One Teacher’s “King-Sized Master Spreadsheet”

It’s always nice to see and hear how teachers are using the tools, tips, and tricks they hear about here on Piano Pantry. I was delighted to see Lauren Lewandoski share on her website this week her version of the King-Sized Master Spreadsheet.

Check out Lauren’s spreadsheet!

Have you created your own master spreadsheet as well? If so, I would love to feature a post that highlights how several teachers are customizing their own. Drop me an email!

 

Top Posts from 2018

The Best of the Best

 

It’s that time of year! Yep, it’s time for a recap of life, including the life of Piano Pantry! In this post you will find:
  • Most popular posts written in 2018
  • Most popular posts/pages of all time
  • Most read Friday Finds of 2018
  • My personal favorite from 2018
  • A month-by-month recap of posts from 2018

 

Most Popular Posts Written in 2018

#1 Piano Teacher Must-Have’s: A Minimalist’s List

#2 Candy Jar Contest Printable

#3 Manipulatives and Games for Private and Group Lessons: A Master List

#4 One-Click Calendar: Your Annual Studio Calendar Simplified [Video]

#5 Back-to-Teaching: Six Easy Recipes for the Week Ahead

 

Most Popular Posts/Pages of All Time

#1 Assignment Sheet Central

#2 Piano Safari Stuffed Animal Shopping Guide

#3 Piano Teacher Must-Have’s: A Minimalist’s List

#4 Candy Jar Contest Printable

#5 Evernote: An Independent Piano Teacher’s Handbook, Part 1

 

Most-Read Friday Find of 2018

#1 = Friday Find #100 (of course, it was the big recap and giveaway winner announcement! 🙂 )

 

My Personal Favorite From 2018

While this was not one of the top posts, the addition of the monthly “Secret Letter” was the biggest addition to Piano Pantry this year and the one thing that has excited me (and still excites me) the most.

Writing them is a highlight of my month (and hopefully it’s a highlight for readers as well!). They feel like a special piece of me delivered right into your hands.

If you would like to subscribe, you can do so here.

 

Month-by-Month Recap of Posts from 2018

January
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December
  • Piano Teacher World: A Year in Recap: 2018
  • This “Top Posts from 2018: The Best of the Best”  🙂

 


If you want to check out the recap posts from previous years check out:

Piano Pantry’s Best of 2016.

Piano Pantry’s Top Posts from 2017

 

Piano Teacher World

A Year in Recap: 2018

 

Last year (2017), after being inspired by a post written by Leila Viss in 2016, I decided to sit down and think through everything that happened not only in my world as an independent piano teacher but just in general in what I would call “Piano Teacher World”.

Writing posts like these the last couple of years have been very enlightening, encouraging and really just a healthy exercise in gratitude in general.

The idea behind the “Piano Teacher World” recap is to take a look back at significant news, happenings, and impact in the world of independent piano teachers. The final part of this post also includes resources that have made a direct impact on my own teaching.

I tried to be as thorough as I could and will admit that the list is much smaller than it was last year. Be sure and share in the comments if there was anything you would add to the list!

For the sake of being thorough, I asked for recommendations on multiple Facebook groups and received a lot of excellent feedback on The Art of Piano Pedagogy group regarding overall trends – all of which I agree with. Let’s start with those. (If you’re interested in reading all the comments, which are much more specific, check out the full post here.)

 

2018 Trends

1 | Declining or leveled-off interest in iPads and apps. Better balance and understanding in the role they play in lessons.

2 | Teaching and learning piano online is becoming more and more viable and easily available.

3 | A shift in attitude and growing excitement toward rote teaching/learning.

4 | Increased curiosity and interest in Music Learning Theory and how it can impact piano teaching, not just Early Childhood Music.

5 | Continually improved quality and ease-of-availability in regards to self-published material.

6 | Rising interested in quality blogs, podcasts, and online communities.

7|  Continual professionalization of the field.

8 | A renewed interest in pedagogy outside of academia.

9 | Ongoing concerns with declining membership in professional organizations such as MTNA.

Also mentioned in the list, while not a “trend,” was Brenda Wristen and Lora Deahl’s book Adaptive Strategies for Small-Handed Pianists (Published November 2017).

 

In Piano Teacher News

ELISA MILNE opened a shop on her website.


Launch of CYBER CONSERVATORY that accompanies the app Super Score.

A teacher friend shared this one specifically with me. She has always loved Marvin Blickenstaff’s method “Music Pathways” and Paul Sheftel’s MIDI accompaniment for the series. She says there are lots of good compositions by Lynn Freeman Olson. 


THE FRANCIS CLARK CENTER is continuing to see changes as Dr. Pamela Pike was named the new Editor in Chief/Chief Content Director and Dr. Andrea McAlister was appointed as the new Director of Content Curation and Senior Editor for Clavier Companion. 

They also launched a Facebook group for subscribers called Piano Teach Learn.

Continue reading

Listening Guide Updated

Yesterday I posted a Visual Listening Guide to use with students during group classes. I accidentally included “Lydian” twice in the tonality section and forgot Locrian. The sheet has been updated. Thanks to the reader who pointed it out!

View the post here.

Assignment Sheet with *that* Emoji Updated

A reader contacted me and asked if I would consider tweaking her favorite assignment sheet – #15 – on Assignment Sheet Central. Why?

Well, the “practice cake” graphic that shows students the steps for good practice kind of looked like *that* emoji. Yeah, you know which one I’m talking about. Don’t make me say it.

Well, OK…it is what it’s is.

It looks like the poop emoji. There. I said it. Do you agree?

In my defense, I’m pretty sure the poop emoji did not even exist when I created this assignment sheet.

That being said, I had to agree with her and thus, created a new design. Since the assignment sheet is titled “Practice Steps,” I thought it would be more fitting to use the visual of actual stair steps rather than a cake.

Like what you see? See more where that came from on Assignment Sheet Central.

 

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 as 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.

 

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.