Friday Finds #273



It is so sad to hear of Susan Paradis’s passing. Susan was a gem in the early world of online content for piano teachers.



In early May, a new ruling by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will go into effect, putting a cap on late credit card fees.



I’ve gone back and forth on keeping energy/snack bars in the house and haven’t had any in a while. In preparation for last month’s ‘MTNA conference, though, I grabbed some and found a couple of new favorites!

Chocolate Raspberry Truffle LÄRABAR 

KIND Blueberry Almond Breakfast Bars

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Friday Finds #272 – MTNA 2024 Conference News

Welcome to a special edition of Friday Finds! I thought it would be fun to follow the 2024 Music Teacher National Conference in Atlanta with a list of announcements, favorite new products, and special features. (Thanks to all the teacher friends who sent me items to add to the list! You know who you are! 🙂

Let me know in the comments which item(s) you are most excited about!



Announcing: The new CEO of Music Teachers National Association

Effective July 1, 2024, Brian Shepard has been named MTNA’s new CEO. Shepard began his career at MTNA in 2003 as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations. In 2008, he was promoted to Chief Operating Officer.



Announcing: Faber’s Piano Adventures Exams.

There will be a free webinar on Tuesday, April 23, @ 1:00 pm EDT for those who want to “get an overview of the exam requirements, explore fun ways to prepare, and learn how to get started.



The one piece of material I came home most excited about is a new publication from Piano Safari called Friends at Last: Tuneful Rote Pieces for the Beginning Pianist by Amy Glennon. Here’s the description from their website:

“Friends at Last: Tuneful Rote Pieces for the Beginning Pianist is a collection of ten rote pieces woven into a story about what it means to be a friend. This format is perfect for a recital performance with a narrator telling the story and a group of beginning pianists performing the pieces. It is also provides supplemental repertoire for Piano Safari Friends and Repertoire Book 1.”

Here’s a quick review I did of it on Instagram:

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27 of Amy’s Favorites on Sale

Amazon is running its Spring Sale from March 20 - 25, 2024.

I did some leg work for you and compiled all items from my favorites lists that are currently on sale (there were 27!).

Categories include:

  • Studio Organization - 4 sale items
  • Teaching Tools & Gadgets - 4 sale items
  • Personal "Life" Products - 7 sale items
  • Kitchen Gadgets - 12 sale items



Studio Organization

Cutting Mat

14% OFF


Rubber Twist Ties

6% OFF


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Friday Finds #270



Registration is now open for the two-day workshop Organize Your Life With Notion (Amy Chaplin & Joy Morin)



This a delightfully light and flavorful egg salad recipe for you to try this week. I love the swap of avocado and cottage cheese for what would traditionally be mayonnaise, and the small amount of corn and dried tomatoes gave it a nice twist!

My husband and I, though, have to eat our egg salad on some good sturdy wheat crackers. The lettuce bed doesn’t bring joy to our palette. 🙂

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Registration Open! Organize Your Life With Notion


I’m excited to announce that registration is now open for Organize Your Life With Notion, a 2-day online workshop with Joy Morin and myself!

If you’re tired of having your life scattered across multiple websites and productivity apps and would love to see everything you manage on one beautiful dashboard, this workshop is for you!

My friend Joy Morin of and I have both been using Notion (an awesome productivity and note-taking app) for several years now and aren’t exaggerating when we say it has changed our lives.

We’ve become pretty passionate about all the ways we’ve utilized Notion to make our lives easier as independent teachers and now are teaming up to offer this special live shop to pass along these methods.

In this 2-day live event, we will help you build a custom, personalized digital workspace in Notion and, in turn, revolutionize the way you work in 2024. (Replays will be available for 6-months.)

You’ll get access to a starter pack of Notion page templates built by us, including things like a prospective student inquiries tracker, student curriculum notes, a studio communication calendar, a tax preparation checklist, and more.

For more details and to register, visit this link.

If you would like to hear a little more from us on how Notion has impacted the way we work, join us for a Live Chat on Instagram on Monday, February 19 @ 1:15 pm Eastern.

Find us on Instagram @pianopantryamy and @joymorinpiano.


Friday Finds #269



OK, I have THREE things relating to actress Jennifer Garner to start us off on this week’s list:

(1) Her movie “Family Switch” on Netflix is really fun and totally worth a watch.

(2) I absolutely love following her @Jennifer.Garner on Instagram – she is so fun!

(3) She interviewed Adam Grant on his podcast ReThinking about his new book Hidden Potential. It is AWESOME. It was such a humorous conversation to listen to!



An Introduction to Notion – A Customizable Digital Workspace to Organize Everything In Your Life (Joy Morin)



Google Podcasts is going away in March, but don’t worry, there are plenty of good alternatives! My favorite app for listening is the Overcast app.



Over the holidays, I finally traded out my worn OXO Pop-Top Containers for these Pro-Keeper Storage Containers. I especially love that the lids are attached, and there are bonus features like a clay brown sugar keeper, flour leveler, and powdered sugar shaker.



One of my consulting clients launched a podcast for piano parents! Musical Life Podcast.



10 Ways to Use YouTube in Your Lessons (Chrissy Ricker)



One way Chrissy mentioned in her post was to use it for music theory – if you’re interested in utilizing it in that way, you might want to check out the large compilation of leveled music theory videos available here on



I’m a huge Ina fan and really enjoyed this interview:



AI vs. Artists – The Copyright Clash (The Newsworthy Podcast)



What I Read (and Loved) in 2023 (Ashley Danyew)



When we traveled to see friends in the Netherlands last year, they shared with us a little about how the Dutch show their emotions a lot differently than Americans. I randomly came across this article, which nails it on the head. It’s really quite interesting!

Americans are Fake, and the Dutch are Rude! (By Batja Mesquita – Behavioral Scientist)

Honestly, I would rather be more like the Dutch if the society around me would go that way. LOL

Cut and dry!



Valentine’s is coming up! Here are two resources you might enjoy:

(1) A candy jar contest printable for your studio

(2) A custom playlist for your listening pleasure!


CSV File for Expressive Movement Videos

Would you like to have another fun musical assignment you can use both in your lessons and to assign for at-home practice, especially for your littles? Expressive movement videos might be a perfect addition to your teaching mix.

Expressive movement takes from philosophies like Dalcroze and gets students moving to music in a way that reflects the patterns, form, and expressive quality of the music.

I first shared about these videos in a full blog post in 2022, which includes a compilation of  15 videos I found on YouTube.

Expressive Movement Videos for Preschool Lessons and Group Classes

Today, I’m expanding on that post to bring you a free downloadable resource to help you assign these videos to students during the week.

This file will be most useful for those who are using a digital practice app that will allow you to bulk-load assignments using CSV files. Don’t worry, though; even if you don’t use an online app, you could still use this spreadsheet to copy and paste text to create your own assignments.

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Promote Active Listening with These Visual Listening Cards

Years ago, one of my go-to sites for games and activities was Jennifer Fink’s Pianimation. Unfortunately, the site is now closed, but I continue to use several of her resources, including a set of “Listening Race Cards.”

I’ve used these cards for years but always felt a few elements were lacking in the original set that I really wanted to include – such as the terms Duple vs. Triple when talking about a meter and more generalized terms, such as loud vs. soft and separated vs. connected for my very beginners.

So, thanks to her inspiration, I decided it was finally time to make my own set.

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Save the Date! Organize Your Life With Notion

Hey, teacher friends!

Today, I’m excited to announce, along with my friend and colleague, Joy Morin of the Color in My Piano Blog, a big event we’ll be hosting in March.

Many of you have come to know and trust me regarding all things workflow, digital organization, and productivity. You’ve seen me blog a lot in the past about using Evernote as an independent teacher and seen the growth of the digital coaching series and retreat.

Joy is known in our circle as an advocate for excellence in piano teaching from many angles and has supported teachers as a blogger, speaker, and more for around 15 years.

Knowing the sucker I was for good organizational apps, in September 2021, Joy introduced me to Notion, a newer app that launched in June 2018.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that it rocked my world!

For at least a year or so leading up to that conversation, I had become increasingly aware that Evernote was not quite cutting it. You know how sometimes you subconsciously become aware of something without it yet feeling like a “thing.” That’s how I was feeling.

It wasn’t even to the point that I was looking for something else – I was starting to feel the inkling of “this is not working for me in the same way anymore.”

DISCLAIMER: I actually still use Evernote, but there has been a shift in how I utilize it in my daily workflow vs. Notion.  If you’re interested in hearing more on that, stay tuned for episode 105 (January 30) of The Piano Pantry Podcast, where I’ll be sharing more on the difference between Evernote vs. Notion.

“Daily Capture and Save” was a session that I used to include in my digital organization coaching and was the place where I introduced tools like Evernote and Notion.

I have since cut that session out of my digital organization course series.


One, I wanted to hone in on what I considered more foundational and “dire” areas like email and document management.

Two, I couldn’t do it justice in a one-hour session.

That is why I am SUPER excited to team up with my friend, Joy, to bring you this big event where we will help you Organize Your Life With Notion.

Are you as excited as I am?!

More details to come, but for now, SAVE THE DATE:

Friday, March 8 @ 10:30 am – 1:30 pm ET
Saturday, March 9 @ 10:30 am – 1:30 pm ET

Bonus follow-up date:

Friday, March 22