Inner Circle Member Spotlight: Rachel King - Top Music Co
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Inner Circle Member Spotlight: Rachel King

By Tim Topham | Pedagogy

May 24 2017

inner circle member spotlight rachel king

Inner Circle “Member Spotlights” give you a sneak-peak at the progress of one of our community members. Get inspired by what they’ve achieved, be heartened by their struggles and share in their plans for the future.

You can find out more about Rachel King at her studio website.

What does your studio look like?

I teach 14 primary age children in two singing classes, two individual voice students and 15 piano students, three of them by skype. Ages range from five to 65. My studio is the front room of my house. When we bought the house we framed a door in to separate the front room from the rest of the house.

What concept, idea, app or strategy, has had the most positive impact on your studio and teaching recently?

Adopting Piano Safari for all my beginners has been a huge game changer for my studio. The more I studied the teacher material the more I realized I needed to improve my own teaching.

The students are eating it up and the techniques really, truly work. I am using them on my older piano students as well to help fill in the gaps that they have in their learning.

What was the biggest thing you did to achieve that outcome?

I have spent many hours reviewing the material for each song before I teach it. I have made and put together teaching supplies.

I have watched the online videos and learned how to better transfer concepts to my students.

How has your membership of the Inner Circle played a part in your development as a teacher?

I have seen what other teachers are doing in their studios that are way beyond what I imagined! It really has opened my mind up to much greater possibilities for my own studio.

The Four Week Challenges have helped me focus on goals like building rapport with music teachers in my community, improving health habits and expanding my technological abilities.

I have really enjoyed connecting with other teachers who have dreams and insecurities, who are generous and skilful. I can contribute and receive so much in the Inner Circle, which is especially nice for me since travelling to pedagogy events is not possible for me at this stage.

Why did you decide to join the Inner Circle?

I decided to join the Inner Circle because I had listened to Tim’s podcasts and found them to be the single most relevant resource for improving my piano teaching.

His podcasts (and blog articles) and the way he personally took the time to answer my inquiries about various topics, convinced me that I wanted to be a part of what he was developing with his Inner Circle.

I have not been disappointed!

What’s been the highlight of your membership so far?

The highlight of being a member is the feeling of having a peer group who shares my enthusiasm for teaching music.

Rubbing shoulders with professionals much more skilled than I is so inspiring. Being able to share worthwhile things I’ve learned with others is so satisfying.

What is one tool that you couldn’t live without and why?

Music Teacher’s Helper! It keeps the business aspect manageable.

Tell us about your next big goal for your music studio and/or teaching? What does the big picture look like??

My next big goal is to develop some teacher resources to sell, using the accompaniments I arranged for the folk songs my young singers are performing at this spring’s concert.

Each song will include a lead sheet, an audio accompaniment and teaching instructions on how to best teach the song. I will target other voice teachers and home-school parents.

Over time I will add to the library of songs and hopefully make it all available for digital download to avoid shipping cost and hassle.

What’s the biggest challenge in your teaching or studio business right now and what strategies are you exploring to help?

I need a much deeper pool of teaching techniques.

I’m realizing more and more that just because I can play, doesn’t mean I can transfer that knowledge to my students.

I need to research how to teach 12 bar blues for teenage boys, hymns, scales, steady tempo, matching pitch, and so on.

If you could give one piece of advice to a new piano teacher (or someone considering it as a career), what would it be?

Use the Piano Safari method book for all your beginners.

Dive into the teacher resources and become an expert at teaching it.

So many transfer students are utterly lacking in the very concepts that Piano Safari so expertly presents.

Looking for more support in your teaching?

We’d love to have you join us inside the Inner Circle Community where you can get support, ask questions, access training and resources and feel 100% supported as you steer a path to your future. No need to feel alone in your teaching anymore – we’re here to help.

Members get access to expert teachers from around the world. This includes a library of webinars and training videos to support your teaching, regular live and online hangouts and masterminds and heaps of bonus offers and discounts from our partners.

You can learn more about the Inner Circle Community here.

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Tim Topham

About the Author

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular TopCast show, 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, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.