This year was my 6th Spring Recital teaching piano full-time. I’ve been teaching piano for around 16 years but only part-time up until the last 6 years when I opened “Studio 88” after getting my Masters in Piano Pedagogy and Performance.
Are my kids lovely or what? We were missing three this year but still had a good crew.
The last several years I’ve been trying to mix things up a bit to keep the big recital fresh and exciting. Everyone plays a solo the first half of the recital followed by a 10-minute intermission.
The second half of the recital changes from year to year. Two years ago everyone played a jazzy style and I explained to the audience before each style set what they should expect to hear. Last yearwe did collaborative pieces including duets, trios, and two pianos four hands (some pieces with a live drummer).
This year, we did a studio-wide collaborative project. I pulled out a book I’ve been itching to use for several years but didn’t have enough students at an early intermediate level to have performed them until now.
I’m going to share the process of pulling something like this together and also share a free download to help you plan your own production of this narrative suite.
Pieces include: Entering the Magical Forest, Forest Fanfare, March of the Critters, Bear Dance, Waltz of the Deer, The Fairies Delight, Backwoods Bop, Woodland Farewell, and Leaving the Magical Forest. Continue reading
The benefit is two-sided. One one hand, the questionnaires are about me receiving feedback to improve not only my teaching but my business.
On the other side of that, however, is that I think having parents and students both ponder through these questions, helps them evaluate their own efforts/interactions over the past year.
In reflecting, they will feel either a good sense of accomplishment and realization of the quality studio in which they are invested (good I hope!) or awareness that maybe some things need to change. This is a good point for further discussions on practice habits, etc.
I’ve always simply sent a pdf to parents or linked to a pdf in Dropbox so they can download and print the form. This year, I finally got around to doing an online form on my website. My site is built on WordPress and the plugin I use is just a basic form builder – Visual Form Builder.
I wanted to share the form with you today in Word format so you can download and make any modifications you need.
Every year I tweak the forms just a bit depending on what I want to know. I will often include questions at the end of the form regarding special classes I’m thinking about offering to gauge general interest or ask for feedback regarding a specific event I hosted that year.
I’ll admit, I’m not the teacher that is always up on all the “music/teaching” apps out there. Part of me can be a teensy-weensy bit slow at keeping up on that end. I was, however, happy to add to my iPad this week, TuneTrain especially for students who love to compose. The best part is that with a single tap, the student can transform their visual “picture” melody into actual notation. Fab. Continue reading
What’s the one digital item you find trickiest to keep organized?
For me, it’s photos.
A lot of readers have asked about this and when a friend asked the same question just the other day, that was my clue it was time to share.
I have a confession though – I wouldn’t call my way anything special, it’s just what I do for now. I love seeing ideas of how others organize, even if I don’t end up doing it that way, so hopefully, you can find some inspiration to clean up your photo files and share any great tips you have with me! Continue reading
Recently, in an attempt to work on letting my students take more ownership of their lesson and learning, I’ve tried tweaking a few things with my teaching style. It’s nothing major but I thought it might be fun to share.
As a very organized person who likes things neat and tidy, and wants to be as efficient with our short amount of time together, I found myself doing too many things for my students. Continue reading
Natalie Weber over at Music Matters Blog just shared an in-depth post on how she started using Evernote to track repertoire. She’s included screen shots and lots of details on her tagging system – check out her post:
By now many of you are aware that I am a huge Evernote fan. I can’t help it! Nothing else has been able to match this productivity workhorse in regards to the way I work and capture information.
I have been using it for 5 years and every year I continually improve and streamline how I use it on a daily basis not only in my professional life but in my personal life as well. The first time I shared with you how I use it as an independent teacher was in December 2016 in the post/video Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher’s Handbook.
Hey there! Welcome to Piano Pantry where we talk about piano teaching, loving food, and living life. I'm Amy, my husband Drew and I live in Indiana. My favorite things include Mexican food, reading, organizing, and spending time with those I love.