Produce Your Own Pajama Conference

March 2nd, 2016 by

PJ conference

There’s nothing like attending a music conference. The insight gained from experts in the field, the buzz after a stunning concert, down time spent with fellow colleagues and the exhibit hall extravaganza all provide that “red-bull” boost of energy for the year to come.

The expense of attending conferences can be prohibitive. In addition, their scheduling may not always jive with yours. With today’s technology, you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out and you don’t even have to dress to go out!

Have you noticed how many webinars, podcasts and online conferences and courses are available? Why not take advantage of them!

It would be incredibly hard for me to choose favorites so I’m listing the following online options that are currently available in alphabetical order.  After you read through this list of tremendous resources, hand pick the ones that cater to your interests and purchase if necessary. Most live webinars offer a recording after the event so don’t worry about missing it. Just make sure to register so you are given access to the recording! The final thing: block off a time and treat yourself to your own pajama conference.

Wendy Stevens of is well-known for her savvy advice on studio policies, canceled lessons, paid time off, marketing etc. She offers her past webinars as videos for purchase on her site. Check them out here.

88 Creative Keys

If you are looking for ideas to be creative beyond the page, then consider the next webinar brought to you by Bradley Sowash and me–co-founders of 88 Creative Keys. It’s entitled Groove Your Theory and will feature tips on how to use the app iReal Pro and backing tracks to boost student technique, timing and theory. Learn more about this unique approach to simultaneously mastering theory concepts and improvisation skills here.

Michelle Sisler and friends hold an annual online conference which includes a lineup of nationally known presenters.   The event already took place February 2-6, 2016 and included an additional day called Tech Tuesday. All sessions are now available for purchase on-demand so you can re-watch a session as many times as you like until December 31, 2016. Here’s a preview of all the sessions. You can purchase your pass here.

Music Educator Resources

Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources has designed two courses that will get your summer camps up and running. Her Make More, Teach Less! videos could be the perfect solution to end your summertime student drop-outs.


MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) will be holding their annual conference in San Antonio in April, 2016. However, they have now begun to offer webinars. The latest: Demystifying Baroque and Classical Ornamentation. If you miss any of them, the recordings can be found on the MTNA YouTube channel.

Andrea and Trevor Dow provide ongoing advice for piano teachers and include podcasts as part of their site called TeachPianoToday. You’ll hear advice from many experts. Check out their growing list of podcasts here.

Tim Topham

Tim Topham has generated a blog into a growing community of fellow colleagues and experts in the field of piano teaching. One of the ways he’s accomplished this is by his Tim TV Piano Teaching Podcasts. Tim interviews various authors, teachers, and innovators and records the interviews so they can be accessed on YouTube or downloaded on your mobile device as a podcast.

Tracy Selle

Tracy Selle along with Sara Campbell have produced a webinar called Group Lessons 101. Their intent is to help you learn how to plan, market, and instruct group lessons of all kinds. The webinar includes guest experts (teachers in the trenches making things happen in their studios!) who will guide you from start to finish and they’ve even included some freebies to make planning easier.


Follow JoyTunes  on their Facebook page to learn about their sponsored webinars.

Do you have others to add to the list? Let me know and I’ll add them. Yes, some are free, but others you’ll need to pay because they are not sponsored by products or companies. Think of each one as an investment on a serious budget. If you would purchase all the these online resources, it would still add up to considerably less money than attending a true conference. And, you can watch videos and listen to podcasts over and over again.


A meal plan for your conference will be a breeze if you add all the phone numbers into your smartphone of your favorite restaurants who offer free delivery. It’ll save you time AND you can stay in your PJ’s!

Need some evening entertainment to finish off your conference? Then sit back in your easy chair, grab some popcorn and watch this documentary of Seymour Bernstein. It’s available on Netflix. Here’s the trailer.

Posted in Studio Management

About the Author

Leila Viss
Hi, I'm Leila Viss, pianist, organist, teacher, author of The iPad Piano Studio and blogger at
I enjoy teaching piano to around 45 students ranging in age from 6 to 91. I am drawn to discovering innovative teaching methods and successful practice strategies to encourage the average player stick to the bench for life. Customizing lessons for each student is a priority and therefore... [Read more]

Related Content