers and found that 90% thought teaching lead sheets was useful skill. Cultivating a love of music and keeping students playing was also rated as a primary focus, and most teachers thought lead sheets would help with this. ... CPTP077: How to Teach Lead Sheets and Chord Charts with Susan Deas

03/03/2017 Read more

20 Creative Ways to Start a Piano Lesson

by Tim Topham

If you’d like some ideas about different ways to start a piano lesson, then today’s post is for you. While we all know that routine can be great for some students, I like to mix things up every now and then. It keeps students on their toes and starting a lesson with something creative is a ... 20 Creative Ways to Start a Piano Lesson

02/28/2017 Read more

The Ultimate Guide to Left Hand Piano Styles & Patterns

by Tim Topham

As students start exploring more non-traditional repertoire in your lessons (eg. pop, lead sheets, etc.), they’ll soon realise that a pianist’s left hand is crucial in providing a number of things: Steady Beat Rhythm & Groove Style Patterns are one of the most fundamental ingredients of music and so students with a solid pattern vocabulary ... The Ultimate Guide to Left Hand Piano Styles & Patterns

02/22/2017 Read more

What’s the Difference Between a Chord Chart and a Lead Sheet?

by Tim Topham

Lead Sheets have a notated melody line with chord symbols written above and may include words if it’s a song. Chord Charts simply show chord symbols with no notation. If the chord chart is referencing a pop song, it will generally include lyrics as well. In both cases, it’s up to the pianist to provide the left ... What’s the Difference Between a Chord Chart and a Lead Sheet?

02/20/2017 Read more

CPTP075: The 5 Myths of Improvisation with Bradley Sowash

by Tim Topham

Bradley is a fantastic improviser and has inspired many piano teachers to bring creativity into their piano teaching studios. Through this experience, he has found these 5 myths of improvisation stop many classically trained pianists from getting started with jazz or improv. When we allow ourselves to believe these myths, we’re closing ourselves and our ... CPTP075: The 5 Myths of Improvisation with Bradley Sowash

02/17/2017 Read more

CPTP074: Creative Teaching QnA with Tim Topham

by Tim Topham

Creative teaching is obviously something I’m extremely passionate about. I love teaching creative skills to my own students and helping teachers to do the same. Because of this reputation, piano teachers often come to me with their creative teaching questions. And the same ones come up again and again. So in today’s show, I’m answering ... CPTP074: Creative Teaching QnA with Tim Topham

02/10/2017 Read more
 

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CPTP073: 5 Reasons to Get More Creative in Your Piano Teaching in 2017

by Tim Topham

The world is changing and the old style of piano lessons often doesn’t fly anymore. We need to find ways to get more creative so we can inspire students to stick with the piano. As Tiffany, my special “piano-quitter” guest says: “You’d be surprised at how much students know where they want to go with ... CPTP073: 5 Reasons to Get More Creative in Your Piano Teaching in 2017

02/03/2017 Read more

Classically Trained to Creatively Curious | Exploring Creative Piano Teaching

by Tim Topham

This month's theme is all about helping 'classically trained' teachers feel more comfortable exploring creative ideas in their teaching. Whether that's a few off-bench activities or dipping your toe into some improvisation, I know that this month's suggestions will have a big impact on both the way that you teach, and the outcomes for your students.

02/02/2017 Read more

Fun First Piano Lesson: 12 Bar Blues [videos and lesson plans]

by Tim Topham

The first lesson of the year is a great time to do something different with your students. And I don’t mean just choosing a new piece of music. I mean scrapping the music altogether and getting off the page. It’s easier to do than you might think and kids love it. Want to know exactly ... Fun First Piano Lesson: 12 Bar Blues [videos and lesson plans]

01/24/2017 Read more

Unstructured Practice: Giving Students Time to Doodle

by Tim Topham

Welcome back to the first post of 2017! I hope you had a great break and are looking forward to the teaching year ahead. There have been lots of reports recently about a sudden awareness that our children have lost the opportunity to experience boredom. While most adults will fondly remember their childhoods spent roaming the streets on their ... Unstructured Practice: Giving Students Time to Doodle

01/16/2017 Read more

TTTV072: Top 7 Most Powerful Creative Piano Teaching Episodes

by Tim Topham

So much creative piano teaching innovation has happened this year on topmusic.co, and there’s heaps of exciting things coming up in 2017. Today on the show I’m giving you a sneak peek into what’s coming up. We’re also taking a walk down memory lane with my top 7 podcast episodes from the past here. More ... TTTV072: Top 7 Most Powerful Creative Piano Teaching Episodes

12/23/2016 Read more

TTTV068: The Importance of Harmony with Tom Donald

by Tim Topham

Through his own musicianship and teaching, Tom Donald gradually came to realise that something was missing. There was a disconnect between what students wanted to learn and what teachers were teaching. Students were also coming out of lessons without a true comprehension of how music works. By teaching harmony first, students get a much richer ... TTTV068: The Importance of Harmony with Tom Donald

11/25/2016 Read more