Friday Finds #257

 

1

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

 

2

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

 

3

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)

 

4

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

 

5

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)

 

6

A new website, blog, and game membership resource: MusicGameClub.com

Get their free game, Dynamic Den, here.

 

7

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!

 

8

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.

 

9

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

 

10

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 

SIGN UP HERE

 


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

 

Friday Finds #256

 

1

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

 

2

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.”

 

 

4

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

 

5

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

 

6

A playlist for the winter season from “moi.”

 

7

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!)

 

8

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

 

9

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

 

10

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!

 

11

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!

 

1

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!

 

2

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.

 

3

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

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (The Roku Channel)

White Christmas (Netflix)

 

4

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

 

5

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

 

6

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

7

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

 

8

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

9

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!

Friday Finds #254

 

1

A nice simple visual of different types of artificial Christmas trees.

 

2

Creating a Seamless Music Experience (Daniel Light)

In this blog post, Daniel shares a variety of creating transitions between songs in different keys for a seamless musical experience in Christmas service music. Beautiful!

 

3

In Daniel’s post, he mentions the Carpenters Christmas Portrait Album, which has a seamless musical experience. I’ve never listened to this album, so I’ve added it to my list and am really enjoying it!

Other holiday playlists that are currently on my rotation include Shadow & Light Advent from Tsh Oxenreider as part of her advent book I’m doing and my own personal Advent playlist.

 

4

Transparent sticky notes?! I knew there were transparent tabs but not large post-its like this! Thanks to teacher Rebecca Brown for sharing this on Piano Teacher Central on Facebook. Mine are already on their way!

 

5

Holiday Activities for Your December Group Classes (The Piano Pantry Podcast).

One of the items I mention is piano ensembles. The resource I’ve always used is Hal Leonard’s Christmas Piano Ensembles. This year, however, I’m excited to try out another resource – Lauren Lewandowski’s Piano Ensemble Music.

She has three Christmas ones (Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, and Carol of the Bells). At the time that I’m writing this post, they’re discounted from $14.50 to $8.50 – I purchased all three!

 

6

A free source for hymn lead sheets and more.

 

7

Music Teachers Helpers Helper was the very first online music studio management software (that I was ever aware of, at least). A couple of years ago, it was bought out and is now Duet Partner.

I really enjoyed hearing the story in this interview on the Music Studio Startup Podcast with the new owner and CEO, Neylan McBaine.

 

8

“The Musical Communication Podcast” was created as an extension of the Ploger Method. In this podcast, Marianne and her producer, Karen, explore her method, music perception, and cognition as well as how we can develop fluency in our musicianship.

 

9

My husband and I really like cooking with cast iron and both enjoy following this Cast Iron Cooking group on Facebook.

 

10

Should We Measure Our Student’s Musical Growth

Interesting thoughts from Eric Bluestine, author of one of my favorite books, How Children Learn Music.

Friday Finds #253

 

1

Items that I’m making for various holiday gatherings over the next week:

Dry-Brined Turkey with Roasted Onions (Smitten Kitchen)

I have never made this turkey recipe so I can’t vouch for it, but I’ve been a Smitten Kitchen fan for years. Also, this past year we made a few recipes that used Gochujang sauce (a fermented chili paste) and we really liked it. I don’t think it will make the turkey spicy or “Asian-food” flavored, it will just give it a nice deep “Umami” flavor.

Arkansas Green Beans (Bubba Pie)

Dijon-Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Recipe Center)

Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallow Topping (Cook’s Country)

Apple Fritter Cake (King Arthur Baking)

Citrus-Cranberry Tart (The Kitchn)

Cranberry Rosemary Shrub Cocktail (Good Life Eats)

 

2

My favorite password manager, Last Pass, is celebrating Cyber Week by offering 25% off on Premium, Family, Teams and Business accounts. Offer is valid for new purchases only and runs between November 21st , and November 29th.

 

3

I haven’t had to stop a podcast to write down so many quotes in a long time like I did with Kate Bowler’s recent interview with Priya Parker, author of The Art of Gathering.

 

4

Check out all the wonderful Free Resources available on Creative Piano Teacher!

 

5

I binge-watched through a couple of playlists recently. The first is a series of videos of vocal artist Natalie Weiss giving private coaching sessions.

The second is a series of videos of MLT-trained teachers demonstrating how they “teach a tune.” Mostly this is geared toward Music Education but I still find it inspiring and helpful to see their process.

 

6

All YouTube Creators are getting their own handles.

Mine is YouTube.com/@amychaplinpiano.

 

7

If you’re on Spotify, fill your holiday week with this super fun Thanksgiving playlist!

 

 

 

Friday Finds #252

 

 

1

While working on one of my speaking sessions, newly available this year, I discovered a highly useful tool on Canva.

It’s a Color Wheel. You can input one color, and it will give you a variety of other colors that can be used in combination with that color. This would be super useful if you had a studio or brand logo with a color and you wanted to add more colors to it.

 

2

Canva is part of my daily work flow. While working on slides however, I wasn’t sure at first how I could use their slide templates but then easily change the color scheme without changing each item one by one. I knew there had to be a solution. As always, I just had to Google it! The place to do it is at the bottom of the page and I didn’t even see it until I read about it.

How to Quickly Update All Colors in Canva with Just One Click | Anchor Design Co.

 

3

While I’m only one chapter into it, I’m already thoroughly enjoying this short little book by Anne Lamott.

Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers

 

 

4

I purchased this and another book for the first time on ThriftBooks.com. It was a great way to get a book in good condition for half the price! Reduce, reuse, recycle!

 

5

In the first chapter of the above mentioned book, Lamott mentions The Merton Prayer, a beautiful, raw prayer we can all relate to at some point if not frequently in life. I printed it out immediately.

 

6

Interested in being part of saving standard time and ending the switch to daylight savings time forever? Help take action here. 

 

7

Thanks to teacher Abby Maser for introducing me to matte-texture screen protectors!

If you could call the feel of something “delicious,” this is it!

Supershieldz iPhone 12 Tempered-Glass Screen Protector

 

8

Practical advice from Jennifer Foxx: Opening a Zip File

 

9

White Bean Pumpkin Turkey Chili | Skinny Taste

Thanks to Christina Whitlock for recommending this recipe. My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed it and will definitely make again!

 

10

Does getting students to sightread feel like pulling teeth at times? Consider Rebekah Maxner’s idea of a “YOYO” assignment instead.

P.S. Guess who’s going to be in the next Teacher Talk episode (#45) of The Piano Pantry Podcast?! 🙂

 

11

Should Piano Students Memorize Their Repertoire? | Janna Williamson

 

12

In high school I remember being the fastest typist in my computer class. There were two reasons I was successful with typing early on. First, I taught myself to type on my parents electric typewriter in middle school. Second, it has to be because of piano lessons too, would you agree?

Awhile back, I saw piano teacher Clinton Pratt share a link on Facebook for a free typing test. I hadn’t taken a test since high school so I thought it would be fun.

I’m happy to report those fingers still do me well – 97WPM, 99% accuracy. Wahoo! So fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday Finds #251

Welcome back! After a bit of a break from Friday Finds following #250 (which you should check out because it includes fun finds from other teachers), I’m excited to get this series going again!

While I strive for it to be a weekly series, I’ve learned that it’s better for life not to put those restrictions on myself, so if you want to make sure you get the latest delivered to your inbox, signup for my email list here. (Be sure and check the box that says “please send new posts to my inbox.”)

Enjoy!

 

1

Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey method has received an update! I’m excited to see the changes. You can order from her website here.

 

2

Over 25 Music Podcasts Music Educators Can Follow (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)

 

3

Earlier this year, as we began planning our trip to Europe, the first thing we did was purchase Rick Steves: Europe through the Back Door book. 

It was incredibly helpful in choosing sights and getting lots of travel and packing advice.

 

 

4

One thing I missed the most food-wise while in Europe for a month was Mexican food! The first night we got home, I tried a new recipe: Slow Cooker Creamy Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Soup (Recipe Runner)

We really enjoyed it! I made a few additions, including 1 chopped chipotle in adobo (about 1-2 T.), which gave it a soft smokey flavor with just the tiniest bit of spice. I also toasted up some soft burrito shells that needed to be used up, then threw them in at the end right before serving, creating a nice thickened texture.

 

5

I’m a Dietitian, and My Son Eats the Same Lunch Every Day – Here’s Why That’s OK (The Kitchn)

I love the perspective presented in this article for children and adults – our health is not just about one meal but an overall big picture.

 

6

[PODCAST EPISODE] Simplified Organization for the New School Year (Ashley Danyew | Field Notes on Music Teaching  Learning)

 

7

This Map Can Tell You When Fall Foliage is Peaking in 2022 (NPR)

Very cool!!

 

8

We enjoyed watching the Netflix series “Inventing Anna,” based on the true story of major con artist Anna Sorokin. Miss Sorokin was recently freed but faces deportation (NPR).

 

9

Piano Teacher Scams: How to Protect Yourself Against Fake Students, Free Piano’s Celebrities, and More (Rebekah Maxner)

 

10

The Best and Worst US Airports for Cheap International Flights in 2022 (Scotts’s Cheap Flights)

 

11

Check out how Natalie is using her new Apple HomePod Mini’s in her studio this fall!

 

12

How to Prepare for College Auditions (The Piano Prof)

 

Friday Finds #250: YOUR Favorites!

Here we are! 250 Friday Finds posts since March 2016. I’ve been soooo excited to post this one for a while now.

The twist is that this list is a culmination of items you sent to me that you either discovered and loved from this weekly series or were items you would include if you were to publish your own list! I hope you enjoy this special celebration week.

I also wanted to give you a heads up that this will be the last Friday Finds for a couple of months as I will be out of the country with my husband for a month-long trip to Europe to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. I’ll be back with the series in early November and look forward to the next 250!

 

1

Submitted By Rebekkah Maxner

The Friday Find I wanted to mention that touched my heart was about a mom who had cancer, but she and her husband chose not to tell their kids about her prognosis. They maintained a home atmosphere that spared their kids from worrying or making choices based on their mom’s illness.

I felt that was so selfless and likely contributed to her prolonged quality of life. What a gift to have given her kids — years of living in sunshine instead of under a cloud. She gave them a childhood defined by innocence.

My Wife Was Dying, and We Didn’t Tell Our ChildrenThe choice was unusual but loving: We wanted them to live without the shadow of their mother’s mortality hanging over them.” (from The Atlantic)

(From Friday Finds #121)

 

2

Submitted by Eva Marie Coyne

I absolutely love, love, love your Friday Finds. The one that sticks out in my mind was on Canva from Friday Finds #241.

10 Canva Features You Probably Didn’t Know About (Midnight Music)

 

3

Submitted by Janna Carlson

This Oven Baked Chicken and Rice recipe has saved me a few times over the past couple of months. We recently moved, and my time, energy, and ingredients have been extremely limited (I won’t even talk about my baking dish situation…okay, I have ONE glass baking pan.). This recipe only requires one dish, the prep is super simple, and the flavor is fantastic—perfect teaching night meal and super cozy for fall.

 

4

Submitted by Shelley Pritt

This is not directly related to Friday Finds, but your emphasis on developing a piano teacher community has struck a chord with me…

…Your encouragement through examples in the podcast episode #013 How to Make Music Teacher Friends) pushed me to extend to real-time teacher relationships in my state. I’ve joined my local MTNA, and I’m looking to host a group of local non-MTNA teachers in the fall!

 

5

Submitted by Abby Maser
Simple Modern 28oz tumbler – doesn’t spill easily, contains a lot of liquid, easy to take a sip in lessons, AND it fits in my cup holder.

6

Submitted by Alicia Gaggioni

I loved your One-Minute Club, and I started working on this idea this Fall. I prepared in ziplocks the cards for every level, so I have them ready for every class. Thank you!!

 

7

Submitted by Christina Whitlock

I have many favorite things from Friday Finds (you can probably guess what they are!).  Here are the things that come quickest to mind:

1 – The Good Earth Sweet and Spicy Tea
2 – The Sanuk Yoga Joy Flip Flops (Friday Finds #134, #150, #245)
3 – The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill podcast (Friday Finds #240)
4 – The Cheesy Egg Casserole (Friday Finds #201)

You KNOW Friday Finds are my absolute favorite email.  Thanks for delivering us all the goods over the past few years!

 

8

Submitted by Carol Lescinski

The first thing that came to mind was the Churro Brownie recipe (Friday Finds #243)!! I’ve made it numerous times already!

 

9

Submitted by Abby Maser

Creature Comforts USA – What is Art? [Video] 

Creature Comforts USA – Art from ART 110F on Vimeo.

 

Friday Finds #249

Don’t forget – I need your help! Next week will be #250 of this series. My goal is for it to be a culmination of the best items YOU’VE discovered from this series.

You can drop me an email or comment directly on this blog post. (It would also help me greatly if you could include any links.)

Thank you so much for taking a moment to share back with me and other teachers who enjoy this series!

 

1

I’m a sucker for trying out different visual scale fingering charts. Here’s one I came across recently from Nancy DeHaven. It gets high kudos from me for its visually clean and simple design.

 

2

Some of my favorite fall-time recipes:

Fall Harvest 3 Sisters Soup

Healthy Pumpkin Bread

Spiced Pumpkin Raisin Cookies

 

3

Natalie has a new advanced piano solo arrangement out of “Jesus Paid it All with Wondrous Love.” At $3, it’s a bargain I didn’t pass up!

 

4

Some recent fun TV watches:

Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist (NBC) – A fun, lighthearted show/tv musical.

Echoes (Netflix) – A riveting mini-series “thriller” about twins who switch lives.

 

5

In celebration of my birthday and podcast episode #034 How to Play Happy Birthday By Ear, get 10% off my Happy Birthday resource through the end of September. Use code 34TAKE10.

 

6

A tomato truck spill makes a major California highway a marinara mess.  (NPR)

 

7

The Ultimate List of Halloween Sheet Music for Piano Students (Creative Piano Teacher)

Favorite Sheet Music Piano Solos for Halloween (Piano Pantry)

A Halloween-Themed Listening Activity (Piano Pantry)

Halloween Favorites: Games, Resource, Graphics, and More (Piano Pantry)

 

8

A grant I wish I had known about when I was a teacher starting out: Studio Teacher Fellowship (MTNA) (due Nov. 1)

 

9

What’s the Difference Between Corn Oil, Canola Oil, and Vegetable Oil? (The Kitchn)

 

10

An Autumn playlist from me to you on Spotify:

 

Friday Finds #248

Can you believe we are 248 posts into this series?! Writing a weekly “goodies” series was one of the first things I wanted to do when I started this blog in 2016.

As we approach the next big milestone, I need your help! I would love for #250 to come from YOU. Specifically, would you share the BEST items you discovered from a Friday Finds post? 

It could be a recipe I linked to that is now a staple for your family, a new resource, a fun video, one of my Spotify playlists…ANYTHING.

You can drop me an email or comment directly on this blog post. It would also help me a lot if you could include any links.

I’ll gather your favorites over the course of the next two posts before the big #250 hits. Thank you so much, teacher friends, for your continued enthusiasm for this series!

 

1

A few online teacher friends got some updates to their websites. Check them out!

 

2

Apparently, the secret “11 herbs and spices” of KFC has been revealed???

My husband is dying to try it. Fried chicken this week, anyone?

 

3

In our technology-driven world, one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to be intentional about learning how to use the programs we use daily well. Shortcuts can be a powerful tool for smooth workflow and productivity.

Here are a few useful tips if you use Chrome as your browser:

Tips & Shortcuts for Better Browsing (Chrome)

 

4

It’s the time of year some of you are updating your policies. Jennifer Foxx has you covered with her “Studio Policy Script Starters” resource.

 

5

A few podcast episodes I’ve particularly enjoyed recently:

 

6

Speaking of podcasts, I’ve been looking for a new news podcast for a change of pace. My brother recently recommended The Last Debate Podcast. I’ve really been enjoying it! It drops twice a week and is a well-balanced look at what’s going on in the news from both sides in a 100% non-confrontational way.

 

7

Any Friends fans? An actual Central Perk Coffeehouse is coming soon! (The Kitchn)

 

8

16 Ideas for First-Time Music Festival Adjudicators (Chris Foley)

 

9

Six Things I’ve Learned from the Amish About Living Living Intentionally (Becoming Minimalist)

My mom grew up in Northeast Ohio around large Amish communities, and our area also has many Amish communities. There is something very peaceful and nostalgic to me about learning from their practices.

 

10

As I started building and mapping out our upcoming European trip, I came across this video of some great Google Map Features from my favorite YouTube tech guy.