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TC258: Composer Spotlight with Kevin Olson

By Tim Topham | Podcast

Sep 10 2021

TopCast 258: Composer Spotlight with Kevin Olson

We’re joined this week by none other than one of the best-loved jazz educational composers today, Kevin Olson. Kevin brings a fresh perspective about composing the styles and sounds that inspire our students. He draws inspiration from Schumann to Bill Evans and Herbie Hancock in his compositions, which are frequently top choices for students since they’re so enjoyable to play.

Our conversation covers chats about creativity, composition, his work at Utah State University, and a look at his latest music featured in TopMusicSheets this month.

Members – get Kevin’s latest book free inside TopMusicPro membership!

  • Do we still have a crisis in creativity?
  • His experience with publishing with companies and self-publishing his work.
  • Kevin tells us about the music in his TopMusicSheets collection in TopMusicPro.
  • His process of recreating and writing pieces.
  • Sharing the audio and the story behind the Rockasaurus Rex piece.
  • Things that composers consider when composing pieces.
  • Kevin’s favourite piece in his TopMusicSheets collection.
  • Learning more about his role as professor at Utah State University.
  • The effect of the pandemic on his students.
  • Common concerns pedagogy students on moving to a teaching career.
  • Kevin’s advice for young teachers.

Transcript of the show

If you’d like to download a PDF transcript of this episode, please click below.

Links Mentioned

Today’s Guest

TopCast 258: Composer Spotlight with Kevin Olson

Kevin Olson is an active pianist, composer, and member of the faculty at Utah State University where he has taught courses in piano literature, pedagogy, accompanying, music theory, commercial composition, rock and roll history, among many others. In addition to his collegiate teaching responsibilities, Kevin coordinates the piano program at Utah State University and oversees the Utah State University Youth Conservatory, which provides weekly group and private piano instruction to over a hundred and fifty pre-college community students.      

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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.

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