TopMusicPro member Devi Mamak is a successful piano teacher who trains students of all ages. After decades of teaching, she moved her focus to a new artistic pursuit – dance. But when she later decided to return to her first love of teaching piano, she needed much-needed answers to kickstart her teaching music business.
How She Used TopMusicPro:
TopMusicPro gave Devi the tools and assistance to restart and build her piano teaching business, getting her back to her first music love and reigniting her decades-long journey, teaching the next generation of pianists and composers.
Devi not only restarted her piano teaching business, but she quickly exceeded her goal for the number of students she wanted. She also used some of TopMusicPro’s extensive creative ideas to apply her teaching during the stay-at-home lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, her work-from-home business is busy and thriving.
“It’s another case of applying a great idea from TopMusicPro and making it work for my students and for me.” – Devi Mamak
Devi Mamak is a highly experienced piano teacher. She started her teaching journey at the age of 14, and her decades of knowledge since then have made her prized and sought-after.
“My youngest student is three and I’ve taught people in their seventies,” she says, smiling.
Her successful piano teaching business, which she runs from her home in Sydney’s stunning Blue Mountains, is vibrant and busy.
But things were different a few years ago.
“My mum’s also a piano teacher. When I started at 14, I used the same way she taught me, along with my classical training. I still love classical music. Even back then, I had great academic knowledge of music, but how it was presented to me kind of killed my spirit. Even though I kept teaching piano, I eventually stopped playing because it was never put to me that I could be creative or improvise.”
Over time, it led to a major change – and different successes.
“I became a dancer,” she says. “I ended up teaching all over the world, which was really cool. But I always knew at some point music would call me again in some way.”
It eventually did. And when the time came to restart her piano teaching business, Devi needed answers.
“When I was 14, I’d just put an ad in the paper to get piano students. Dozens of people would call. But now, the only way I was getting new students was by referral. So I had to learn how music teachers attracted students.”
Devi is quick to admit she’s not a big technology user. She didn’t have a website or make use of social media. But jump-starting her piano-teaching business needed more than an online presence. And having been away from music teaching, she needed to find her feet.
“I felt like an imposter. I wanted to feel confident again – as a piano teacher, as a performer and as a composer.”
So she got to work. Devi wrote a book of compositions, keeping it to herself. It was a start.
“That was good. It gave me the confidence to take the next step.”
Ironically, that came courtesy of Google.
“I typed in something like, ‘How to teach new beginners how to improvise on piano’ and I found a video link. I clicked it, watched it and asked myself, ‘Who’s this Tim guy?’”
It was Tim Topham from TopMusic.co.
“His stuff was easy. I could see it worked.”
Devi looked into Tim’s TopMusicPro program. It had everything, and more.
“At first, I didn’t know if it was right for me. But after seeing a few snippets of what it offered, I had to do it.”
Devi joined TopMusicPro in 2019 and the impact was immediate.
“Being part of TopMusicPro made me clarify my goal as a teacher. I want everyone to play music for the rest of their lives, whether they become concert pianists or they just play for themselves on a Saturday night.”
And she discovered how to attract these future pianists – her first major breakthrough.
“After I did the starter course, the big one for me was the website course. It became clear on how I wanted my website to look and how I wanted it presented. Without the course, I wouldn’t have known what worked or simply what to do.”
There was more.
“The other big takeaway was SEO (search engine optimisation) – that was a game-changer. It’s put me up the top of search results – and it was so easy.”
TopMusicPro revealed even more to Devi.
“Lesson length was a big one,” she says.
“Most teachers will probably agree half an hour is the way to go. But through TopMusicPro and listening to some of the podcast episodes, I started doing longer lessons. I didn’t have trouble convincing my previous half-hour students! And the change made my sessions so much more enjoyable.”
“I really enjoy teaching now. Before, it was ‘I have to teach.’ Now, it’s actually fun.”
There were other big changes.
“I felt like everything I knew lived in different compartments inside my brain. But TopMusicPro brought it all together and it’s given me so many ideas. For example, it made me think of chords in a different way. I’ll take well-known pop songs too difficult for my students to learn from start to finish and I’ll say, ‘Let’s look at these chords and do something similar.'”
“They get excited because, by the end, they feel like they’ve composed this whole new tune using the bones of a well-known song. It’s got the feel of the song they love, but they’ve created something different around it.”
Using TopMusicPro, Devi finally had the improvisation and creativity she’d always wanted in her teaching. And the impacts were immediate.
“It was a case of ‘I’ll watch this video and try it today.’ And then the result was, ‘Wow, that was fun!’”
Devi even applied her new creative methods to engage her students during the long pandemic lockdowns.
“A lot of students told me things like, ‘I miss ballet,’ and ‘I miss my family.’ They missed other important activities besides their piano lessons.
“We didn’t want to have a concert online where people just played on computer screens. So I got them to mix their love of piano with their other passions. I had one student who loved going into the bush and taking photographs, so she played a little piece and put it together with her photos.”
“Another student composed her own little tune, watching the bower bird in her backyard. She made a little video of him doing his thing in the trees. I called it Creativity and Connection – connecting your loves. It was a 40-minute online concert and it was a really cool idea.”
And the biggest result she got from joining TopMusicPro?
“I shared it just the other day. I jumped online and thanked Tim and the team.”
“My starting goal was getting to a certain number of students. I’ve now exceeded it!”
And how’s her life different today after being part of TopMusicPro?
“I love my job,” she says. “And this has such a positive effect on my whole life, even when it doesn’t have anything to do with music. And the transition from dancing back to music hasn’t been as difficult as I thought. I didn’t think it would happen this fast.”
“And on a personal level, I’ve continued to grow as a creator and performer. And they’re benefits, I can pass on to my students.”
Having enjoyed so much positive change, what advice does Devi have for anyone in her position before she joined TopMusicPro?
“It’s simple – definitely go for it! TopMusicPro helped me.”
“Even if you know all of your scales and you know all about music theory, and even if you have experience in music training, you don’t know everything.”
So, what’s next for Devi?
“I’m currently helping some students who love composing to complete their little compositions. And then for the second half of the year, we’re going to type them up neatly and then I’ll teach them to other students – so they’re going to learn using the other students’ pieces.”
“It’s another case of applying a great idea from TopMusicPro and making it work for my students and for me.”
TopMusicPro guided Devi Mamak from relying on referrals to exceeding her goals when building her own piano teaching business. It helped her quickly transition back to her decades-long journey as a piano teacher and build a work-from-home business that’s advancing not only the next generation of pianists but also her own creativity and performance.
TopMusicPro can put you on the same road. Join us today.