Earlier this week, I mentioned my guest appearance on Tim Topham’s podcast for piano teachers. Today, I wanted to tell you about a few other great podcasts and also talk about my latest indulgence: audiobooks!
First, what is a podcast?
A podcast is a audio channel of sorts, often created by bloggers, with regular new episode updates. There are podcasts available on every topic imaginable, including piano teaching!
You can subscribe to podcasts using the built-in Podcasts app on your iPhone or iPad. This app will help you keep track of which episodes you have already listened to and will notify you when a new episode is available.
Podcasts are free. I like listening to podcasts when I’m getting ready in the morning, eating breakfast/lunch, driving in the car, cleaning the house, exercising, etc.. If you download the podcasts while connected to a wi-fi connection, you can listen to them later without using your cell phone’s data plan.
Here is a short list of podcasts for piano teachers and musicians to get you started:
- Tim Topham TV — Tim interviews various musicians and piano teachers for insight into the business, technology, and pedagogical matters for piano teachers.
- TeachPianoToday.com’s podcast, by well-known bloggers, Andrea and Trevor Dow. In their podcast episodes, they interview various musicians and piano teachers for insight into certain aspects of piano teaching. Back in 2013, I made a guest appearance for Episode 03 to talk about restarting your studio after relocating to a new area.
- Two Guys on Your Head — This podcast is created by Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke — the latter of whom is the author of my favorite book on music teaching: Intelligent Music Teaching. Their conversations cover various aspects of human behavior and the brain. The episodes are always short and entertaining.
- The Piano Podcast with Mario Ajero — Dr. Mario Ajero shares insights into teaching his two children piano as well as sharing tips for using technology in teaching.
- The Modern Musician Show with Colin Thomson — Colin interviews guest musicians to share tips, tricks, tactics and strategies to for leading fulfilling and financially successful careers in today’s modern music industry.
I’ve been listening to podcasts for a while now, but I have only recently gotten into listening to audiobooks on my iPhone. Using audiobooks, I am finding that I am reading about two more books each month than I would normally read! As mentioned earlier, I like to listen while I’m getting ready in the morning, doing dishes, driving, getting ready to fall asleep, etc.. It’s a good feeling to be able to make good use of my time this way.
Most recently, I have read The Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo (HIGHLY recommended), How To Talk So Kids Will Listen by Elaise Mazlish and Adele Faber, Getting Things Done by David Allen, Creative Schools by Ken Robinson, and The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner.
How do you get audio books? There are a few ways.
First, I recommend checking with your local library to see if they offer either a service such as Hoopla or OverDrive to their patrons. These services allow you to borrow eBooks, audiobooks, music, TV shows, and movies from your phone or tablet app for free. The items are automatically returned after a set amount of days.
I’ve been able to find certain books I’m interested in using Hoopla, and buying others using Audible.com, which is an Amazon company. You can either buy the audiobooks individually or you can subscribe to their monthly subscription. The monthly subscription gives you 1 or 2 book credits each month (depending on which plan you choose) plus 30% off the cost of any other books you decide to purchase individually. I have been using the monthly book credits to buy any audiobooks that are expensive ($15 or up) and buying cheaper audiobooks (those that are under $8) individually using the 30% off discount. So, it’s very possible to come out ahead using the monthly subscription, assuming you listen to at least two audiobooks each month. The cost is worth it to me because, as I said, it’s causing me to read many more books than I normally would without audiobooks.
There are other apps and services that you can use to buy audiobooks besides Audible. But if you are interested in trying out an Audible subscription, you can use this affiliate link to get a free trial month with two free audiobook credits.
Anyway, I thought I’d share a little about my recent indulgence! Podcasts and audiobooks are wonderful ways to pursue professional development as piano teachers.
If you have any podcast or book recommendations to share, please leave a comment on this post. I’d love to hear them!