Friday Finds

Grit and Google Gadgetry



Last week my first find was a James Clear article and this week is another. I just love his posts. They’re always well researched and thought out. The Paradox of Behavior Change.



How Reading Old Books Gives Us New Perspective | Michael Hyatt. This is one of my goals this year  – to include re-reads in my reading list. C.S. Lewis is also known for encouraging the re-reading of books, stating something along the lines of:

I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once… To me, re-reading my favorite books is like spending time with my best friends. I’d never be satisfied to limit myself to just one experience each with my favorite people.

The first book (and if we’re being honest, thus far the only book) I’ve re-read this year was Eat, Love, Pray by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Continue reading

2017 GIML Conference

and two piano teachers in Chicago

Following the 2017 NCKP Conference in Chicago, my travel buddy, Joy Morin and I had a few days to explore Chicago. It was great having a little brain break anyway!

I’m going to first share with you a little of our 3-day P.T. vacay followed by some of the great things I attended at the GIML (Gordon Institute for Music Learning) Conference. If you’re not familiar, the conference focuses on teaching inspired by Music Learning Theory (MLT).

Joy and I did a two-week training course in MLT and its practical application for piano in Boston, August 2016 so this was the perfect follow-up.


Chicago Food and Fun

In Laverne and Shirley style, we took to bikes and did the 10 mile(ish) lake shore bike track – we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.

Continue reading

Friday Finds

Electric Kettle and Musical Coloring Pages



All Models are Wrong, Some are Useful: How to Make Decisions in an Imperfect World | James Clear.



When we lived in Australia, one of the things that were new to us was the lack of drip coffee makers in homes. Instead, many have electric kettles for boiling water. This was something I had never seen! We’ve had one ever since and now I can’t imagine not having one. It even made an amazing graduation present this past May for our friend’s daughter and she is absolutely loving it. It’s perfect for heating water in a dorm room for ramen noodles, tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, you name it. I won the best-present award! LOL. This is our favorite kettle. Continue reading

Colors of the Rainbow

A review of Ready for Theory (and coupon code!)

Recently a teacher-friend told me that I “dress my type.” Of course, this made me crane my neck a bit and look at her with a quizzical expression wondering if this were a good or bad thing.

“I’m pretty sure you’re a Type 4 which means you wear a lot of bold solid colors,” she explained.

At the time I had a bright red dress on. Hmmm…maybe she’s onto something.

“Perhaps,” I said, “but I also wear a LOT of blacks.”

“Actually,” she countered, “type 4 also wears a lot of blacks!”

Well there you go, apparently, I’m a type 4, and I’m doing pretty good on my wardrobe – she wins! LOL.


Bright, Bold, Clean, and Beautiful

What does this short story have to do with my review? Not a whole lot except that solid, bright colors are what first drew me to this beautiful theory course. Maybe my friend WAS onto something. 🙂

Calling a theory course “beautiful” may be stretching it I know, but when it comes to theory books (or any sheet music/method books for that matter), appearance goes a long way with me.

In fact, in a Friday Finds last year, I called Lauren Lewandowski’s Ready for Theory books “the prettiest theory books I had ever seen.”

Don’t you agree?

They’re the colors of the rainbow – what student wouldn’t be drawn to that?!

Continue reading

Friday Finds

Music Teacher Animations

This week I thought it would be fun to share a bunch of videos that are animations of piano/music teaching. I decided to exclude actual cartoons and include only animations.


Do you Need a Piano to Start Lesson?



Diane Hidy | Profoundly Gifted 

Continue reading

NCKP 2017

Conference Highlights

The 2017 National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) has quickly come and gone. It was my second go and in a way, returning this year was a little special for me. Why, you ask?

NCKP 2015 was the birthplace of Piano Pantry. With a little encouragement from Joy Morin during that conference, I took a leap of faith and here we are!

I’m going to hit the highlights in this post. If you want to check out a whole lot more photos head over to my Instagram or Facebook accounts.


Favorite Moments

One of my favorite things at conferences are those moments when you walk into your first sessions and begin seeing people you only get to see once or twice a year outside of Facebook. We were lucky to get to hang out with and share several meals with Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources and Lynnette Barney who was interviewed on the Tim Topham Creative Piano Teaching Podcast.

Continue reading

Friday Finds

Mighty Bright and Ballet



This past weekend I accompanied for a production of the 2-person show The Last Five Years, by Jason Robert Brown. The Mighty Bright Orchestra Light and Mighty Bright Duet Light both came in super handy to light up both sides of my keyboard fully in the dark theater.



In anticipation of the intense hours of rehearsal of this 179-page score, I had both chiropractor and massage appointments set up for the Monday/Tuesday following! I tend to pull a lot of tension in my left shoulder/neck area, regardless of piano playing. Rosemary’s suggestion for a book on Instant Relief (from your everyday aches & pains) was timed just right. I’m definitely intrigued by this book! Continue reading

An NCKP Goody

From My Pantry to Yours

The National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy starts tomorrow in Chicago. I’ll be making the 4-hour trek from my Northeast Indiana home with my friend, Joy Morin from Color in My Piano blog.

I look forward to meeting some of you and wanted to let you know I have a special treat to hand out at NCKP, but you have to ask me personally for one!

The only requirement is that you use the word “Pantry” when you ask.

Something along the lines of:

What’s in your Pantry?


Can I have something from your Pantry?

I have limited stock, but I’ll give you a clue that it’s something yummy and healthy. See you soon!


Friday Finds

Pack ‘n Roll, Peaches, and Politicians



Last night I hosted my third (now annual!) Studio 88 outdoor picnic performance. I couldn’t plan and pack everything I need for my student recitals without this sturdy pack-n-roll. They’re made as rolling “tool boxes,” but are perfect for packing extension chords, boxes of awards, and more. What I love most is that it easily folds up flat for storage.



My favorite fruits include pears, strawberries, bananas, raspberries, and peaches. Have you ever wondered What the Difference is Between Freestone and Clingstone Peaches?



I love unique posts for piano teachers that aren’t just about our usual round of resources, printables, marketing, etc. Here’s one from Leila | What We Can Learn from the Parents of Condoleezza Rice, Pianist, and Politician. Continue reading