One of the great aspects of blogging is to be able to highlight many interesting piano related publications. I met Karen Gibson a few months ago on Facebook. She is a busy piano teacher based in Nashville, Tennessee (US), who also publishes an online Magazine called The Piano Bench Mag, which is specifically for piano teachers. I asked Karen to tell us a little more about her publication and here’s what she had to say:
A little over a year ago I received several emails about publishing magazines on iTunes. While it sounded like a lot of work, I was also extremely intrigued.
I was going to set the idea aside as unrealistic. And I would have, except for that nagging voice that said to start a magazine for piano teachers. That voice wouldn’t go away and so by the end of the week I was embarking on a new adventure – publishing an online magazine for piano teachers.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted the magazine to be for teachers and by teachers. Over time, more and more teachers have begun participating, just as I had hoped! I wanted it to be an easy to use resource, one that teachers would return to again and again. To that end, each issue has a theme. The theme of the first issue was Holidays (that is the theme again this month, the first anniversary issue). I look for ideas that are working for teachers. I look for resources – books, music, apps, etc. – that have been created by teachers. While many of the teachers are well-known, others are not as well-known. I put each issue together thinking about what I would find valuable as a teacher.
I’ve studied online businesses and marketing for years and I know how difficult it can be to get noticed online. I hope to help teachers who are trying to get the word out about their creations. In addition to the monthly magazine articles, last July I published the first edition of the Resource Catalog. I have seen many posts on Facebook piano teacher groups of teachers looking for a particular sort of resource. It can be difficult to search the threads and it is impossible to read everything. My hope is that over time the Resource Catalog will grow to the point where it becomes the place teachers go first when they are looking for music, apps, games, etc.
Future plans include a cruise next April, the inaugural Creatives on the Sea Cruise. Jennifer Eklund, Kristin Yost, Debbie Center and Sara Campbell are going to be presenting some fabulous workshops all while we cruise the western Caribbean. There are still some cabins available.
The Magazine is one year old this month, so we thought it might be fun to run a competition celebrating its first Anniversary. The prize is a free sixth-month subscription to The Piano Bench Mag. If you fancy taking part, just leave a comment in the comment box at the end of this post and Karen will pick the winner next Saturday October 18th 2014.
The Piano Bench Mag is available on Apple’s Newsstand (iTunes) https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/the-piano-bench-mag/id712098279?ls=1&mt=8 and Google Play https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bdhjefeedd.gfcbdhjefeedd
Single issues are $2.99; monthly subscription price is $1.99; a 6 month subscription is $7.99 and a 12 month subscription is $11.99. To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of The Piano Bench Mag issues 1 – 12 are available on Apple’s Newsstand for 99 cents each through the month of October.
The Piano Bench Mag’s Facebook Page.
After receiving her first 6 chord Magnus organ for Christmas at the age of 8, Karen Gibson started taking organ lessons at the age of 9. Over the years she has spent time raising Arabian horses, teaching adults in various settings and working as a paralegal. But teaching has always been her passion. Early childhood music and piano have been the main focus in her life for the last 14 years or so. Although she has had as many at 70 piano students, she currently is comfortable teaching about 55 students each week in addition to 8 preschool music classes. In her free time she writes for and publishes The Piano Bench Mag, creates and publishes courses on Udemy.com, dabbles in writing music for her students and has recently taken up photography.
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my piano course, Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, the course features a large collection of progressive, graded piano repertoire from approximately Grade 1 to advanced diploma level, with copious practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.