Do you ever feel overwhelmed with the amount of great information you could spend your life reading online about piano teaching?
While narrowing down a list of the most influential teachers to only five was always going to be difficult, it has also been a really interesting exercise. My criteria was: whose blogs/articles/comments do I read the most, whose email newsletters always make me click for more information and who shares the most information through regular updates?
In an increasingly crowded market of online bloggers, there are a few that truly stand out amongst the crowd. With free resources, regular updates and thought-provoking content, I would really miss it if any of these guys stopped posting.
These are teachers who not only run thriving studios, but take the time every week to share their ideas and suggestions, generally for free, to unknown colleagues around the world. Their ideas are benefiting countless numbers of students and inspiring thousands of teachers to improve their practice.
Thanks guys - we owe you one!
Andrea and Trevor Dow are truly inspirational. I can't get over just how much stuff they share every week! Between blog posts, podcasts and free resources galore, their website is updated regularly with a treasure-trove of goodies for piano teachers. And they've totally nailed their website design - easy to use and uber cool!
- Weekly podcast just for piano teachers. Interviews with industry leaders, composers and teachers focussing on topcial issues and teaching suggestions.
- Online store featuring original music scores and books about teaching boys, composing, practice and teaching beginners.
- How to teach piano series - tips and tricks for teaching any type/age of student
Head to teachpianotoday.com
Wendy Stevens' blog, ComposeCreate.com is about much more than just composing and creating! Wendy is a dynamic teacher who seems happy to share all her teaching secrets in order to help her readers become better teachers themselves. Now branching into online webinar presentations, I know Wendy will be an important fixture of piano teacher's professional develop schedules for years to come.
- As well as heaps of teaching tips, Wendy is big on supporting teachers to run their businesses more effectively through webinars, presentations and resources galore.
- Lots of original compositions (have you heard of the "Booger Song"?!) and rhythm training books like "Rhythm Cup Explorations" and "Rhythm Menagerie"
- Download free puzzles, games, worksheets and flashcards.
Head to composecreate.com
For those of you following blogs, Diane Hidy will be one of best-known on the internet. The wealth of her expertise and happiness to share all her ideas with others is inspiring. If you haven't visited her website recently, you'll need to set aside a few hours to go through it all - the depth of resources is considerable. Oh, and did I mention she is also an amazing pianist and presenter?
- Diane has led the industry for years with free downloadable resources for piano teachers - especially focussed on inspiring younger students and beginners.
- Heaps of original solo piano music to download and lots of recommendations for students: attention grabbers, music for adults, simple sonatinas, etc. etc.
- Diane's piano teaching tips blog: so honest and thoughtful. Diane is happy to expose her own shortcomings in order to help us all learn how to improve.
Head to dianehidy.com
Not only has Jennifer written her own piano method (Piano Pronto) and numerous compositions, she is a regular contributor to online forums and Facebook groups, one of which she administers (Piano Teacher Central). I really value her thoughts when it comes to the many online discussions about repertoire, lesson content and how to teach more effectively.
- Huge original online sheet music catalogue for teachers.
- Piano Teaching 101 series of blog articles.
- Free downloadable teaching resources.
Head to PianoPronto.com
Internally-renowned pianist and teacher, Graham Fitch runs a weekly blog called Practising the Piano. You can almost set your clock by Graham's posts, which are designed for students as much as teachers. His tips and suggestions are always right on the money and I find his techniques personally align well with my own teaching.
- Regular, comprehensive and succinct posts about one aspect of performance, practice or teaching each week.
- Regular video demonstrations in conjunction with his published magazine work.
- Email your questions for a professional answer or download his eBooks in which he basically shares his entire teaching knowledge from starting technique and scales to interpretation and musical history.
Head to practisingthepiano.com
Of course, there are heaps of other great bloggers and teachers sharing their resources online; this is just my attempt to distil them down to those I currently find most relevant in my day-to-day teaching. In my opinion, the professional development opportunities available for teachers through forums, blogs and Facebook groups is second-to-none. Best of all, it's all free and you don't have to leave your house to attend.
If you're a piano teacher eager to improve your teaching practice (that's everyone, right?!), make sure you follow these guys. Your teaching will be all the richer for the lessons you'll learn.
Make sure you also check out my posts: Top 4 Piano Teaching Facebook Groups - Get Connected! and 10 Best Piano Teaching Facebook Pages for more details on how to connect regularly with other piano teachers around the world.
If you've got any questions about how to get started with these blogs or forums, please leave a message below.
Who would you put in your top 5 list??