The Piano Pod

by Yukimi Song

...where tradition meets innovation, and together, we bring PIANO into the 21st Century.

Hey, 🎹 enthusiasts out there! My name is Yukimi, a classical pianist and educator from NYC and executive producer of The Piano Pod. The Piano Pod🎙 is a one-of-a-kind podcast that delves deep into the fascinating world of classical music, with a specific focus on the 🎹 piano. In a biweekly format, the show explores intri ... 

 ...  Read more

Podcast episodes

  • Season 4

  • Season 4 Episode 12: Tim Topham - Founder and Director of Top Music Co and Author of "No Book Beginners"

    Season 4 Episode 12: Tim Topham - Founder and Director of Top Music Co and Author of "No Book Beginners"

    This is episode is brought to you by Yukimi Song Studio 🎹 Discover the magic of music with Yukimi. Realize your dream, create joyful melodies, and express yourself on the keys. Let's play piano together! Visit HERE to learn more. I had a fun and inspiring conversation with 🇦🇺Tim Topham, Founder & Director of TopMusicCo, Music Educator, & Author! Our discussion revolved around his recently released book, "No Book Beginners: A Step-by-Step Framework for Creative Piano Teaching, Starting from Lesson One." This book encapsulates his experiences as a music educator and piano instructor, drawing from extensive research spanning from Kodaly to Music Learning Theory. It serves as a valuable resource, delving into various aspects such as the inspiration behind its creation, the current landscape of music education with a particular emphasis on piano instruction, and providing a historical context to elucidate the evolution of teaching methods in the industry.  The book critiques the prevalent note-reading-centric approach in piano instruction, advocating instead for a more holistic teaching method. Additionally, it offers a practical framework for instructing beginner piano students, emphasizing an approach that doesn't rely on any specific method books for the initial 10 weeks. Check out Tim’s book, No Book Beginners HERE. We also explored the digital empire that he built to support fellow music educators, offering a wealth of resources including blogs, vlogs, courses, and a membership community. These resources aim to empower teachers, enabling them to evolve into 21st-century educators within their respective communities. Tim shared valuable insights on the requisites for being a 21st-century music business owner, the challenges among teachers, and the prevailing trends in piano teaching. 🎵Tim Topham LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/timtopham/ 🎵Top Music Co Instagram Facebook  Pinterest YouTube Podcast 🎹 About The Piano Pod ❤️❤️ Show your love and support for TPP: Donate HERE❤️❤️ 🎬 Credits: Yukimi Song (Executive Producer/Writer & A/V Editor) 🌐 TPP Official Site 📱 Get the Latest 🎹 News HERE

  • Season 4 Episode 11: Miki Sawada - Classical Pianist & CEO of Gather Hear Inc.

    Season 4 Episode 11: Miki Sawada - Classical Pianist & CEO of Gather Hear Inc.

    This is episode is brought to you by Yukimi Song Studio 🎹 Discover the magic of music with Yukimi. Realize your dream, create joyful melodies, and express yourself on the keys. Let's play piano together! Tap HERE to learn more. Welcome to the fun and inspiring conversation with Miki Sawada, the talented Pianist & CEO of Gather Hear Inc., for The Piano Pod’s Season 4 Episode 11! Since the inception of our show, we've shone a spotlight on pianists who astonish us with their creativity. 😎 Yet, Miki's journey is truly unparalleled. Dive into the details: Launched in 2017, inspired by the divisive atmosphere of the 2016 🇺🇸 Presidential Election, Gather Hear Tour is Miki's labor of love. Eschewing conventional venues, she embarks on tours across rural America, bringing high-quality, inclusive classical music performances to communities often overlooked. From the spiritual landscapes of Utah to the rural stretches of Alabama, and from quaint local cafes to segregated schools and prisons, Miki's journey in her Uhaul van, with her piano in tow, is a mission to deliver the beauty of live music directly to the people. Her approach fosters genuine connections, celebrating the spirit of American life through the universal language of music. What began as a musical odyssey has evolved into a profound journalistic endeavor. Miki documents her experiences, offering an intimate glimpse into the American heartland through candid video recordings. These stories, raw and unfiltered, weave a rich narrative of the nation's diverse tapestry, with music serving as the key to unlocking community bonds. After each tour, Miki and her team craft vlogs and produce documentary films that resonate with cinematic impact. Check out Miki’s award-winning films on her YouTube channel, including "Gather Hear Louisiana 2022," the latest film from her tour, which premiered at the Independent Film Festival Boston in April 2023. 📺 This episode's audio is also available as a video format! 🎼 Meet Miki Sawada: Featured in The Boston Globe’s Best of Arts 2021 list, Miki is reshaping classical music through her innovative Gather Hear Tour. Traveling state-by-state, she brings her piano to community spaces, connecting with Americans through free concerts in unconventional venues across the country. Miki's diverse career includes solo and chamber music, focusing on contemporary pieces, with notable performances at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her debut album, "A Kind of Mirror," released in 2021, is a five-movement electroacoustic work inspired by long-distance running, earning acclaim and featuring in a commercial for Tracksmith. Miki's unique approach to classical music is highlighted through her rich tapestry of performances and accolades. 🎹 About The Piano Pod ❤️❤️ Show your love and support for TPP: Donate ❤️❤️ 🎬 Credits: Yukimi Song (Executive Producer/Writer & A/V Editor) 🌐 Official Site 📱 Connect with us on Social Media

  • Season 4 Episode 10: Walter Aparicio - Pianist, Educator, & Founder/President of Foundation for Bolivian Artists

    Season 4 Episode 10: Walter Aparicio - Pianist, Educator, & Founder/President of Foundation for Bolivian Artists

    🎶 This episode is brought to you by Yukimi Song Studio 🎹 Discover the magic of music with Yukimi. Realize your dream, create joyful melodies, and express yourself on the keys. Let's play piano together! Visit HERE to learn more. Get ready for a captivating new episode featuring none other than my dear friend/colleague, Walter Aparicio! I had an incredible time recording this episode with Walter – a talented Pianist, Educator, and the Founder/President of the Foundation for Bolivian Artists. Our connection dates back to our NYU graduate school days in 2007, and delving into Walter's journey and future plans was both meaningful and emotional. Walter holds a prominent role in contemporary music, advocating strongly for inclusivity in our industry. Ahead of his time, he has been a passionate supporter of diversity in music, particularly focusing on Latin American music and composers since the late 2000s, well before the recent emphasis on diversity in 2020. What makes Walter stand out is his expertise in the music of Bolivia 🇧🇴. Exploring the beauty of Bolivia through Walter's insights – its unique geography, profound historical background, cultural richness, and legacy of arts and music – was truly enlightening. I've gained a profound appreciation for Bolivia! Join us in this engaging episode where you'll explore: The current global reception of Latin American piano music The richness and complexity of “Latin American” music Walter will take us on a quick trip to Bolivia🇧🇴, introducing its: Distinctive cultural traditions or celebrations Distinguishable characteristics or themes found in Bolivian piano music Later on, he'll introduce us to his initiative: the Foundation for Bolivian Artists: A brief overview of the foundation. His motivation and inspiration behind launching this organization Current stats in its inaugural year Future perspectives 📺 The video format is also available on our YouTube channel! [About Walter Aparicio] 🌐 Website [Foundation for Bolivian Artists] 🎟️ Get the ticket to the Kantuta Concerts Opus 1 on March 1, 2024 at Merkin Hall! (promo code: in the episode!) 🎹 About The Piano Pod ❤️ Show your love and support for TPP: Donate❤️ 🎬 Credits: Yukimi Song (Executive Producer/Writer & A/V Editor) 📱 Connect with us!

  • Part 2: Dr. Michael Coonrod -- Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone

    Part 2: Dr. Michael Coonrod -- Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone

    🎶 This episode is brought to you by Yukimi Song Studio 🎹 Discover the magic of music with Yukimi. Realize your dream, create joyful melodies, and express yourself on the keys. Let's play piano together! Visit the website to learn more. Here is the second half to conclude our 2024 inaugural episode feat. Dr. Michael Coonrod, a distinguished Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone 🎶 We delve into Dr. Coonrod's compelling journey in the world of concerts and recordings. Explore with us as he shares his experiences in overcoming life's obstacles, specifically addressing the challenges and moments of silver lining that emerged after losing his right ring finger nine years ago. Additionally, gain insights into Dr. Coonrod's reflections on the evolution of music education throughout his teaching career, highlighting the most significant changes he has observed over the years. 🎧 Part 1 of this interview is now available on your favorite podcast platform! 🎼 Meet Dr. Coonrod: a distinguished pianist, recording artist, and a former piano faculty member at Interlochen Arts Academy for 46 years has shaped countless students and presented diverse piano recitals worldwide. He performed with orchestras as a soloist, and his repertoire spans Beethoven, Mozart, Gershwin, and contemporary American composers. Coonrod, mentored by Lucien Hut and Konrad Wolff, holds degrees from the University of Montana and The Peabody Conservatory of Music. His dedication earned him recognition as a "Kentucky Colonel" in 1996. Coonrod's discography includes an album promoting scholarships for composition students and a two-CD set featuring Franz Schubert's solo piano music. Beyond music, Coonrod indulges in model railroads, chamber music, and accompanying church choirs, crafting a symphony of diverse interests. Please get in touch with Dr. Coonrod via email to purchase his CDs. 🎧 You can also listen to his recordings on Spotify. 🌐 Learn more about Dr. Coonrod via his website. 🎹 About The Piano Pod Greetings, piano lovers! I'm Yukimi Song, your host from NYC. Every fortnight, join me as I delve deep into the world of PIANO with groundbreakers from the classical music industry. Our mission? To provide a platform for classical musicians and educators to reflect and discuss how to keep our industry robust and relevant in this rapidly changing world and move it forward in the post-pandemic era. ❤️❤️ Show your love and support for TPP: Donate via PayPal❤️❤️ 🎬 Credits: Yukimi Song (Executive Producer/Writer & A/V Editor) 🌐 Official Site: https://thepianopod.com 📱 Connect with us: https://linktr.ee/thepianoponyc #pianist #pianoteacher #podcast #podcaster #classicalmusic #musicindustry #pianomusic #orchestra #musicians #musicpodcast #pianolife #classicalpiano #philosophy #audienceengagement #classicalmusicians #interlochen #innovation

  • Part 1 of Season 4 Episode 9: Dr. Michael Coonrod -- Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone

    Part 1 of Season 4 Episode 9: Dr. Michael Coonrod -- Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone

    🎶 This episode is brought to you by Yukimi Song Studio 🎹 Discover the magic of music with Yukimi. Realize your dream, create joyful melodies, and express yourself on the keys. Let's play piano together! Visit the website to learn more. 🥳Happy New Year! As an inaugural episode of the new year, we had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Michael Coonrod, a distinguished Classical Pianist, Recording Artist, Educator, and Arranger specializing in music for the Left Hand Alone 🎶 Recently retired from his illustrious 46-year tenure as a piano faculty member at the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts, Dr. Coonrod boasts an impressive teaching career spanning over 50 years and a performing career exceeding 65 years! Part 1 of this interview covers Dr. Coonrod’s reflections on his 46 years of teaching at the Interlochen Arts Academy and practical tips on nurturing technical excellence and overcoming performance anxiety. 🎧 Part 2 of this interview will be released next Tuesday, January 16, 2024! 🎼 Meet Dr. Coonrod: a distinguished pianist, recording artist, and a former piano faculty member at Interlochen Arts Academy for 46 years. He has shaped countless students and presented diverse piano recitals worldwide. As a soloist, he performed with orchestras, and his repertoire spans Beethoven, Mozart, Gershwin, and contemporary American composers. Coonrod, mentored by Lucien Hut and Konrad Wolff, holds degrees from the University of Montana and The Peabody Conservatory of Music. His dedication earned him recognition as a "Kentucky Colonel" in 1996. Coonrod's discography includes an album promoting scholarships for composition students and a two-CD set featuring Franz Schubert's solo piano music. Beyond music, Coonrod indulges in model railroads, chamber music, and accompanying church choirs, crafting a symphony of diverse interests. Please contact Dr. Coonrod via email 📧 to purchase his CDs. 🎧 You can also listen to his recordings on Spotify 🌐 Learn more about Dr. Coonrod: https://michaelcoonrod.net 🎁 Episode Contributor: Pokie Huang 🎹 About The Piano Pod Greetings, piano lovers! I'm Yukimi Song, your host from NYC. Every fortnight, join me as I delve deep into the world of PIANO with groundbreakers from the classical music industry. Our mission? To provide a platform for classical musicians and educators to reflect and discuss how to keep our industry robust and relevant in this rapidly changing world and move it forward in the post-pandemic era. ❤️❤️ Show your love and support for TPP: Donate ❤️❤️ 🎬 Credits: Yukimi Song (Executive Producer/Writer & A/V Editor) 🌐 Official Site 📱 Connect with us #pianist #pianoteacher #podcast #podcaster #classicalmusic #musicindustry #pianomusic #orchestra #musicians #musicpodcast #pianolife #classicalpiano #philosophy #audienceengagement #classicalmusicians #interlochen #innovation