Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Kick Off 2016 with a Pop Music Webinar


As students return for lessons after the holidays, why not kick off 2016 with pop music? Surprising your students with some Coldplay along with Chopin–or any favorite tune from the past or the present–could strike just the right balance to keep things interesting during the long winter months ahead.

The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the past year and make some revisions for the months ahead.  Has your curriculum remained relatively the same and even become stagnant?  Could you better match the interests of potential and eager customers in your local area by revamping your curriculum and adding some hit tunes from Adele, The Piano Guys or Star Wars?

David Cutler, author of The Savvy Music Teacher, discovered from his extensive research that music teachers who generated substantial (successful) incomes were more likely to integrate three elements into their instruction compared to other teachers who did not. They include: improvisation, technology and multiple musical genres.

Need to spice up 2016? Considering a fresh approach? Ready to integrate more improvisation, technology and musical genres, ie, pop music in to your teaching? Then you will want to sign up for and attend the 88 Creative Keys Winter Webinar Webshop. Watch the video below for more details.

What will you learn from the 88 Creative Keys webinar or webshop?

  1. The steps to teaching and playing pop music.
  2. The latest tech-savvy tools to enhancing your instruction.
  3. How pop music is the perfect jump start for triggering improvisation and even composition for your students.

This unique webinar is only $49 for three hours of fun and learning! If you are already sold, sign up HERE or read on to learn more.

What’s a webshop?

In the summer, 88 Creative Keys holds an improvisation workshop in Denver, Colorado for pianists and teachers. Bradley Sowash and I, co-founders of 88 Creative Keys, decided we wanted to offer something during the winter months for our alumni (note: the webshop is FREE for all 88 Creative Keys alumni!) as well as those interested in learning more about creativity beyond the page.

The best learning happens by doing and so we are inviting all who attend the webinar to watch it at or by your home piano or keyboard to try things out–thus the title webshop.

What are the details of the webshop?

The 88 Creative Keys Winter Webinar Webshop will be held January 22, 2016 at 4:00pm EST. It will teach you step by step how to play and improvise in pop styles and lead you to the top tech tools to assist you in this creative process so that you feel well-equipped to teach and play favorite tunes.

For the Christmas recital, three of my students created their own ensemble using popular Christmas tunes and a popular chord progression from the Baroque period–no, not all pop music needs to be from the 21st century!  I’ll step you through the process so you can do this with your students. In addition, I’ll include tips on how to guide and encourage composers using pop music. It really does work!

The webshop will push you (gently, of course) to enhance your approach and will possibly help you expand your current student enrollment. You’ll walk away feeling creative, savvy and diversified.

Who will lead the webshop?

Bradley Sowash, along with yours truly (Leila Viss), will each lead a session AND we’ve invited a very special guest and the aussie king of teaching pop, Tim Topham, to lead a session, too!

Bradley will focus on how to play pop music so that it sounds good on the piano. Tim will provide savvy tips for teaching pop music and I’ll discuss how to compose pop music and how to use it as inspiration for composing.

Bring your own libations–the webshop starts at 4:00 EST which means it’s wine o’clock somewhere! Pull up a bench at your keyboard and enjoy three dynamic sessions that will hone your creative skills at the keys and energize your teaching of pop music styles. Cheers!

Where do you sign up?

The webshop is a bargain at $49. If you can’t make it on January 22nd, a video will be made available for you to watch at your convenience. Yes, there will be handouts!

Get even more details and sign up HERE

4pm EST
3pm Central
2pm Mountain
1pm PST

For any other time zone across the globe, check out this handy table:,-1425,cn3

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