Friday Finds

Christmas Edition

As we enter the beginning of December, it’s time to start gathering ideas for holiday activities for group classes and, if you haven’t already, Christmas or Hanukkah music for students.

For some of my favorite holiday books, see Trusty Christmas Favorites: Repertoire I Return to Year After Year.

There’s a heck of a lot of Christmas activities floating around in piano teacher world – believe me, I’ve tried them all!

To help you weed through the noise, finds this week include activities I’ve included in lesson plans in the past and seem to return to plus a few more goodies.

1

Christmas rhythm dictation sheets | Pianimation. (They’re harder for students than you may think! Because of that, I don’t do these with my very youngest students. The same goes for the next one.)

 

2

Christmas carol rhythm matchups | Pianimation. My older students usually do well with this one.

 

3

My eyes are on the beautiful Farm Fresh Christmas Trees sign from HarperGrayceSigns.com for our new house (and studio)!

The Kris Kringle Bed and Breakfast sign from signsofhopear.comis also on my radar!

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Friday Finds

Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is a cook’s dream, wouldn’t you say? Choosing an array of food to eat at my family’s table is actually fun for me! Some of my favorite meals and music for the holiday season can be found on Amy’s Holiday Favorites.

Since many of us will be planning our lessons and group classes next week around the Thanksgiving theme, I thought I would focus this weeks finds on this American holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

1

The most popular Thanksgiving recipes by state. Indiana? Pumpkin pie.

 

2

Chasing the Turkey board game from Susan Paradis.

 

3

When we lived in Australia, one of my favorite chefs to watch on TV was the Canadian show French Food at Home hosted by Laura Calder. As we’re coming into a season of having our homes full of family, food, and friends, I cannot wait to read and relish in her new book The Inviting Life: An Inspirational Guide to Homemaking, Hosting and Opening the Door to Happiness.

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Friday Finds

Chord Town Christmas and the Newly-Named “Micro-Generation”

 

1

Yep, I’m a part of this so-named “micro-generation.”

 

2

I really liked this teacher’s idea of giving students a piano book for fun if they’re unable to make a lesson. Something they could sit down and just have fun playing through would be an ideal choice. I’m going to start doing this!

 

3

We are all about to embark upon the season of giving. Throw this fun book into your Amazon shopping cart for the kiddos or your nieces and nephews. It’s customizable to the state in which you live. The customization doesn’t just affect the title, but the contents of the book and what towns Santa visits! Continue reading

Friday Finds

A Piano Holiday in France and Finger-Patterned Scale Sheets

 

 

1

London-based piano teacher and blogger Graham Fitch is hosting a “Piano Holiday in France!” It’s not just about piano but is also about enjoying the local cuisine and wine! Nice!

 

2

Only 25 calories per drink. I’m adding a box or two of this Swiss Miss Light to my cupboard for the winter.

3

Teachers are so creative. Ohio-based teacher, Clinton Pratt has really put his brain to work in creating a scale sheet that highlights the 1-2-3, 1-2-3-4 patterns in all scales. In this thread on Facebook, he was still playing with it and asking for feedback. In this thread, he shares the final PDF download with several versions teachers. Continue reading

Friday Finds

Andragogy, Pedagogy, and a 19′ Piano

 

1

Anytime I tell someone I have a Masters of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance everyone always looks at me with their head slightly cocked, and their eyes conveying their puzzlement. “Peda-what?” They say.

Do you ever get this? My husband and I always get a good chuckle. Awhile back he messaged me while he was at a conference excited that someone in the session he was attending had just clarified perfectly the term and he thought I might like to share with you:

“Andragogy” refers to methods and principles used in adult education. The word comes from the Greek ἀνδρ- andr-, meaning “man”, and ἀγωγός agogos, meaning “leader of”; it literally means “leader of man”, whereas “pedagogy” literally means “leading children”.

Interesting!

 

2

Super stinking cool. Check out this 19-foot piano.

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Friday Finds

Cold Care and a Piano Parent’s Imaginative Practice Plan

 

1

We love hummus but unfortunately, our closest grocery (Walmart) does not carry tahini, a key ingredient. I finally decided instead of waiting until I make it to another grocery and have to “suffer” for weeks without hummus, I would just start buying it on Amazon. My favorite recipe from Milk Street Magazine recommends Kevala as their favorite brand so that’s what I’ve been using and it’s really good!

 

2

Natalie has found an awesome folding standup desk for teaching piano!

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Friday Finds

Smart Keyboard and Repertoire Rules

 

1

The Apple Smart Keyboard I use with my 12″ iPad Pro is an absolute dream. It’s slim, sleek, protective, versatile in its setups, and super convenient. It charges off the iPad itself and never has to be plugged in! I would buy it over and over again.

2

Elissa Milne’s Repertoire Rules post is one that I have saved and re-read on occasion. Good stuff.

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Friday Finds

Hedgehogs and Hurricane Relief

 

1

The difference between brown, green and red lentils.

 

2

Nicola has a great way of organizing her piano games using plastic button wallet folders. If you’re looking to organize your games digitally, check out Organizing Piano Games with Evernote.

 

3

Piano-playing sisters play to raise money for hurricane relief.  Continue reading

Friday Finds

Shiny Sinks and a New Podcast

 

1

I absolutely love watching Julie Knerr teach and have learned a lot from her about teaching young students over the last 5 years. It’s a lot of work making the videos she does, but what a wonderful contribution to the profession! Here’s her most recent video with a student in their first lesson.

2

Part of my nightly routine and kitchen clean-up always include giving the sink a thorough wipe down. I’ve never gone as far as this lady recommends but last week I cleaned my sink step-by-step as per her instructions and wow, it sure turned out shiny! Spraying Windex all over the sink and wiping it completely dry was the step I was missing. I can’t say I’ll be so diligent every night but I do like a clean sink… Continue reading

Friday Finds

PawPaw and Money-Making Tips

 

1

British Chef Gordon Ramsay takes a stab at an American-style breakfast. Hash browns, baked eggs, and caramelized bacon. Oh, my.

 

2

Deep thoughts on your “ideal piano teacher life” from Joy Morin. Continue reading