The Piano Bench Mag: celebrating its first Anniversary with a competition

Piano Bench MagazineOne 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.

About Karen:

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, dabbles in writing music for her students and has recently taken up photography.


Melanie Spanswick has written and published a wide range of courses, anthologies, examination syllabuses, and text books, including Play it again: PIANO (published by Schott Music). This best-selling graded, progressive piano course contains a large selection of repertoire featuring a huge array of styles and genres, with copious practice tips and suggestions for every piece.

For more information, please visit the publications page, here.

16 Comments Add yours

  1. Anne Marie Archibald says:

    This sounds like alot of useful and interesting information!

  2. Putting the Piano Bench Mag on iTunes is a great idea! Would so love to win three months free (and brag about it on my site – if you don’t mind the mention –!)

  3. Fran says:

    I am curious about this Piano Bench Mag. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  4. Nancy Cole says:

    I keep hearing about this magazine and have meant to subscribe. This would be a great way to get started, with free issues.

  5. Leigh Stringfield says:

    I am curious to see more about the Piano Bench Magazine. It sounds awesome! I’d love to win the free 3 months!

  6. Karen Stoltzfus says:

    What a great magazine! Thanks for letting me know about it – even if I don’t win any free issues. 😊

  7. Charley says:

    Sounds like a wonderful publication! I love reading other teachers’ ideas. Sure hope I win 🙂

  8. John says:

    This magazine looks very intriguing…I’m excited to possibly get to read something directly aimed toward teachers. Sounds like a great resource and would be happy to start with some free issues! Thanks for posting about it!

  9. Mary Guess says:

    Looks interesting! Thanks, Melanie!

  10. Angie TSE says:

    Themed resources under one roof on iTunes? Fab! Please please please can I trial this? Yours, piano teacher from across the ‘pond’ (UK)

  11. Steven Dodsworth says:

    What a great idea! I look forward to reading this.

  12. donalgormley says:

    Sounds like an interesting and thought provoking publication.

    Was wondering where we can find out more info on the cruise?

    1. Hi Donal, Many thanks for your comments. Here’s some info about the cruise….

  13. Thanks for finally writing abou >The Piano Bench Mag: celebrating its first Anniversary with a competition! | The Classical Piano and
    Music Edujcation Blog <Loved it!

  14. Kadhja Bonet says:

    Interesting post! I appreciate your efforts in writing an article about “piano bench” You really explained all points very well. Thank you for sharing such useful information.

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