Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Keep Your Studio Relevant with Pianoflix



After you received your undergrad music degree, performed a stellar recital of the classics, turned in that
lofty thesis, passed a professional accreditation exam or somehow earned shiny, new initials behind your name, you probably felt a great sense of achievement. Perhaps you felt like I did? After I received my Master of Arts in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, I felt my career was professionally wrapped up and ready to launch. Although my intent is not to discount the importance of the academic achievements listed above, I’m wondering if you–like me–had your bubble burst, your box tipped upside down and your bow unraveled when you entered the real world of piano teaching? Yes, I could play and teach Beethoven and Ravel, I could design a sequential curriculum for early learners but when asked to read from a lead sheet, my skills fell embarrassingly short. img_2496

Since that shattering revelation of my shortcomings some 25-plus years ago, my teaching and professional path have made a drastic and out-of-the-box turn towards a new reality. Yes, students sign up for piano lessons to play Mozart, Chopin, and Debussy but many of my customers are hungry for more. I continually encounter those wishing to create their own music, or play the tunes off their iTunes or Spotify playlist. As I’ve aimed to build a large studio which attracts and retains students of all ages and backgrounds, it’s been essential that I broaden my curriculum and offer a buffet of musical styles and approaches. This means an expansion of my own playing and teaching skills so that I can confidently deliver the goods. No, I’m not abandoning my classical roots–every student receives a good dose of that style in my studio. However, I’ve definitely enhanced my instruction to produce pianists that become well-balanced and high-functioning musicians in any style of music.

If you have come to a similar conclusion about your studio and feel you need a boost in how to teach pop music in particular, then you need to know about Tim Topham’s Pianoflix. Wow, do I wish this refreshing and edgy approach to teaching pop would have been around years ago. Thanks to Tim’s innovative, well-organized and highly detailed videos, you will feel equipped and empowered to not only teach the style but locate sheet music and explain the theory behind the latest pop tunes with the aid of tech-savvy tools. The first two videos are free so I highly recommend watching them first so you get a feel for Topham’s hip yet practical guidance.  Instantly access the first two videos in PianoFlix: Teaching Pop Piano by clicking here. I believe you will be interested in purchasing the entire series. If you are wavering about the price tag, here are 8 reasons why Pianoflix is worth the investment. You will…

  1. Experience clear instructions on how to teach a student’s favorite pop piece you’ve never heard before.
  2. Discover how to navigate search engines to locate sheet music and videos to assist the teaching process.
  3. Realize that Pianoflix is a relatively good value compared to attending conference presentations which usually do not allow time for in-depth coverage of a subject.
  4. Reap the benefits of a tax-deductible resource that can be revisited whenever you need a brush up.
  5. Find a possible increase in income as your customer base grows because of your expanded curriculum options.
  6. Enhance your theory knowledge and groove as well as that of your students’ thanks to the nature of pop music.
  7. Strengthen your playing-by-ear and arranging skills as well as that of your students’ due to the lack of standard or accessible notation for many pop pieces.
  8. Keep your studio relevant to those who warm your bench on a weekly basis.

If you’ve been avoiding the pop music scene in your studio because you didn’t know how to teach the style, Tim Topham has come to your rescue. In a casual yet organized format, Topham will step you through his comprehensive route to successfully teaching pop music to pianists of any level. In addition, Topham’s savvy program illustrates how equipping students to learn pop tunes can sharpen their technique, rhythm and theory skills. Click HERE to purchase and save $30 on Pianoflix ($99 instead of $129USD) using the code below.

Use this code: POPHELP2015

 Think outside the box and expand your approach to teaching piano!

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  1. Robin Steinweg

    Leila, you’ve got me interested! I’ve avoided looking into this program because I already feel comfortable teaching pop. But I suspect, after reading your post, that I reinvent the wheel too much–and this might save me much precious time. Thanks for the nudge!

  2. Leila Viss

    Robin, I don’t believe you will be sorry. I need to go back and watch again because I like a lot of Tim’s subtle teaching tips and tech suggestions.

  3. UncleDevin

    Great post. Thank you for sharing this information. I am a drummer and percussionist and of course, the piano is part of the percussion family. While I am not a piano player, I can play enough to hold down a few chords needed for recording sessions (I’m a children’s music artist). This app will help me tremendously and I don’t believe the price is high at all. This is yet another great example of how to use the internet to enhance music education.

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