Friday Finds #103

This past weekend I was honored to get the chance to present to a lovely group of teachers at the Kentucky MTA Conference in Louisville. The session was the one that I gave at the 2018 MTNA National Conference in Orlando – Taming the Jungle: Digital Management Strategies for the Independent Music Teacher. (see details on my speaking page).

This photo is of the guestbook at the Airbnb I stayed at Friday night.  Isn’t it fun?

 

1

Are you an independent music teacher that has an established studio and has been teaching no more than three years? You could win a $3,000 fellowship award through MTNA. Deadline is November 1.

 

2

Pioneer Woman has another product out. Surprised? Not me. The woman has a food empire. I remember when I first head about her from my cousin back in 2006 or 2007 and she was still “just a blogger.” Bravo Ree.

If you’re into patterns and such, she’s your girl, as you can see.

3

One of my favorite podcasts this past year has been The Next Right Thing by Emily P. Freeman. The most current episode is about how to choose a past time. She shares excellent advice from Winston Churchill including three key points:

  1. Be sure your past time is different from what you do on a daily basis. (In other words, don’t make your new past time learning another instrument, teachers!)
  2. Engage your brain. (there are times for mindless activity but a healthy past time utilizes the brain)
  3. Embrace audacity, not ambition. (Yeah, that one is hard for me).

 

4

This piano zip line idea from Julie Knerr might be just what you need for your next group class.

 

5

This week was a “clean out the refrigerator” week. I had some buttermilk to get rid of so I baked this Whole Wheat Molasses Bread from Joy the Baker. It has a perfectly balanced molasses flavor and is yummy warmed up with a pat of butter on top (or even dare I say Nutella?!)

 

6

Prima Music just processed an order for me that included:

 

 

Have a great weekend everyone!

~Amy

 

Friday Finds #102

One thing I know to be absolutely true of myself is that I thrive on change. As we resume our second week of finds this season, I wanted to let you know I’m going to spice things up a bit and try something new with our weekly finds – sharing a little piece of who I am.

Instead of including the Friday Finds image at the top, there will be instead an image from my day-to-day life to kick off the post.

I’ll share just a few brief words as an introduction to what the image reflects or its purpose in my life. (P.S. If the photo includes items you may like, I’ll always include a link!)

(Full disclosure that Piano Pantry is an affiliate with Amazon so if you purchase any items linking from Piano Pantry on Amazon I will make a tiny fee but it costs you no extra).

Enough shop talk. Let’s kick off Friday Finds #102!

friday-finds-102-image_walking-on-water

 

This image was shared on my Instagram account in August. One of my to-do items for that month was to give myself one day alone doing absolutely no work. I made the 45-minute trek to my favorite coffee shop in Fort Wayne and cracked open one of my current reads, Madeline L’Engle’s Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith & Art. It was a blissful morning.

One of my favorite quotes thus far in the books is:

There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.

 

1

Summer is about to end and I’m sad because I get way more podcast time when I mow our 2.5-acre yard than any other time throughout the year. Yesterday I caught the Musicality Podcast which was a roundtable discussion on the idea that everyone is musical inside. Here’s a great quote that one of them said (around 27:10):

Don’t play a scale – play with the scale. Play up and down and inside out and play with the notes and play here….Make a little melody, make it creative, improvise with it…Allowing us to express our inner musicality every step of the way where music is not the goal but music is the process – something we’re doing every time.

 

2

You’re a total food nerd if, like me, you get excited about the possibility of trying this Whole-Grain Fermented Mustard recipe.

 

3

By the way, did you know that there’s a Facebook group called “Cookin’ Piano Teachers?” 

 

4

How Bach Would Teach Piano Lead Sheets.

 

5

You may have already seen this viral video about a school teacher in Kansas who greets her students at the door with their own unique handshake.

How cool would it be if we came up with a unique call/response “ditty” on the piano or even a simple melody we sang to our students in greeting? The possibilities are intriguing!

 

6

How Presidents Choose to Lead: Learning From Our Commander-in-Chiefs’ Good Choices, and Bad Ones.

 

7

Brief but always thoughtful reflections from Seth on what life was like 58 years ago and how “There is no normal. Simply the relentless cycle of change.”

 

8

Calling all Trader Joe’s fans! Just when you think T.J.’s can’t get better, they create a podcast! They didn’t know when creating the first set of episodes that those episodes would eventually be “Season 1.” My favorite from the first 5 episodes was Episode 3: Informative and Seriously Not Too Serious. You can easily catch up as they just released the first one in the next season Episode 6: Quality.

 

9

This Wild Mushroom Tart has been calling my name for a while.

 

Have a great weekend!

XO Amy

 

40% off Special on Evernote Premium

Evernote is currently offering 40% a one-year subscription to Evernote Premium.

If you've been interested in trying Evernote Premium but didn't want to pay $7.99 per month, now is your chance to try it out.

Premium is the level I have used for years. Part of the reason it's a huge improvement over Evernote Basic is that with basic you can only use two devices such as a desktop and your phone. With premium it's unlimited. On top of that I can annotate PDF files and upload 10GB per month.

The best advice I can give to anyone about using Evernote is to take the extra time to learn the best way to use it.

An entire page here on Piano Pantry is now dedicated to all things Evernote. Check it out! For music teachers, I would recommend the Evernote: An Independent Music Teacher's Handbook video series I created.

 

 

 

Friday Finds #101

And…we’re back! After a Summer off from our weekly finds series here on Piano Pantry, it’s time to jump back in! If you missed the final Friday Finds back in June, #100 was a list of a whopping 100 of the best items from the two years the series had been running. From here on out, they will be titled by what week of finds it is, so here we are starting at week #101.

If you’re new to this series, every Friday I share links to interesting things I love from all over the web. I’m a content junkie and use Feedly to follow over 100 websites of a variety of topics. Friday Finds is the best of what I’ve found out there each week.

Friday Finds isn’t all about music teaching, because we’re not just music teachers! Each week there are generally between 8-12 items on the list that may include but is not limited to: thought-provoking articles, interesting podcasts, yummy recipes, books, useful piano teaching tools, a few of my favorite things, and much, much more.

Let’s go!

1

Song stories. As Mike Rowe says in episode #108” of his podcast The Way I Heard It…

These words take on a whole new meaning once you know the story behind why they were written.

 

2

If it’s as inspiring as her first book The Nesting Place, Myquillen Smith’s newest book Cozy Minimalist Home: More Style, Less Stuff is sure to be a winner. Put it on pre-order like I did!

 

 

 

3

Guinness opened it’s first brewery 64 years ago.

 

4

Why learning to breathe may be the best way to pray.

 

5

If you have any peaches left in your life from Summer, you have got to make this Amazing Peach Cobbler from Pinch of Yum. Oh my, oh my.

I have about a dozen bags of frozen peaches in my deep freeze, many of which are destined for this cobbler.

 

6

In the Facebook group Piano Teacher Central Facebook, Nicole Douglas shared a resource document she put together on what people can do to Donate a Piano

This is a great resource to share with your studio families or anyone who asks you about how to sell or get rid of their piano.

 

7

Mr. Roger’s extraordinary 9 rules for writing scripts that helped kids make sense of language.

 

8

Break out the grill one more time for these Grilled Rice Krispies Treats.

 

9

While searching online for some things regarding Music Learning Theory (I can’t remember exactly what it was), I came across this video on Piaget’s Theory of Conservation. This demonstration is absolutely fascinating.

 

Happy Friday, everyone!

 


Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links which simply means that if you purchase something from a link, I may receive a very small percentage without it costing you any extra.

 

Back-To-Teaching

Six Easy Recipes for the Week Ahead

The first couple of weeks back to teaching are always a little hectic. We’re trying to enjoy the final days of Summer, holding on to every last inch of that time until we have to throw ourselves completely into the new year.

The months of January and August have always been the months we eat at home almost exclusively. In January it’s quiet and dark, and there’s not a lot of extra activities going on and in August, I don’t have students half the month so I’m home more and have time to cook dinner like normal people.

Things are about to get crazy this week though and will continue that way until the second week of October. I won’t bore you with my details as you have enough going on of your own.

Since many of us are in the same boat as we get things going, I thought I would share half-a-dozen quick and easy recipes that can make your back-to-teaching life easier.

Most of the recipes will also allow you to enjoy end-of-summer produce and will avoid turning on the oven. You’re not going to find a crockpot or soup recipe in this bunch. It’s too early for that – I’m not ready!

 

Six Easy “Back-To-Teaching” recipes

Panzanella Bread Salad (Simply Recipes)

If you’ve never had Panzanella bread salad with your beautiful, lush, red, juicy August tomatoes, you have not experienced life.

Can you see what I mean?

While you’re making the salad, throw pork chops in a cast iron skillet seasons simply with S&P and call that a meal.

Continue reading

MLT Teaching Tips added to Monthly Secret Letter

Starting this month, the Secret Letter I send out the last day of the month now includes a Music Learning Theory Teaching Tips section. It will feature one basic tip that can help teachers begin incorporating MLT-based activities into their teaching.

If you’re interested in MLT even a little, this is a great place to start. The brief tip will also include a short video clip example when I can.

I’ll let you view this month’s letter to see if this is something you may be interested in receiving. If so, you can click on the “Subscribe” button at the top of the newsletter page.

View August’s Secret Letter

Fun Postcards for Marketing Your Studio

Do you want a simple and effective way to market your studio?

Here it is…

Postcards. 

That’s it. Simple, right?

You’re probably putting the brakes on right now thinking…

“Now wait a minute, Amy, why in the world would I bother with snail mail? What do postcards have to do with me getting more students?”

It’s called in-studio marketing – building rapport with the families you have.

I’m not here to talk specifics about why you should send postcards to your students today (you can catch more details on the “why” in the post Marketing with Postcards: It’s Not What You Think!)

What I AM here to do is to share some fun postcard ideas I came across in my quest for this years postcards!

 

Colorful Mandala Postcard

The first few years of sending my student’s postcards, I just bought packs of postcards from Arts United Supply.

Last year though it was time to change things up, so I used Susan Hong’s beautiful Mandala Postcards. It’s a downloadable studio license for $10 and you get both the color version and the black and white version which would be fun for students to color.

Continue reading

New Sheets Added to Assignment Sheet Central

(Including My Favorite!)

Do you get tired of looking at the same assignment sheet week after week?

I do!

You no longer have a good excuse to use the same-old boring assignment sheet week after week, year after year.

Why?

You now have 21 – yes, that’s what I said – 21 different assignment sheets to choose from in one location here on Piano Pantry as I just added six new assignment sheets to Assignment Sheet Central.

To make it easy for you, I just copied them here!

Psst…the last one (#21) is my current favorite. I’m using it for the second year in a row (after tweaking it of course! :-))

 

Assignment Sheet-16 | Sticker Boxes

Assignment sheet for younger students includes a fun clip art images, six practice items, and an area for additional assignments all with sticker boxes.

Includes:
  • 6 Practice items
  • 4 Extra activities
  • Sticker boxes for days practiced
  • Student and parent practice reflection with sad face or smiley face

 


Assignment Sheet-17 | Piano Safari

This assignment sheet is for students using the Piano Safari method. Includes clip art of animal technique exercises as well as sticker boxes for practice.

Includes:
  • Clip art of technique exercises
  • Sticker boxes for practice days
  • Area for other activities
  • Student and parent practice reflection with sad face or smiley face

 


Assignment Sheet-18 | Easy as 1-2-3

This assignment sheet is great for adults. 10 practice tips included as well as an area for warm-ups, songs, other items, and notes.

Includes:
  • 10 practice tips
  • Warm-up, songs, other, notes

 

 


Assignment Sheet-19 | Student-Driven

This sheet is great for older teens. It serves not as an “assignment” sheet but a “what did I do” sheet where students take charge of their own learning.

Includes:
  • Student goal(s)
  • Practice-focused accomplishments from most to least
  • Smart practice tools
  • Practice reflection

 


Assignment Sheet-20 | Versatile

This assignment sheet is very versatile and could be used for students of any age. It includes practice tips, an inspiring quote, and daily practice boxes.

Includes:
  • Smart practice tools
  • Inspirational quote
  • Open-ended practice items
  • Daily practice boxes
  • Practice reflection

 


Assignment Sheet-21 | Practice Rating-Scale

This sheet includes indicator for the status for pieces: new, in-progress, review, memory as well as a practice-rating scale for both student and teacher.

Includes:
  • Status of pieces: new, in-progress, review, memory
  • Practice goals for each piece
  • Daily progress
  • Practice reflection with rating scale from both student and teacher

The Assignment Sheet You Love the Most…So Far

Assignment Sheet Central has been live on Piano Pantry for close to two years now. At the time of this post, there are 15 assignment sheets of varying types available. Whether you’re looking for a sheet to use for group classes, adult lesson, or preschool lessons, there will be one for you.

I’m working on adding a few more sheets this week and, in the process, thought it would be fun to share with you the assignment sheet that has been downloaded the most thus far – over 1,000 times to be exact. Funnily enough, it’s the first one on the list. So either it’s a super awesome assignment sheet or ya’ll are lazy and just don’t want to scroll down the page! I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say it’s the former. 🙂

assignment-sheet-01

 

All in all, readers have downloaded over 10,000 assignment sheets so far. I hope you find them refreshing. Think about it – you could use a new one every year for the next 15 years of your teaching – I would call that refreshing!

The one I’ve been using this past year is definitely my favorite thus far! I’ll let you know when I get it and a few others up.