Experiencing the Seasons in our Studios and Life

The term “seasons” to me is an encouraging word. Why?

Because whether you’re talking about it in regards to the actual weather or life in general, it means a new start, a turn of events, a change.

Today we’re going to talk about five fun ways we can boost our experience of the seasons and embrace all that they are in multi-sensory ways.

In hard times – like when you’re quarantined for days, weeks, or months on end – finding ways to relish and participate in the current season can help bring a feeling of freshness and renewal.


#1 Music in our Studios

Christmas, of course, is the main season that immediately comes to mind when it comes to music because, as piano teachers, we get to experience Christmas music for two months multiple hours a day!

(Every year I try out a new Christmas book series. Last year it was Piano Safari’s “The Joy of Christmas” and this year Piano Pronto-pictured above.)

What about beyond Christmas though? Have you ever given your students a special piece just because it had a theme for Winter, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer, or Fall?

Not that every student has to have a special piece of music for every holiday or season, but it’s certainly a fun way to interject something different and a change of pace on occasion.

Individual sheet music solos would be the easiest and most convenient way to do this!



#2 Our Personal Music Playlist

As far as our personal listening goes, it can be easy to get stuck only listening to our favorite type of music (or group) such as classical, contemporary worship, or folk/bluegrass (like me! :-).

What if we could open our horizons a little more by changing it up with the seasons? A couple of years ago I started using Spotify. One of the things I love about it as opposed to Pandora is that you can create your own personal playlists and not just customized radio stations.

At first, it started with an Easter playlist because at the time I was filling in as a temporary Worship Team Coordinator for my church while we were on the search for a full-time Worship Leader.

I got addicted to creating these lists though and realized that even though they were playlists of the same tunes (not a radio station), it helped me explore even more music because I would listen to one list for a month, then change with the next month and/or season.

Don’t get me wrong, these lists aren’t all I listen to, but they’re often my first choice when popping on the tunes.

All of these playlists are public on my Spotify profile so you can enjoy them as well and maybe even create your own from my list!

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The New Christmas Lab Video Series

Ready for a little joy and good cheer?

The Christmas season is just around the corner and that means it’s time to start thinking of ways you can incorporate this glorious season into your lesson time.

We’re all a little tired, so can I help you out? 

Believe me when I say that the new free Christmas Video series here on Piano Pantry is a guaranteed smile on your student’s face.

The best part of it? This is a series that can easily be assigned to your online students, especially if you use a program like Tonara (see how I set up assignments like this in Tonara).


Where to find this video series

You can easily navigate to all of the free video series here on Piano Pantry by going to the Menu > Resources > Music Labs.

Currently, there are four different video series available:

Music Theory Videos

Holiday Lab – Halloween

Holiday Lab – Christmas

Fun Music Videos


Listening Guides

If you would like to go a little further, both the Halloween Lab and the new Christmas Lab have listening guides available in the Music Labs Shop.

The Christmas video series includes 23 videos and around 90 minutes of listening in a 9-page document.

A variety of songs and artists are included.

You’ll see pieces such as Silent Night, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Mary Did You Know, and Sleigh Ride, and hear from artists like Cameron Carpenter, Eric Whitacre, The Piano Guys (a lot, of course), the Berlin Philharmonic Choir, and more.

The accompanying lab sheet gives students brief and easy-to-digest background information on each piece followed by a reflection question.

Students are not necessarily asked to physically write out an answer to the reflection question (although you could certainly ask them to!), it is simply there to help guide them in active listening.

They are also asked to rate the video with 1-3 stars, which serves both as a way for students to reflect on how much they enjoyed the video and to track the pieces that they’ve listened to in the lab.

Add this lab to your cart now, or find it (along with other music labs in the shop).



Music Labs Made Easy eBook

Curious for more details on how I run my music labs? Get this 15-page eBook that is chock full of all kinds of “pro tips.”

We’ll talk about scheduling, set-up, and organizing labs. Laid out in an easy-to-read and understand format, this book will answer all your questions regarding music lab time!



Favorite Sheet Music Piano Solos for Halloween

This is the first of three posts highlighting some of my favorite sheet music piano solos for students.

These favorites lists are the result of a year-long focus in my studio, exploring the wide range of sheet music solos in publication. If you would like to read about the 9 things I learned from that project, check out this post.

Since I have quite a few to mention, I decided to divide the list into three posts. Today I’ll be sharing favorite Halloween-themed sheet music piano solos including the reason I love it and a link where you can purchase. I’m doing it first because Halloween will be here before we know it!

(Stay tuned for two more posts. The first will include favorite pieces at the Early Elementary, Elementary, and Late Elementary levels and the second post on Early Intermediate, Intermediate, and Later Intermediate pieces.)

Please note I am an affiliate in the Sheet Music Plus Easy Rebates program which simply means if you purchase any of these pieces using the links I provide, I will get a small percentage back without it costing you any extra.

P.S. I just saw that if you’re a member of MTNA, you can get an additional 10% off your order at Sheet Music Plus on top of their 8% Easy Rebates program!


Early Elementary

Halloween Costumes by Tom Gerou

Why I love it: The piece includes both the leading tone and subtonic in Am (G and G#) giving it a little more interesting flair.

Buy it at Sheet Music Plus  


Zoom, Zoom, Witch’s Broom by Nancy Faber

Why I love it: Its fast-moving tempo is a nice challenge for students. The piece also gives them a chance to experience the fermata, pedal, octave leaps.

Buy it at Sheet Music Plus

Continue reading

Friday Finds #161

2020 Vision

OK, I’ll admit I didn’t come up with this week’s title completely on my own. I was inspired by Seth Godin’s post “Seeing Clearly in 2020.” LOL

It was the perfect title though for the first Friday Finds of 2020.

What will you see from this weekly post in the upcoming year? 

What will stay the same… This will continue to be a Piano Pantry staple in the same format each week with around 10 good things put together in one list just for you.

What will change… In the past month, I’ve been trying to freshen things up with two small tweaks. First, notice each week now has a title. The items may or may not necessarily all fit into that theme, but it will help distinguish each week a little more.

Also, my creative flair will change up the Friday Finds image according to themes, months, holidays, seasons, etc.

That all. 🙂

Just for fun, did you know that this isn’t the first time Friday Finds has gone through small changes?

Phase one – Every week was titled by the date. The most popular of those, Friday Finds 05.13.2016 was actually the last one! That only lasted two months (thankfully) until I realized how boring it was to just use the date.

Phase two – Every week was titled from two or three items on the list to try and catch your interest. The two most popular from this phase were:

Friday Finds: Bubble Wrap Voicing and Triscuits

Friday Finds: Potato Variations and a Flying Piano…Up, Up, and Away!

That lasted almost two years to the exact week!

I found it started to stress me out a little not only having to come up with the list and meta description (blogger stuff), but also pick the items that would create a catchy list in the title. So, phase three gave me a little mental break.

Phase three – When I announced the countdown to the big #100, I started titling them with the number. 96, 97, 98, 99, 100! (I follow Joy the Baker who titles her weekend list this way. I figured if it worked for her, it could work for me!)

That’s lasted just over a year and a half.

It was time for a little shakeup so I started testing it out using a simple title beginning with Friday Finds #158: The Spirit of Christmas, and liked it, so here we are. What do you think?

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Enjoy your first Friday Finds of 2020, my friends!




11 Pop Culture Predictions for 2020 (Jeva Lange | The Week)

The first one had me a little confused at first (dead movie stars will be the new (alive) movie stars) but otherwise, it’s quite an interesting list!



When I first told you about my New Year’s Spotify playlist, I didn’t have the list set to “public.” If you had a hard time accessing it, here’s the link again! Sorry!



Do you have to deal with this on a regular basis like Rebecca?

Cold church blues: practicing organ in the winter. (Rebekah Maxner)



Keep your mind sharp and take up a pastime for the winter months.

Why Jigsaw Puzzles Are Incredibly Good for You (Piece Out)

I’ve always liked the idea of doing jigsaw puzzles more regularly but it’s one of those things that always seems to remain a “desire” more than an action…



The BEST roller mat ever.

Crystal Clear Heavy Duty Hard Chair Mat, Can Be Used on Carpet or Hard Floor




A beautiful poem on the conversation between us and our pianos. “What Music Gives Us.” (Nicole Douglass | Tonara)



There are certain foods that I’m just weird with. Meatloaf, spaghetti, and chicken soup are the first that quickly come to mind. I’m not a big fan of any of them and it has to be pretty darn good for me to partake.

This chicken soup, however, I can handle (and it’s not chicken noodle soup). It uses Israeli Couscous!) The addition of ginger, garlic, turmeric, and fresh herbs make it rich in flavor and high in nutrient goodness. (Monique Volz | Ambitious Kitchen)

If you can’t find Israeli Couscous in your local grocery like me, get it on Amazon.




Casseroles in general area also a weird thing for me, but I love this King Ranch Casserole (Nealy Dozier | The Kitchn).

Traditionally made with all the “cream of” soups, they found a way to do it without those. Yea!



How Rich Is Ina Garten? Really, Really, Rich. (Naomi Tomky | The Kitchn)

I discovered a few more fun facts I didn’t know about one of my favorite chefs!



Giving up your 1st class seat on a plane? THAT’S a good deed to tell about. (The Week)



Please note that there may be links to Amazon in this post. Piano Pantry is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Simply put, being an associate allows me to make a small percentage from Amazon on items to which I link at no extra cost to you.

Friday Finds #160

Ringing in the New Decade!

Happy last Friday of December (and of this decade!)

I was just looking back at old posts and realized that this is the first year I haven’t taken a break from Friday Finds through the holiday! Each year brings its own rhythm and this year I felt able to (and the desire to) keep things going.

Since I’ve been having fun adding themes to some the weekly Friday Finds recently (a trend that will continue into the new year), this week’s obvious theme is the upcoming turn into the next decade.

When I was a teenager in the ’90s, I explicitly remember not being concerned about the whole Y2K thing. However, the year 2020 always stuck in my mind as the year that was hard to fathom coming around. And yet, here we are.



Before we kick off the new year, let’s see what the best of 2019 gave us here on Piano Pantry. First off, the top Friday Finds posts from this past year:

#5Friday Finds #158: The Spirit of Christmas

#4Friday Finds #128 (April 12, 2019)

#3Friday Finds #138 (June 28, 2019)

#2 Friday Finds #148 (October 4, 2019

#1 – Friday Finds #150: Top 25 and a Giveaway! (of course)

I find it a little spooky that they all ended in the number eight…what’s up guys, do you have a thing with that number or something?



The Fabulous Five: Top Posts from 2019 (Amy Chaplin | Piano Pantry)



Is your belly feeling heavy already after just one holiday? Try one of my favorite salads: Seriously Delicious Detox Salad (Ali Martin | Gimme Some Oven)

Or maybe a recipe I haven’t had a chance to make yet: The Best Detox Crockpot Lentil Soup (Lindsay Ostrom | Pinch of Yum)



Since we’ve been slowly hosting more these past months, I’ve noticed a need for an ice bucket.

We’re loving this silver galvanized one from Amazon. The inner bucket comes out for easy cleaning and the scoop which hangs on the bucket is easier than using small tongs to get one piece at a time.



As you may have noticed, I’ve been having fun making Spotify playlists this year. I love all kinds of music and having various playlists to use for even just one, two, or a few weeks out of the year is a great way to change it up!

I just started a New Year’s playlist to use over the next week. It’s still in progress, but feel free to follow and see where it ends up!



10 Kitchen Resolutions for a Happy, Delicious Year (Clotilde Dusoulier | Chocolate and Zucchini)

My top ones from this list are:

#1 – Make the Most of the Cookbooks You Already Own

I’m starting this year off cooking from Amy Chaplin’s (the other one) book: At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen

#5 – Keep Your Greens Fresh

Clotilde’s tips have helped me in the past but I haven’t been consistent. It’s time.

#9 – Eat More Plants

…and also, seafood. I’ve been doing much better with this in recent months. Monday nights have generally become seafood night if possible. A few  favorite seafood recipes:

Buffalo Shrimp Lettuce Wraps (Gina Homolka | Skinny Taste)

Tilapia “Clubs” (Rachel Ray | RachelRayMag.com)

Frittata with Tuna and Tomatoes (Giada de Laurentiis | Food Network)



My Favorites of the Decade (Kendra Adachi | The Lazy Genius)

This is a fun idea for a post. So often we get favorites and top lists from the past year, but of the past 10?! Not so often.



ALL 10 are great tips:

10 Rules to Read More Books This Year: How to Make Reading Central to Your Personal Growth in the Coming Year (Joel Miller | MichaelHyatt.com)



On morning routines:

What if, instead of making resolutions to get up and go faster and faster, we resolve to think about our day “starting in the evening” and making rest a priority?

Starting the New Year with Rest (Amanda Beck | Morning by Morning)

The False Promise of Morning Routines: Why Everyone’s Mornings Seem More Productive Than Yours (Marina Koren | The Atlantic)



Thinking About the Winter of 2019 (Rachel Schultz)


See you next year!!!

XO Amy


Please note that Piano Pantry is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Simply put, being an associate allows me to make a small percentage from Amazon on items to which I link at no extra cost to you.

Friday Finds #159

Christmas Classics

This week our house has been buzzing with lots of construction!

Since the weekend before Thanksgiving, we’ve been working on finishing our stairwell. This was quite an involved task!

It included building and finishing the newel posts and handrails, removing the construction step treads, building and installing the outer and inner skirt boards, rebuilding/releveling the step bases (which has sagged slightly due to a year being unfinished), building the new treads, filling in nail holes, trimming, and painting.

The carpet is being installed as we speak (our final carpet install!) then we will put up the handrails and balisters.

On top of that, our master bathroom floor and shower are also getting tiled!

Long story short?

I’m thankful a friend encouraged me to schedule an extra week’s break over Christmas this year. It would have been impossible having students around this week!

Merry Christmas to you all!



Despite the busy week of construction, I still managed to make:

Poached Cod in Tomato Sauce (Michelle Tam | Nom Nom Paleo)

Seriously Delicious Detox Salad (Ali Martin | Gimme Some Oven)

Raspberry Orange Almond Muffins with Sprouted Wheat Flour (Amy Chaplin – the other one)



While we’re on the topic of food…

As far as baking goes, cookies are definitely my favorite (to eat and to bake!). You may be shocked then, to hear that the whole Christmas cookie “thing” has never been a “thing” in our family.

I think it’s because we already have way too many sweets as it is in December. The thought of baking 12 kinds of cookies just seems like a sugar-overload disaster waiting to happen.

This is more my language: My Favorite Christmas Cookies Aren’t Cookies at All — They’re Candied Orange Peels (Christopher Michel | The Kitchn)



CBS This Morning hosted a nice segment on Mariah Carey’s 25-year old Christmas classic, All I Want for Christmas is You. Songwriter Walter Afansieff shares the story of their collaboration while sitting at the piano.



I’ve been working on two Spotify Christmas playlists.

The first one I shared in my last Secret Letter (and maybe in another Friday Finds? I can’t remember…) It includes all of my favorite Christmas songs and albums from over the years (including said song above).

The second one is more of a Christmas worship-focused playlist. Feel free to follow either one. You can even use them to start your own playlist!



In the hustle and bustle of the season, don’t forget the people that are right in front of you.

THAT Person is More Important than Your Phone (Joshua Becker | Becoming Minimalist)



Last week, I shared a delicious Cookie Butter Puppy Chow one of my students gave me. It currently ranks as my all-time favorite, but in a close second is this Peanut Butter Brownie Puppy Chow one of my husband’s co-workers made last year. (Lizzy Cox | Your Cup of Cake)

Do you have a favorite puppy chow recipe? Share it in the comments!



This SNL children’s clothing ad is absolutely hilarious!



Five ways Emily P. Freeman experiences sacred moments around the table. [The Next Right Thing Podcast, Ep. 104 Make Soup (And Eat It Too)]



Public libraries scraping late fines – now THAT’S a gift! (Emma Bowman | NPR)



I absolutely LOVE this mindset for giving gifts shared in this article by Christine Bailey on The Art of Simple.

“For gifts, we follow the plan of each child getting three gifts from us: Something you want, something you need, and a surprise.”

Since Drew and I don’t have kids, we don’t really have a special “rule” like this, but if I had children, I would definitely keep my gift-giving process along these lines.

Does your family have a special “rule” for gift giving?


Please note that Piano Pantry is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Simply put, being an associate allows me to make a small percentage from Amazon on items to which I link at no extra cost to you.

Friday Finds #158

The Spirit of Christmas

Can I tell you guys how much I enjoy writing these weekly finds? I don’t know why, but it often feels like therapy. Perhaps because it’s almost a way of recapping my own week – things I’ve found interesting, cooked, and discovered?

I was really dragging last night and this morning so, I decided to go out of my normal routine, stay in my P.J.’s a little longer, drink coffee, and write my weekly finds. The coffee in my cup is generally black, but a twit of cream felt like what my soul needed this morning – and it did.

Sometimes just a little change of routine or rest is all we need to give us the energy to do the next task. I’m ready.



One of my students gifted me with a bag of Cookie Butter Muddy Buddies (Bake Me Some Sugar). That night, I emailed the mom and asked for the recipe – it was that good. #bestpuppychowever

Here are her notes to me:

I always use rice Chex and white chocolate chips, but think cinnamon Chex and/or cinnamon chips would be good, too. It says to shake in a ziploc bag and dry it on a cookie sheet, but I always just do it all in a big bowl and it works just fine. I tossed in some broken up biscoff cookies for something extra, but that’s not necessary. And I’ve tried the generic brand of cookie butter and it doesn’t taste quite as good, in my opinion.

The addition of the biscoff cookies was brilliant and reeeaaaally tasty.



So, I had a dream two nights ago that included a few colleagues from the piano pedagogy world coming to my house for dinner…



Shopping local and supporting your local small business? This touching video by a family-owned hardware store says it all. #bestillmyheart (CNN)



Keeping up with “The Spirit of Christmas” is this one minute peek into this year’s White House Christmas decorations. (American Military News) Beautiful!



Add this Cranberry Mulled Wine to your holiday recipe list. (I haven’t made it yet myself, but I’m looking forward to it!) (Gimme Some Oven)



I’m generally assigned the meat for any of my family’s holiday dinners. We like to do turkey for Thanksgiving and ham for Christmas.

If you have a fresh ham, I like Paula Dean’s simple recipe.

If you have a cooked spiral-sliced bone-in ham, I like Cook’s Country’s Maple-Glazed Ham



I haven’t answered my phone in years. My voicemail states that I do not answer due to spam. Yes, I’m on our state’s do-not-call list, but it doesn’t make a difference. It’s not just me: How Robocalls Became America’s Most Prevalent Crime (The Week)



Recent winning recipes from my table to yours:

Ground Beef Taco Casserole (The Kitchn)

I would call this the best recipe I found this month! We used it on top of romaine lettuce as a taco salad and it was absolutely delicious. I will never make taco salad again simply using taco-seasoned ground beef. The pinto beans in this recipe really add a nice thick and creamy texture. It would be good as a hot dip as well!

Maple-Mustard Chicken (Mother Thyme)

Two tips: First, I would just mix together the chicken marinade then toss the chicken it rather than putting the chicken on top of the veggies then pouring the marinade it on top and turning to coat. Also, I would cut the potatoes into smaller sizes – like a 1/2 inch dice. They were still a little crunchy by the time the chicken was done.

Baked Chicken Thighs with Brussels and Sweet Potato (Skinny Taste)

The Best Energy Bites (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)



The tile work is finishing up in our master bathroom so we’re getting ready to finally move out of a basement bedroom and into our master suite!

I’ve been on a heavy lookout for decorations and furnishings for the house in general (finally, the fun stuff!) and am loving these websites:

Overstock.comDuvet Cover

Hayneedle.comCard Display Holder

HobbyLobby.comGray Wire-Lined Basket Set

Wayfair.com (has several sites under its umbrella):

BirchLane.comPeachy Queen Upholstered Standard Bed


Please note that Piano Pantry is a participant in the Amazon Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Simply put, being an associate allows me to make a small percentage from Amazon on items to which I link at no extra cost to you.

December Fun

Christmas Games and Activities for Your Studio

Are you looking for ideas on fun “off bench” activities to use in this Christmas season? Look no further! Today I’m going to share some of my favorite games and resources that I return to year after year along with tips for each one.

First, let me briefly share how I store my holiday games. We have to stay organized, right?


Storing Games (Both Hard-Copy and Digital)

Inspired by Nicola Canton I’ve started storing my holiday-themed games in these clear plastic document folders.

(P.S. The A4 size is nice because if you laminate a letter size-sheet, the lamination makes it larger.)

It’s not a cheap way to store games as they’re almost $1 a piece, so I’m currently only storing my holiday-themed games in these. The rest of my games are stored in hanging files in a file drawer. (I’ll write a post on that another day!)

The digital files are stored in my cloud file manager.

From there, I name files for what they are. This allows me to see how many games, for example, I have, how many worksheets, etc.


Favorite Christmas-Themed Activities

In no particular order…

Holiday Rhythm Cups from Wendy Stevens at Compose Create.

This is a great way to have fun with rhythm in a unique and collaborative way. The set includes three songs in three levels: Deck the Halls, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and Joy to the World.

Check out a clip of my students having fun with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”

Continue reading

Giving Tuesday

10 Music-Based Organizations to Consider

In light of the upcoming global cause called #GivingTuesday, I thought I would share with you a list of 10 organizations that we as music teachers could consider supporting as we approach the end of the year.

First of all, I was curious and did a little research on this initiative and wanted to share some fun facts:

  • It is held the Tuesday following the U.S. Thanksgiving.
  • Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation.
  • The movement was a response to the rise in commercialization and consumerism during the post-Thanksgiving season (a.k.a. Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
  • The hash-tag (#) makes it empowering via social media.
  • There’s a whole website dedicated to #GivingTuesday!
  • It’s not just about donating money but about encouraging people to find a way to give back – whether that’s monetarily or simply of your time.


Presented in alphabetical order, here are ten organizations working for the betterment of our musical world. (In order to give you the most accurate description of each of these organizations, the descriptions have been taken directly from their website.)

Disclaimer: This list is simply based on research. I am not being paid by any of these organizations nor do not have experience donating to all of these organizations. Always do further research so you know where your investment is going!


#1 Give A Note Foundation

Give A Note Foundation was created to bring awareness to the importance of music education and to nurture, grow, and strengthen music education opportunities—for every student, every school, and every community. Because music not only offers students the chance to develop creativity and self-expression, but also builds skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking that are necessary for success.


Visit: giveanote.org


#2 Hungry for Music

At Hungry for Music, our mission is putting quality musical instruments into hungry hands. We serve children who demonstrate a desire to learn music, as well as teachers who have students willing to learn.

In 25 years, we’ve delivered more than 13,000 instruments to children in 49 states and 30 countries.

Visit: HungryforMusic.org


#3 MTNA Foundation Fund

The Music Teachers National Association uses the Foundation Fund to expand its mission through a variety of grants and awards to deserving music teachers and their students.

More than $150,000 in grants and awards each year for:

  • Competition Prizes for the winners of the MTNA Student Competitions
  • Collegiate Grants for the professional development of Collegiate members
  • Program Development Grants for music organizations to use as seed money in their quest for larger-scale funding
  • Community Engagement Grants for programs and projects designed to be used by affiliates to engage the local community in musical events
  • Teacher Enrichment Grants for MTNA members to pursue needed professional development opportunities
  • Affiliate Enrichment Grants for local and state MTNA affiliates to develop educational and professional development projects and programs
  • Composer Commissioning Program for MTNA state affiliates to commission new music to be featured at the state conferences

Visit: mtnafoundation.org


#4 Music Link Foundation

Our Mission:Any child who has musical potential deserves the opportunity to nurture this talent to its full extent. Many children lack the chance to receive music lessons due to financial need. The MusicLink Foundation reaches out to low-income families by linking these students with professional music teachers willing to reduce their fees to make the lessons more affordable for the child.

Note: The MusicLink Foundation does not reimburse teachers for this scholarship donation, but supports them in a variety of ways.

Visit: www.musiclinkfoundation.org


#5 Music Unites

Music Unites is the leading non-profit charity organization supporting music education around the world. Music Unites partners with music stars, celebrity ambassadors and music sponsors to promote music projects and events at local schools – educating kids through music. Music Unites is a music foundation that empowers children through donations from individuals, foundation partners, organization events and music education projects. Along with our music partners, musicunites.org features news, events, video and press of the organization. Special charity partners have supported the Music Unites Foundation while guiding youth towards planning achievable goals for the future. Music Unites feature workshops with ambassadors such as Swizz Beats, John Forte, Sting, Gary Clark Jr., and more.

Visit: www.musicunites.org


#6 The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation advances active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving, and public service programs.

#7 National Association for Music Education

National Association for Music Education (NAfME), among the world’s largest arts education organizations, is the only association that addresses all aspects of music education. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers. The Association orchestrates success for millions of students nationwide and has supported music educators at all teaching levels for more than a century

Visit: nafme.org/


#8 Pianos For Education

Pianos for Education supports piano education by loaning quality pianos to institutions…

…In pursuit of that goal, we have over time expanded our programs to seek out deserving institutions and organizations that lack the financial resources to acquire and maintain adequate inventories of quality pianos for their music-education curriculums. We also accept applications from private piano teachers and studios in need of piano loans for their students’ studies. All of our loan programs include regular service and maintenance throughout the term of the loan.

Visit: pianosforeducation.org


#9 Pianos for Peace

This program gives talented but disadvantaged young people the opportunity to acquire the skills and knowledge to actively contribute to the development of their communities…

…We encourage and support students to become “Ambassadors for Peace” to build bridges and heal communities through creative, educational and cultural exchange programs. Target groups include children, students, refugees, and deserving academic institutions.

At Pianos For Peace, we are achieving peace starting with the individual, to the community and the world.

Visit: pianosforpeace.org


#10 Pianos for People

Pianos for People inspires successful futures by providing free access to the transformational power of the piano.   For families and individuals with limited resources, we break down financial barriers and leverage the piano as a gateway to empowerment, community, and self-esteem. In an environment of support, inclusiveness, and equality, we do this four ways:

Inspiration:  Free Pianos
Education:  Free Lessons and Workshops
Community:  Free Special Events
Enrichment:  Free Summer Music Camps

Visit: pianosforpeople.org


I’m sure there are many, many more organizations out there that would benefit from our generosity on #GivingTuesday. If you know of any other organizations that work to support music education, please feel free to share in the comments!


Christmas Gift Round-Up!

A couple of years ago I shared severel ideas for great Christmas gifts to give to your music students.

Since not much time has passed since that post, I only have one new idea to add to my original list, so I thought it might be fun to also give you links to everyone else’s ideas too!


First,  a Tip!

Before I give you my round-up, I do have one new BIG TIP to share:

Keep a list of what you give your students each year!

The first year I opened my studio, I didn’t record the gift I gave and I regretted it because it is SOOOO nice to be able to look back and see what you’ve done recently.

Keeping a list means that you can easily repeat gifts with confidence.

This year, I’m cycling back and giving a gift that I did six years ago which means I’m confident a large majority of my students haven’t received this gift from me!

It’s a simple as writing it down in your favorite note-taking app (like Evernote, of course!).

Here’s my list (all of these items – except 2018 – were shared and are linked in my original gift-giving post.):


More Ideas

Last year I gave my students these Treble Clef Bookmarks.

At $13.00 for a pack of 10, you can’t go wrong for such a cute but economical gift! 

BONUS: The tassel makes them useable as an ornament and they come in a cute little box!


Get ideas from LOTS of different teachers in this Q&A Form post over at ColorinMyPiano.com

An Edible Ornament That Lasts for a Lifetime? (Leila Viss | 88 Piano Keys)

Christmas Gifts (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)

Christmas Gift for Piano Students (Joy Morin | Color in My Piano)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Students (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)

Christmas Gift Ideas Revisited (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)

Easy Recital Prep and Gift Ideas for Students (Melody Payne | The Plucky Pianista)

Gift Ideas for Music Students (Melody Payne | The Plucky Pianista)

Holiday Gift Ideas for Young Pianists (Karen Lien | You Love Piano)

Making Grab-Bag Gifts for Music Students (Joy Morin | Color in My Piano)

My Favorite Christmas Resources For Piano Teachers > Scroll down to “Inexpensive Gift Ideas” (Tracy Selle)

Music Student Gifts on Etsy

Piano Student Gifts on Etsy

Sheet Music Christmas Ornament – Gift Idea for Piano Students (Joy Morin |  Color in My Piano)

Student Gifts That Keep on Giving (Music Teachers Helper)

Student (and Family) Gifts in 3 Easy Steps (Rosemarie Penner | The Unfinished Lesson)


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