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Teaching Studio Stories

Nicola Cantan

Teaching Studio Stories

A weekly Education, Arts and Performing Arts podcast
 1 person rated this podcast
Teaching Studio Stories

Nicola Cantan

Teaching Studio Stories

Teaching Studio Stories

Nicola Cantan

Teaching Studio Stories

A weekly Education, Arts and Performing Arts podcast
 1 person rated this podcast
Rate Podcast

Hey, you. Yes, you, that teacher beavering away teaching people how to create music. This is a show about you and others just like you.

In Teaching Studio Stories, we visit with a music teacher each week and learn about their journey to this career and the bumps and bruises they’ve encountered along the way. This is a positive and fun space that is also not afraid to face the music. Listen and learn from other mistakes, cheer for their successes and, above all, feel part of a global community of music teachers.

You are not doing this alone. You’re not the only one who isn’t sure about every move and step and word. Join us and find your tribe.

If you love this show and you want more, try The Vibrant Music Teaching Podcast and the Colourful Keys blog. Please share your favourite episode (of either podcast!) with a teacher-friend who you think might enjoy it.

If you resonated with today’s story, then the Vibrant Music Teaching membership is probably a good fit for you too. Find out more at vibrantmusicteaching.com.



Hi! My name’s Nicola Cantan and I have been teaching piano in Dublin, Ireland since 2005.When I first started teaching, I was teaching the way I was taught. Nothing wrong with that right? It got me to where I was.

What gradually started to become more and more apparent though, was how much of music had been left out of my own piano lessons. No one had ever encouraged me to compose, taught me to play pop tunes by ear or allowed me to improvise and embellish melodies.All I could do was play classical pieces exactly as the composer intended. (Oh, and scales. I could play lots of scales quickly and accurately in many different permutations and configurations.)

I decided this wasn’t what I wanted to pass on to the next generation.Well, I did want to pass on this ability – but also so much more! I don’t want to throw out what’s working, but I think the standard piano lesson format could use a makeover.What I do at Colourful Keys is to open students up to their own musical journey. What’s going to really inspire each student is going to be different. My job is to open the doors.My students perform confidently, write their own music, play with great technique, get great exam results, and enjoy collaborating with other musicians. They play jazzy pieces & pop songs as well as the great classical masters.

This is what I call a well-rounded musical education.

It’s a big wide musical world, and I want my students to have all the tools needed to go exploring.

I went through about 13 years of music education before I knew anything about improvisation, playing from lead sheets, composing or how pop music is constructed. When I finally started learning about all these things I felt pretty cheated. Why had no one introduced me to all of this great stuff?

I don’t want to cheat my students out of anything that could help them connect with music-making.

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Podcast Details

Created by
Nicola Cantan
Podcast Status
Dec 21st, 2021
Latest Episode
Jun 28th, 2022
Release Period
Avg. Episode Length
23 minutes

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