Friday Finds #260



The Science of Making and Keeping Friends (A Slight Change of Plans Podcast)



Wow – this is really thorough…

The Best Apps Every Music Teacher Should Have(Oliva Ellis and Davis Dorough | Creative Piano Teacher)



Movie recommendation! Barefoot on Netflix is so cute! My husband even enjoyed it.

The ne’er-do well son of a wealthy family enlists a young woman he meets at a psychiatric hospital to pose as his girlfriend at his brother’s wedding. (Description from Netflix?)



Guide to Contemporary Educational Composers Websites (Natalie Weber | Music Matters Blog)



How to Know When a Student Has “Finished” A Piece (Nicola Cantan | Vibrant Music Teaching)



Embrace a Lifestyle of Slowing Down in a World of Hurry Up (Michael Horner | Medium)

I love how he calls it an “art.”



How to Use Notability for Assignment Sheets in Your Studio (Ashley Danyew)



Double-Duty Music (Daniel Light)

A beautiful Late-Intermediate piece that is perfect for introducing your students to 3 against 2 polyrhythms.



Tick Tips: How to find them, how to remove them, and what to do if you’re bit (NPR)



How to (deep) Clean Your Piano (Josh Wright)


Friday Finds #259

Happy Friday, everyone! Wow. It’s been quite a few weeks since the last Friday Finds post. I have a big stash ready to go, though, so you can look forward to one this week and next! Have a great weekend!




New-ONLY Classical Music App from Apple Music (Violin Judy)



Broadway’s Longest-Running Musical “Phantom of the Opera” Turns Out the Lights (The Daily)



Recently, I discovered Canva has a desktop client! I’ve always loved using desktop apps for Evernote and Notion, so I’m curious to see if I’ll like using Canva more on my desktop or will stick with it on the web.

Continue reading

A Compilation of Faber’s Achievement Solo Sheets

Piano Adventures by Randall and Nancy Faber has been a staple in the piano teaching community for a long time. The method books, supplementary PreTime to BigTime, and Developing Artist series are well-known and familiar to many teachers.

I feel like the solo sheets are less prominent, though, as it took me a few years into teaching before I realized they had Achievement Literature Sheets as part of the Developing Artist series.

It’s the same way with the Achievement Solo Sheets. I was familiar with a few but didn’t realize the full scope until recently browsing their website. There are more than 30 available (3-6 per level!)

While you can find all the Achievement Literature Sheets easily in the Developing Artist Piano Library, interestingly enough, there is no way on their website to easily see all of the Achievement Solo Sheets in one place. They’re not even listed where you might expect, which would be under the “Piano Books” segment with each level. The only way to find them is under “Quick Shop.” Let me show you quickly in this video:


I thought it might be useful for you (and myself!) to be able to see all of these in one place, so I compiled all of them from Primer to Level 5 in one music list for you on Sheet Music Plus!


See the whole list of Faber’s Achievement Solo Sheets here.

A few of my favorites (from those I’ve known about until now) include:

Pete the Repeat Bird

Pony Express

Zoom, Zoom, Witches Broom

Cat Prowl

The Notorious Pirate

Shimmering Waterfalls


More Favorite Repertoire Lists

This list isn’t the first I’ve created on Sheet Music Plus. I also keep lists of favorite supplemental books, church music, pop/Disney/video game music, Christmas, and classical repertoire compilations.

Find links to all of these as well as more details on how to create your own in this post:

Favorite Repertoire Lists on Sheet Music Plus


More Solo Sheet Favorites

If you’re interested in finding more great solo sheets, there are several posts you might check out here on Piano Pantry:

Sheet Music Piano Solos: 9 Lessons Learned from a 1-Year Project

Favorite Elementary-Level Sheet Music Piano Solos

Favorite Intermediate-Level Sheet Music Piano Solos

Favorite Sheet Music Piano Solos for Halloween


What are some of your favorites from Faber’s Achievement Solo Sheets? Share in the comments!


Celebrating 7 Years!

Happy Birthday to the Piano Pantry Blog!

This annual celebration is always easy to remember for me because I started this blog not long before heading to the 2016 Music Teacher’s National Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The timing was important not only because I had been dreaming for several years about starting my own blog for piano teachers but because that was the conference where I first got to present at the national level. I wanted to be able to direct people to my own website!

As a thank you to all who follow Piano Pantry, you can get 20% off anything in the shop using the code 7YEARS at checkout, including Happy Birthday By Ear, Christmas By Ear, and more. The discount expires on March 24.

Friday Finds #258



5 Pro Tips for Buying Music from (Chrissy Ricker)



Movie recommendation: High Strung on Amazon Prime

“When a Midwest dancer and a street-wise British musician meet in New York, they immediately clash, but there’s also an undeniable attraction. The two must navigate their differences for a competition that will change their lives forever.” (Amazon Prime description)



A teacher friend recently shared a resource for pop, movie, and video game music: Jim the Piano Guy: “Pop Songs for Piano Rookies”



A review of Technique Builders by Hazel Cobb from Joy Morin at Color in My Piano.



I like to change out my front door mats with the seasons. I tried buying a couple of different ones online, but they shipped rolled up and wouldn’t lay flat. I was on my last straw until I found this Gorilla Doormat. I love it! It lays perfectly flat and is nice and heavy-duty. This green color was a nice choice for winter.



Carefully-curated playlists on YouTube for pieces from the 2016 edition of the RCM Series (Rebekah Maxner)



Noteflight Premium Now Includes a Massive Library of Digital Content



Manipulating piano student’s hands



Maker’s Schedule vs. Manager’s Schedule (



We got a set of stainless steel colanders for our wedding 20 years ago. They never drained well as the holes were more spread apart. I finally decided it was time to let go and get a better one. This RSVP Colander (5 qt) has been amazing!

Announcing The Piano Pantry Retreat!

I’m excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2nd season of the Piano Pantry Retreat!

You might be surprised to hear this is the “2nd season” because I never announced the 1st season here on the blog!

The reason is that the first year was a bit of an experiment. 🙂

Not only was hosting an in-home retreat something that’s not seen much (thanks to Joy Morin for being the first I know of!), but I was doing it alongside a personal productivity topic, not a piano pedagogy topic.

Would people be interested?

I was also intentionally keeping space very limited since I was (1) cooking meals for everyone as well as doing the coaching, (2) letting people stay in our home, and (3) I wanted to ensure I could give undivided attention and support to attendees during our work sessions.

So, I tested the waters by emailing a small group of teachers I knew well to see if there was any interest. There was – (yea!).

Here’s what attendees from the 2022 retreats had to say:

Retreat Testimonials by amystudio88


Dates, Details, and More Information

If you want to learn more about this getaway for piano teachers, including dates for the summer of 2023, cost, location, and more, visit the retreat page.


Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

By the way, I have to give credit where credit is due in three places for this event getting started.

The first, I already mentioned. Joy Morin first had the idea to host an in-home teacher retreat in 2018 (which I cater). The two biggest differences between our retreats are that she can host many more teachers and focuses on pedagogical topics – choosing a different theme each time.

The second person I need to give credit to is one of the attendees you see in the photo above, Laurie Bender. A teacher from Chicago, Laurie, reached out to me and mentioned how she would love to see me host a retreat like Joy’s but to do it focused on getting help cleaning up and learning how to utilize her digital workspace better (see…not my idea! Ha!)

Third is my three piano teacher friends who hunkered down with me at my house for the 2021 MTNA conference online. The fact that I loved hosting and cooking for my friends so much, combined with Laurie’s comment above, was all I needed to give it a shot.


Check out all the details here. I would love to have you there!


Join The Email List

As I mentioned earlier in this post, due to the very small group nature of this retreat, you can sign up to be part of the first group of teachers to be notified and given the opportunity to sign up before it is open to the public. If you would like to be part of that list for future retreats, you can sign up here


Favorite Repertoire Lists on Sheet Music Plus

Since the closure of Primo Music in recent years, Sheet Music Plus has become my go-to site for purchasing music online. I’ve always had good success finding music on the site and experienced good customer service.

While their discount (5% for two or more copies) is not as good as some sheet music sites like Primo have offered in the past,  I can usually still get a discount either through MTNA or by using my Capital One Shopping Extension on Chrome.

That being said, I don’t worry about that too much because sheet music is a tax write-off for the business, and purchasing music is how we keep our composers paid!

Sheet Music Plus has a feature I didn’t know about in the early days (or at least didn’t start utilizing fully) until recently. That is, you can create your own “music lists.” 

To save a book to a music list or create a new one, hover over ” Save to Music List” below the “Add to Cart” button.

(Be careful – clicking “Save to Music List” will just save the item to your “Default List.” You have to HOVER and then click on the list you want to save it to. Otherwise, you can select “Create New Music List.”)

To find your list on Sheet Music Plus, go to “My Account > Music Lists”


There are three scenarios in which I think using this feature would be useful.

(1) You want to have an easy way to save your favorite books without keeping a repertoire database of some kind.

(2) If you opt to have your studio families purchase books, you could keep a list of all your studio’s frequently used books so you can quickly reference and send links (the same could be done on Amazon as well!)

(3) You want an easy way to share repertoire lists with others (like me!). I honestly keep the lists mostly for my own record, but it’s a nice bonus that sharing the list with you is so easy!

My lists aren’t exhaustive, and I try to update them when possible, but they have a good start.



Amy’s Favorite Supplemental books for Students

Amy’s Favorite Church Music books for Students

Amy’s Favorite Pop/Disney/Video Game Music for Students

Amy’s Favorite Christmas Repertoire for Students

Amy’s Favorite “Classical” Repertoire Books for Students


Feel free to link to some of your repertoire lists on Sheet Music Plus in the comments – I love checkout out books other teachers love!



Friday Finds #257



Amazon ends its charity donation program AmazonSmile after other cost-cutting efforts. (NPR)



STOMP closes after a 29-year New York run. (NPR)



Five excellent podcast episode recommendations:

Why Your Creativity Matters with Liz Gilbert (Everything Happens)

Special Episode: The Bono Interview (The Bulletin)

The Art and Science of Gathering with Priya Parker (A Slight Change of Plans)

Andrea Yahr on Tax Prep Tips and FAQs for 2023 (Music Studio Startup)

Did Artificial Intelligence Just Get too Smart? (The Daily)



Krispy Kreme is releasing its Biscoff collection, and one of them tastes like a  cheesecake. (The Kitchn)



Speaking of Biscoff, besides just eating it by the spoonful, here are some great ways to enjoy the cookie-butter-peanut-buttery-like goodness.

Cookie Butter Muddy Buddies (Bake Me Some Sugar)

Two recipes I haven’t tried these yet, but I am intrigued!

Cookie Butter Pie (All Recipes)

Cookie Butter Blondies (The Pioneer Woman)



A new website, blog, and game membership resource:

Get their free game, Dynamic Den, here.



Bang Bang Chicken: The Authentic Sichuan Version (The Woks of Life)

My husband and I went crazy over this recipe! It’s healthy and full of flavor! We ate it with a bit of brown rice and… oh my!



I have had a razor-sharp sore throat for almost two weeks. I’m not sick otherwise, so it’s been really strange. Besides sore throat Chloraseptic lozenges, this Spiced Hot Toddy from Williams Sonoma has been the best for soothing the pain.



Germ Alert: A Teacher’s Guide to Staying Healthy (Amy Chaplin)



Registration for the Digital Organization Series is OPEN! Meet with Amy and a small handful of other teachers via Zoom over eight consecutive Fridays (12:00-1:00 pm ET) to gain control of your digital workspace.

Amy will walk you through how to clean up, reorganize, and maintain key areas, including devices, documents, media storage, email, & more.

DATES: Jan. 27 – March 17 



Your turn! Did you discover anything interesting or delicious this week? Share in the comments!


Friday Finds #256



A list of favorite books read in 2021-2022 from Joy Morin.



Big News!

“Effective January 1, 2023, the FJH catalog will be exclusively distributed by Alfred Music in both print and digital forms. In addition, FJH’s educational catalogs will be exclusively available for interactive practice on MakeMusic Cloud, formerly SmartMusic, the reference online platform for music practice from MakeMusic.”




Piano Studio Business Claims: Home expenses, work expenses, and industry codes, oh my! (Rebekkah Maxner)



Made money online this year? You could owe more in taxes. (CBS News)



A playlist for the winter season from “moi.”



Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots, Potatoes, and Thyme (Williams Sonoma)

This is a wonderful winter meal. You’ll want a little bread on the side to mop up the delicious braising liquid though – believe me! (P. S. I actually do not like Thyme so I much prefer the dish without!)



Strategies for Tax-Time Organization with Andrea Miller (Duet Partner Podcast)



Choosing One Word to Inspire (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)



Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan (a lighter version of the classic)

I tend to avoid making recipes where I have to do the whole breading thing because it’s a lot of steps, messy, and I just don’t like it. This recipe was the perfect substitute for parmesan chicken because it had no breading and was easy to make when having my family over. I made spaghetti on the side and tossed in just a bit of butter. Everyone loved it!



While there have been years I’ve read mostly “knowledge-building” books, fiction is my favorite, and I’ve been trying to be much more intentional about allowing myself enjoyment.

I’m kicking this year off with a great one!

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn


Friday Finds #255

I couldn’t resist squeezing in one more goodies post before the end of 2022! I mean, who could let it sit at #254? LOL. Plus, I had a lot of Christmas fun to share with you, including a list of items I’m in charge of making for our various holiday gatherings. Let’s start there!



Pimento Cheese Spread (Gimme Some Oven)

We always provide a tray of venison summer sausage and crackers for both family gatherings. This soft cheese spread will make a nice addition to the mix. I prefer about half the amount of green onion. You could even substitute with a 1/2 t. or so of dry onion powder.

Brandied Apple Cake with Figs and Walnuts (Williams Sonoma)

I’ve made this cake one other time, and oh my…. it’s full of apples, incredibly moist, and full of flavor.

Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries (Pioneer Woman)

When my brother texted my mom and me with who should bring what for our Christmas Day meal, my list included dessert and “Adam’s favorite salad.” I knew exactly what he meant!



While we’re talking about dinner, my friend Joy shared a beautiful and simple table centerpiece on Instagram this past month. Here’s the link she shared online on how to make one.



For your holiday entertainment – here are a couple of personal favorites.

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (The Roku Channel)

White Christmas (Netflix)



If you have any down days to binge-watch, we really enjoyed The Playlist on Netflix. It’s about the creators of Spotify.



Ukrainians sing ‘Carol of the Bells’ at Carnegie Hall, 100 years after its U.S. debut (NPR)



Thanks to Janna Williamson for sharing this interesting article on her Facebook page!


These are my top 10 favorite books from what I read this past year (out of around 28) in rough order from most favorite.

  1. On a Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass
  2. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
  3. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
  4. The It Girl by Ruth Ware (my favorite of all her books)
  5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  6. Playing Nice by JP Delaney
  7. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
  8. The Codebreaker’s Secret by Sara Ackerman
  9. Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin
  10. Anxious People by Fredrik Backman



A musical mash-up of Carol of the Bells with Pirates of the Caribbean played on Harp.


I especially enjoyed the last three episodes of the Key Ideas Podcast:

#61 These are a Few of My Favorite Things

#59-60 Navigating a Post-Pandemic World with Vanessa Cornett

I have to admit; I almost didn’t listen to this one because I feel past the whole “navigating a post-pandemic world” topic. That said, I really wanted to hear from Vanessa Cornett, and I am glad I did. It was 100% worth listening to both long episodes. She has beautiful insight and a special way with words. I might even go back and listen again!