Favorite Hymn and Praise Piano Books

and a Church-Music Themed Recital

Have you ever done a themed-recital?

Two years ago I decided I wanted to start doing themed recitals on occasion.  My Spring recital sometimes has a partial theme, but I wanted something that was a 100% all-in theme. Participation is optional for students, but both times I have had nearly 75% of my students participate. Mid-October seems to be a good time, right before Fall break.

My first one was a “color” theme. That recital happened prior to Piano Pantry so I don’t have a post about it  – maybe someday. 🙂 This year, since so many of my students are already using their skills in church, it felt like the right time to do a “church-music” theme.

Today I’m going to share with you a few highlights from our recital as well as some of my favorite resources for church music repertoire for students. Be sure and share your favorites in the comments!

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Tips for Presenting

Tools, Resources, and a Pep-Talk

This has been a busy start to the school year. Not only are my husband and I smack-dab in the middle of building a house (the walls are up!), but I just started a two-year stint as President of the Indiana Music Teachers Association, and it’s my fullest year yet as far as presenting/speaking engagements go. What was I thinking?! LOL

Ah, well, life is good and it goes in phases, you know? Sometimes it’s crazy, sometimes it’s quiet, and sometimes it just IS.

Since I’m in the heat of this whole “busiest presenting season of my life” thing, I thought it was a good time to talk a little about it with you.

If you’ve never presented before and are looking to get started or if you’re just looking for a few tips to improve your game, this post is for you.

I’m going to share some of my biggest tips (rules I use for myself) for preparing and giving a presentation as well as a list of resources that helped me in my journey to becoming a better presenter.

It’s time to insert my disclaimer. I do not pretend to be some awesome know-it-all presenter. I just want to share what I’ve learned along the way. After attending so many conferences over the years, you do start to form an opinion of what constitutes a good presentation. I definitely have my opinions ;-). Not everything works for everyone and we all have different personalities so what works for me may not fit you and that’s OK! Disclaimer over.

But first, a pep-talk.

 

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Friday Finds

Cold Care and a Piano Parent’s Imaginative Practice Plan

 

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We love hummus but unfortunately, our closest grocery (Walmart) does not carry tahini, a key ingredient. I finally decided instead of waiting until I make it to another grocery and have to “suffer” for weeks without hummus, I would just start buying it on Amazon. My favorite recipe from Milk Street Magazine recommends Kevala as their favorite brand so that’s what I’ve been using and it’s really good!

 

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Natalie has found an awesome folding standup desk for teaching piano!

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Friday Finds

Smart Keyboard and Repertoire Rules

 

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The Apple Smart Keyboard I use with my 12″ iPad Pro is an absolute dream. It’s slim, sleek, protective, versatile in its setups, and super convenient. It charges off the iPad itself and never has to be plugged in! I would buy it over and over again.

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Elissa Milne’s Repertoire Rules post is one that I have saved and re-read on occasion. Good stuff.

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Friday Finds

Hedgehogs and Hurricane Relief

 

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The difference between brown, green and red lentils.

 

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Nicola has a great way of organizing her piano games using plastic button wallet folders. If you’re looking to organize your games digitally, check out Organizing Piano Games with Evernote.

 

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Piano-playing sisters play to raise money for hurricane relief.  Continue reading

A Simple Money-Saving Tool

Wikibuy

My husband and I both do a lot of online shopping. Amazon Prime, I’ll admit, is arguably our most frequented “store.” It’s just SO CONVENIENT.

While I’ve never been a “couponer,” several months ago, my husband and I started using Wikibuy.

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Friday Finds

Shiny Sinks and a New Podcast

 

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I absolutely love watching Julie Knerr teach and have learned a lot from her about teaching young students over the last 5 years. It’s a lot of work making the videos she does, but what a wonderful contribution to the profession! Here’s her most recent video with a student in their first lesson.

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Part of my nightly routine and kitchen clean-up always include giving the sink a thorough wipe down. I’ve never gone as far as this lady recommends but last week I cleaned my sink step-by-step as per her instructions and wow, it sure turned out shiny! Spraying Windex all over the sink and wiping it completely dry was the step I was missing. I can’t say I’ll be so diligent every night but I do like a clean sink… Continue reading

Friday Finds

PawPaw and Money-Making Tips

 

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British Chef Gordon Ramsay takes a stab at an American-style breakfast. Hash browns, baked eggs, and caramelized bacon. Oh, my.

 

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Deep thoughts on your “ideal piano teacher life” from Joy Morin. Continue reading

Summit for MTNA Leadership

A Class Act

A couple of weekends ago, I made quite a loop-de-loo around Indiana and Ohio. It started out with a 2-hour drive up to Bowling Green Ohio to present with Joy Morin to her local MTA chapter. It was our first time out (and our first session together!), Teaching the Way We Learn: First Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. We will be presenting the same session for Indiana and Kentucky MTA conferences this Fall. For details visit my speaking page.

After enjoying lunch with several Ohio teachers and one of Joy’s adult students who came to the session, I made the 3-hour trek down I-75 to Cincinnati where I attended my first Summit for MTNA Leadership.

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Friday Finds

A Musical Highway and Brain Surgery

 

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Absolutely fascinating. This Music Teacher Played His Saxophone While In Brain Surgery.

 

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A great organizational tip from Jennifer Foxx on organizing your iPad.

 

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PepperMate. My pepper grinder of choice for years now. I love how the removable clear bottom cup conveniently catches fresh pepper grinds which allow you easily to grid and measure for recipes. It’s also Ina Garten’s pepper grinder of choice! (We’re tight, me and Ina 😉

 

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Using Bullet Journaling in your studio.The View From My Studio

 

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11 Ways to Involve Parents in Lessons.

 

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7 Self-Care Rituals That Take 15 Minutes or Less.

 

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A musical highway. This is SO on my bucket list. Has anyone been? Too bad I didn’t know about this when I went to my first MTNA Conference (2010 was in Albuquerque!)

 

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Recipes that made it into our bellies the past couple of week included Mushroom Casserole, Roasted Root Vegetable, Feta, Spinach Salad, and a simple pulled pork. (Note: for the pork, I find 8-12 oz. rather than the 32 oz. of stock is plenty, you can also skip the BBQ sauce recipe and use store-bought or keep it really simple – none at all).