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Teach music confidently without the stress

TTTV001: Student composition tactics with Daniel McFarlane

by Tim Topham

I’m so excited to be starting the Tim Topham TV Podcast by interviewing my good friend and Australian teacher/composer/presenter, Daniel McFarlane and we’ll be chatting all about student composition: how to help students create music at the piano from scratch and how to develop their own ideas further. It doesn’t matter if you’re completely new to ... TTTV001: Student composition tactics with Daniel McFarlane

03/15/2015 Read more

How to WAKE UP a sleepy piano student!

by Nicola Cantan

I’m super excited to share this guest post with you by Nicola Cantan. Nicola runs a thriving piano studio in Dublin, Ireland and blogs at Colourful Keys. Nicola’s blog is all about effective practice, teaching ideas and motivating students and it’s great that she’s taken the time to write this article about firing-up those sleepy, over-scheduled piano ... How to WAKE UP a sleepy piano student!

03/04/2015 Read more

Free Jazz Improvisation Course | Coursera

by Tim Topham

Ever wanted to learn more about jazz improvising? Here’s a free 5-week online course that you can take from your own studio and featuring one of the greats of jazz improvisation, Gary Burton from the Berklee College of Music. Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for ... Free Jazz Improvisation Course | Coursera

01/08/2015 Read more

Quick Video: Making scales fun with DecideNow!

by Tim Topham

Spin the wheel! I’ve recently been having fun with my students using a nifty little app called DecideNow. I posted about it a while ago on my Facebook page, but thought a quick little 2-minute video might be the best way to explain how I actually use it in my studio. Have fun with it and let me ... Quick Video: Making scales fun with DecideNow!

06/12/2014 Read more

Teaching video: LH improv patterns for student compositions

by Tim Topham

I’ve had a lot of people ask me about teaching basic improvising, especially for their teenage and adult beginner students, so I thought I’d show you an excerpt from a lesson where I introduce left hand patterns that can form the basis for exciting student compositions. There’s a great blog called Pianofeeling that has a ... Teaching video: LH improv patterns for student compositions

09/08/2013 Read more

Teaching Video: Students improvising backing tracks for scales

by Tim Topham

Most students find scale practice pretty dull. So do I. in fact, I find teaching scales pretty dull too! What’s more, starting lessons with the same old, “Well, let’s hear how your scales have gone this week”, is not likely to inspire students if it’s the same greeting every single lesson. With this in mind, ... Teaching Video: Students improvising backing tracks for scales

09/03/2013 Read more
 

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Another great backing track app for iPad: iReal Pro

by Tim Topham

Looking for easy-to-use jazz and pop backing tracks? One of my Year 8 students recently had to play keyboard in a band for his music performance class at school. The song the band chose was Baker Street (they had a good saxophonist!) and my student’s role was to play the chords on the keyboard. As ... Another great backing track app for iPad: iReal Pro

11/02/2012 Read more

Strategies for teaching improvisation to beginners

by Tim Topham

Ever wondered how to approach teaching students basic non-jazz improvisation? We know that as teachers, in order to provide our students with a holistic musical education, we should be incorporating aural, theory, sight-reading, general knowledge, composition and improvisation into our lessons on a regular basis. However for many teachers, it’s hard to know where to ... Strategies for teaching improvisation to beginners

08/01/2012 Read more

How to make piano scales fun!

by Tim Topham

OK, so I know that “fun” might be the wrong word to ever describe scales, but there are some great resources available to help make scale practice infinitely more interesting. As much as it can sometimes be tempting to throw scale practice out for good and just get on with music-making for both ourselves and ... How to make piano scales fun!

03/01/2012 Read more