I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love learning and never tire of finding a new topic or area to explore, whether it’s piano-related or in another area.
I also consider continuing my education as a pianist and teacher a crucial part of my job.
Attending piano teaching conferences in the past like MTNA and NCKP have been profound and fruitful – perfect for a perpetual student like me.
But, as life rolls along, it becomes increasing difficult to travel and make time for conferences. Kids, family obligations, budgets, and time constraints make it hard to carve out time to attend an annual conference.
At my current stage of life with 2 small kids, I’ve found that online webinars are the perfect alternative to attending a conference. They feed my hunger to stay current on piano teaching topics, and are a very feasible way to stay connected and up-to-date from home on my own schedule. For a minimal investment, they get me plugged in to a variety of topics that feature tons of experts in the field.
My favorite source of webinars is from Upbeat Piano Teachers. As their name implies, this is the most positive and encouraging bunch of teachers to learn with.
These webinars are for you too if you:
- Teach piano lessons and love learning more
- Want to teach piano lessons or you’re just getting started as a piano teacher
- Sometimes get in a rut with your piano teaching
- Feel disconnected from other piano teachers
- Need inspiration or motivation
- Feel like you’re lacking education or credentials that would make you a better teacher
Here’s How They Work:
There are 6 webinars to choose from:
- Teaching Online Lessons
- Technology 2.0
- Playing With Preschoolers
- Engaging With Teens & Tweens
- Group Lessons 101
- Get More Students
Each webinar is priced at $69. You can get an All-Access Pass to all of the webinars for $329. Engaging with Teens & Tweens + Playing With Preschoolers can be bundled together for $110, as well as Teaching Online Lessons + Technology 2.0 for $110.
The webinars feature anywhere from 6-11 interviews from guest experts that are led by Sara Campbell and Tracy Selle. The guests in each webinar represent a variety of perspectives, backgrounds and angles to the topic.
Once you enroll in the webinar, you have lifetime access to it. You can work through it at your own pace and revisit the material as much as you would like.
It truly is a perfect set up for busy teachers who are also juggling families and other obligations.
What You Get
The main event of the webinars are the video interviews with the guest experts. Here are some of the experts you’ll meet in various webinars:
- Tim Topham of Tim Topham Creative Piano Teaching
- Jennifer Ecklund of Piano Pronto
- Leila Viss of 88 Piano Keys
- Nick Ambrosino, Author
- Nicola Cantan of Colourful Keys
- Kris Skaletski of Kiddy Keys
- Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources
- Thomas Grayston of Note Rush App
- And Many More
The webinars really are a tremendous value. In addition to the video interviews, each guest expert also includes a downloadable resource for you to use in your teaching.
Some examples of these resources are free sheet music, games, piano camp lesson plans, exclusive coupons, tutorials and printables for piano students.
One side note about free resources: I easily feel overwhelmed by all of the resources available online. There are so many blogs and websites full of great content for piano teachers, so sometimes it doesn’t feel that special to be offered a free resource.
However, whenever I learn about a new approach or a new idea, I find that if I learn it straight from the creator where they can use their own words and tell their own story about how and why they created the resource, it brings the idea to life for me. I’m much more likely to believe in the idea and employ the ideas and resources in my own studio when I really understand their background.
This is what makes the resources available in the webinars significant. Creative piano teachers share their ingenuity then set you up with what you need to duplicate their own success. It’s really an effective way to learn and build community with other teachers. You can read more about one of my most-used resources below.
Several of the webinars also include a section additional bonus material such as videos and printables.
One of the best parts of purchasing a webinar is that you gain access to the Upbeat Piano Teacher Mastermind group. This is a closed group on Facebook where many of the guest experts and other high-achieving piano teachers hang out. This is by far the most productive and positive piano teacher Facebook group around. You won’t find a lot of the typical piano teacher conversations that include complaints about students running late or not paying on time. Instead, it’s a dynamic group of creative problem solvers who are willing to help other teachers succeed. The conversation if focused, helpful and friendly.
How To Use Them
My favorite part of watching webinars is that I can move at my own pace and consume exactly as much content as a need or want. While I do enjoy going to conferences, I often leave them feeling overwhelmed with information. Webinars make it possible to avoid this feeling.
I like to watch a couple of relevant interviews before the start of a new piano semester or at times when I feel like I’m in a rut. Most of the webinars contain very immediate and actionable advice that I can start using in my teaching right away.
At the beginning of last school year a had a couple of high schoolers that I knew were quite busy. I wanted to make their final piano lesson experiences meaningful and effective, so it was a really good time for me to watch a couple of the videos from Engaging With Teens and Tweens webinar.
I ended up choosing to watch Heather Nanney’s interview called “Teen Retention, Senior Recitals and Awesome Resources.” It was exactly the inspiration I needed to help set my students up for success. Not only did it help me come up with a solid plan for my high schoolers, it also introduced me to a fantastic resource that I was able to use with almost all of my students.
In the webinar, Heather shared her approach to helping students learn chords and read chord charts. This was an area where I had previous felt like I was in a rut. I followed Heather’s advice and almost all of my students fell in love with chord playing that year. This is a case where hear Heather share her story about why she created and used this own students helped me bring her idea for life with my students. I like how I can hear her voice as I pass her advice on to my students.
If you’re a piano teacher looking for a professional development opportunity, I highly recommend Upbeat Piano Teacher Webinars. There is something for everyone and you won’t be disappointed.
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