Why I Love Tim Topham’s Music Teacher Startup Course (and How It Compares to the Competition!)

Review & comparison of Music Teacher Startup course

Why I Love Tim Topham’s Music Teacher Startup Course (and How It Compares to the Competition!)

review music teacher startup course 2Over the years, Tim’s resources have been incredibly useful to me in my piano teaching. 

When I first made the switch from classroom teaching to running my own piano studio, Tim’s website and resources were there to help me. 

And when I realized I wanted more from my piano business, it was Tim and Nicola’s 5-Day Piano Pivot challenge that inspired me to branch out into the online world and create Rebecca’s Piano Keys.

Unfortunately, Tim’s Music Teacher Startup course wasn’t available at the time because he hadn’t finished creating it yet. 

So I turned to other online resources for help. One of which was a very fancy A-list online business course. I won’t name it, but if you’ve started looking into creating your own business, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it.

And I won’t lie, it was an excellent course. It was incredibly helpful to me as I started creating my online business. 

But what if Tim’s MTS course had been available when I was starting my online business?

I’ve now gone through all the videos, checklists, notes, slides, and examples in the Music Teacher Startup, and I can tell you, it covers all the important information you need to learn! This course will teach you what you need to know, and help you develop the skills you need, so you can successfully start your own online business.

Let’s start  by taking a look at some things I really loved about the MTS course, and then we’ll look at how it compares to the A-list course I took.

Things I Love About Tim’s Music Teacher Startup Course

1) Very Clear Steps

I really loved that Tim breaks things down to make them very literal, concrete, and actionable. 

For example, he doesn’t just say “make sure your sales page focuses on benefits rather than features.” He gives you that advice, and then he takes it a step further, telling you, “your sales page should include these particular subsections, in this order.” 

And if you’re like me, this is what you want when you’re feeling lost in unfamiliar territory. You want a straight-forward, easy-to-follow, step-by-step roadmap so you can feel confident that you’re doing the right thing.

2) Outside Resources

Tim’s not afraid to admit he’s not the expert at everything under the sun. 

Throughout the course, he mentions all kinds of resources and leaders he found helpful when he was building his business, so that you can go check these out for yourself as well if you want to. 

I learned a lot of really valuable information from books Tim recommended in his course. Books I never would have bought if he hadn’t recommended them.

3) TopMusicPro Membership

If you have a TopMusicPro membership, you get a ton of additional (and useful!) resources along with the Music Teacher Startup course.

You get access to the forums where members support each other (which is great for encouragement, and also for networking), and you also get access to all the additional courses Tim offers in his member area. 

For example, he gives you an introduction to SEO in the MTS course, and if you want to learn even more, there’s also a dedicated SEO course in the TopMusicPro member area.

How Tim’s MTS Course Compares to the Competition

Tim’s MTS course and the A-list course I took both teach the information you need in order to start your own online business. 

So rather than comparing the content of the courses (you can find information about course content on the MTS sales page), let’s take a look at how Tim’s MTS course and the A-list course I took are different.

The most notable differences between the two courses are in the areas of presentation, delivery, encouragement, and industry perspective.


The A-list course is very obviously an A-list course. A lot of money went into creating it, and there’s a whole team of people running it and supporting you as you work through it. It all feels very polished and perfect.

Tim’s course, on the other hand, has fewer bells and whistles. It feels a little less fancy, less luxurious. And there’s no team running it while you work through it. It feels very real and authentic.

What does this mean for you? 

I won’t lie, the polished perfection of the A-list course is great. But so is the more casual feel of Tim’s course. Taking Tim’s course feels like being invited into his studio for coffee and 1-on-1 mentoring. 

I think the best thing about the more casual feel of Tim’s course is that it makes him relatable. 

The person who runs the A-list course is hugely successful. And I could never be like her. (Honestly, I’m not sure I would even want to be successful on such a huge, large-scale level.)

But I could be like Tim. 

In the world of piano teaching, Tim is well respected and very successful. And after going through his MTS course, I feel like I could also achieve what he’s achieved (with a lot of hard work, of course). 

Tim’s course makes you believe that it’s not just mythical, superhuman people who are able to achieve success in online business–ordinary people can too.

Tim Topham coaches teachers 1:1 at Piano Pivot Live
: Learn Tim’s “3 Secrets” to a successful online business in this free webinar


The A-list course is delivered with a closed cart, with the modules setup in a drip release.

What this means is that for this particular course, there is a short window each year during which new students can enroll. Once that cart closes, the course kicks off, and anyone who didn’t enroll is out of luck until the following year.

The drip release means that when you enrol, you only get access to a few introductory mini-courses, and then the main modules are made available one at a time over the next several weeks.

Tim’s course is the opposite. You can enroll anytime you want, and when you do, you immediately get access to all the course content.

Deciding which delivery model is better is a matter of personal preference.  

The closed-cart, drip release model mimics the feeling of attending a university program. You feel like you have a cohort of peers with you, and you feel like there are deadlines you have to meet. (Although there aren’t actually any deadlines.) This creates some external motivation to keep you going.

The obvious drawback is that if your desire to start an online business comes when the cart is closed, you’re not going to wait around several months for this course to open. You want to act now, while the fire in your belly is hot!

Which makes Tim’s MTS course great, because it’s there for you no matter when you’re ready for it! 

And let’s be real… if you’ve got a new business idea in mind, you’re excited about it (and possibly a little obsessed), so you probably don’t need much help in the motivation department.

Related: read an article about the secret to making more money as a music teacher


The A-list course puts a lot of effort into acknowledging and addressing the fears and insecurities you’ll inevitably feel at times as you build your new online business. It provides constant encouragement, in a way that is very overt, explicit, and in-your-face. 

And although we all want to believe we’re confident enough that we don’t need heaps of encouragement… the truth is, when imposter syndrome rears its ugly head, you’re going to appreciate all the encouragement you can get.

Tim’s style of encouragement is a lot more subtle. He doesn’t tell you you can do it. He just somehow makes you feel that you can do it.

I think this is partly because of the way he presents his content. He talks to you like an equal, and he acts like, “Hey, I’m not that special. If I can do it, you can do it.”

Rather than constantly reassuring you that you can do the “big, scary thing,” he just walks you through everything in a way that makes you feel like the “thing” really isn’t big and scary at all. 

And it also helps that he tells stories about his own successes and failures in business. These stories make you feel like, “Tim made all these mistakes, and he still became successful, so it’s ok for me to make mistakes too!”

Industry Perspective

The A-list course is a generic business course designed for anyone who wants to create an online business in any industry.

Tim’s MTS course is designed specifically for music teachers who want to build an online business in the music education industry. And since Tim has personally achieved success in this industry, he’s able to offer a lot of industry-specific insight. 

For example, the A-list course taught me that I needed to find where my ideal customers are hanging out online, and start hanging out in those same places too. But I had no idea where those places were! 

It took me over 6 months to finally figure out that piano learners and piano teachers are hanging out in Facebook groups. Once I finally figured that out, my blog traffic started steadily increasing.

Tim flat out tells you in one of the earlier modules of his course that this is exactly where piano learners and piano teachers are hanging out. Imagine how much farther ahead I’d be if I’d had Tim to tell me this from the get-go?

Final Thoughts on Music Teacher Startup

I can’t say for sure whether I would have taken Tim’s course if it had been available when I was starting my online business.

I know I would have wanted to, because I was already in love with all his other resources. But the truth is, I think I needed the celebrity hype of the A-list course to make me feel brave enough to make such a large financial investment.

Which is part of why I’m writing this article. 

Because I know investing in yourself and your own dreams can be terrifying, and it can be hard to decide what steps to take.

I can’t tell you if Tim’s Music Teacher Startup course is right for you. Only you can decide that.

But having taken an A-list course and worked through Tim’s course, I can tell you that Music Teacher Startup teaches the information you need when starting an online business in the music education industry.

And that’s something I would have wanted someone to tell me, if Tim’s course had been available when I was starting out.

Rebecca Reid

After 10 years as a classroom teacher in Canadian schools, Rebecca finally made the switch and started her own private piano studio. Although she’s spent her whole life learning piano, it wasn’t until she started creating her own music that she truly fell in love with piano. Which is why she created RebeccasPianoKeys.com, where she helps adult piano learners learn how to compose and improvise their own music.

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