Show Notes


This week's episode is all about Inspiring our students and instilling a love of music-making.

Our three brilliant panelists Heather Smith, Christopher Norton, and Elise Beckett Russell shared some brilliant ideas and strategies for engaging students. 

Watch how kids learn through playing with backing tracks as Paul shares a teaching example of one of Christopher's pieces.

Overview: Episode 21

Where you can find specific answers to your questions in this week's show. There were many deep dives into topics this week. (timings of the broadcast):

0:00 Welcome to Elise Beckett Russell, Heather Smith & Christopher Norton

2:00 Elise & Heather intro

3:00 Christopher Norton intro

4:30 Heather's Facebook group & a picture of her studio, pre and post COVID

6:00 Elise's Creative Pursuits

7:00 Chris's shares his teaching strategies starting with the background of the piece & improvisation with students

9:30 Why Elise Beckett Russell is passionate about developing versatile music skills
- Giving students basic skills.
- Learning and playing chords

13:00 What foundations do students need to develop skills that help them play in church, play with others, make their own music?
- Importance of listening 

14:00 Chris on foundations students need
- Importance learning to use ears, tone production
- Developing a feeling for sound 

17:00 Ways to use backing tracks in your studio and how it can help change your life and the way you teach. Teaching using Backing Tracks and Whole Body Learning

23:30 What Chris likes about backing tracks

26:00 Video of Paul classes using Teaching Success Guide to do some Whole Body Learning and first week piano activities for Christopher Norton's “Struttin’”

27:40 Chris's side story about "Struttin"
32:00 Chris shares how to start teaching composition and improvisation with just Middle C

45:00 Heather shares Piano Pedagogy Study group she has started recently - Facebook Group
Online classes with topics like studio management, pedagogy, studio policy, how to increase revenue from different streams as an independent teacher running a studio Facebook Group

Some of Heather's webinars: Licenses, taxes & budgets - Things teacher would deal with as a teacher & Business owner. How to run a budget. And, Raising funds for events and causes in own community.

52:00 What Heather found that teachers struggle the most within their studios & her number 1 tip for a smoothly run studio.

54:30 Chris's quote “If students do their own thing it’s getting them along the line of playing for the rest of their lives. If students improvise and find their own voice that’s much more likely to make them play forever more than learning to play a whole lot of pieces from books.” Some interesting thoughts from each panelists on inspiring students for life long music playing,

Christopher Norton's "In the Spirit" from Album Collections 3 which is available from Blackrock Music

58:30 Phillip Keveren joins the panel in two weeks.
Join the Piano Teaching Success Facebook Group
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Join the virtual audience (100 seat limit) and/or ask a question
Our virtual studio audience is limited to 100 seat but we will be streaming live to Facebook if you don't get a seat.

Our studio audience, will have the opportunity to ask questions and get answers from our panel of experts.

When is PTS Q+A on?

We will be every 2 weeks on Thursdays or Wednesday in the USA at:

Every Thursday @ 11am (AEST) - Check out the time in your TIMEZONES

If you're in the USA we're live on Wednesdays: Pacific US 5pm • Central US 7pm •  Eastern 8pm

NZ 1pm  • Japan 9am • HKG, SIN, Malaysia, 8am • Indonesia 7am • South Africa & Central EU 3am • UK 1am

Australian Times: Thursday NSW/VIC/ACT/TAS 11:00am •  SA 10:30am • QLD 10:00am • NT 9:30 am WA 8:00am
FIND OUT WHAT TIME Q+A is on where you live?
If you can't make the live time, we will send you the show notes and replay.
We hope this helps you in these challenging and unprecedented and times. Look forward to seeing you this Thursday.

All the best,

Download the full list of Christopher Norton's books

Digital Sheet Music from Blackrock Music

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