Music Teacher's Helper Blog

YouTube Offers a Channel for Inspiration


Michael Kaeshammer

We all know that stickers, charts, music money, trophies, and competitions may motivate students to progress but these “tactics” are just that, extrinsic motivators to get your students to do what YOU want.

However, why not find more ways to trigger intrinsic motivation so that your students achieve and move forward just because THEY want to.

Nothing inspires me more than seeing someone do something that I want to do. With the availability of videos on YouTube, it’s easy to see and experience others excel and having fun making music. When viewing  videos on YouTube, each one usually inspires me in some way. It dawned on me that the same videos could have a monumental impact on my students.


Cameron Carpenter

Each week, my students arrive for a 30-min lesson with me and a 30-min Music Tech Time session.  As I’m always looking for innovative and meaningful assignments for this tech time, YouTube struck me as an ideal, virtual, educational AND inspirational resource. Therefore, I created a  series  called Get Inspired! developed as a break from the typical assigned task and a dynamic visual motivator. In order to make this “inspiring” assignment easily accessible to students, I designed a page or episode featuring artists of various styles at Usually, a  brief bio and at least one video of each artist is provided. Many of the episodes include a Pdf of guided listening questions that you can print off for your students. So far there are ten episodes available, with more to come.


The Five Browns

Most biographical information is taken from Wikipedia. Links to the artists’ websites or recent interviews are included if available.

If there is a YouTube artist that you think should be featured in an upcoming episode, please let me know in the comment section. I’m always on the hunt for new videos.

Here’s hoping you and yours get inspired.

Get Inspired! Directory

Here are links to each episode. Featured artists are listed after each episode

Episode 1 Michael Kaeshammer, Valentina Lisitsa, The 5 Browns.

Episode 2 Yundi Li, Leonard Bernstein, Jarrod Radnich.

Episode 3 = Cameron Carpenter, Olga Kern, Marcin Koziak.


Yuja Wang

Episode 4 Daniel Barenboim, Bradley Sowash, Lang Lang.

Episode 5 Elaine Comparone, The Piano Guys.

Episode 6 = What Music Means to Me Artists

Episode 7 = Anderson and Roe, Victor Borge and 12 at One Piano.

Episode 8 = My First Classical Music App–this episode is designed around a Music History app. Baroque and Classical Composers are highlighted and featured artists include Yuja Wang, Cameron Carpenter, The Piano Guys and more.

Episode 9 = My First Classical Music App: Romantic and 20th Century Composers, featuring Daniel Barenboim, Hayley Westenra, Evgyny Kissin, The Five Browns, Anderson and Roe and more

Episode 10 = Patriotic Music: Celebrating the music of the United States with a selection of interesting performances of well-known songs and more, this episode includes performances by Renee Fleming, Ray Charles, the Mormon Tabernacle and others.


The Piano Guys

About the Author


  1. Robin Steinweg

    Wonderful job, Leila–I appreciate the time you took to post these! Youtube is a great & inpiring resource for students.

  2. Leila Viss


  3. Leila Viss

    Thanks, Robin. I hope you find a time for your students to enjoy them!

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