How One Epic Piano Teachers’ Conference Will Change Your Teaching Forever – Part 1

Introducing a piano teachers’ conference unlike any other. Part 1

How One Epic Piano Teachers’ Conference Will Change Your Teaching Forever – Part 1

Creating an Epic Piano Teachers’ Conference

If you haven’t yet heard, in January 2020, I’m running a live, in-person,
two-day piano teachers’ conference at Rydges Hotel, Melbourne City, from
23-24 January 2020.

This is the first time I’ve run a full-blown conference for piano teachers, and I have to admit, I’m both hugely excited and slightly terrified!

A few people told me that I was pretty crazy to put on an event of this size and quality in Australia, but there have been many others who can’t wait to come along.

Piano teachers conference venue - Rydges Hotel

Rydges Hotel meeting rooms in Melbourne

Conference Highlights:

Creating an unforgettable event experience is a huge undertaking and not one that I’ve taken lightly. 

By the time PPL rolls around in January, we will have been working on it for over a year. Additionally,  it will have taken hundreds of hours and involved five members of my team working tirelessly over nine months.

So in Part 1 of this article, I thought I’d explain why I’m so passionate about this event. We’ll look at  where on earth the name comes from, how the conference will stand apart from others in the field and what our delegates can expect from participation in this exciting event.

Next week in Part 2, we’re going to talk more about what’s in store for you. Also, we’ll see how to achieve a return on your investment in PPL2020 and why you really can’t miss this experience!

Let’s get started.

Firstly: Why the funny name?

The Piano Pivot Live is named after our online 5-day “Piano Pivots” that have taken hundreds of teachers through the process of rejuvenating their teaching and business practices over the last few years.

Here’s what some of our online participants have had to say:

“Overall, I think the Pivot was exactly what I needed to kickstart my year. I am more focused on the goal and plans for my studio this year and more focused on my own well being and state of mind.” 

Lisa Kiernan-Shaw

“Another fabulous #Pianopivot session tonight. I honestly think this is the best CPD session I’ve ever been involved in.”

Amy Wright

The Piano Pivot is about making a real change (i.e. a “Pivot”) in two aspects of a teacher’s enterprise: their teaching and the often-neglected side of running a small business. 

Piano Teachers Conference quote

It’s about taking stock of where they’re at, what they’re trying to achieve, and where they want to go in the future.

It’s training that is practical, tactical and full of actionable strategies.

We also know the excitement, power and potential that comes from getting amazing people together in one place. 

We know the buzz that solo teachers gain from mixing with like-minded teachers. And we see the power of the “collective genius” created by a room full of inspired people working together to achieve something great.

That’s the Piano Pivot Live 2020 piano teachers’ conference.

Curating the World’s Best Music Education Speakers

Because most big conferences are multi-streamed (i.e. multiple speakers presenting at the same time), they are open to a wide variety (and quality) of presentations. 

Anyone who’s been to a big conference will know what I mean.

Many people are speaking for the first time, and there is not a lot of quality control possible with hundreds of concurrent sessions and user-submitted applications.

Let’s play a quick game of “Have you Ever”.
Score 1 point for each question you answer Yes.

Have you ever:

  1. …been to a conference and sat falling asleep while a presenter dragged on, reading notes from behind a podium. Did you squint at illegible powerpoints screens filled with tiny text? 
  2. …struggled to focus as a presenter droned on about a theoretical concept only music theorists and academics could utilise?
  3. …snuck out of a session when you realised that someone was going to be reading excerpts word-by-word from their doctorate or published article?
  4. …felt like you’ve heard enough about how to pedal the Sonatas of Beethoven or finger your Bach Fugues? Instead you wanted something practical you can use with the majority of your students today?
  5. …left a conference feeling inspired but quickly reverting to your old habits when you returned home? You never had time to look at your notes again? 

Well, if you said “yes” to any of the above, then my goal is to make sure these are NOT part of your experience at Piano Pivot Live!

>> What did you score? Let me know your score out of 5 at the bottom of this article or on social media and which number did you resonate most closely with?

Well-Curated Speakers

By hand-picking all our speakers and running a single-stream, we’re able to quality-control every part of the event to ensure that only the best presenters are on stage. 

Keynotes for Piano Teachers' Conference

Piano Pivot Live Keynote Speakers

Most of our speakers have been guests on my podcast, and I’ve already seen them in action at other events. We’ve worked with them to curate topics that are both aligned with their passion and guaranteed to inspire and motivate.

You get to see everything — no need to choose between two great presentations at PPL.

Curious about the speaker lineup? Check them out here.

Piano Studio Business and Pedagogy

One of the biggest missing pieces when it comes to training and conferences directed at becoming a better independent music teacher is giving teachers actionable skills in business and marketing. 

Even music performance and pedagogy courses at many universities around the world neglect this vital aspect of becoming a professional teacher. And yet, it’s one of the most critical factors affecting music teachers. 

Let’s face it: if you’ve got no students, or you run out of money, then you haven’t got a studio! 

Not all teachers want to grow big, hire other teachers and build their own music school. However, we can all do with some tips about effective marketing. Let’s make sure we have a steady stream of new inquiries and keep our retention high. 

And they’re precisely the kinds of topics we’ll be exploring at PPL2020.


I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s dive into my “event creation” mindset and are excited to learn more.

Next week, I’m going to unpack a little more about the event schedule, I’ll explain what “Mastermind” sessions are and how they’ll benefit your teaching. (Read that post here).

We’ll then wrap-up this two-part post with a look at how we’ll be helping all our delegates ensure they get their money back by investing in PPL.

Piano Teachers' Conference headliner


To find out more about our speakers, the topics and schedule, head to Discounts are available for all Inner Circle members – find out more in our community forums and by email. 

P.S.> Make sure you leave your “Have you ever?” score below and let me know which item most resonated with you in that list. 

Chat to you next week!

Tim Topham

Tim Topham is the founder and director of TopMusic. Tim hosts the popular Integrated Music Teaching Podcast, blogs regularly at and speaks at local and international conferences on topics such as integrated teaching, creativity, business, marketing and entrepreneurship. Tim has been featured in American Music Teacher, The Piano Teacher Magazine, California Music Teacher and EPTA Piano Professional. Tim holds an MBA in Educational Leadership, BMus, DipEd and AMusA.

 feeling inspired? 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    more Events posts

    from our blog

    contact us

    Reach out to learn more about our multi-teacher memberships