Friday Finds #137

 

1

Four Essential Piano Teaching Tools Everyone Needs in Their Studio

Agreed, Tim! They’re so simple but the absolute basics.

 

2

While we’re talking about the very basics things you might need to teach piano, you might check out my “minimalist’s list” list of piano teacher must-haves.

 

3

Understanding Piano Parents: What Minor League Baseball Taught Me

If you’re not already following Rebekah Maxner, add her to your list. Every article I’ve come across of hers on piano teacher groups has been well-written and insightful.

Here’s another excellent one I just read while browsing her site:

‘Quitting’ piano: 7 options for teachers, students, and parents

 

4

I finally added Rebekah’s website, Rebekah.maxner.ca to my Feedly account. Find out why I think RSS reader’s like Feedly are the best way to follow your favorite websites in this post: Managing Content the Easy Way.

 

5

A couple of items to help you through your summer:

Simplify Summer | Becoming Minimalist

Grasping for Summer Routine | The Lazy Genius Podcast

 

6

I’m dying to make these recipes::

Chickpea Ceasar Salad

1-Bowl Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Easy, Crispy Baja Fish Tacos

Fresh Lemonade

 

7

Some posts that focus on Instagram for Piano Teachers:

Instagram for Independent Music Teachers: The #1 Reason You Should Be There

Is Instagram for Piano Teachers? Yes, here’s why! (On Using Hashtags)

How piano teachers can leverage Instagram

Instagram for Piano Teachers: 5 Fun Accounts to Follow

 

Friday Finds #136

 

1

Add this quote to your next studio newsletter.

“You can’t judge success by the day, the week, the month, or even the year. You have to judge success by the decade.” -Nicholas Cole

from: What 15 Years of Classical Piano Taught Me About Discipline (and Judging Your Own Potential)

(I discovered this article only after it was shared by Benjamin Steinhardt earlier this week on The Art of Piano Pedagogy Facebook group.)

 

2

Millennial Music Teachers: 4 Traits They Bring to the Table

 

3

Sweetwater is giving away $5,000 of gear any music lover will love in celebration of this year’s Gearfest.

 

4

The headphones I wish I had purchased for my keyboards and music lab time 7 years ago.

The AKG K52 has an automatically-adjusting head band that fits nicely to any size head whether it’s a 6-year-old or a 16-year-old. The sound is amazing, and the over-ear, closed-back design helps keep the sound of the other piano student in the room out while students do their music lab. Totally worth the money.

 

5

One Way to Think About Talent | Seth Godin

 

6

The “Traditional” Teacher (Some Encouraging Words) from Forrest Kinney.

7

A fun activity for group class: Meter Test – play clips of music to determine if the meter is duple or triple.

8

As we’re getting our feet wet in Summer: 4 Lessons I Learned From Doing Less.

Friday Finds #135

 

1

People Magazine is not my idea of a regular reader, but I have two stories from People to highlight this week.

First, I’m a huge fan of Ina Garten but this Ina-themed Bachelorette Party kind of freaks me out. Mostly the photo where they all dressed like her. Weird.

Second, my husband’s niece just graduated high school and for her Senior Prom, her date MADE her prom dress. The story was not only featured in the June 2 edition of People Magazine, but it made news in the Daily Mail of the UK!

     

Daily Mail UK
Fox 35 Orlando
Fox 5 NY
Fox 59

 

2

Fruit Pizza. Maybe we should be totally disgusted with those two words combined, but it’s totally American and totally yummy. Here’s one from Pinch of Yum.

 

3

How to Plan for Your Summer Growth

Part of me loves this but part of me wants to curl up in a bawl and scream…

“Stop making us have to grow and improve every moment of our lives! Sometimes we just need to live life and do summer and not have to have a 12-step plan for getting better at everything in life!”

Rant over.

 

4

An article to use in your upcoming newsletter to parents regarding the importance of keeping up a practice routine – especially through the Summer months! (This goes for teachers as well 🙂 )

 

5

Do you have a certain phrase you tend to use the most right of the bat at the beginning of lessons? Mine more often than not (after greeting the student and asking how their week has been) is something along the lines of…

“What did you work on or focus on most this week?”

“What was your favorite piece?”

“Is there anything particular you would like to share with me about your time at the piano this week?”

Here are 21 more phrases gathered by the Curious Piano Teachers.

 

6

The 2020 MTNA Collegiate Symposium is going to be held right here in my own state of Indiana and at my alma mater, Ball State University! Mark your calendar to attend!

 

7

Lifetime access to Piano Teaching Academy for only $127. Wow!

 

8

I handle my materials fees similar to the way Spring Seals describes in this article and completely agree with the reasons she states why it works.

The only small difference in the way I do it is rather than charting a flat amount per year, I charge $60 per student when they start and then when their account falls below $5 I ask them to recharge $60 again. This could happen at any point of the year. I just keep a spreadsheet for each student so I know what books I’ve given them and how much I’ve spent per students

 

9

Today is the last day to take advantage of the 50% Trade-in-offer from AirTurn. I mailed out my old Bluetooth pedal today in exchange for a new one. It’s a great deal!

 

Friday Finds #134

This past weekend was my student’s Spring Recital. It always feels so good to see my students and realize how far they’ve come from the previous year!

Having a recital as the final event at the end of the school term is kind of like a period at the end of a sentence. It’s a final statement of what’s been said while also being an invitation for what’s ahead.

Here’s to Summer and fresh beginnings!

 

1

Self-Care for piano teachers: 6 tips for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness

#2 has me curious. Do any of you drink the “Natural Calm” hot drink that the article recommends? If so, let me know in the comments what you think.

 

2

On Alfred Music blog:

The Worship Music Debate Continues: Understanding Music’s Role in Worship Services

 

3

It’s the end of the school year and I’ve been trying to Spring Clean my studio. One purchase I made to help tidy a little more is a 32 x 31 Portfolio Case to hold my extra poster boards and the thick foam boards I use for my One Minute Club sign.

 

4

Summer is upon us and my Amazon shopping cart also housed my second pair of these Sanuk Yoga Joy Metallic Flip-Flops.

The sole is made of rubber but the upper portion is made of Yoga mat material and is really comfortable. They also have a bit of arch support in them which makes them a winner in my book.

 

5

Still looking for a fab gift for your favorite graduate?

One of the best gift packages I’ve come up for a special graduate was a package with these three items.

Electric Water Kettle
I Love Ramen Cookbook
12 Pack of Ramen Noodles

The graduate I gave this gift to informed me it was the best gift they received and they absolutely loved it!

 

6

Taco Bell Is Opening a Resort in Palm Springs This Summer

Hmm…weird.

 

7

If you haven’t already had the conversation with yourself yet on whether or not you will be raising your tuition for 2019-2020, check out these two articles from Wendy Steven’s as well as the cool Inflation Calculator she recommends.

How Often Should I Raise Teaching Rates?
Can You Raise Your Piano Lesson Price Too High?
CPI Inflation Calculator

 

8

Fiery Piano Sheet music: Showstoppers for Students Who Like to Play Fast

 

9

These “Sessions” Books from Teach Piano Today look interesting. I do have a few teen students that I think would enjoy these. Is anyone else using these books? If so, let me know what you think!

 

Friday Finds #133

Today’s featured image is the photos that I posted of my studio on Instagram to enter MTNA’s free membership giveaway! All you have to do is post a photo of your studio on Instagram, tag it #mtnamembership, and follow @MTNAorg on Instagram.

They will draw a winner on June 3. The odds are looking pretty good as there are only 21 entries so far!

 

1

“Do what you know. Finish what you started.  Use what you have.”
This is an excellent statement that I want to be part of my life’s mantras. I’m pretty good at the last one, OK at first, and not always so good with the middle one. :-/

 

I heard this quote from Myquillyn Smith on this episode of The Next Right Thing Podcast.

2

A Better Way to Freeze Bacon. Hmm, I’ve never tried this. I often will lay the individual pieces out on wax or freezer paper in layers so they will defrost quickly. Has anyone tried the rolling method they mention?

 

3

Street Food on Netflix. Looks like a great show!

 

4

Suggestions on The Best Disney Piano Books from Lauren Lewandski at PianowithLauren.com

 

5

Do you use Piano Safari’s sightreading cards? Consider using videos…

 

6

Teaching excerpts from Burgmüller’s Opus 100.

 

7

It was only a few months ago that I discovered LaCroix. I have no idea how far behind I am in that, but oh well, I know the product now and love it – mostly. Actually, only a few. I love the Pure (no flavor) and the Orange. The Berry flavor is OK but Cran-Raspberry is awful. Apparently, there’s a new Hibiscus flavor now.

If you’re into sparkling water though, definitely try Perrier’s Strawberry and Orange flavors. They’re awesome for summer

 

Friday Finds #132

 

1

Two great articles on a similar topic you may relate to!

How Motherhood changed the way I teach piano (Piano Teacher Confessions) by Rebekah Maxner

Has Parenthood Changed My Teaching? by Elissa Milne

 

2

I’m totally loving this steel frame dish rack. Would you pay that much for a dish rack?

 

3

Awesome new podcast alert! Check out Decomposed with Jade Simmons

“Decomposed breaks down the stories that have shaped classical music, from secrets and scandals to acts of sheer genius. Hear these stories accompanied by the symphonies, operas and other masterpieces they inspired. Hosted by Jade Simmons, a classical concert pianist and storyteller, the first season of Decomposed takes on gender expectations, Cold War propaganda and the danger of putting your personal life on the stage. Produced in partnership with Classical Minnesota Public Radio.”

 

4

In other Podcast news, NPR hosted a Student Podcast Challenge. I think this is so cool!

 

5

Choose Your Life Every Day

 

6

Buying plants on Amazon? Why am I surprised?

 

7

Prep your students for their recital (if you haven’t already had it!) using the Compliment Exchange Cards.

 

8

How to Make More Time as a Piano Teacher with Help from technology

 

 

Friday Finds #131

Today’s featured photo is the piano teacher family tree I give to each one of my students when they join my studio. I updated it recently and am going to frame it along with a photo of me with my two most recent teachers.

Unfortunately, as you can see, I can’t remember the last name of one of my teachers! She was a college music major I studied with for a couple of years. Someday it will come back to me!

My piano teacher when I was in grad school at Ball State, Dr. Lori Rhoden gave this piano teacher heritage list to all her students. She studied with Dr. Maurice Hinson who is the one that did all the research.

How cool is that when you can tell your students they are the great, great, great, great, great grandstudent of Beethoven?

(Much of this was inspired by the Varsity Musician’s Playbook series here on Piano Pantry.)

 

1

The Gordon Institute for Music Learning has announced its 2019 Professional Development Courses.

 

2

Piano Music for Teens

 

3

I’ve seen Clinton present on his Music Alive! Recitals and it’s such a fun idea! Bookmark it for a unique and fun future recital in your studio!

 

4

Snooze is a Trap | Seth Godin

 

5

What’s the difference between a frittata and a quiche?

 

6

My husband sent me a link to these Soft Batch Chocolate Chip Cookies Cookies. I think he’s trying to give me a hint.

 

7

Check out these beautiful food-themed silver necklaces! What a fun and unique gift they would make for the food-lover in your life!

 

8

Looking for a unique and practical gift for a high school or college graduate? Consider a subscription to Birchbox!

 

9

Ina Garten’s Tips for When Store-Bought is More than Just Fine. I completely agree! I mean, who is seriously going to make their own puff pastry! LOL. (I do make my own vanilla extract though.)

 

10

Music Education Benefits for Kids In A 90 Second Animation

Friday Finds #130

My photo-highlight this week is a little project I worked on this past week. It was an update of my One-Minute Club board. To read more about how I run this program in my studio, visit this post.

I must say, I was pretty proud of how this board turned out! The inspiration behind it was two-fold. First, one of my students asked who all had won in the past and while I told her names, I realized faces help us connect more. Second, the photos were also inspired by by the Varsity Musician’s Playbook series.

 

1

Here’s the photo mat I purchased on Amazon for this project. I simply put it on small velcro rounds behind it and velcroed it to the board. The photos are taped from behind so I can easily remove the frame each year to add the winner’s photo.

 

2

I finally got around to reading a couple of bookmarked articles I had from the new year. I was going to wait to share but decided they were too good to hold back even if we’re not in “new year” mode.

Finding Sabbath Again

Starting the New Year with Rest (her way of thinking about our cycles of rest is really interesting)

 

3

Amazing things in education!

Bal-A-Vis-X from OSDE on Vimeo.

 

4

5 Books that Helped Me Heal (P.S. I’m currently reading #3 with the staff at my church!)

 

5

Not normally a casserole girl, but with my need for very easy food right now, this one is going on rotation for a while!

Marsala Chicken-and-Mushroom Casserole

 

6

Don’t miss entering the giveaway I posted earlier this week!

 

Friday Finds #129

OK, so you may find this a little bit of a strange feature photo for today, I don’t know, but it summarizes what I’ve been up to. If anything, the photo just makes me happy because the Scrabble word is just so cute!

Since July I’ve been working as the interim worship team coordinator for my church. Basically, (since I have another job at another church as well), it means I do all the scheduling (we use Planning Center Services), choose all the music, rehearse the band on Thursdays nights, and at 8:00 on Sunday morning. Then, I say “go” and the team plays for 9:30 and 11:00 services while I go play for the Lutheran church in our town at 9:30 and then come back for worship at 11:00 with my husband.

It’s craziness, I know. No wonder I just purchased the newest book from Michael Hyatt, “Free to Focus”!

We’re about to hire a new worship pastor finally, so my time is coming to an end in the next month or two. We had an appreciation dinner for our worship team last Friday and brought in BBQ from an amazing local BBQ joint.

 

1

If I had another great photo to wrap up this past week in the life of the world, you know what it would be…the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. 🙁

Here’s an update on the great organ of Notre Dame.

 

2

How Inuit Parents Teach Kids To Control Their Anger

 

3

Maverick Composer, George Crumb turned 90. Here’s a great article on him from the New York Times.

Access the Spotify playlist the NY Times created in celebration of his birthday here. (I listened to it while writing these Friday Finds. 🙂 )

 

4

The presentation I gave to Kansas City MTA two weeks ago was held in a beautiful Steinway shop. Before I left, one of the workers gave me a  copy of the most recent Steinway owners magazine. It was as hefty and beautiful as I would expect any publication from Steinway to be. There were three articles in particular that I found really fascinating that I found published online I wanted to share with you:

Seven Centuries in Eighty Minutes: In An Ambitious Program, Jeremy Denk Surveys the History of Western Music

Playing the Barre: The Invisible But Dispensible Ballet Rehearsal Pianist

In Celebration of the 165th Anniversary of Steinway, here’s their Limited Edition model.

 

5

Some ideas to help your students as they prepare for upcoming recital performances.

 

6

I was looking for a fresh arrangement of something to play for the prelude on Easter Sunday, so I purchased Leila’s newly-released arrangement of “Lift High the Cross.” Thanks, Leila!

 

7

Wow! Heather has some really great ideas for one area of the recital no one really ever talks about: the welcome speech! Hmmm…now I feel convicted to try something different!

 

8

Why Kids Don’t Practice and What to Do About It

An excellent article from Leila once again. This is not the first time she has written an in-depth article in reflection of a TED-Talk.

P.S. I agree that you should spend the 15 minutes to watch the TED-Talk she mentions. Grab a cup of coffee and don’t do anything else.

 

 

Friday Finds #128

Last week I mentioned that my husband and I were on our way to Kansas City for a short 4-day getaway as an extension to a contracted session I had on Friday morning with the Kansas City MTA. I’ve been slow to get many photos up on social media from this trip, but we had a great time and the Spring weather was incredible!

One of the big sites we visited was the National WWI Museum. This photo is taken from the museum overlooking the city. The building you see front and center in the photo is Union Station which is absolutely beautiful inside. I thought this was a beautiful overview of the city to share with you today.

 

1

A fun little finger number activities worksheet from 4D Piano Teaching.

 

2

Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids in need. Why isn’t every school doing this?

 

3

The Best Electric Kettles, According to the Best Experts.

We first discovered electric water kettles when we lived in Australia. It was common for every home to have one as many homes drank instant coffee (yuck!). They are an absolute gem to have available and so convenient for boiling water!

We have the Capresso Kettle which is recommended by America’s Test Kitchen (at least it was at the time!)

 

4

A few fun finds for piano teachers from Natalie Weber.

 

5

I am determined to have green plants in my home even though I do not have a green thumb. Articles like this one on how to stop killing your plants are for people like me!

 

6

At the 2019 MTNA Conference a few weeks ago, I attended a fantastic session in Pedagogy Saturday’s Teaching Artistry Track called “Do These Five Things Always and Forever.” The presenter, Veda Suponic, recently gave this session for an MTNA Webinar which can be accessed here.

 

7

Jennifer has a great idea for your summer session. Check out how she does practice packets.

 

8

Two weeks ago, Evernote launched the Evernote for Gmail add-on. I’m trying it out now and hope to write a review in the near future after using it for awhile.

 

9

Wendy’s recital programs are always sooooo beautiful! I use her programs almost every year. Check out her new Spring Recital Program Package.

 

10

One of my favorite recipes I’ve been making without a kitchen these past 4 months are these Spicy Chicken Soft Tacos. All you do is toss chicken tenders in a mixture of EVOO and Sriracha and bake them (I’m using a small countertop oven). Pre-shredded cabbage and plain yogurt are all we need to make a decent toping and dinner is done!