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How a Songwriting Course Boosted My Confidence in Teaching Songwriting to Students

Wednesday, May 10, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Resources

Identifying a gap in knowledge

As a piano teacher and someone who loves singing, I've always found songwriting to be a bit of a mystery. Whilst I have studied both piano and singing, songwriting was taught to me in one off workshops and youtube videos. While I enjoy listening to my favourite songs and analyzing their structures and lyrics, I've never felt confident enough to write my own. And when it came to teaching songwriting to my students, I struggled to explain the process in a way that was easy for them to understand.

That all changed when I came across the Superior Songwriting course. Initially, I was sceptical about whether a course could really help me become better at actually teaching songwriting, but I decided to give it a try, and I'm so glad I did.

To skip the description and jump to the product I am talking about, find it here

The course covers everything from the basics of songwriting to the more advanced techniques used by professional songwriters. It's presented in a step-by-step fashion, which made it easy to follow and apply in my own time. 

Below I have compiled the main pros and cons I identified by choosing this type of course over in person or just self-teaching via other online resources. It's important to note that these pros and cons can vary based on the specific course and individual circumstances. It's important to consider your own learning style, goals, and available resources when deciding which approach to take.

Pros and Cons Self Guided Course (Superior Songwriting) In person Course Self Teaching
Convenience Can be completed at your own pace and on your own schedule.

Set schedule with regular class times. Complete control over the pace of learning.
Cost More affordable than in-person courses. Often more expensive than self-guided courses. Free or low-cost.
Flexibility Ability to skip over topics already mastered and focus on areas needing improvement. Able to ask the instructor questions in real-time and receive immediate feedback. Total flexibility to study what, where, and when you want.
Self motivation May lack motivation without the structure of a traditional classroom. Attendees are expected to keep pace with the instructor and the class. Requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation.
Feedback May not receive feedback until the end of the course, if at all. Receive feedback in real-time, but may not be personalized or comprehensive. No feedback from an instructor, other than self-assessment.
Interaction Limited interaction with other students or an instructor. Opportunity for interaction with other students and an instructor, but may not be as convenient as online options. No interaction with other students or an instructor.
Accountability No one to hold you accountable for completing the course. Instructor and other students provide accountability. No one to hold you accountable for completing the course.

Business minded approach 

What I found most valuable was the section on the business side of songwriting. The course goes into detail about how to market  songs and pitch them to industry insiders, which was something I had never really thought about before, and it gave me ideas on how to answer student questions about musician pathways. 

As I worked through the course, I began to feel more confident in my own songwriting abilities. I started incorporating songwriting exercises into my lessons with my students, and I was thrilled to see how excited they were about it. It has been amazing to see how quickly they picked up the concepts and started writing their own songs, with enthusiasm. 

Now, I feel much more comfortable teaching songwriting to my students. I have a better understanding of the process, and I can explain it in a way that makes sense to them. And I'm even starting to write my own songs with more confidence!

So Overall, if you're someone who's interested in songwriting but feels a bit intimidated by the process, I highly recommend checking out the Superior Songwriting course. It's helped me become a better songwriter and teacher, and I'm sure it can do the same for you.

To see the full details on this songwriting course, click here 

The easiest way to start selling merch WITHOUT being creative

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Resources

Making merchandise can be an excellent upsell option in studios, and another way to make an income stream. 

Dropshipping rise

Dropshipping has become a popular way for to start selling merchandise without the need for inventory, shipping, or handling customer service. Simply put, dropshipping is a retail fulfillment method where the seller doesn't hold inventory but instead transfers the customer's order and shipment details to the manufacturer or a wholesaler, who then ships the goods directly to the customer. 

Online business without the inventory

This means that using the right resources you can sell products without ever needing to physically handle them. The process is simple: you find products to sell, list them on your store or promote them through a selling page, and when a customer places an order, you forward it to the supplier who ships it directly to the customer. With the right tools and resources, dropshipping can be an easy and lucrative way to start an online business.

Customise and increase your branding presence

Merchandise is a powerful tool that can help build hype and excitement for recitals. By creating custom merchandise such as t-shirts, stickers, or tote bags with the name and date of the recital, students and their families can proudly show their support and spread the word about the event. Not only does this create a sense of community and unity among the performers and audience, but it also provides a lasting memory of the recital. Merchandise can also serve as a source of revenue for the studio, as students and their families are often eager to purchase items to commemorate the event. By incorporating merchandise into the marketing strategy for a recital, studio owners can create buzz and generate excitement, ultimately leading to a successful and memorable event.

Model what other industries are doing

I only considered increasing my merchandise offerings after going to a few dance concerts for my daughter. Every concert there were tees, toys, activity books, drink bottles, clothing, accessories to buy as mementos for the concert. They built hype, they create memories and even better they BOOST  supplementary income. Instead of trying to create something from scratch it can be quite quick to sign up to an integrated site, create a number of products and offer them for sale.

Expand your geographical reach

Using this method for creating merchandise makes it easy to reach students or viewers in different locations and can help expand your audience beyond just your local area. To ensure that your customers receive their orders in a timely manner, it's important to choose reliable and efficient suppliers. Look for suppliers with a proven track record of fast and reliable shipping and good customer service. By partnering with the right suppliers, you can provide your students or viewers with high-quality products without the hassle of handling shipping and fulfillment yourself. 

I go over in more detail my preferred provider in my ebook, which is free to download here. 

Other considerations

Before you dive into dropshipping, it's important to carefully consider a few key factors. First and foremost, you need to identify a product category that has a strong demand and good profit margins. Conduct market research to understand what products are currently popular and what your potential customers are looking for. Then you'll need to choose a reliable and trustworthy supplier that can provide high-quality products and fast shipping. It's also important to factor in the costs associated with running a dropshipping business, such as marketing and advertising expenses, website hosting and design costs, and any fees associated with your chosen e-commerce platform. Finally, you'll need to consider the time and effort required to manage your dropshipping business, such as processing orders, responding to customer inquiries, managing product listings. By carefully considering these factors before you start, you'll be better equipped to create a successful and profitable dropshipping business.

Buying an Instrument

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 by Gemma Wilkins | Resources

Buying an Instrument - Advice for the newbie

Signing up a child for music lessons can be a big decision for a family. Like any extra curricular activity there are additional costs involved that all families have to weigh up. Let's unpack the considerations you should make before jumping into buy an instrument. 


The pricing of pianos varies greatly, and families before purchasing an instrument should identify how much they are willing to spend. For a beginner pianist, it is possible to get something under the $1000AUD mark that will provide sufficient longevity. The main options are acoustic or digital, both can support practice and progress at home. 

Digital Pianos - Digital pianos are full sized (88 keys), feel or play very similar to a real piano and can play loud and soft based on how hard you hit the key. These are not to be confused with keyboards, that are often smaller, feel different and don't play differently when you hit the key harder. 

There are a number of digital pianos that are reliable, good quality and suitable for all levels of piano players. 

The below list runs about $1000 brand new, or $500 second hand. Choosing brands with strong support services is important. 

My top picks are:

Yamaha P125

Kawaii ES110

Korg B2 

If the digital piano has the option to include a pedal stand I would strongly suggest going with that option. Not only does it look and feel more like a piano, but the function of the pedals is important too. It should look something like the below.

Acoustic Pianos

When looking to purchase an acoustic piano, it is very important to ensure that a qualified technician looks over the instrument before purchase. A technician can identify:

  • Frequency of service
  • Mechanical faults or issues
  • Damage 
  • Age 
  • Suitability for tuning
It is more difficult to list suitable models here, but again going for well known brands usually is the way to go. 

These could include:

  • Yamaha
  • Kawaii
  • Bechstein
  • Steinway ($$$)
There are many other suitable brands, but second hand pianos really vary on their upkeep, which will influence the price. 

A good quality upright piano will result in the best at home experience, though it is not feasible for all families.  


Digital pianos require minimal maintenance. They move easily and keep their tune. Technical assistance may be required at times if there is any damage or malfunction, but their useful life can be up to and including 10+ years. 

Acoustic pianos on the other hand require maintenance regularly, and without upkeep can deteriorate in quality quickly. 

General maintenance includes:

  • Keeping the piano in a temperature controlled environment
  • Tuning regularly by a qualified technician, at least 12 monthly, more if used for many hours each day
  • Replacing of hammers, felts or mechanism as required
  • Dusting, polishing
  • Controlling vermin

Additional to regular maintenance, acoustic pianos take up more space in the home, so owning a large piece of furniture like that can mean increased moving costs. All things to consider when purchasing.


A good quality instrument can promote good quality practice. A poor quality instrument can create resistance in students to practice at home. It's important to choose and instrument that is a joy to play, sounds lovely and has reliable touch and mechanism. 

Investing in a good quality instrument at the beginning of lessons is a great way to support the student and give them the best chance of having enjoyment playing at home. 


In summary, families will find a number of options available when investing in their first piano. This article has highlighted the need to identify a suitable budget, decide on piano type and consider long term requirements to upkeep the chosen instrument. 

Should you have any further questions you can send a message direct here