Friday Finds Giveaway Teaser and Announcement

Happy Thanksgiving weekend, everyone!

Since it’s a holiday weekend, I’m taking a week off from our regular Friday Finds, but wanted to let you know what’s going to be up for grabs in our Friday Finds #200 celebration giveaway.

A few weeks ago, in #195, I gave you a hint:

-It’s a foodie thing.

-It’s worth about $75

Well, here it is:

20 Milk Street Magazines!

In full disclosure, they are not brand new. When Milk Street first launched, I signed up immediately and have been getting every issue since.

I’ve exhausted my use of these particular magazines and have gotten lots of great recipes from them.

All my favorite recipes from these issues are now saved in my favorite digital recipe manager: Paprika (which is on sale through the end of November!)

Since I’m not one to hold onto things, I was about to recycle the magazines when my husband spoke up and said: “Hey, why don’t just use them for a giveaway item?”

Brilliant!

While you may find a few handwritten notes here and there, they’re still in really good condition – why not let someone else benefit from them as well?

So, mark your calendar for:


Friday Finds #200 on FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11.

Enter to win 20 volumes of Milk Street Magazine (Fall 2016 Charter Issue to July/August 2020).


Also, since we will be hitting #200 in December, Friday Finds (a.k.a. Amy) will be taking a holiday break from the weekly series, resuming with #201 in January 2021.

See you in a couple of weeks!

 

Friday Finds #198

Favorite coffee and a good laugh

 

1

We recently started a subscription with Black Rifle Coffee Company (owned by veterans) and LOVE their coffee. Our favorite so far is the “Just Black” medium roast. Delish!

 

2

Do you want a good laugh to boost your spirit? Listen to Episode #7 of the Beyond Measure Podcast. I guarantee you a good chuckle.

 

3

Now is about the right time to decide if you will be giving students Christmas presents and if so, what?! Here are some ideas to get you started:

DIY Music Scroll Tree Ornaments (Rebekah Maxner)

Christmas Gift Ideas for Music Students: Who Couldn’t Use Another Idea? (Piano Pantry)

Christmas Gift Round-Up (Piano Pantry)

 

4

Life is Full of First Days (Joshua Becker | Becoming Minimalist)

 

5

I’m super intrigued by the recipe: Citrus-Cranberry Tart

 

6

Are Christmas Studio Activities Worth It? (Rosemarie Penner | The Unfinished Lesson)

 

7

Do you ever use the app Flashnote Derby? Guess what – you can send specific drills to your online students via email. Here’s a quick tutorial. It’s super easy!

 

8

A good and simple recipe: Easy Tuna Patties

 

9

For your listening pleasure: A Thanksgiving playlist

 

 

Friday Finds #197

Thanksgiving Prep

As of today, we have just under two weeks to prepare for the often overlooked and yet beautiful holiday called Thanksgiving.

This holiday is placed at the perfect time of year, forcing us to count our blessings as the year comes to an end and before we begin indulging in all of the spoils of life.

Here are some items to help prepare and set the mood in multiple areas of your life this Thanksgiving.

 

1

Two songs I love to sing around Thanksgiving:

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).

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

 

2

Spiced Pumpkin-Raisin Cookies (Giada de Laurentiis)

These cookies are a staple in my fall food repertoire. They pack a slight crunch as they use sugar in the raw instead of white or brown sugar. As a bonus – if it matters to you – they’re vegan!

Pumpkin Bread (Smitten Kitchen)

 

3

It’s time to switch over from our Autumn playlist to Thanksgiving.

My Thanksgiving playlist is public on Spotify which means you can enjoy it as well! Favorite songs include:

  • All Meat and No Potatoes (Louis Armstrong)
  • Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie (Jay & The Techniques)
  • Everybody Eats When They Come to My House (Cab Calloway)
  • Let’s Turkey Trot (Little Eva)
  • Mashed Potato Trot (Dee Dee Sharp)
  • Simple Living (Keith & Kristyn Getty)

Not only are the titles awesome, but the tunes themselves will make your day and get you in the mood for the upcoming holiday!

 

4

Amy’s Holiday Favorites (Recipes, Gadgets, and Music)

 

5

10 Easy Ideas for Thanksgiving Fun (Williams Sonoma)

#3 is an awesome free PDF of Thanksgiving puzzles, word search, Thankfulness cards, and more. I’m SO EXCITED to use some of these when hosting my family’s Thanksgiving meal!

 

6

Thanksgiving sheet music for piano:

Now Thank We All Our God arranged by Leila Viss.

A Thanksgiving Prayer (elementary solo) by Wendy Stevens

 

7

Overcoming Envy (Joshua Becker | Becoming Minimalist)

 

8

Two games from Susan Paradis: Chasing the Turkey and Save the Turkey

From Wendy Stevens: Melodic dictation of Thanksgiving tunes and Pumpkin pie listening thermometers

 

9

The Perfect Teaching Table (Piano Pantry)

 

10

Congratulations to Wendy Stevens on her 20th anniversary celebration!

 

 

Friday Finds #196

Happy Halloween 2020

Happy Halloween!

The crops are coming down, the air is getting cooler, pumpkin carving is underway, and candy may be in our near future.

Have a great weekend!

 

1

After trying various erasable pens over the years for writing in student’s music, I’ve finally given up on them. They just don’t write nicely and they don’t last.

Good old lead pencils and Erasable, Twistable Colored Pencils (even those that don’t have erasers on them will still erase) are my writing tools of choice.

After having students constantly break the lead on “clicky” pencils, I went on the search for stronger ones and found the BIC X-tra Strong Mechanical Pencil (0.9mm). No breaks so far!

 

2

Streamline your piano teaching schedule for COVID-19 (Rebekah Maxner)

 

3

There’s No Such Thing as ‘Quality’ Time (Ryan Holiday | Medium)

 

4

Holiday Recital Alternative: Musical Advent Calendar (Compose Create)

 

5

Creating a home that feels like Fall (The Nester)

 

6

Storing your games in clear plastic A4 envelopes is a great way to organize them. I’ve found, however, that if I print the game instructions on a letter-size paper then laminate it, the instructions don’t fit in the envelope.

So, I recently purchased Expandable Clear Plastic Folder/Envelopes. They were the perfect solution!

 

7

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal (Cookie + Kate)

Roasted Butternut Squash (Minimalist Baker)

Jalapeno Cheese Grits with Jammy Eggs and Bacon (the Kitchn)
(1-2 jalapenos were enough for us!)

 

8

The New Christmas Lab Video Series (Piano Pantry)

 

9

This time in Piano Pantry history:

2019 – 5 Reasons Why Google Photos Might be the Perfect Solution for Your Studio

2018 – Teaching Syncopation with Rocket Man

2017 – Trusty Christmas Favorites: Repertoire I Return to Year After Year

2016 – Inspiring Creativity with Student Art Books

 

 

Friday Finds #195

A Sneak-Peek

Friday Finds #195 – can you believe it?

We are fast approaching 200 weeks of finds for you, my dear teachers. It’s kind of funny because when I first launched this website, I was desperate to get content up quickly before I left for MTNA 2016, San Antonio.

Several websites out there I followed did weekly posts like this I loved so I thought – why not! Although this series started on somewhat of a whim without much thought, it’s withstood the test of time.

When we hit #100, I did a big “best of” post with the top 100 items from the previous 100 posts but that was way too much work so I started doing best-of review posts more frequently (which always includes a giveaway 🙂 )

Here’s a sneak-peek of what will be up for grabs in post #200:

-It’s a foodie thing.

-It’s worth about $75

Stay tuned to find out!

 

1

Who needs another Zoom call? Why sending letters might help your loved ones. (The Washington Post)

Can I give you an organizational tip? Pick one day of the week that you send a card/letter. Make your goal just one. For years I wanted to do better at sending cards. It wasn’t until I put it on my calendar as part of my Monday tasks that it became a habit.

Not only that, but keeping a stash of blank cards or general cards like sympathy, recovery, etc. means I can easily just grab one and not have to put it on my shopping list.

Every Monday, I send one card. It could be a card for quick recovery from someone at church, it could be words of encouragement and thanks to someone in your life who has blessed you, it could be a long-lost friend who isn’t on Facebook.

Do it. You won’t regret it.

 

2

A Solo Festival with an Online Judge (Lauren Lewandowski)

 

3

The Greatest Blessings in Life Are Often the Most Forgotten (Becoming Minimalist)

 

4

Fall-time food:

Ham, Gruyere, and Apple Panini (Giada de Laurentiis)

Face it, it’s only a “fall-time recipe” because it has an apple in it – ha! 🙂
I prefer it without the thyme.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Carrots, Potatoes, and Thyme
(Williams Sonoma)

A simple but absolutely delicious and warm comfort food recipe!

Taco Soup (Simply Rebekah)

My husband loved this particular taco soup. It’s very tomato-based. Let it simmer for several hours and it will continue to thicken.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (The Kitchn)

This uses browned butter. I skipped the step where they say to cool it but it made my batter too warm and the chocolate chips started to melt when I mixed them in. It’s a delicious cookie – just don’t skip the butter cool-down.

 

5

We’re out of picnic season in this part of the world, but this is a fun post:
How Do People Picnic Around the Globe? (Smithsonian Magazine)

 

6

Adapting Online Group Lessons for Special Learners
(The Unfinished Lesson)

 

7

Take a listen to Paula Dreyer’s new solo album: Central Star.

 

8

Check out the Cookin’ Piano Teachers Facebook group

 

9

This podcast episode brightened my morning bigtime this week.
Ep3: Cheers to Seasons, Beyond Measure Podcast (Christina Whitlock)

 


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Friday Finds #194

All Things Halloween

 

1

How to Host a Fun Online Halloween Group Lesson
(Rosemarie Penner | The Unfinished Lesson)

 

2

Halloween Piano Challenge: Don’t Scare Me…Surprise ME!
(Heidi’s Piano Studio)

 

3

Halloween Freebies (Chrissy Ricker)

 

4

A Halloween Music Lab that can be easily assigned to online students.

 

5

Are you still looking for Halloween repertoire?

Halloween Pattern Pieces (Heidi’s Piano Studio)
Favorite Sheet Music Piano Solos for Halloween (Piano Pantry)
Halloween Bundle (BlitzBooks)
Free Halloween Music (Jennifer Foxx)
The Complete List of Halloween Music for Piano Students
(Wendy Stevens)

 

6

Happy Halloween Digital Escape Rooms
(Rosemarie Penner| The Unfinished  Lesson)

Escape Room Games: Trick THEN Treat
(Leila Viss)

 

7

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

 

8

Easy Halloween Hand Pies (Just a Taste)

…and when the title says “Hand”, it’s literal. LOL. I don’t know if I would ever take the time to make something like this myself, but they look kind of crazy-fun!

 

9

Clever Ideas for Halloween Fun (Leila Viss)

 

 

10

Tired of deciding what to make day after day? I’ve got you covered:

Copycat Cracker Barrel Cheesy Hash Brown Casserole (The Kitchn)

Last week our church community group came over and we watched online church together out on our back porch, enjoying lunch together after. This casserole was a hit and EVERYONE had seconds. (When you look at the ingredient list, you’ll know why! LOL)

Flour Bakery’s Famous Banana Bread (I am a food blog)

Famous for a reason. It was absolutely delicious. Incredibly moist but a little on the sweet side for me. It’s a keeper though!

Apple, Pecan, and Blue Cheese Salad with Dried Cherries (The Pioneer Woman)

Nuts are much better on salads when you toast the first! 375 for 5-8 minutes. As soon as you start to smell them, it’s time to get them out within a minute or two.

Crockpot Sausage, Potatoes, and Green Beans (Moms with Crockpots)

There are all kinds of versions of this recipe online. I love it because it’s basically a “dump-into the crockpot” type of meal. I do a much smaller-scale version for just two of us and we like it heavier on the sausage and green beans and only a little potato.

  • 1 lb. smoked sausage
  • 24 oz. green beans
  • 1 large russet potato (approx. 3/4 lb), diced

 

 


Did you enjoy this post?

Consider subscribing to the Piano Pantry email list. You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, new posts on the blog, books I’m reading, favorite Instagram posts, and other fun things like that. 

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Friday Finds #193

Evernote Updates

 

1

If you’re an Evernote user, just a heads up if you haven’t noticed already that Evernote has gone through some big updates in recent weeks. To update to the new version of Evernote visit: evernote.com/download.

Here’s what new in Evernote for Windows and Mac.
Here’s what new in Evernote for iOS.

If you want to learn more about how to use Evernote, visit the Evernote page on Piano Pantry here.

Also, if you’re group is interested in a different type of professional development session, I have a lightning session available on using Evernote.

 

2

Two new podcasts for piano teachers to tune into!

Beyond Measure with Christina Whitlock

Key Ideas by Leila Viss

 

3

Bring the Life and Story of Beethoven to Your Online Teaching (Faber Piano Adventures)

 

4

6 Best Cleaning Supplies, According to Professional House Cleaners (The Kitchn)

 

5

Don’t miss some fun tunes in this Autumn playlist that celebrates the harvest, warmth, and coziness that it brings.

 

6

Inspiration recipes for your table:

Cincinatti Chili (also known as “Skyline” Chili) (Simply Recipes)

Slow Cooker Cheesy Potatoes (The Kitchn)

Autumn Pear Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe)

Asian Chicken Salad (Giada de Laurentiis)

Raspberry Orange Almond Muffins with Sprouted Flour (Amy Chaplin-the famous cook and it’s for real not me 🙂 )

 

7

This time in Piano Pantry history:

2019 – The Piece My Students and I Can’t Stop Playing

2018 – Christmas Collaborations: Recommended Piano Ensemble Music

2017 – A Simple Money-Saving Took: Wikibuy

 

 

Friday Finds #192

An Autumn Playlist

 

1

Celebrating the seasons in a variety of ways beyond just decorating our homes is such a beautiful way to enjoy the seasonal changes throughout the year.

This isn’t the first time I’ve shared a Spotify playlist with you (view my other public playlists here). 🙂 Here is one more – an Autumn playlist that celebrates the harvest, warmth, and coziness that it brings.

 

2

One day this week, I spent my entire time at the computer with this album playing in the background. Evensong – Hymns and Lullabies at the Close of Day by Keith and Kristyn Getty. It’s soooo soothing.

 

3

If you’re not an MTNA member, I have one good reason to be – MTNA offers a 10% member discount with Sheet Music Plus and that’s ON TOP OF the 8% you can get if you’re a part of their Easy Rebates Program!

 

4

A salad isn’t a salad, in my opinion, unless it includes one “crunchy” texture. Croutons are fine but aren’t always the right choice. Toasted nuts however are a great alternative. The time it takes to toast them worth the extra effort – as it delivers a lot more flavor then plain nuts.

Shaved almonds and cashews are my favorites!

 

5

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, just a reminder that Prime Day is coming up!

 

6

Natalie has some great tips for Making the Most of a Virtual Conference – the best suggestion being, in my opinion, to organize a location (like an Airbnb away from home so you can focus)!

 

7

Writing Effective Practice Notes for Students (Pianosaurus Rex)

How to Use Printable Sticky Notes in Piano Lessons (Melody Payne)

 

8

Two podcast episode suggestions:

Classical Classroom, Episode 213: Orli Shaham Talks piano (Man) How and why the piano came to be, what it is, and how to learn it.

The Way I Heard It with Mike Rowe, Episode 166: A Disaster in the Kitchen Seriously, her cakes were downright repulsive!

 

9

How I Use Instagram, and an Invitation to Follow Me There! (Joy Morin)

I’ve been enjoying Joy’s Instagram Story series “What we’re listening to today…”

 

10

Tutorial: Combining Videos to Create a “Piano Duet” Video (Joy Morin)

 

 

Friday Finds #191

Happy Birthday

The theme “Happy Birthday” seems to be playing around in my life this week.

First, the new post that went up on Piano Pantry this week was about a
tweak I made this year with my student birthday cards.

Second, this was the first week since our fall lessons started that I had a student with a birthday, so I just sent out my first card!

Third, I’ve corresponded with several of you recently about student birthday-card-related things.

Fourth, today is my baby brother’s birthday so I’ll give him a shout-out (although I’m pretty sure he doesn’t read my blog! Ha!).  Just for fun, here are a couple of pictures from a family photo session last year that I think sums up our relationship

So BOOM, we have our weekly theme!

 

1

Thanks to reader Karen Shuart for sharing two student birthday ideas with me (and now, I with you!).

First, here’s what she had to say about this Etsy shop which has super cute cards you could use for your student birthdays:

I don’t know the owner personally, but have purchased several items and they arrive on time and the recipient often comments on how creative the cards have been. I also purchased some sticker pages, clipped them apart and gave them as fellow piano teacher gifts along with some of post-it flags from the Dollar Tree. It seemed to be well received.

Second, she reminded me of Leila Viss’s resource Perry’s Party Piano Camp for teaching students to play Happy Birthday!

 

2

That, in turn, made me remember a free resource from Jennifer Fink at Pianimation. It’s a Harmonization sheet for Happy Birthday using the primary chords.

 

3

This isn’t a find, but just a little teaser that I have my own “Happy Birthday” resource I’m working on to share in the near future. My students have already seen four or five versions of it over the last two years but I’m getting closer to my end product. Stay tuned!

 

4

Recommended recipes:

Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash | Closet Cooking
Sometimes I just used jarred enchilada sauce rather than making my own.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Chicken and Potatoes | Damn Delicious

 

5

I’ve been listening to fellow teacher/colleague Marlowe Carruth’s channel on Spotify while working and it has been so soothing!

She also has a beautiful rendition of the Downton Abbey theme.

 

6

Use a Bowl of Vinegar to Get Rid of Food Smells | The Kitchn

I’m trying this – I filled a pint-sized ball jar with white vinegar, put a thin layer of cheesecloth on top, and crimped it down with a metal jar ring. I plan on keeping it out in my kitchen, next to the stovetop at all times, and am excited to see the results!

 

7

Using Screen Mirroring Wirelessly with Your iPad | Deborah Rambo Sinn

 

8

Piano Pouches: Something Fun for New Online Students | Joy Morin, Color in My Piano

 

9

Nebraska: Images of the Cornhusker State | Alan Taylor, The Atlantic

Now that I know about this collection, you may be getting the link to the new one each week. I just think it’s such a fabulous series! My favorites this week include #1, 3, 6, 10, 15.

 

10

This time in Piano Pantry history:

2016 – Friday Finds: Unlocking Creativity, Unfurling Jolene

2016 – Announcing Piano Pantry’s first Big Resource!

2017 – Friday Finds: PawPaw and Money-Making Tips

 

 

 

Friday Finds #190

Using forScore with Online Students

 

1

Creating a video in forScore for your online students
(Deborah Rambo Sinn)

Using forScore to give written feedback from online lessons
(Deborah Rambo Sinn)

 

2

New Piano Studio Layout for COVID-19 Social Distancing
(Rebekah Maxner)

 

3

Piano on the Patio! Quarantine Teaching Adventures Continued
(Joy Morin | ColorInMyPiano)

 

4

How COVID Led My Students to Amazing Creative Music Endeavours
(LouAnn Pope |  Tonara.com)

 

5

Lots going on in our profession!

Last week I gave a shout-out of congratulations to Sara Campbell on her rebranding.

This week we’re giving three more shout-outs:

Nicola Cantan from Vibrant Music Teaching just opened a shop with some fun t-shirt and coffee mug swag.

Beginning today and running through September 27th, Jennifer Foxx is celebrating her 10-year blog-aversary with 10 days of freebies and giveaways!

Tim Topham officially launched the new Top Music Marketplace.
(P.S. You can find some of my top-selling music lab resources there!)
(P.S.S. I was tickled to get a little shout-out on the podcast announcement at around the 2:55 marker. 🙂 )

 

6

Washington: Images of the Evergreen State (The Atlantic)

 

7

Christmas Music Round-Up, 2020 Edition (Chrissy Ricker)

 

8

“Because” vs. “And” (Seth Godin)

 

9

This Spinach and Feta Frittata made for a lovely lunch this past week! Now that my husband works from home full time – we both do – some days our lunches are a little more special than just leftovers!

P.S. I added 8oz. sliced mushrooms in and sautéed them with the onions before adding in the egg mixture.