Music Education Podcasts Creating Modern Musicians

Music Education Podcasts Creating Modern Musicians

music education

Podcasts are quickly becoming THE go-to source for current, relevant and immediately actionable information on just about any topic. You’ve no doubt already heard about my own Tim Topham TV Podcast (actually a Vodcast to be precise as you can also watch the episodes on YouTube!).

As well as creating my own show, I follow podcasts about education, business, social media and blogging and I’m very particular about the ones I subscribe to as my time is short and my brain only has room for so much information (do you get that overloaded feeling too sometimes?!).

Today I want to mention another fantastic music podcast that I’ve been getting addicted to! This new music podcast has been put together by my good friend Colin Thomson who is a piano teacher, music educator and all-round nice guy from sunny California and it ticks all my subscription boxes.

What is it?

It’s the Modern Musician Show and it’s brilliant!

From Sight Reading to Podcasting?

As you’ll remember, Colin appeared on TTTV Episode 4 talking about Holistic Sight Reading (one of the most popular TTTV episodes so far) and his brilliant online sight reading program called Sight Reading Academy.

If any of these apply to you, you need to check out this episode by clicking the link above:

  • You want to teach sight reading in the most efficient way possible
  • You don’t have any lesson time to spend on sight reading
  • You’re sick of asking your students’ parents to buy ever more sight reading books
  • You want your students to be the best readers possible

You can find out more here and kick-start your students’ sight reading today.

But I digress. What’s this got to do with podcasts?

Well this kind of thing is exactly what Colin’s new show is focused on doing: helping musicians, students and teachers to expand their online reach, develop products, create a unique brand and make an income as a musician in the 21st Century.

Just as Colin has gone from piano teacher to Sight Reading Academy developer to podcaster and online entrepreneur, so he is helping others do exactly the same thing by interviewing as he says, “the best of the best” from inside and outside the music industry.

Where else can people get current and relevant information on this topic these days? Universities are providing this knowledge and we don’t have time.

What are we preparing students for?

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself: what are we preparing music students for?

Is it a concert performance career? Is it a life-long love of music? Is it the ability to jam with their mates in a garage on the weekend? Or is it about making a viable income from music?

Of course, it’s going to be different for every student and it depends on the level of students you teach, but I really wonder how effective university-level training in the business of music is 95% (99%?) of music students who won’t be able to sustain a living from performing alone.

What can they do to make an income from all their years of music study?

How to we encourage kids to keep focused on music and keep creating art after their school and university years? How do we help them make a living that can sustain them without resorting to waiting tables and pouring beers?

Do university music courses teach students about the online marketing, brand-building, entrepreneurship and social media strategies they’re going to need to make it in an online world?

Is it our job to help high-level students realise that no matter how good they are at performing Beethoven, Bach and Chopin and how much time they spend practising, there will always be someone better than them (now or just around the corner) and building a sustainable performing career is becoming more and more difficult?

These are, of course, rhetorical questions.

The answers are clear: today’s musicians need all the help they can get to make a living in this industry in the future. That’s why, if  you, or anyone you know, teaches University or College-level performance students (or any students looking for a long-term music industry career), I highly recommend you check out the Modern Musician show.

If we are to help students stay in the music industry, they’re going to need all the help they can get.

Making Income as a Modern Musician

music education podcastsThe Modern Musician Show is all about helping musicians (young or old) find their niche in the music industry and to work out how to make a career out of music. In the show, Colin interviews people throughout the music industry: audio engineers, online entrepreneurs, studio owners, teachers, inventors – anyone you can think of that works and makes a living in the industry.

The Modern Musician is dedicated to delivering actionable tips, tricks, strategies and tactics to show how a career in music can still be fulfilling and make money!

It’s on iTunes and the website and you HAVE to check it out (and refer all your college students to it).

As Colin points out on the podcast page, much of what it means to be a musician making an income today isn’t actually about playing your instrument at all, it’s about building an online presence, creating an audience and being as tech-savvy as possible:

No matter what your genre of music is, this is the place where you can learn exactly what you should be doing to build a career in today’s ever-changing music industry. Musicians can do more to build their own audience now than at anytime in history, and Modern Musician lays out the exact steps for you.

When it comes to getting all the background tips from some of the most successful people in the music industry, this is where it’s at.

By the way, what’s the best time to absorb podcasts?

…in my opinion, is in the car. Or at the gym. Or while walking the dog. Or while you’re on the train or bus.

Podcasts are best consumed when you’re doing something manual – walking, driving, etc. – that doesn’t need a lot of brain power and that allows you to listen.

As I mentioned in a recent episode of TTTV, a number of people have mentioned to me that they just don’t have time to sit down and watch an hour-long YouTube video of me interviewing someone.

I totally get that!! I don’t have much time for that either!

That’s why I’d strongly encourage you to listen to the episodes if you can’t find the time to watch them.

Like all podcasts, TTTV and Modern Musician are both available on the iTunes Store (search for Tim Topham or Modern Musician) and if you have a smart phone (ie. one that connects to the internet and has apps), use a podcast app to access the podcast online.

When you ‘subscribe’ to a podcast through the iTunes store, new episodes will automatically get downloaded to your phone and you’ll see a little badge icon on the app telling you the number of new episodes that you have available to listen to.

Want me to show you how to do it? Check out this quick video:

What are your Favourite Podcasts?

Do you listen to some good podcasts? Music, teaching, business, education??

Please leave the title below with a quick description of why you like it so that others can check them out.

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as integrated teaching, creativity, 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.

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  1. I’m crazy about podcasts! I love to learn and to me, they are the key – anywhere, anytime. I learn so much about teaching music from podcasts that often have nothing to do with music. I am currently putting together a presentation for my state conference (Indiana) in a few weeks called “Connect and Engage: Being a Self-Learner in an Information-Overloaded World.” I’m covering over 100 tools teachers can use online to continually educate themselves including Facebook groups, Podcasts, Blogs, YouTube Channels and more. Several of your blog posts are on my list as references as well as your PianoFlix course and podcast so hopefully that may drum up some more followers for you! I listen to all the podcasts Amy mentioned below include SMI. You should also check out “This is Your Life Podcast” with Michael Hyatt – fantastic podcast on business and life – living both to your fullest.I recently heard of Chris Davis’s “Behind the Note” podcast but haven’t had a chance to get into it much. Also came across “TEDTalks Music” and “TEDTalks Education” both of which I haven’t had a chance to start.

  2. I listen to your podcast, San Francisco Symphony, Classics for Kids, Teach Piano Today, This American Life, Piano Puzzler, and Underground Wellness Radio. I love podcasts and love to hear what other people are listening too. I added the Pat Flynn and Modern Musician podcasts to my phone just now – thanks!

    • Thanks for your tips Cindy – I’m going to check them out 🙂

  3. Love Colin’s podcast! I looked him up after I listened to your interview with him, and he had just started the podcast at that point. I also joined his social media for musicians course.

    My favorite podcasts are yours, Colin’s, Teach Piano Today, and Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn. I listen to podcasts in the car or on the bus, and always come away from them with great new ideas. Keep it up guys! 🙂

    • Great to hear, Amy! You’ve stumbled on the best of the best in that case 🙂 Love the fact that I’m in a list of podcasts with Pat Flynn 🙂 Do you run an online business/blog too?

      • I’m starting to. Just started selling a physical product on my studio website/blog, and I’m working on an online piano lessons course, and eventually, a music appreciation course. Just started working on my new website for the courses a week ago, so even though I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me, I’m very excited!

        • Sounds great Amy – make sure you send me the link so I can check it out 🙂 Good luck with it – there’s a big learning curve, but it’s great to share ideas and get things out there that can help people.

          • Thanks Tim! My main website is, and my (very) new website is I’ve purchased everything I need to start making the videos, but I’m SUPER nervous to get in front of the camera and talk! I admire how comfortable you are with it. I suppose that, just like with the piano, I need to practice to get better at it!

          • Just go for it, Amy! I cringe when I see some of my early stuff, but you have to start somewhere. Good luck and let me know how you get on 🙂

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