Hey there! Thanks for checking out my site.
I hope you get lots of new ideas for your teaching here and make it a regular stop-off for your own professional development.
I'm an innovative and enterprising teacher, blogger and presenter, passionate about ensuring that what I do has the maximum impact on student learning in my own studio and those of teachers around the world.
My teaching concepts have a strong focus on modern repertoire, technology, creativity and meeting students where they are at. It's about exploring music together and having fun.
Above all, I want my students to be:
These are my three pillars of sound music pedagogy (pardon the pun). Here are a few more thoughts about each pillar:
Music learning should be a creative pursuit from the beginning. There has been such a focus on the 'classical tradition' of music education - reading and performing - that most students are so starved of creative ability at the keyboard that they don't even know it's possible! It's a bit like children given free time and not knowing how to play because they are so over-scheduled.
I like to teach students how to "play": how to create, compose and improvise and explore all the magic that music has to offer. Sure, reading and performing is important, but they aren't the things that are going to keep the majority of students playing the piano throughout their lives.
Being able to sit down and improvise, play by ear or read a lead sheet...well, that's another story!
Being curious is a key driver in motivation - both for students and teachers. I want my students to ask themselves: Why do I like this music? How has this been constructed? What if I change the key/tonality/speed? What if....?
It's asking and answering these kinds of questions that led me to being a musician who can play be ear, sight reading and perform at a high level and who will forever love music.
I don't just want my students to be able to read and play music, I want them to have a competent understanding of music. I want them to know how it's constructed, how it's composed, why it sounds like it does.
I want them to be able to play Happy Birthday without any practice. I want them to be able to pick out the tune or bass line of a song and be able to play on piano. I want them to read lead sheets, to be able to improvise, to know how to accompany and to enjoy the process of music making.
Sure, not every student will be able to do all of this, but it's a goal and a driving force in my teaching philosophy.
Tim Topham is an internationally-renowned music educator, piano teacher, writer and presenter.
Tim has 20+ years of experience in education, having taught in the United Kingdom and a number of states of Australia in subjects as varied as music, outdoor education, PE, mathematics and IT.
Through his blog at timtopham.com, Tim regularly inspires over 8000 teachers across the globe with his imaginative teaching tips and ideas.
Tim has presented at conferences around Australia and overseas and his writing and products have been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher and journals from music associations around Australia. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.