This past year I was blessed to get the chance to present for several local associations and state and national conferences. Up until about three years ago, I found the idea of presenting terrifying, intimidating, and completely out of my reach.
Luckily, my inner drive, curiosity, and motivation didn’t let those feelings of fear and inadequacy stop me from giving it a shot. In return, I have realized speaking to other teachers is more rewarding than intimidating, more energizing than terrifying, and more within reach to those who persevere (and continually polish those proposals LOL).
Let’s take a quick peek at those of you I was able to be with this past year!
First Applications of Music Learning Theory
My friend, Joy Morin, and I have been excited to get our first duo session out there. It’s exciting not only because it’s a session we put together and can present together, but because we’re able to share what we’ve been learning about applying Music Learning Theory in piano lessons.
Simplicity. We can all use a little more of it, wouldn’t you agree?!
Well, today I have a tutorial video that will make the creation of your studio calendar from year to year as simple as one keystroke and…
Voila! Your new calendar will be created.
I’m not exaggerating. No, seriously. It’s true.
Before I turn your studio management world upside down, let me show you the calendar we’re about to create. (Note: some of the black lines didn’t transfer evenly in my screenshot image but we’re only talking big picture here).
As teacher especially we deal with twice the amount of apps because we have not only our personal apps, but endless apps on rhythm, sight reading, note-naming, and on and on and on. It’s likely most of us don’t even use half the apps on our screen on a regular basis.
While our smartphones and tablets are incredible devices that have given us the ability to access all kinds of useful (and some not so useful) tools that can enhance the way we work, teach, and go about our daily lives, they’ve also become another item that we have to figure out how to manage.
You guessed it. Today we’re talking about device organization.
If you’re anything like me, since the day you’ve owned a smartphone and/or tablet, you’ve played around with and rearranged the layout of your devices again and again.
Over the past year, I’ve finally settled on a layout I like and have stuck with. As a bonus, the layout is almost exactly the same on both my iPhone and iPad.
Today I have a video for you on how I organize my devices.
Care to have a peek?
If you prefer to watch it on YouTube, just click on the word “YouTube” on the bottom right-hand corner of the video. In order to see the video as clearly as possible, I would recommend expanding the video to full screen by clicking on the broken box-shape clear to the right of the screen at the bottom.
Do you have any tips that work for you when it comes to device organization? Share below!
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!)
This is a guest post by Missouri teacher, Anita Byers. After Anita commented on one of my posts here on Piano Pantry on how she organized her music games in Evernote, I quickly asked her to share. Many thanks to Anita!
As my collection of piano games has grown the past several years, I have needed to organize them in a way that I can find a game that reinforces a certain concept without physically searching through a huge stack!
My goal for this summer was to attack the game monster and make it easy to find and use games during lessons.
I use Evernote in my studio to keep track of weekly lesson plans for each student. I am not sure why it took me so long to realize that Evernote could help organize my game inventory! Continue reading
Over the next two months, I’ll be bringing you another series. This year’s topic is productivity. We’ll be talking anything from email to Evernote to managing Facebook and all the “notifications” in your life.
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
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.
Change. I need thrive on it. I love the seasons, re-arranging my studio annually, and re-doing my student schedule each summer and fall. The latter of course takes time but for me, the idea of never changing my lesson schedule is suffocating! LOL.
Clear start and endpoints to me, give a sense of relief and rest and in a way, a mental break. When I used to be a choral director I would frequently get sick the week following school being out as my body was letting go of the stress!
The end of the school year for many independent studios is the time take a step back and celebrate the culmination of student’s work and progress through recitals. Not only that, but it’s the perfect time to turn our heads and reflect on the last 30 to 40 lessons and 4,000 plus hours of practice. Did we use our time wisely? Did the student make progress? Did they participate in studio events? Does the student feel they put in their best effort? There are so many questions that can be pondered and progress assessed, that conducting student evaluations has become a part of my annual schedule.
My recital is always the Sunday before Memorial Day. It does get a little crazy having it that time of year, but I love the feeling of having that culminating event where the whole studio comes together to celebrate and make music. The week following the recital, students and parents come to the student’s normal lesson time, but there is no formal lesson. We sit down and hash out the past and the future of the student’s piano studies together. (The last week of May my studio is closed for a semester break then we return for summer lessons the first week of June).
My part of that meeting time is giving the student a formal evaluation and the parent and student’s part is filling out questionnaires I give to them ahead of time. Today we’re focusing on the former.
I’m back for my third and final installment on how to implement Evernote into your daily life as an independent music teacher.
While I say this is the “final” video in the series, I’m sure there will be much more on Evernote to come here on Piano Pantry as it’s a program for which I’m quite passionate. Can you tell?
This 3-part video series together is less than 40 minutes. If you’re like me, you listen to single podcasts that are longer than that! Most of us likely spend 30-40 minutes each evening watching a show or video to chill-out. I wouldn’t be surprised if most of us also spend that much time daily reading blogs or posts on Facebook piano teacher groups.
I can promise that if you give those 30-40 minutes just one day to watching the series, it could potentially change the way you handle and organize your studio forever. A strong statement, I know, but I believe it with my whole heart and well, if you know me, you know that for the most part, I say what I feel!
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.