Friday Finds #97


You may have noticed that last week and this week’s Friday Finds posts have been titled by a number. What could that possibly mean?

As you may have suspected, the countdown is on until we reach Friday  Find #100 here on Piano Pantry. Keep an eye out because that week will be a special week which will feature my favorite finds from the past 100 weeks – it’ll be a big one!

Something else special is going to happen as well but I’ll save that announcement for next week just to keep you in suspense. 😉

Thanks for being here week after week. Knowing how much ya’ll love these makes me so happy! (P.S. I’m not from Texas or Oklahoma so “Ya’ll” is not part of my natural vocabulary in real life but sometimes it just seems feels fitting to use so why not?!)


1 – Sweet

Heading to Ethiopia anytime soon? This otherworldy restaurant would be incredible to check out.


2 – Elderflower, Amalfi, Lemon Curd

If you’ve followed any kind of news this past week then you likely know all about the Royal wedding. It seemed appropriate to share their GORGEOUS cake. It was a sponge cake made with lemon drizzled with elderflower syrup and then topped with Amalfi lemon curd. Say whaaattttt….nice.

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Spring Recital 2018

“Songs We Know”

This past Sunday was my studio’s 7th spring recital. Every year I try to do something different to keep things interesting. Last year we did a studio-wide collaborative project (a narrative suite). In 2016 we did collaborative pieces (duets, trios, 2-pianos 4-hands).

Sometimes in the fall, I hold a themed recital. This past fall we did a church music recital and three years ago we did a color recital (this recital was prior to Piano Pantry so I don’t have a post on it).

This year the theme was “Songs We Know.” Usually, I reserve the majority of pop-tune playing and such for our summer picnic performance. With our house project and all that’s going on this year though, I decided to forego the summer performance. Thus, the popular-themed music for spring recital.

I’m going to share a couple of highlights from our recital including a list of the repertoire books we used.

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Friday Finds #96


1 – Toddler Ear

OK, so I do generally try to avoid items that are typical Facebook share-type items in my Friday Finds, but the first two items in this week’s list are just too good not to share.

From the BBC archives, you wouldn’t believe the massive amount of pieces in which this toddler can identify the composer.


2 – Inspiring Others

Yep, this one made me tear up. Ohio teen born without hands plays the piano. Inspiring.


3 – Cheap Wrapping / Shipping

I’ll admit, sometimes I can be behind the times. Does the fact that I’ve just discovered Kraft Paper for the first time say something about me? :-/

A couple of weeks ago I went bonkers on Piano Teachers Buy Sell Trade U.S. on Facebook. I’ve had a load of books I’ve been wanting to get rid of and finally had an afternoon free. I should have taken photos of my studio floor strewn with piles of books. The best way I found to package them was simply wrapping them in kraft paper!

(I did around 25 sale posts that day and 15 are still available. I think this link will take you to my listings, but I’m not sure and there’s no good way for me to check whether or not it does. Otherwise, you should be able to just search “Amy Chaplin” in the group to see my items for sale. P.S. My prices include shipping. 🙂


4 – Unexpected Phone Protector

A great way to protect your phone while in the kitchen. Too bad I’ll likely never remember to use one!

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Friday Finds

Teaching Tactics and Eye Tracking


1 – Spotify Playlist

Even if I didn’t play music at the beginning of my recital, I would still enjoy Sara’s recital mix playlists on Spotify. There’s a new one posted for 2018!


2 – It’s In the Sauce…or Not

Why yes, there is a difference between pizza sauce and pasta sauce and it’s a simple one.


3 – Teaching Tactics

Add these two to your teaching toolbox: Decorating the Cake: Helping Piano Students Play With Expression and Heart and We’re Not Robots: Helping Young Piano Students Get “Beyond The Notes”

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Friday Finds

Listen to See and Mobile Blindness


1 – 18 for 2018

18 Blogs I follow in 2018 (and they’re not all about music) – from Chris Foley of the Collaborative Piano Blog.


2 – Marrying Music

The  ForScore app and are tools I use on a regular basis. Here’s a tutorial on how you can import sheet music into the ForScore app.


3 – Hefty, Hefty, Hefty

These jumbo ziploc storage bags have been coming in really handy lately for all kinds of things. One way I’ve utilized them recently outside of the kitchen is storing sheet sets in them. So handy!


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Friday Finds

Homemade Yogurt and a 103-Year-Old Pianist


1 – Canva Alternative

Canva has been a major tool for years in both my studio and here on Piano Pantry. Designing social media images is made easy with tools like Canva. I’ve recently been made aware of another one out there called Design Wizard I’m going to be playing with. Does anyone else use Design Wizard? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments!


2 – Copyright Education

Recently I was reading through a page on copyright FAQs that MTNA has on their website. I would encourage you to read through it, as it’s always good to refresh our minds on copyright laws. They also link to a really fun educational video that would be great to share with students – I’m going to have mine watch it during lab time.

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New “Secret” Letter

Not more than a month ago, Piano Pantry celebrated its second birthday.  March of 2016 was when my first post hit the world-wide-web.

For the past year, I’ve been pondering something and I want to share it with you today (if you haven’t already heard).

If you’re subscribed to receive updates from Piano Pantry, for the past couple of years those emails have been mostly been about notifying you of new content and sending you an occasional personal email.

That’s just not good enough though. I wanted to be more consistent and intentional about how I connect and engage with you. I want to serve you by creating something tangible, useful, and real that you would look forward to seeing hit your inbox.

The last thing I want to do though is bombard you with emails. Can I tell you a secret? The online “platform-building” world tells you that you should write email letters to your subscribers once a week because we should treat you like a friend – someone you talk to regularly.

Sorry, but I disagree! Maybe I’ll be the one that loses out on followers, but my life does not revolve around weekly emails from my favorite bloggers. My philosophy in a lot of areas of life is “less is more.”

So, after months of considering how I want to serve you and communicate with you on a regular (but non-pestering) manner, I am happy to announce my new monthly “secret letter.”

This letter won’t be found anywhere else (even on social media). It will be filled with everything from what’s going on in my studio to what I’m watching on Netflix, books I’m reading, things I’m learning about, discovering, and more.

The first one went out the last day in March. Since April’s letter will be sent soon, I wanted to let you know so you can get signed up.

You can subscribe here. 

Just so there are no surprises, please know that your subscription means you agree to receive electronic communications from me which may include but is not limited to weekly blog updates, news, offers, and announcements.

I promise to treat your email with tender love and care just as I like mine to be treated. 🙂



Friday Finds

A Winning Game and Making for Keeps


1 – April Veggies

Cooking using seasonal produce makes a lot of sense and I would like to say that I do that – I do try, but it’s not always easy. Anyway, this is what’s currently in season. Asparagus, snow peas, and radishes are my favorite Spring veggies.


2 – Winning Game

I finally bit the bullet and bought Note Speed that I’ve been hearing so much about. We played it in this week’s group classes and my students went crazy! Wish I would have bought it sooner.


3 – Annual Studio Challenge

Speaking of note-naming, my students and I are currently working on our One-Minute Club note-naming challenge.

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One-Click Calendar

Your Annual Studio Calendar Simplified [Video]

Simplicity. We can all use a little more of it, wouldn’t you agree?!

Well, today I have a tutorial video that will make the creation of your studio calendar from year to year as simple as one keystroke and…

Voila! Your new calendar will be created.

I’m not exaggerating. No, seriously. It’s true.


The Calendar

Before I turn your studio management world upside down, let me show you the calendar we’re about to create. (Note: some of the black lines didn’t transfer evenly in my screenshot image but we’re only talking big picture here).

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Friday Finds

Spring Refresh and Kreative Keyboards


1 – Lesson Alternatives

This morning I texted the link to a video lesson I made for a student who couldn’t make their lesson this week. Video and Facetime lessons are great alternatives. Read about my first Facetime lesson experience here. Also, check out this recent post on Colourful Keys on how to teach a Facetime/Skype piano lesson.


2 – Left Hand Fun

Tim’s Ultimate Guide to Left Hand Patterns is a free download you don’t want to miss.


3- Tactile Learning

On Instagram, I recently shared a photo of me teaching the skips alphabet to two sisters using manipulative’s. The cloth staffs have stirred a buzz in other photos I’ve shared on Instagram so I thought I would highlight them here. It’s from the Kreative Keyboard Activities and Games pack. They’re compact – since they’re made of cloth and can be easily folded up, and versatile – as they have the staff on one side and keyboard on the other.


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