Getting sick. Ugh. The only good part of being sick is you can watch endless episodes of your favorite show while wallowing in your misery on the couch at home.
Otherwise, it’s the nemesis of every teacher. Why? Because it’s more of a pain to catch up on life than it is to simply have a normal day.
The flu is running rampant this year. Twenty percent of my students canceled last week from either being sick or having a family member sick (in which case they didn’t want to spread it around-thank you!).
Yes, getting sick as a teacher is often the result of exposure to so many students every week. More so than that, though, I’m more likely to get sick when I’ve not been taking care of myself. That could be lack of sleep, stress, or getting out of the habit of physical activity and/or taking daily supplements.
Today I want to share a few ways we can be proactive in our studios and with our personal health – especially during the winter months when we’re on high “germ-alert.”
*Disclaimer: All advice and opinions posted here are simply from my own experiences. I am not a health professional nor do I claim to be.
Keep your studio and teaching area clean. Regularly clean areas touched by students including door handles, computer keyboards and mice, and of course the bathroom.
I’ve never had luck with remembering to enforce this, but having students wash their hands with soap and water before coming to the piano would be ideal.
Avoid hand sanitizer as it has been proven to be less effective than good old soap. I’ve also been told (by my piano tuner) that hands covered in hand sanitizer could possibly cause cracks in the piano key surface. The same goes for antibacterial wipes.
Keep it simple. Stash a cloth nearby and regularly wipe down the piano keys. A cotton cloth very lightly sprayed with a vinegar-water mixture would suffice or try a cleaning cloth such as the Guardsman dusting cloth.
The Guardsman cloth is a wonderful, gentle cloth that won’t scratch your piano and has a very lightly tacky surface that is brilliant at collecting the dust. Find them at your local hardware.
You could even consider using the Norwex Antimicrobial Window Polishing Cloth for the keys but I would not recommend using it or any of the other Norwex rags on the body of the piano as I would be afraid their material might scratch the surface.
The older we get it seems life tends to move more quickly every year. When you’re young it feels like life will go on forever. The next thing you know, you realize your high school graduation was 20 years ago (or 30-40 for that matter).
As I understand more and more how fast life passes by, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of reflection. We’re always working to do more, learn more, and be better. The result though is that it’s easy to forget where we’ve come from, hard to see all we’ve accomplished, and not realize all life has given us.
This yearly re-cap post is about putting all of your favorite topics from the past year (and from all time) in one place. It’s also a chance for me to reflect on all that’s happened in my own life as a piano teacher at Studio 88 and blogger at Piano Pantry.
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!
As I was driving to my studio this morning I was thinking about the early years of piano instruction. While they’re often the hardest for parents and children to get through, the first few months and years are the most important for several reasons.
First, we must engage our music students in a way that fosters a love of and a successful experienceatmaking music. Second, we must develop a healthy technique so they have freedom at the piano from the start. Third, we need to introduce students to a variety of sounds, tonalities, and meters so they can hear, think, and engage in music with understanding.
That’s a whole lot of goodness wrapped up into a student’s first experience at the piano!
Today I’m to going to share my thoughts on a book called Little Gems for Pianoand how rote pieces like these can cover all three of these critical areas in one. We will focus especially on the last one as it is part of the philosophy I am slowing working to incorporate in my teaching called Music Learning Theory (MLT) by the late Dr. Edwin Gordon. Continue reading
Piano Safari has been a method on my radar since the first version of the books came out. I've known about it since (I'm guessing) 2008. Julie Knerr, one of the authors, went to grad school with a girl I did my undergrad studies with (they may have even been roommates-I can't remember for sure). My friend told me about the method, and I haven't looked back.
I was drawn to Piano Safari due to my disappointment with the technique books on the market. I hated them to be quite frank. I didn't feel they were effective and they were...well, what they were - exercises - and boring to boot. Even though most technique books do correlate with what the students are learning in the lesson book, I never felt the transfer of learning happened.
It wasn't until 2013 that I started using the method heavily. With the increased use came the desire to maximize on the "fun" of the safari theme more with stuffed animals.
Building up my safari-theme animal collection was a bit of a chore! I remember asking the authors where they got theirs but mostly I was on my own finding them. Today, I hope to help YOUR search a little easier than mine.
I'll be sharing not only where I purchased the animals but why they're a good investment, how I use and even store them.
My first impression as soon as I logged in was that both the program itself and the platform it’s presented on are very clean, simple and professional-looking. I love that! It’s very easy to navigate. When you log in, you can see how much of the course you have completed.
The curriculum is a set of 7 video modules ranging from 2-minutes to 37-minutes. The videos follow a nice Powerpoint as Jennifer talks you through the program.
Policy Myths and Benefits
Tips on Creating Your Studio Policies
What Should a Policy Include?
Understanding Conflicts and Resolving Confrontations
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.