Tidy Teacher Tips

End-of-Semester Reset

As we roll into the end of a semester of teaching, students and teachers alike are itching for a much-needed break from the past months. It’s time to breathe and reset our mind, body, and spirit by walking away from our day to day tasks and celebrating the season with friends and family.

Part of my daily routine in our home is that every evening before we go to bed, the dishes are done, the dishwasher is running, coffee is made, and lunches are packed so the morning goes smoothly.

I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy start to the day.

After the morning gets moving and my husband is off to work, I clean up breakfast dishes, tidy up blankets and such from the night before, make the bed, and prep dinner so when we arrive home from work the evening goes smoothly.

I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy end to the day.

When we go on vacation we like to make sure the house is clean and picked up, trash is taken out, dishes are completely done and put away, the refrigerator is as empty as possible, and there’s something frozen in the freezer to eat if needed when we return.

We prep and reset the house for a welcome and relaxing return.

Before you close the door to your studio to reset the teacher in you, I would like to encourage you to take a little time to reset your workspace so when you return, you can hit the ground running in a fresh environment. It feels so good!

Here are a few areas to pay attention to before you hang up your teacher hat.

 

Tidy Up Your Teaching area

  • Put everything back in its place. You may even play around with rearranging items to see if you can find a better workflow.
  • Take inventory of and order stickers, post-its, refills of pens, pencils, erasers, etc.
  • Sharpen up any pencils you have, be sure all the pens are closed.
  • Close all piano lids and push in the benches.
  • Download new assignment sheets or update your old ones for the new semester. Have a fresh set printed and ready to go. (I find using new sheets each semester refreshing. There are plenty to pick from on Assignment Sheet Central!)

 

BEFORE – AFTER
    

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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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Catch me if you can

2017-2018 Presenting Schedule

This year is going to be chock-full of opportunities for me to share with teachers at both the local, state, and national levels.

Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these and we can be sure and meet up. Feel free to contact me if you need details. I’m excited to connect with more of you in person and learn together!

I’ve also created a permanent page here on Piano Pantry listing all these upcoming events as well as my previous events and topics. Find it here.

 


Friday, September 8, 2017

Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory for Piano Teachers (with co-presenter Joy Morin)

Location: Wood-Ottawa Counties MTA (Bowling Green, OH)


Friday, September 29, 2017

Teaching the Way We Learn: First Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (with co-presenter Joy Morin)

Evernote for the Independent Music Teacher (Lightning Talk)

Location: Indiana MTA state conference (Marion, IN) Continue reading

2017 GIML Conference

and two piano teachers in Chicago

Following the 2017 NCKP Conference in Chicago, my travel buddy, Joy Morin and I had a few days to explore Chicago. It was great having a little brain break anyway!

I’m going to first share with you a little of our 3-day P.T. vacay followed by some of the great things I attended at the GIML (Gordon Institute for Music Learning) Conference. If you’re not familiar, the conference focuses on teaching inspired by Music Learning Theory (MLT).

Joy and I did a two-week training course in MLT and its practical application for piano in Boston, August 2016 so this was the perfect follow-up.

 

Chicago Food and Fun

In Laverne and Shirley style, we took to bikes and did the 10 mile(ish) lake shore bike track – we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.

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NCKP 2017

Conference Highlights

The 2017 National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP) has quickly come and gone. It was my second go and in a way, returning this year was a little special for me. Why, you ask?

NCKP 2015 was the birthplace of Piano Pantry. With a little encouragement from Joy Morin during that conference, I took a leap of faith and here we are!

I’m going to hit the highlights in this post. If you want to check out a whole lot more photos head over to my Instagram or Facebook accounts.

 

Favorite Moments

One of my favorite things at conferences are those moments when you walk into your first sessions and begin seeing people you only get to see once or twice a year outside of Facebook. We were lucky to get to hang out with and share several meals with Jennifer Foxx of Music Educator Resources and Lynnette Barney who was interviewed on the Tim Topham Creative Piano Teaching Podcast.

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An NCKP Goody

From My Pantry to Yours

The National Conference for Keyboard Pedagogy starts tomorrow in Chicago. I’ll be making the 4-hour trek from my Northeast Indiana home with my friend, Joy Morin from Color in My Piano blog.

I look forward to meeting some of you and wanted to let you know I have a special treat to hand out at NCKP, but you have to ask me personally for one!

The only requirement is that you use the word “Pantry” when you ask.

Something along the lines of:

What’s in your Pantry?

or

Can I have something from your Pantry?

I have limited stock, but I’ll give you a clue that it’s something yummy and healthy. See you soon!

 

Recommended Reads

My 2016 Reading List

“I wish I had more time to read.”

Have you ever had this thought?

 

I do. All-the-time. If we’re being really honest here, I’ll probably always feel this way because as far as reading goes, I simply love it.

As we were closing out 2015 and about to enter 2016, I decided it was time to put a stop to my continual pining over this same thought.

“I wish I had more time to read.”

“I wish I had more time to read.”

“I wish I had more time to read.”

OK – time to do something! What? I had to get intentional. Continue reading

NCKP Meet-Up with Amy and Tim

The National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy is just around the corner. This biennial conference put on by The Francis Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy is always held in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.

The 2015 event was my first NCKP experience and I was hooked. Being that I’m only a 3-4 hour drive away, I plan on attending every one from now on!

After my first Piano Pantry reader’s dinner at MTNA in Baltimore, I was excited to get the chance to offer something again at NCKP. This time I’m honored to team up with Tim Topham who’s making the trek all the way from Australia for this great conference.

Let me share how I first came to meet Tim. Continue reading