Once my piano students hit middle school, I often lose them to sports.
If this is a statement you’ve either said at least once in your career or heard a colleague say, raise your hand.
Me, me, me!
Yes, you over there, with your hand up – this post is for you!
At every conference I attend, while there are many excellent sessions, there are always one or two whose message sticks with me for good. At this past MTNA Conference (2016 San Antonio), my “sticky” session was by far:
The Varsity Musician’s Playbook: Commitment Building Strategies from Team Sports to the Studio.
Bam! Wow, the title hooked me. As someone who enjoys the business side of running my piano studio – this was my type of session.
Popular right now is the “Sheet Pan” supper. Have you tried one yet? I love the simplicity of getting three items into your meal, all cooked at the same time without having to be a casserole. Roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook too, so it’s a double-win. So far, I love Sheet Pan Bratwursts, Beets and Chardand Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes.Want to check out a few more recipes? This websitehas lots of beautiful sheet pan dinner recipes.
My studio lending library grew last week when I threw onto an Amazon order the beautiful book The Bear and the Piano. Gorgeous.
Do you have any Netflix food or music-related show favorites? Share!
Also, stay tuned in the upcoming week as I’ll be adding more assignment sheets to Assignment Sheet Central and posting a series on how to incorporate commitment-building strategies from team sports in your studio!
I haven’t written a lot about how I use MLT in lessons yet but I’m sure I will share more in the future. In the meantime, I’m planning on attending the GIML Conference this summer following NCKP. It will be a week of learning in Chicago!
While we’re on the topic of Forrest Kinney’s posts, I also loved his recent post “A Favorite Story on Mozart’s Birthday.” Unlike Mozart, however, I would have opted for dinner rather than improv time. :-S
My students are getting Valentines from me for the first time thanks to Wendy Steven’s new Valentine cards. I printed them out and attached an individual heart-shaped Hershey’s milk chocolate to each one. It’s the little things.
“That is sooo going on your Friday Finds, isn’t it?” he says.
Yep, he knows me too well…
For all of you Americans, “biscuits” is Aussie slang for “cookies.” Gotta love the Tim Tam and yes, while living there we were cultured in the “Tim Tam Slam.” Of course, my favorite ones, the mint, aren’t coming. 🙁 I’ve seen Tim Tam’s in the U.S. but not without driving to a big city and going to a specialty international grocery of some kind like Cincinnati’s Jungle Jim’s. Now if only they’ll come to my local small town Walmart. Think I’ll get lucky?
When I first joined MTNA, like many, I was guilty of not voting due to the feeling of not knowing any of the candidates. Making a decision based on a short printed bio is hard. Each one has solid credentials, and is a highly qualified and capable candidate, or else they wouldn’t be on the ballot of a national organization. It’s true.
My non-voting didn’t last for long though because I consider the ability to vote for anything a privilege and duty.
On this year’s ballot, Indiana is proud to have one of our own – someone I literally sat next to at our last state board meeting, and I hope I can give you a bit more personal insight into one of the candidates for President-Elect, Karen Thickstun.
In the photo below, Karen is second from the left, and I’m third from the left. On a side note, can I just say I serve on the best state board ever?! I just love these people…
This coming weekend much of America revels in Super Bowl Sunday. In honor of the upcoming festivities, today’s post is a round-up of ideas for the upcoming week.
I’ll be sharing some football-themed resources from around the web for this week’s lessons, a few of my favorite game-day eats to spark your taste buds before you hit the grocery, and a couple of personal memories of years past.
Free download of rhythm variations on the 4-chord pattern. This will be a great reference for my students who are playing worship chord charts. I always walk them through a process that slowly expands the rhythm patterns they use but have never written anything out concrete. I imagine it would look like something similar to what Heather’s done.
3 – A Discovery
I have a student who is ready to move on to a new book and level. She just finished RCM level 4 repertoire and is ready for a little more challenge.
As teachers, I think it’s important to enjoy the repertoire we assign. So, when deciding on material, my process is to play through all the music in the books I’m considering and mark my opinion of each piece next to the piece in the table of content; a plus (+) for ones I love, a check mark for ones that are fine, and a minus symbol (-) for those I don’t care for. This gives me a good overview of the contents.
I decided she was ready to skip a level but after playing through RCM’s level 6 I was a little disappointed. Normally, I love the fact that the RCM books contain a large selection of contemporary repertoire but I was underwhelmed with the contents. I also considered Keith Snell’s level 6 and while there were a few more I was happy with, neither one came close to the Journey Through the Classics book.
This book has been sitting in my file for a few years as I received it as a freebie at a conference. I’m officially purchasing the whole set and can’t wait to check them out and use them with other students.
3 – On a Personal Note…
My in-laws bought me this bottle of perfume for Christmas and it is DIVINE. I rarely wear perfume, but this one is totally worth it. Makes me feel like a woman. Hehe.
Stella is infused with the slightly sweet, never bitter, and always fresh scent of blood orange. Notes: Bitter Orange, Blood Orange, Watery Accord, White Freesia, Wild Diamond Orchids, Spicy Lily, Sheer Musk, Sandalwood
While I’ve not read the first book, I decided it was time to get on the David Cutler “Savvy” bandwagon and read his most recent, The Savvy Music Teacher. 30% of the way through the book, I’m finding it inspiring, confirming, and refreshing. He will be giving the Keynote Address at the upcoming MTNA Conference in Baltimore.
Will you be at MTNA? If so, keep THIS on the backburner. I would like to host my first Piano Pantry readers dinner! Yea! It can be tricky finding places to host groups so stay tuned for details to come.
I’m back for my third and final installment on how to implement Evernote into your daily life as an independent music teacher.
While I say this is the “final” video in the series, I’m sure there will be much more on Evernote to come here on Piano Pantry as it’s a program for which I’m quite passionate. Can you tell?
This 3-part video series together is less than 40 minutes. If you’re like me, you listen to single podcasts that are longer than that! Most of us likely spend 30-40 minutes each evening watching a show or video to chill-out. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us also spend that much time daily reading blogs or posts on Facebook piano teacher groups.
I can promise that if you give those 30-40 minutes just one day to watching the series, it could potentially change the way you handle and organize your studio forever. A strong statement, I know, but I believe it with my whole heart and well, if you know me, you know that for the most part, I say what I feel!
I often struggle with finding off-bench music lab activities for my youngest students (ages 5-7). Since I have one student doing lab and one in a lesson simultaneously, they have to, for the most part, be able to function on their own. If a student doesn’t read well yet, that makes it even harder.
In comes MLT and the idea of acculturation – being absorbed in and hearing music in a variety of styles, meters, timbres, instruments, and modes. Viola! One lab I rotate now is purely listening (15-20 minutes). It’s simple – they listen to music while drawing freely in their personal art book and they love it!
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