Become a TopMusic Certified Teacher
An interactive, 12-week guided pedagogy and business certification
for instrumental music teachers
Equipping instrumental music teachers with the skills to succeed.
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly battling imposter syndrome?
Questioning whether you’re doing enough for your students
and if you truly belong in this profession?
Find yourself on the receiving end of remarks like:
“glorified babysitter”, referring to your business as a “hobby”,
or implying that you “have it easy” because you get to
“play music all day”.
You’d be surprised how many of us have
experienced the same thing.
On top of that, there’s the crushing overwhelm of trying to meet the needs of your students while staying on top of the latest teaching methods. Trying to “be creative” while also teaching the fundamentals; while also developing individual learning plans; while also creating a welcoming environment; while keeping parents happy…
It can feel like a never-ending cycle of stress and worry, especially when it comes to attracting new students and keeping your studio thriving financially.
If only that was all of it…
But it’s not just about the business side of things. You also long to have more quality time with your family, to be present and enjoy the moments that matter most. Yet, too often, you find yourself consumed by the demands of your studio, leaving little room for personal and family life.
And in those moments, it can feel lonely.
You may question if anyone truly understands the challenges you face, if there are other teachers that struggle in the same ways. You may even question your passion, feeling motivation draining away or feeling unrecognised for the incredible work you do.
on your own not alone.
At TopMusic, we’re a team of passionate music teachers who have experienced
those same struggles. Together, we’ve created the TopMusic Certification Program—a program designed to address your struggles head-on.
Introducing the TopMusic Certification Program
Underpinned by our comprehensive PRESTO Method, we’ll equip you with the knowledge and tools to overcome imposter syndrome and feel confident in your teaching. We’ll provide you with a clear roadmap, so you no longer have to question what to do next. And we’ll alleviate the overwhelm and confusion by guiding you through practical strategies that actually work.
We’ll also show you how to build a thriving studio that attracts students effortlessly, so that once your strategy is humming, you can focus more on teaching and less on marketing.
Most importantly, we offer a supportive community that understands your journey and celebrates your successes. Connect with fellow music teachers who have been where you are and can offer guidance and encouragement along the way. You’ll never feel alone in this endeavour.
It’s time to feel recognized and valued
as the professional educator that you are.
Join us in the TopMusic Certification Program, and let’s transform your
music teaching career together. Say goodbye to overwhelm, stress, and self-doubt,
and say hello to a fulfilling and rewarding path in music education.
Don’t just take our word for it:
Why Choose the TopMusic Certification Program?
🎓Unmatched Support and Community: Join a cohort of passionate teachers from around the world, fostering strong connections, and sharing knowledge and experiences. Our program offers a supportive and collaborative environment.
🎓Holistic Approach to Teaching: Experience the power of our Integrated Music Teaching Method™, where we seamlessly blend musical skills, knowledge, and creativity to nurture lifelong musicians. Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all approaches and hello to personalised learning paths tailored to your interests and studio needs.
🎓Assessment and Implementation: Unlike other programs, we don’t just assess your skills, but also provide training and ‘done with you’ implementation. Gain the credibility you deserve and receive a comprehensive studio success plan ready to rock!
Here’s what you could spend elsewhere:
Virtual lessons with a master teacher
Attend a conference
+$1,200 food and travel
Get a BMus degree at a University
Or get your TopMusic Teacher Certification over
12 guided weeks for just $1,497 including 1 year of TopMusicPro membership.
Discover the Highlights of Our Program:
🌟 Knowledge Sharing Goldmine:
Connect with like-minded teachers, forming a supportive network of peers from across the globe. Benefit from invaluable knowledge-sharing opportunities and exchange experiences.
🌟 Perfect Blend of Pedagogy:
Our program equips you with the Integrated Music Teaching Method™, enabling you to teach holistically. Seamlessly blend musical skills, knowledge, and creativity to foster lifelong musicians.
🌟 Personalized Learning Path:
We understand that every teacher and student is unique. Choose the learning path that aligns with your interests and studio requirements, ensuring a customised experience.
🌟 Multi-Modal Assessment Portfolio:
Say goodbye to dull multiple-choice tests. Showcase your skills and self-reflection through a multi-modal assessment portfolio, allowing you to apply what you’ve learned directly to your studio and situation.
🌟 Harnessing the Power of Story and Curiosity:
Unlock the secrets of making meaningful connections between musical elements, captivating your students’ attention and keeping them engaged throughout the journey.
🌟 Business-Boosting Strategies:
Optimise your studio’s services, structure, policies, marketing, and financial systems to maximise efficiency, drive success and bring your goals within reach.
Join the TopMusic Certification Program and take
your music teaching career to new heights.
Who Should Join the TopMusic Certification Program?
Our certification program is perfect for private music instructors, studio owners who want to:
✨ Boost Confidence: Feel more confident as a music teacher and establish a strong reputation for your studio.
✨ Increase Credibility: Earn recognition for your skills and enhance your professional reputation.
✨ Attract Ideal Students: Fill your studio waitlist with quality students who are eager to learn.
✨ Optimise Studio Systems: Establish efficient systems and streamline your studio operations.
✨ Banish Imposter Syndrome: Overcome self-doubt and solidify your expertise as a professional music teacher.
✨ Achieve Studio Goals: Take your studio to new heights and achieve your long-term goals.
Unlock Your Potential and Secure Your Studio’s Future!
Here’s what other teachers are saying:
Bright-eyed and certified.
Maybe you’ve thought about getting a formal qualification before, but became disheartened that University courses are expensive and take up way too much time.
Becoming a TopMusic Certified Teacher takes just 12-weeks of training and costs a fraction of the price of other programs.
But we don’t skimp on content.
Read on to discover the incredible value you receive from joining our 12-week program.
Do it yourself – Done with you.
The certification is about implementation. If you’ve felt overwhelmed by content in the past this is the perfect opportunity to put our materials to good use. We’ll help you apply our library of incredible resources to solve the issues you face in your studio.
If you’re already a TopMusicPro member, but struggled to put ideas into action then this program will enable you to finally implement the solutions that will make the most impact.
How we’re different from other certifications:
❌ NO MORE ‘one-size fits all’ assessment and trivial multi-choice tests!
Every music studio is unique with different strengths, needs and challenges. Our multi-modal portfolio assessment is designed to help you consider your options and adopt the perfect solutions for your studio.
✔️ Teaching samples – throughout the program you’ll submit short videos to demonstrate your teaching ability in various areas.
✔️ Self-Reflection – show your thought process about what worked and where there’s room for improvement.
✔️ Case studies – choose a student profile to tailor a bespoke learning plan for.
✔️ Repertoire analysis – select a piece to analyse and answer questions on.
✔️ Systemise – design, implement and demonstrate a new studio system to increase your business’ efficiency.
✔️ Outreach – adopt, develop and demonstrate new marketing initiatives that will increase brand awareness and bring in new student enquiries.
❌ NO MORE “Good luck – you’re on your own!”
While other certifications set complex assessment criteria and leave you to decipher and conduct your research alone, with our program, you won’t have to struggle. We offer guidance and mentorship to ensure your journey is clear, accessible, and comprehensive.
✔️ Guided cohorts – you’ll make strong connections with teachers from around the world on live calls each week, sharing knowledge and experiences and working together to build your portfolio.
✔️ Note: Join our first beta cohort to be led by TopMusic Founder, Tim Topham.
✔️ Ask questions along the way – each week you’ll get an opportunity to ask any burning questions and get direct answers that apply to you.
✔️ Full access to Top Music Pro – you’ll discover the full range of our video courses & resources that teachers rave about!
❌ NO MORE Fluff!
Unlike other music teacher certifications, we prioritise relevance to your specific studio needs. We won’t ask you to formulate teaching plans for children if you primarily teach adults; or demand a studio policy overhaul when your marketing plan needs work. Instead, we focus on areas that truly matter to you.
✔️ Modern curriculum – we go beyond fundamentals, empowering you to deliver engaging lessons to students with unique needs and challenged attention spans.
✔️ Suited to your needs – your studio is as individual as you are, with unique strengths and weaknesses. Our program meets you where you are.
✔️ Zero time-wasting – Save time with our practical problem-solving assessments rather than hypothetical scenarios that you’ll never use.
✔️ No fluff – just pure focused and relevant content.
❌ NO MORE Outdated models!
Teaching has undergone significant transformations in the last 20 years, influenced by shifts in student demographics, advancements in technology, the impact of phones and emerging research. Unlike outdated music teacher certifications that have remained unchanged for decades, TopMusic stays current with the ever-evolving landscape of music education. We work closely with teachers worldwide daily, allowing us to understand and address the burning issues of today.
✔️ Updated regularly – we listen to our teacher’s feedback and adjust our resources accordingly, ensuring that our material is always reflective of real-world experience of the moment.
✔️ By teachers, for teachers – every facet of the program has been passionately designed by our team of experienced music teachers and been student-tested. We don’t just talk the talk, we walk it.
✔️ Harnessing technology – though we love an acoustic, we’re not afraid to innovate and try the latest trends! Our program integrates a technology-curious attitude, keeping abreast of new softwares and tools but always translating them in a simple way.
❌ NO MORE limited possibilities!
✔️ Mix and match – Our program is method-agnostic, freeing you from the constraints of exam boards, associations or music publishers. We focus on empowering you to teach based on your own approach and objectives, without the pressure of committing to a particular syllabi or specific exams.
✔️ Blue sky thinking – Whether you have new ideas to explore, unique needs, or face limitations that call for innovative solutions, our program provides a safe space for creative thinking. Your cohort sessions will serve as the perfect sounding board, offering valuable support and feedback.
Our program delves deep into the core of music teaching and studio business, equipping you with the essential tools to initiate, innovate, and enhance your future impact.
By becoming a Certified TopMusic Teacher,
you’ll gain access to:
🔑 12 weeks of ground-breaking professional development for music teachers.
🔑 All-access training and mentorship, guiding you every step of the way.
🔑 Convenient weekly 1-hour live training sessions offered in two different time zones.
🔑 Hand-holding support and gentle nudges whenever you need them.
🔑 Peer accountability and knowledge-sharing within the group cohort.
🔑 A frame-worthy certificate to proudly display in your studio.
🔑 Digital badge of honour for your website and TopMusicPro profile.
🔑 Post-nominals ‘TMC’ (TopMusic Certified) to enhance your professional credentials.
🔑 A 12-week cohort incubator resulting in expert knowledge, cool credentials, and a fully refreshed studio.
🔑 Eligibility to be nominated for our TopMusic Certified ‘Teacher of the Year’ award!
Gain the skills, knowledge and credentials needed to excel in today’s
competitive music education landscape.
Our Exclusive PRESTO Curriculum Framework:
Achieve the perfect balance between classical training and creative exploration for any instrument through our Integrated Music Teaching™ approach. Learn to use flexible lesson plans that foster student inquiry and practical activities that establish deep connections between musical elements.
Discover the right repertoire for students at all stages and ages, including methods, sheet music, collections, classical and pop repertoire. Stay current with a system that helps you choose the ideal repertoire for each student.
Design a tailored curriculum that caters to each student’s unique goals and interests. Connect the right pieces with their learning path and create a long-term plan for their musical development.
Master the often underrated, yet essential aspect of running a music teaching business. Learn how to structure your studio, optimise your finances, and create efficient systems that work for you.
Explore multiple approaches to techniques that are available to you. Make informed choices by selecting the techniques that resonate with you and your students, allowing for customised instruction.
Stand out from the crowd and discover your studio’s unique selling points. Develop and implement marketing initiatives that increase brand awareness and attract new student inquiries.
Don’t miss this exclusive opportunity to teach creatively, engage students holistically, and establish a studio that stands out.
Turn Ideas Into Action With Our Assessments:
🚀 No More ‘One-Size-Fits-All’ Assessments: Embrace our approach that acknowledges the uniqueness of each studio, its strengths, needs, and challenges.
🚀 Teaching Samples: Showcase your teaching ability through short videos demonstrating various areas of instruction.
🚀 Self-Reflection: Articulate your thought process, highlighting successes and areas for improvement.
🚀 Case Studies: Tailor bespoke learning plans for students by selecting a student profile.
🚀 Repertoire Analysis: Analyse a chosen piece and provide answers to related questions.
🚀 Systemize: Design, implement, and demonstrate new studio systems to enhance business efficiency.
🚀 Outreach: Develop and demonstrate marketing initiatives that increase brand awareness and generate new student leads.
Apply now to secure your spot and embark on a transformative 12-week journey of professional development with the TopMusic Certification.
Together, we’ll create a thriving future for your studio and your students.
Meet Your Certification Team:
Rebecca Stewart studied piano at Melbourne University. For 20 years, Rebecca taught with Yamaha Music Education Centres. She enjoyed being a national teacher trainer in the Yamaha method, and is a qualified practicing Yamaha grade examiner. Rebecca’s first book “Sight Reading Secrets Grade One” was published in 2004, and there are now nine books in the series. She believes that sight reading skills can be strengthened through integrating by-ear playing, improvisation, transposition, composition, singing and more!
Donna has been teaching piano for over 20 years, both in schools and at her home studio. She is dedicated to fostering connections with her students and nurturing joy through music and supporting neurodivergent students. As well as being a TopMusic Certified Teacher, Donna has a Diploma in Instrumental Teaching (ABRSM). She loves connecting with other teachers, and is looking forward to supporting the next group of teachers with their TopMusic Certification.
After two years of teaching music in public schools and six years of teaching private piano and theory lessons, Kimberly transitioned into the field of Instructional Design. For her day job, Kimberly creates learning experiences for adult learners in corporate America. But she just can’t keep away from the music education world. She is partnering with TopMusic to create and launch the TopMusic Teacher Certification. This project allows her to fuse her passion for music, her experience as a music teacher, and her passion for educational psychology. Kimberly holds a Masters in Music and Human Learning from the University of Texas as well as a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Florida.
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Frequently asked questions
How long will it take?
- The TopMusic Certification Program is 12 weeks of part-time study and weekly live cohorts. You will have an additional 4 weeks to complete and submit your final portfolio.
How much time will I need to commit?
- The weekly cohort meeting will be approximately 60 minutes, totalling no more than 12 hours over the 12 weeks. You’ll need to commit to self-study in between meetings and allow time to prepare your assessment portfolio.
Do I need to take time off from working?
- It is up to you how much time you want to dedicate to absorbing all the material available, however with the exception of the cohort meetings, the rest of your study can fit around your schedule.
When does it start?
- The 2024 cohort program begins Monday, 5 February, 2024 and continues till the end of April.
When and what time will the weekly live cohort sessions be?
- There will be 2 cohort live sessions per week on different days/times to account for time zones. Each live cohort meeting will be approximately 60 mins and very practical. Come to either, or both!
- Schedule 1: First meeting 9PM GMT Monday 5th Feb
(1pm PST-LA, 4pm EST-NY, 9pm GMT UK, 8am Tue 6th AEDT-Melb)
Please note daylight saving changes may apply in your location during the 12 weeks of the cohort; please refer to 9PM GMT as your anchor.
Schedule 2: First meeting 9AM GMT Thursday 8th Feb
(1am PST-LA, 4am EST-NY, 9am GMT UK, 8pm AEDT-Melb)
Please note daylight saving changes may apply in your location during the 12 weeks of the cohort; please refer to 9AM GMT as your anchor.
- 1st Schedule – Starting at 8am 6th of February Melbourne time (Check your time zone here).
2nd Schedule – Starting at 8pm 8th of February Melbourne time (Check your time zone here).
Do I have to attend the live cohort sessions?
- Though replay videos will be provided, it is highly recommended that you attend the live sessions to gain the full benefits of the program. Each session will include breakout rooms to further explore topics – those who don’t attend live won’t be able to participate in these discussions and this aspect will not be included in the replays.
How is this different from the TMP membership?
- Though the material from the TMP membership forms the self-study portion of the program, there’s much more here that you won’t get from the regular membership. You’ll benefit from the weekly live sessions where you’ll discuss, unpack, explore, apply, and question the material. You’ll gain direct feedback from, and be challenged by your presenters and peers. You’ll be guided through applying the material of the program to your individual studio and goals, and encouraged to explore new possibilities in your assessment portfolio.
- This is like the TMP membership, but with full application, hand-holding, advice and accountability on tap.
What happens if I fail the assessments?
- Our program gives you safe space to fail. Portfolios can be discussed and given feedback while you work on them and may be resubmitted within 4 weeks of receiving a failing grade.
I’ve never studied before, will I have to write essays?
- Our multimodal assessments are what makes this program truly accessible. This means if you’d rather write, you can write. If you’d rather submit a video telling us your answer, you can do that. This isn’t like University where you are judged on your grammar and footnotes. We look at the ideas first and foremost.
Is there supplemental reading required?
- There is a self-study portion to this program where you’ll be required to go through video courses with some reading required. However, any suggested additional texts are for your convenience and reference only and not part of your assessment criteria.
What kind of music teacher is this best suited for?
- This program is best for any music teacher who desires to make their teaching and studio work better for them, and better for their students. It’s suitable for teachers of all instruments, all backgrounds, all ages, all levels of experience; zero qualifications or multiple letters after your name; if you have goals you haven’t yet reached, or you feel things could be better; or you just want to finally have a credential and fancy certificate to display in your studio, this program is for you.
What do I get when I graduate?
- You get some fresh nominals to add to your name, a certificate you can print out and frame, a digital badge to proudly display inside the TMP membership. You’ll also be eligible to be nominated for the TopMusic Certified Teacher of the Year!
How can I get the most out of this program?
- We recommend that you attend as many of the live training sessions as possible. This is the jewel in the program’s crown. Here you’ll get the feedback you need to put ideas into action.
How much does it cost?
- The program is $999 for TopMusicPro members. For non-members, $1497, which includes 1 year of Studio access so you can keep current after your certification.
Can I pay in installments?
- Yes, we offer a payment plan, please email us at email@example.com for this option.
Will I need to renew?
- Your certification will need to be renewed every 2 years. To keep your Certification current, you’ll need to provide evidence of continued professional development every two years and pay an administration fee. However, if you remain a TMP member, we can track your ongoing progress inside the membership which means no extra evidence is required from you and we will waive the renewal fee.
Are you ready for me?
- We’re ready and waiting to welcome you inside the TopMusic Certification Program!
The question is… are you ready to innovate and enhance the future impact of your music teaching business?
As I stop teaching over august for the summer holidays, will I still be able to take part without directly teaching during this time?
- Yes, that’s OK. However, there is a requirement in the assessment portfolio for short teaching videos, but if you can film these in September (or even October – you’ll have an extra 4 weeks to complete the portfolio after the end of the live cohort), that will work out just fine.
What is the qualification equivalent to? That is – is it aligned to other qualifications out there? Eg. ABRSM teaching diplomas / LCM teaching diplomas etc.
- No, there’s really no equivalent given what we’re creating is so different. However, we are familiar with all the exam board teacher certification and believe the outcomes are easily on-par with any of the teaching diplomas, whilst being much more relevant and accessible.
I see the first week includes a US national holiday and I already scheduled week of personal, family vacation. Will I be at a disadvantage, missing the first week’s live call?
- No, no disadvantage. We’ll just need to welcome you formally in week 2. All cohorts will be recorded so you’ll be able to catchup when you’re back.
What level of personal support teachers can expect from the TopMusic team if they join? Outside of the weekly 60-min live calls, are you / other TopMusic team members available to answer questions and provide guidance (and if so, to what extent and via what channels of communication)?
- The Certification cohort have our own private group in the activity feed, TopMusic Certification (Pilot Cohort Only) and we will respond to teachers as they post there – a perfect way to link people from across timezones! There will be a lot of connection between teachers in the cohort, too, both during the one hour live and asynchronously in our activity stream. Colleagues may find as they get to know one another that they want to flesh out an idea and arrange their own meeting. We can direct questions to other TopMusic team members and bring things to the weekly live call, too.