At the start of each year, I like to have a look at my Amazon account statistics to see what piano teaching resources (products and books) you have been purchasing through my links, reviews and recommendations in the last year.
If you want a quick list of only the best resources for your studio, then these are the ones to explore.
They are the most popular books and resources as chosen by other teachers, just like you.
Let’s start with the books.
If you only buy 10 books this year for your personal and professional development, these are the ones to buy!
Philip Johnston has clearly scooped the best seller list this year, and for good reason.
Philip is a teacher and author based in Sydney, Australia and has published a heap of fantastic books (see my other post on The Practice Revolution (coming in the Top 20) which shaped much of my approach to teaching and practice in my early years. Scales Bootcamp is a great workbook for students that will help keep their scales fun and interesting as they continue to challenge themselves to ever more difficult practice methods.
I have a feeling that the Wunderkeys Series of books were popular due to my focus on Early Childhood Teaching at the end of 2016. In this month we focussed on a number of approaches to teaching the youngest students, including a popular interview with Inner Circle Member Ellen Johansen all about how to teach MusikGarten.
Another great business book came in at number seven: The Savvy Music Teacher. This is the ultimate resource (and should be mandatory reading in pedagogy classes in my opinion) about maximising your income as a piano teacher through diversification. It’s absolutely brilliant. You can watch my interview with the author, David Cutler, here.
I’m so glad to see that teachers have been exploring Paul Harris’ work in his brilliant book, Improve Your Teaching. I interviewed Paul about his seminal “simultaneous learning” approach to music education in this podcast. It will change your teaching.
Lastly, I’m really pleased that after our month-long focus on Music Learning Theory (MLT) in 2016, one of the introductory guides also made it to the Top 10. Many teachers have expressed their interest in this approach to music teaching and I’m excited that, even if you don’t change your whole approach, there are elements that every teacher can take from the research behind MLT, which will have an immediate, positive impact in your students.
If you’re interested in MLT, make sure you check out one of the most fun podcasts from last year (you even get to hear me sing) when I talked to Andy Mullen all about Audiation in Action.
Now let’s explore some studio and teaching tools you might like.
The clear winner this year, the Logitech Webcam, comes as no surprise.
If you’re considering any kind of online lessons or video recording of your teaching (perhaps for flipped lessons?) then this is the one to get. It has become the industry standard for anyone wanting crystal-clear video recording from their computer or laptop and 100% ease of use.
I use this device for all my podcasts and have recently used it over my DSLR Camera for my training courses just because it’s so easy to use and the image quality is unbeatable. Many of my readers and members have purchased this webcam and all have given very positive reports.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to record video on your iPhone without having to hold it, then grab the iKlip Expand.
It’s easy to use and sets up in a flash. I use this for all my webinars and training course creation – you can see a picture of this device in action on my Resources Page. There are two sizes: one for phones and one for tablets (all manufacturers and devices supported)
With the increasing popularity of online lessons, I’m not surprised the CM01 Video Camera Adaptor, which provides a way to hold a camera (webcam, camcorder, etc.) on a microphone stand has been popular.
It’s the easiest way for teachers to include an overhead camera angle of the piano keyboard for online lessons or training videos.
No 6 was a bit of a surprise as I’ve never talked about or promoted bluetooth headphones. Hopefully it’s because more people want to listen to the Creative Piano Teaching Podcast on the go!
I’m pleased to see that teachers are still investing in decent sound systems (eg. the Logitech Speakers at No 4), however if you can go the extra distance, I still prefer the Logitech Z623 which has a much better bass and volume range. The more you use YouTube, play-along and backing track apps in your studio, the more you’ll benefit from a decent sound system.
Finally, if you’re sick of stretching and contorting yourself to point at students’ music, then definitely consider the popular Autopoint Extendable pointer which came in at Number 7. I discussed how I like using these in my post Quick Teaching Tip: Using an Extendable Pointer. Great if you’re ever suffering from injury too.
As I’ve started to receive more and more questions from teachers about the equipment that I use in my studio and business, I keep a full list of piano teaching resources that you can access it whenever you need to. I’ll keep this updated with new gear as I test it.
Rest assured that the resources that I share with you are things that I currently or have recently used and recommend highly. I wouldn’t want to risk my reputation on dodgy gear, so you can be assured that everything in my list has been thoroughly tested and used with my own students.
The Resources Page lists everything from tablets, holders, mics, website hosting, website themes, scheduling apps – everything I use in my day-to-day teaching and website work.Resources Page
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
Tim Topham has one mission in life: to stem the tide of children quitting music lessons by helping teachers maximise student engagement through creativity, technology and innovation. Tim hosts the popular Creative Piano Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at timtopham.com and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as pedagogy, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, Californian Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.