Public Speaking

Subject Expertise

I enjoy speaking on a variety of subjects related to music instruction, energizing your teaching and helping students achieve their dreams. My most frequently requested speeches are listed below. If you would like to request a custom presentation on a new topic, just let me know.

 

Most Frequently Requested Speeches

 

“Transform Your Teaching”

Transform Your Teaching

Whether you’ve taught for years, or recently opened your first studio, this fun, inspirational session will equip you with ideas and strategies to improve the quality and enjoyment of your teaching, and make a lasting impact on your students’ lives.

As I share my own musical journey and stories of many students I've had (yes! all the stories are true!), teachers will identify with the problems and delight in the solutions.

Highlighting the teaching strategies I've developed during 35 years of owning my successful studio, I'll share the novel tools and inspiration you need to create the studio of your dreams, full of students who love their lessons and their teacher.

“Here Comes the Judge!”

Here Comes the Judge!

This session looks at competitions from the view of judges and teachers.

You’ll laugh (or even cry!) during skits starring the judges of your worst nightmares. You might recognize “He Who Shall Not Be Named” and his list of “unhelpful” criticisms, “Miss Way-too-Nice” who loved every note and had no suggestions, “Mr. Spell Check” who got so carried away with minute details that he forgot real people were performing real music, “Mr. Self Important” who loved to demonstrate and prove how much better he was than anyone else, and “Miss Past Her Prime” who sounded worse than the middle school performer.

You’ll leave this lively, interactive session knowing the best ways for students, teachers, and judges to weather the trials and triumphs of competition and eagerly await the next event!

“Music in the Real World”

Music In The Real World

How many of our students view music as something they do at their lessons and at home practice but not as part of their real world? How can we get kids to embrace music so that it becomes part of what they do and who they are forever?

This session, “Music in the Real World,” provides ideas and techniques that hook kids into loving their lessons, their music, and you as their teacher.

Learn how to give your students the skills to be independent, make music part of their day and their identity, and create opportunities to share with others.

Our goal is to help students embrace music so that it becomes part of their real world now and after they quit lessons. And isn’t that what we want for all of our students?

“How to Be a Great Student”

How To Be A Great Student

You’ve got a great instrument and a great music teacher. Now the rest is up to you.

Attend this session, and you’ll learn:

• What makes teachers happy

• What irritates every teacher

• What your teacher can and can’t do for you

• How to make the most of the hour in the studio

• Ways to get your teacher to appreciate having you as a student

• The secret to getting back in your teacher’s good graces

• Ideas to make lessons more fun for both you and your teacher

Students may see themselves in the hilarious skit that opens this session, and teachers can bring back these ideas to their studios.

“You Already Taught Me That??”

You Already Taught Me That??

Are what you teach your students and what they retain two different things? Do you run out of time in each lesson? Do you spend too much time teaching the music and not enough time teaching the whole musician?

This session will give you practical ideas for more efficient and effective teaching. The Music For Life two-notebook system is a small but powerful tool.

You'll learn:

• Novel ways to inspire and energize your studio.

• A foolproof way to keep you and your students organized

• Techniques to help students to become inquisitive, independent learners and self-directed practicers

• Ways to save time, energy, and stress at the lessons

Come see how a small change in your teaching method can make big changes in your life!

“Bridging the Gap: Helping Our Students Get A Head Start After Academia”

Bridging the Gap: Helping Our Students Get A Head Start After Academia

What’s the difference between a pizza and a musician? A pizza can feed a family of four!

What’s the difference between an amateur musician and a professional musician? An amateur musician has a day job; a professional musician has a spouse with a day job.

The robber pointed the gun at the man and demanded, “Your money or your life!” He responded, “I’m a musician, I don’t have money or a life!”

People say jokes are funny because they have an element of truth in them, but sometimes the truth isn’t all that funny.

As private teachers and college professors, we’re responsible for preparing our students to thrive in today’s competitive music world. To do so, we must develop the whole musician and equip students with the musical and practical business skills they’ll need to succeed.

This session will give you food for thought and concrete solutions from other teachers and colleges to prepare your students to become both musicians and entrepreneurs.

“Get Paid What You're Worth”

Get Paid What You're Worth

Being a music teacher is our passion, but it is also our profession, and we deserve the same respect and money (!) as other valued professions.

Musicians hate to talk about money, but we must learn to become productive entrepreneurs, or we won’t be able to continue our passion.

In this session, you’ll learn how to do everything from setting up a studio to getting paid what you’re worth. You'll also discover what to do when money just isn’t enough.

“Do Something Different”

Do Something Different

Becoming a successful music teacher or music student has many challenges.

Have you ever taught a Clueless Chris? Whining Wendy? Bored Brad? Fur Elise Frieda? Or Jumpin’ Justin?

All too often we are faced with problems we feel unqualified to handle and wish we had the support of a personal teaching mentor.

In this session, you’ll learn how to troubleshoot problems, turn around complaints, and do something different to change course in the lessons.

Bonnie ends the session sharing her funny stories and showcasing her wacky teaching toys guaranteed to give every teacher new ideas and tricks to tackle their teaching challenges.

“Jump Start Your Teaching”

Jump Start Your Teaching

Including much of the information in Making Money Making Music, this session is designed for the college student.

Students will get off to a good start when they learn not only about the business side of the teaching but also the secrets to having their dream students.

Learn the tips and tricks they forgot to teach you in college to transform yourself from a college student to a respected paid professional.

“Fun Recitals”

Fun Recitals

“Another recital? I guess one recital a year is part of my job description, but I sure wish I could just skip it. My students all dread the recital (frankly I do too!), but I have to put on the recital so the parents can take pictures and think they’re getting their money’s worth.”

“Hosting a recital is way too much work! I have to choose the music, make the kids practice, find a date that works, find a recital space, make the kids practice, make invitations, make the kids practice, make programs, send out reminder emails with directions, bake cookies, make the kids practice, get decorations and plates, clean up afterwards, and make those darn kids practice! And I don’t even get paid extra for all the work! What’s the point?”

If you or your students dread recitals, this session is for you. Learn creative ways to engage your students and your audience and make recitals valuable learning experiences and tons of fun.

“Creating Artists From the Very First Lesson”

Creating Artists From the Very First Lesson

Think playing musically is just for advanced students? Believe that your students can go beyond pounding out the notes to expressing themselves artistically by following simple rules of musicality.

Learn the down and dirty tips for teaching phrasing, independence, creativity, critical thinking and making music come alive. You can make it happen from the very first lesson.

Book your event today!

If you think I might be a good fit as a keynote or guest speaker for your upcoming event, please contact me. It will be my great pleasure to work with you.

 

 

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In their own words…

I wish you could come and speak to ALL flute teachers on your hopes, dreams, laughs, and inspiring stories. You are a bright light that can't be denied...you are electric and eclectic!

—Cheryl A. Tomczuk,
El Paso, Texas

Bravo Bonnie!

"Transform Your Teaching," Bonnie Blanchard's inspiring program in April, was truly transforming! Both touching and hilarious anecdotes peppered her points, illustrating how to increase our effectiveness as teachers through relationship-based teaching, setting high standards and helping our students reach them, and inspiring respect and pride in our studio. New and seasoned teachers alike took many notes and left in the midst of energetic conversations, stimulated by her remarkable and motivating perspective. Thank you Bonnie, for reminding us that music teachers have one of the best jobs in the world!

        —Eastside MTNA

Bonnie's ideas are wonderful for keeping the music studio energized, organized and the students happy. They are great ideas I haven't heard anywhere else!

      —Diana Dallal,
The Dallal Music Studio

…What I've been left with is the wonderful joyfulness of all the people present. We learned so much in the morning session, and it was particularly special to see some teachers who ordinarily would sit back and not participate TOTALLY get into the spirit of the afternoon session.

Your interaction breaks were terrific for putting teachers at ease as well as mixing. The role reversal at the end of the session where the students got to be the teachers, and the teachers got to imitate the students, was the greatest idea to end with. You've got a great thing going here.

—Onnie Adams, President Tri-Cities MTNA

I enjoyed your talk at Eastside Music Teachers Association very much. You reinforced some of what I think I do well and gave me many new ideas to think about. I will learn a lot from your book and the rubber chicken will save my from the sound of my own voice saying as patiently as I can, "No, that scale is not correct!" The chicken simply cannot abide incorrect scales, but she will make my students laugh.

        —Marcia Soule