Friday Finds #243 Best of April

1

Since Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, here are some of my favorite Mexican-style dishes:

Game-winning Guac (very classic)
Guacamole Salad (fresh and healthy)
Ground Beef Taco Casserole (good as a dip for chips or as the base for taco salads instead of just seasoned ground beef!)
Skillet Chicken with Mexican Green Rice (super easy and great for feeding a family)
Taco Torte (a fun twist and pretty presentation – but easy!)
Churro Brownies (sooo good)

 

2

RCM Piano Syllabus 2022 (6th Edition) – a great rundown from Rebekah Maxner

 

3

Spring is in the air: here are some good Spring Cleaning tips from the special Saturday edition of my favorite news podcast.

 

4

A fun unboxing video from Janna for her new hydraulic bench!

 

5

Looking for a fresh idea for fun little student prizes/incentives?

From Lauren Lewandowski: How I Use Music Money in My Studio
From me: A Simple Incentive Program and Prize Box Items Students Love

 

6

Five Statements Your Kids Need to Hear Today (Forward Progress)

 

7

Helping students at performance time:

Piano Performance Checklists (Piano Pantry)
Preparing Students to Perform Their Best (podcast w/ Leila Viss & Samantha Coates)

 

8

Studio Awards: Policies and Procedures(Piano Pantry)

 

9

Yeah, I’m pretty sure I have almost all of these items, so I agree 100%! 🙂

 

Friday Finds #242

 

1

As this first Friday Finds post following the MTNA 2022 conference, here are a few recaps you might enjoy:

Reflections on MTNA 2022  (Janna Williamson)

2022 MTNA Virtual Conference Recap (Joy Morin)

Music Teacher Eats: MTNA 2022 Edition (Amy Chaplin)

 

2

After staying at my house (and sleeping in my studio space – ha!) during the MTNA 2022 conference, Janna was inspired to do a tour of her studio!

 

3

Teacher Anna Haugen has a website called “Midlife Creative.” She recently did an artist feature post on a woman who makes incredible homemade pizza every Friday night for her family. The kind of pizza she makes is the kind of pizza of I love but don’t take enough effort to make regularly. I’m thinking it’s time for that to change…

 

4

Jennifer Foxx hit a tender spot in my heart when she recently shared a new playlist on Spotify she’s been developing called “Feel Good Songs.” Follow her and give it a listen!

 

5

Interest in choral singing is not declining in America, so why are church choirs disappearing? (Baptist News Global)

 

6

This short 5-minute video taught me some really amazing keyboard shortcuts! Even if you don’t use Evernote, many of these are applicable in other programs.

 

7

 

A great post on using devices for music reading and hands-free page-turning. (Creative Piano Teacher)

 

8

Food Prices are Going Up at Levels Americans Haven’t Seen in Decades (NPR)

 

9

Over the last few weeks, I have found myself incredibly addicted to a YouTube channel called Honeyjubu. She is a Korean woman who Vlogs about home life and food. I’ll just say there has been some serious binge-watching going on.

In the process, I also discovered a similar one called Hamimommy.

Do you have any favorite Vlog channels you follow on YouTube? Let me know in the comments!

 

10

Thanks to Leila Viss for telling me about the “Everything Happens” podcast by Kate Bowler. Recently, I really enjoyed the episode with novelist Ann Patchett.

 

11

14 Food Logos With Sneaky Hidden Messages (Taste of Home)

Oh my goodness, you have to take 5 minutes to actually read and process each of these 14 logos. So fun!

 

12

For Easter each year, we drive 50 minutes immediately following church to an extended family pitch-in lunch for my husband’s side of the family. Due to having to pack up food prior to church and have it sit for 3 hours in our car before the meal, I always do easy things that can survive without heat or refrigeration (or be OK with a simple ice pack).

This year’s picks:

Scotcheroos (made with Special K cereal)

Dill Pickle Dip with crackers

 

Friday Finds #241 Best of March

 

1

Curious about the Boom Card “boom”? LOL Check out Melody Payne’s tutorial on using boom cards in online lessons.

 

2

Language Matters: What Languages Learners Need to Know About Ukrainian (Duolingo Blog)

 

3

Coffee Drinks from Around the World (Williams Sonoma)

 

4

Canva is such an amazing resource and one that I have come to use almost daily. Even when I think I know a program well, I find myself always learning something new from Katie Wardrobe at Midnight Music. Check out the podcast episode #134:10+ Canva features you probably didn’t know about.

 

5

Music Notation Software Recommendations for Teachers and Students (Color in my Piano)

 

6

“The Pianist” Movie – A True Story (Piano Street)

 

7

Recent recipe finds worth a try:

Baked Chicken Taquitos (Kirstineskitchenblog.com) – My brother made this and even his (super picky) kids loved them, as did we!

Cuban Beef Picadilla (The Kitchn) – A fairly simple dish that can be served with rice or cauliflower rice on the side.

 

8

The Best Music Quotes for Piano Teachers (Creative Piano Teacher)

 

9

I just find this soooo touching and yes, it totally made me cry at the end!

 

10

An excellent article from Jane MacGrath on progressing students through what she calls “black hole literature.” An excellent pairing to this article is another article and free download from Janna Williamson on how to evaluate repertoire difficulty.

 

11

WordPress vs. Squarespace (Janna Carlson | Studio Rocket Web Design)

 

12

We’re all a little picky on the way we teach chords and scales. Maybe this new complete scales and complete chords book will be one that works well for you!

 

Friday Finds #240 Best of February

With so much coming at us every single day my dear teacher friends, it has always been my goal that this series offers you a way to “weed through.”

Here’s some of the best of what I’ve come across in recent days both in piano-teacher world and life.

*Edit* I wrote this post a few days before Russian attacked Ukraine. Here is the best of what I’ve followed so far.

Ukraine, A Brief History (It Just Gets Stranger)

The Daily Podcast (The New York Times). Here’s the most recent episode: Ukrainians’ Choice: Fight or Flee?

 

1

Something we’re all wondering…

How Will Inflation Affect Your Lesson Rates in 2022 (Janna Carlson | Studio Rocket Web Design)

 

2

Slow Cooker Sausage and White Bean Soup (Delish.com)

Who doesn’t like a new and delicious slow cooker recipe? This one has a REALLY flavorful broth and is so easy!

 

3

The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill (Podcast)

At my February local book club meeting, a friend confided in the group that she had not been reading much because she had been engrossed in a podcast.

This podcast takes you inside the story of Mars Hill Church in Seattle – from its founding as part of one of the largest church planting movements in American history to its very public dissolution—and the aftermath that followed. 

Thanks to her recommendation, it’s totally had me in its grip this past month. I’m not finished yet, but I’m 70% through and completely in shock at this true story. I think you’ll get addicted as well!

 

4

Our Favorite Piano Teaching Websites (Creative Piano Teacher)

 

5

A review of the app “PlayScore 2” (Jennifer Foxx | Music Educator Resources)

It’s pretty slick! You can take any score you own, scan it and it will immediately start playing.

 

6

The Daily Examen (Emily P Freeman | The Next Right Thing Podcast)

 

7

How to Seek out Different Music (Podcast episode)

Most of us teach, perform and listen to Classical music. Many of us also teach pop songs or jazz. But do you ever break outside of these walls? And if you want to teach different types of music, how do you find it?

That’s the question Nicola answers in this episode of the Vibrant Music Teaching Podcast – one of my favorite of her most recent episodes!

 

8

What’s the Difference Between East Coast and West Coat Butter?

Don’t worry – even I had no idea there was a difference!

 

9

Interested in self-publishing and selling your sheet music? I just recently heard about ArrangeMe.com, owned and operated by Hal Leonard.

This site allows people to sell their arrangements of popular songs, public domain works, and original compositions through the world’s most popular sheet music retailers. Cool!

 

10

Bulgarian Cheese, Feta and Egg Toast (The Modern Noona)

Such an easy and delicious recipe to make for lunch!!!

 

11

My 15 Biggest Piano Teaching Mistakes (Podcast episode)

In his first solo episode, Ben Kapilow lists 15 piano teaching mistakes he made earlier in his teaching career, which he was inspired to correct as a result of interviewing various piano teaching experts for the last 50+ episodes of the podcast.

Ben has had a brilliant group of guests on his podcast. If you haven’t listened yet, definitely subscribe!

 

12

Any Le Creuset fans out there? Well, I’m more of a dreamer. LOL. They have a big sale going on through March 14. Check out!

 

13

Musiciative.com – a new website from Jonathan Roberts.

 

13

Tips for Teaching Scales (Chrissy Ricker)

 

Friday Finds #239 Best of January

Welcome to the first Friday Finds of 2022! It’s been a busy January with the startup of The Piano Pantry Podcast. I hope you’ve had a chance to catch at least one episode if not all four.

As life moves forward, things change and evolve including what I’m doing here on Piano Pantry. If you’ve been around here awhile, you may have noticed that this weekly series has become a little more sporadic.

My beloved Friday Finds series has and will continue to remain, but may be more dependent on what life allows from week to week and month to month. At a minimum, you will always see an end-of-month “best of” publication.

So, thanks for sticking around for this series my friends, a Piano Pantry staple and reader favorite since 2016!

 

1

I discovered the most DELICIOUS soup recipe this past weekend Pulled Pork Chili Verde (The Kitchn).

I added 1 c. fire-roasted corn (from Trader Joe’s) as well as additional liquid – the liquid that came out of the instant pot from cooking the pork shoulder. No additional salt was needed at the end due to the addition of that liquid.

Soooooo good!!!!!

 

2

In Praise of Slowness (FS.com)

 

3

As you’re building your list of books to read in 2022, consider some suggestions from Chris Foley of FoleyMusicandArts.com. Books Read in 2021

 

4

Piano Studio Business Claims: Things that spark joy can be claimed at tax time (Rebekah Maxner)

 

5

How I organize all my receipts for tax time: Get Organized!: Bills, Expenses, and Receipts (Piano Pantry)

 

6

12 Podcasts for Piano Teachers to Follow in 2022 (Joy Morin | Color in My Piano)

 

7

Podcast episode: The Life and Legacy of Sidney Poitier (The Daily)

Podcast episode: How Disgust Explains Everything (The Daily)

 

8

97-year-old pianist, and last surviving pupil of Rachmaninov, signs landmark record deal (Classic FM)

 

9

How to Teach Form and Memorization to Beginning Piano Students (Natalie Weber | Music Matters Blog)

 

10

Baking Bread as an Act of Hope (The Rabbit Room)

 

11

While we’re on the topic of bread, recently I discovered a wonderful store-bought pita at our Walmart – Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita. It’s low in calories (60 apiece), soft, light-weight, and a good source of protein.

 

12

A few more favorite bread recipes:

Everything Bagel Pull-Apart Bread with Cream Cheese – so easy and so good! (Just a Taste)

High Protein Bread (Oat Sandwich Rolls) (Skinny Taste)

The Easiest Bread Recipe You’ll Ever Bake (Williams Sonoma)

 

13

Seth Godin on piano tuning…kind of, LOL. Do You Have a Tuner?

 

14

Best Kitchen Towels: Zeppoli Kitchen Towles (The Kitchen)

 

15

What Makes a Great Intermediate Piano Teacher (Janna Williamson)

 

 

Friday Finds #238…for the New Year

It’s only every 7 years (ish) that New Year’s Eve will land on a Friday. We celebrated our “Best of December” Friday Finds before Christmas and I told you it would likely be the last unless I just ended up with some great stuff. Well, here I am with one more batch of goodies as the new year turns over!

 

1

If you buy much of anything on Amazon, you know that sometimes the order total does not always end up being the transaction amounts that show up on your form of payment. Multiple items in an order may ship differently and don’t charge to your form of payment until they ship.

This has proven quite tricky for me as we download and categorize all of our transactions into Quicken for budgeting purposes (read more on that here). As we were struggling through the holiday transactions, Drew finally Googled something like “how to quickly find Amazon transaction amounts”.

Lo and behold!!!!

It took a few steps, but here they are:

  1. In Amazon go to > Accounts & Lists in the top right corner
  2. Click on “Account”
  3. Click on “Your Payments”
  4. Click on the “Transactions” tab
  5. Voila!

To make it a little easier, here’s the direct link:
https://www.amazon.com/cpe/yourpayments/transactions

This was a huge life-saver! It’s so much easier to find transaction amounts than searching directly through your order invoices!

 

2

Looking for a good laugh? Listen to the “Your Holiday Horror Stories” episode on The Lazy Genius Podcast.

Other recent enjoyable episodes include “A Season to Savor” from the Death, Sex, and Money Podcast, and Special Edition: News Defining 2021 from The Newsworthy Podcast.

 

3

Speaking of podcasts…if you didn’t already see the announcement, I’ll be launching The Piano Pantry Podcast in January 2022!

 

4

A play on Auld Lang Syne using Hanon’s first pattern in “The Virtuoso Pianist” from the Faber’s.

 

5

Chad Twedt doesn’t post often on his site, Cerebroom, but when he does, I always find it thought-provoking and fascinating. Check out: New MyNoise Soundscape: Piano Escape.

 

6

Following up from #4, in my opinion, the best way I find to keep track of new content on your favorite sites (especially those that don’t post a lot like Chad’s) is to use an RSS reader. Find out more here: Managing Internet Content the Easy Way.

 

7

Joy just launched a new product, it’s a project kit on creating a studio-wide video of The 12 Days of Christmas. The launch promo code expires on January 10.

 

8

5 Things to Do Before you Declutter (Becoming Minimalist)

 

9

Some New Year-themed jams for your listening pleasure this week.

 

Friday Finds #237 Best-of-December

Happy End of 2021 everyone! Unless I just end up having a big list of goodies pile up by New Year, I plan for this to be the last Friday Finds of 2021!

 

Christmas Treats

 

1

I have been connected to and following fellow teacher Daniel Light for quite some time and especially love his #thingspianostudentssay hashtag. It wasn’t until recently I discovered he has quite a lovely website and fabulous piano arrangements including some Christmas ones!

 

2

My new favorite Christmas candy – Andes Peppermint Crunch! I grabbed a bag of these randomly while at the story early in the season and they did not last long, oh my!

Peppermint + white chocolate + Andes brand = heaven to me.

 

3

How to Wrap a Gift the Williams Sonoma Way

 

4

As you continue to tickle your ears with all kinds of Christmas music, try some of my holiday playlists including Christmas Jazz and Christmas Classics, and Christmas Worship.

 

Holiday Eats

 

5

A few things I’m looking forward to trying in the next few weeks:

Dill Dip (The Kitchn) Always with cucumbers. Always.
The Very Best Chocolate Cookies (Pinch of Yum)
Cranberry Pecan Bread (Smitten Kitchen)
Maple Glazed Ham (Cook’s Country) This is the ham I make every Christmas
Cauliflower Fried Rice with Ham and Egg (The Kitchn)

 

A Year in Recap

 

6

A year in review from some fellow piano teacher friends:

The 5 Best Books I Read in 2021 (Ashley Danyew)
A 5-Point Countdown of the Best of 2021
(Amy Chaplin | Piano Pantry)
2021 in review: 10 Resources You Might Have Missed (Chrissy Ricker)
My 2021 Studio Snapshot – A Music Teacher’s Guide to Measuring the Year & Setting Goals (Janna Carlson | Studio Rocket Web Design)

 

In the News

 

7

Inflation hits highest level since 1982 (NPR)

 

8

I mentioned this in last week’s Advent Friday Finds, but you still have until the end of the month to catch the 50% off sale over at Prima Music.

 

Music Notation

 

9

The Big Free Music Notation Image Library (Midnight Music)

I was very late to the game discovering Katie Wardrobe and her podcast, Music Tech Teacher. Ever since, however, I’ve been enjoying her email list. this month she shared a great Advent calendar with lots of goodies including this free music notation library!

10

Speaking of music notation image files, Joy Morin also has some great hand-drawn music-notation images as well as Music Symbol PNG Files

 

Podcast Episodes

 

11

The Three Santa’s of Slovenia (99% Invisible)

A fun podcast to listen to this holiday season! Kids in Slovenia don’t have to settle for just one santa! Each santa has had his moment in the spotlight—each in a different period of Slovenia’s complicated history.

 

12

James Clear Discusses Personality Types and Atomic Habits (Typology)

I’ve been a fan of James Clear for years – even prior to his famous book Atomic Habits. This podcast is for anyone who has an interest in the Enneagram and is hosted by Ian Morgan Cron, author of the famous book The Road Back to You

 

13

The Life and Legacy of Stephen Sondheim (The Daily)

Around Thanksgiving, the musical world lost a great. This podcast is a nice reflection on his life and all the beautiful creations he left behind.

 

14

7-Figure Music School

Friend and colleague Daniel Patterson of Grow Your Music Studio along with Nate Shaw of Brooklyn Music Factory has launched a new podcast for music school owners.

 

Friday Finds #236 Advent

 

1

There are several online piano teacher friends sharing Advent Calendar goodies. Check back every day for new finds, resources, and giveaways!

Midnight Music (Katie Wardrobe) 

Vibrant Music Teaching (Nicola Cantan)

Francis Clark Center for Piano Pedagogy

 

2

Christmas Freebies on MusicNotes.com (Chrissy Ricker)

 

3

December is a time many of us have fun holiday group classes. Check out Lauren’s piano ensemble music:

Jolly Old St. Nicholas

Jingle Bells

 

4

A Holiday Lap-Tap Duet on We Three Kings (Teach Piano Today)

 

5

We’re halfway through and I already shared this in Best-of-November, but here is an Advent playlist on Spotify for your enjoyment through the rest of this season.

I also have several Christmas playlists including Christmas Jazz and Christmas Classics, and Christmas Worship.

 

6

Recent recipe finds:

Slow Cooker Bang-Bang Chicken (The Magical Slow Cooker); serve with rice.

Mississippi Pot Roast (The Magical Slow Cooker); serve on top of a baked potato or alongside rice, quinoa, or mashed potatoes.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal (Sweet Savory and Steph)

 

7

Did you hear? Prima Music is going out of business! So sad! Prima was my go-to for quite a long time. Pop over there through the month of December for 50% off EVERYTHING while supplies last.

 

8

5 Fresh Christmas Arrangements for Church Pianists (Chrissy Ricker)

 

9

Deck the Halls piano duet (Natalie Weber | Music Matters Blog)

 

Friday Finds #235 Best-of-November

Happy end of November! Here are a few photos from my family’s gathering. We love turkey day!

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and will take time this weekend to rest and recharge for the season ahead.

Now I can say, welcome to Advent/Christmas! 🙂

 

1

A Holiday Wishlist for Music Teachers and 10 Supplemental Collections for Intermediate Piano Students (Ashley Danyew)

 

2

10 Films About Piano Players You Might Want to See (Doug Hanvey | Portland Piano Lab)

What a wonderful list!

 

3

My next public playlist on Spotify: Advent.

 

4

Two baked oatmeal recipes we recently enjoyed: Chocolate Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal and Cinnamon Raisin (Sweet Savory and Steph)

 

5

After reading my post on organizing printed music, Natalie has been cleaning out and updating her own music files. Check out her before and after photos and get a free download of folder labels. (Natalie Weber | Music Matters Blog)

 

6

Piano Recital Showdown: Zoom Recital vs. Playlist Recital vs. In-Person Recital (Rebekah Maxner)

 

7

Create a Virtual Holiday Recital in 5 Minutes (or less!) (Chrissy Ricker)

 

8

Chrissy also has a great round-up of holiday resources including ear-training activities, improv, lead sheets, and more. (Chrissy Ricker)

 

9

Speaking of holiday resource round-ups, I’ll add mine to the mix – December Fun: Christmas Games and Activities for Your Studio (Piano Pantry)

 

10

A few years ago I started choosing a new devotional book to read each Advent season.

This year I choose a book recommended by my pastor – Clarifying Christmas by Mike Edmisten.

Do you have any favorite Advent reads? Share in the comments!

 

11

A new worksheet on Identifying Ledger Lines and Who buys the music books – teacher or student? (Joy Morin | Color in my Piano)

 

12

10 Rules for Holiday Gift Giving (The Lazy Genius Podcast)

 

Friday Finds #234: Thanksgiving-Style

 

1

Even though we’re approaching Thanksgiving, as music teacher’s we’ve already started on Christmas music. Here’s a great post from Janna Williamson: How to Teach Holiday Music.

P.S. She recommends my new Christmas By Ear book as part of her first tip!

 

2

It’s time to cue up our Thanksgiving listening playlist! Mine is Thanksgiving playlist is public on Spotify which means you can enjoy it as well! Here’s a sneak peek:

 

3

Thanksgiving piano music:

Now Thank We All Our God arranged by Leila Viss.

A Thanksgiving Prayer (elementary solo) by Wendy Stevens

 

4

As you know, the minute Thanksgiving is over, the world moves onto the Christmas/giving season. As you consider where you might be able to give even amidst rising prices in our own lives, consider these 10 Music-Based Organizations on #givingtuesday.

 

5

Our book club selection of the month is Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist.

I’m only a few chapters in, but I can say without a doubt, it is a great book to be reading this season!

I can’t believe it was published in 2013 and I am just now reading it.

This book speaks to my soul so much! Highly recommended!

 

6

Eight Thanksgiving-themed games activities from Susan Paradis.

My two favorites from her I pull out every year at this time are Chasing the Turkey and Save the Turkey

 

7

From my kitchen to yours, here are some of my favorite holiday recipes, music, kitchen gadgets, and more. 

 

8

For your group performance classes: Pumpkin pie listening thermometers

 

9

Two songs I love to sing this time of year:

Come Thou Fount (I Will Sing) by Chris Tomlin. It beautifully combines the best of the timeless hymn with a contemporary bridge (I Will Sing).

This next song, written by Keith and Kristy Getty, focuses on spiritual blessings.

My Heart is Filled with Thankfulness by Keith and Kristyn Getty.