I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I started reading Nick Ambrosino’s new book: Coffee with Ray.
The title certainly caught my attention (“coffee” tends to have that effect!) but how could a book about having coffee with someone called Ray possibly help me with my piano teaching?
In an industry saturated with book titles as exciting as: The Piano Teacher, Piano Lessons, Mastering Piano Technique, Professional Piano Teaching, The Art of Teaching Piano, etc. etc. I found Nick’s title, and indeed, the whole approach of this book, incredibly refreshing.
Put simply, Coffee with Ray is a motivating resource about reigniting your passion for teaching, re-engaging your piano students and improving your communication strategies. As the Amazon synopsis explains, it’s an “engaging, thought-provoking parable” about piano teaching:
Through the eyes of a simple piano teacher, learn the strategies to remove any self made learning obstacles so that you can achieve all you put your mind too. After ten years of teaching piano, Matt had become completely disillusioned with his career choice. Teaching was increasingly more frustrating, students were more difficult to motivate and coping with the stress had become much more challenging. He was on the verge of quitting and looking for a new career, until he decided to have a cup of coffee at a café suggested by his GPS. That’s where he met Ray and that’s when everything started to change. An engaging, funny and thought provoking parable, written, as creative non-fiction, Coffee With Ray will introduce readers to revolutionary ways of communicating that will help make students become more accountable and teachers more skilled at facilitating learning. Whether you’re a teacher, student or parent, after reading Coffee With Ray, your understanding of and your approach to learning and success will never be the same.
Immediately engaging, Nick’s book will appeal to any teacher who has had moments of thinking: “Why on earth do I do this job?” (and we’ve all been there, haven’t we!?). It actually reminded me somewhat of Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist – another great story of personal development, experience and mentoring that is sure to change your thinking about life, goals and journeys, just as Nick’s will change your thinking about teaching.
Just make sure you have a notepad and pen handy – you’ll be surprised at just how many great little ideas are hidden in the story!
More reviews, hardcopy and Kindle editions are available via Amazon.
Have you already read Nick’s book? What did you think?
Got any other great books you’d recommend?
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Tim Topham has one mission in life: to stem the tide of children quitting music lessons by helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation. Tim hosts the popular Creative Piano Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at topmusic.co and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, Californian Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.