This is a guest post by pianist, accompanist and blogger Tim Topham which originally appeared on his website
If you’re a piano teacher and you haven’t yet had the chance to explore the MASSIVE amount of information available on Pinterest, then you should set aside an hour or two this weekend to see what all the fuss is about.
The $5B+ company is the fourth-largest online social media enterprise (after Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) and is a veritable treasure trove of resources for music educators. Indeed, Pinterest is fast becoming one of the biggest search engines (even Google is being challenged!) on the planet.
In fact, when it comes to search engines, Pinterest even has an advantage over Google because the content on Pinterest that people save to their “boards” is content that they’ve deemed as being relevant and interesting. On the other hand, while it’s algorithms are pretty good at judging the best content and putting it at the top of its listings, Google is still an automatic computer-based process.
You can read more about Pinterest’s “Guided Search” feature here.
So, why the hype?
If you haven’t used Pinterest yet, you may well be sceptical of yet another social media website that is guaranteed to waste a lot of your time and fill your screen with banal updates from friends that you’d prefer not to read.
If you’re thinking this, you’ve got it all wrong! Pinterest isn’t like Facebook or Twitter.
Pinterest is an online pinboard of people’s favourite stuff on the web. Just as you might keep all your favourite websites in your bookmarks folder, you can share it with others and do a whole lot more by “pinning” things to Pinterest, but instead of just saving the links, you save the an image and a link.
It’s got nothing to do with boring “status updates” or chatting to friends; it’s all about visual content: great pictures, infographics and images to inspire you.
Here’s what an example page looks like (yup, this is my main board):
When you click on any of these topics, you can see all the images that I’ve saved under that subject. Click the images and you can find out more about them and get a link back to the original website to see the image in context and find out more.
Here’s a quick 5-minute video about Pinterest for newbies:
Related: Online PD for Piano Teachers
Research new piano teaching ideas
The best way to get started with Pinterest is to just start exploring: either Google “Piano Teaching Pinterest” or something similar, or head to Pinterest directly and use the search function at the top.
You can easily lose hours doing this, so keep your goals narrow and focused. What exactly are you looking for?
Here are some of the topics that you might want to explore:
- Music teaching research
- Piano teaching handouts
- Piano bench games
- Piano gifts
- Teaching beginners
- Group piano teaching
- Cool piano repertoire
- Piano summer camp ideas
Of course, it’s not just good for music education. I love collecting images of cool architecture, great gadgets and things on my Christmas wish-list. You can see some of them on my board.
Use it as a way to store your own piano teaching stuff
Keep in mind that Pinterest is not just an online resource of all the best stuff that other people have saved, but it’s also a great place to store your own favourites.
I’ve recently started working more on developing my Pinterest Board and you can check out some of my “pins” by heading here: pinterest.com/timtopham/
You can even share your boards and collaborate with others online.
You can check him out on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.