Friday Finds #146

Next weekend is our state conference weekend. With the conclusion of the conference will come the end of my two-year term as President. It’s bittersweet for sure but I have loved every minute of this job (at least most of them).

I’ll never forget preparing for my first meeting. It took me HOURS to put it together and work through the process of combing through previous meeting notes to see what needed to be on the current agenda.

At my 5th meeting this past June, I felt like an old pro. That’s how it usually happens; just as you get the hang of how things work, it’s time to move on!

At one point, our state we moved the Presidency to a 3-year term, but we realized after two rounds that it was too long and taxing for the person in the position. Now I understand why!

One more thing before we get to this week’s finds. I need your opinion. 🙂

For the Friday Finds posts this past year, I’ve been trying to use a photo from that week as the “featured photo”. Some weeks I just don’t have one, so I use the Friday Finds logo image. In a nutshell, I’ve been really inconsistent about it and would like to settle it once and for all.

The featured photos are usually images I post to Facebook anyway, so I’m thinking of going back to using the logo only.

Now you can enjoy this week’s finds. 🙂



Great tip – Buy your parchment from the Dollar Store! (The Kitchn)



A few early level “spooky” pieces to add to your Halloween repertoire list. (Rebekah Maxner)



Interested in travel? Music Matters Blogger Natalie Weber has started a new travel blog! (Music Matters Blog)



If you feel like killing 10 minutes some evening when you’re chilling out, you’ve GOT to watch these 1980’s training videos from Wendy’s (the fast-food chain). They’re hilarious. (The Kitchn)



Dining at the World’s Best Restaurant: Don’t? (French Women Don’t Get Fat)



I’ve been trying to play catch-up on this past year’s issues of both AMT and Clavier Companion. In one of those issues was an article by Jeremy Siskind on a cool project he did with small house-recitals. (LOVE.)

Check out his YouTube Channel for some of these videos. I *think* they’re the videos that have (at_home) in the title. Definitely watch this video though where he talks about their group, the music they make and the setting they take their music to.



A resource for reviews of individual piano sheet music.



Alton Brown’s tip for how to store tomato paste. This sounds like a lot less messier way of doing it than my way which is to scoop it out into 1T. servings and freeze individually. I’m going to give it a shot. (The Kitchn)



Miso-Glazed Chicken with Mushrooms (Milk Street)

Never mind the fact I had to order in Light Miso and Mirin from Amazon in order to make this dish. It was very good. I used boneless skinless thighs because well, they’re awesome.

Udon Noodles with Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach (Milk Street)

Yum, yum, yum. I also had to order in Udon noodles from Amazon since I can’t get them from my local grocery, but this was soooo good. Not only do we not have Udon available, but we can’t get shiitake mushrooms without driving 30 minutes so I keep a large pack of dried ones that you reconstitute. They’re definitely not as good as fresh mushrooms but it worked.

Cod Sautéed in Olive Oil with Fresh Tomatoes (Simply Recipes)

This is one of our favorite fish recipes right now. Make it while you still have beautiful tomatoes this season! I served it alongside jasmine rice and steamed brussel sprouts.

Thick, Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies (Smitten Kitchen)

I love this recipe but this time they turned out dry. I’m sure it wasn’t the recipe though because I’ve made these several times. I’m still getting used to my new oven and I used the convection bake setting which I’ve learned makes them much faster so they need less time!

Instant Pot Lemon Chicken Thighs (Damn Delicious)

In general citrus and protein are not a combination I enjoy. This lemon chicken, however, was quite tasty. I love how it used lemon zest, thyme, and salt as a kind of “dry rub.”

Friday Finds #145

Happy Friday!

Today’s featured photo is of the beautiful artwork one of my students did for the envelopes that we use to keep Music Money in. Hmm…that just make me think that I should write a post on how I use Music Money sometime! LOL

As I type this, my Young Living diffuser is pumping out lovely bursts of “Clarity” essential oils. I’m feeling the Friday lull but have four siblings coming for piano lessons in just over an hour, so here we go!



Here is an excellent step-by-step example of how an MLT-focused teacher teachers a rote piece. I don’t do quite a many steps as Anna, but would aspire to a format like this!



I tend to find people like Tim Topham fascinating. (If you’re reading this Tim, yep, that’s you, LOL.) I love hearing how people like him manage such a large online presence. He spills a lot of that out in this post.

It kind of makes my head swirl seeing all those social media posts, but it’s certainly impressive!



This post gave me another book to add to my reading list. Maybe you’ll find one too.



Limiting the weight of children’s backpacks. Not a bad idea, India.



How to actually get work done on an airplane. I suppose if you travel a lot, this could be really useful advice!



Here’s what I made this week:

Crock Pot Loose Meat Sandwichs

These are based on a dive that was 45-minutes from our house growing up. The sandwich was called a Maidrite. We steamed the buns (small 100% whole wheat buns) in our new steam oven! They’re much better with steamed buns. Pickles and mustard are the best default toppings for this sandwich.

Asian Chicken Salad with Honey Sesame Dressing

I cheated and used pre-shredded lettuce and cabbage/carrots, but it was still all good. We love the edamame in this. It would be even better with some toasted shaved almonds on top in my opinion. It needed some crunchies.

Simple Zucchini Bread

Walnuts and raisins made it into this loaf but my preference is about half the amount of what they call for. I’m not big on nuts in baked goods but my husband likes it.

Garlic Butter Shrimp and Grits

Love, love, love grits. I only had 1 lb. of shrimp and it wasn’t quite enough. Definitely do the 1.5 lb. Otherwise, you’re left with a lot of extra “liquid/butter”.

Obsessively Good Avocado Cucumber Salad

I don’t know if I would say it was “obsessively” good, but I definitely love it.

1-Bowl Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Yum. Yum. I didn’t have flax on hand to make flax egg so I substituted with two eggs and it was fine.


Friday Finds #144

Happy holiday weekend everyone! It’s our last official “hurrah” for Summer here in the states. Make the most of it and resist the urge to WORK on anything related to your daily job!



This past week I experienced a first: calendar spam! Here’s a great link a fellow teacher sent my way after I shared my woes on Facebook.

How to Stop the Calendar Invite Spam



Halloween Piano Music for Beginners



How Habits Can Help Us Pray



7 Surprising Things You Can Do with Mayonnaise

Guess what #4 is?

Clean your piano keys. Really? Has anyone seriously ever tried that. I’m not sure I would even be willing to try.



We finally got our oven hooked up and after six months of a small convection oven. The first thing I was excited to bake was cookies!

I’ve always wanted to do taste test comparisons where I make 2 or 3 versions of one type of recipe then decide which version I like the best. My first one was peanut butter cookies.

I made three recipes I had in my files I’ve loved over the past years. Two were still keepers but I was finally able to let go of this one!

5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – Pinch of Yum

Salted Peanut Butter Cookies – Smitten Kitchen



I’ve been catching up on podcasts lately including the Muscialit Now Podcast. I loved these three, all of which I listened to while pulling weeds for three hours around our barn. LOL.

Episode 158: How to Truly Listen with Evelyn Glennie

Episode 156: Find and Make Peace with Your Voice, with Nikki Loney

Episode 152: Making Music Learning a Picnic, with Ruth Power (Piano Picnic)

Do you have a favorite episode of the Musicality Now podcast?


Friday Finds #143

I’m sorry but I just HAVE to lead this week’s finds with this because I’m SOOO excited I finally finished the project! 🙂

A shop is now finally open here on Piano Pantry! If you haven’t already, jump over and have a look at all the Music Lab materials that are posted. There’s lots of good stuff!

Can you hear me smiling?



Everyone’s been going a little crazy over this article on Facebook and for good reason…

Teaching is Relentless; Be Extra



How Habits Can Help Us Pray



A topic that we don’t always think to talk about in our industry but that is so important: Being a Professional – Safeguarding & Child Protection.



These are looking pretty yummy although I’ll admit I haven’t made them yet so I can’t give my full blessing…

Easy 5-ingredient Protein Bars (Peanut Butter Chocolate!)



Great takeaway, Seth Godin – The anatomy of annoying. 



Susan Paradis has a creative activity for beginners learning keyboard topography – a keyboard puzzle!



A thorough review of evenly-leveled piano duets by Nicola Canton.



Friday Finds #142

Oh my goodness, here it is 10:26pm and I suddenly realized it’s Friday! I was so caught up in today’s task of priming six doors and their trim in our basement that it completely slipped my mind!

Or…maybe it’s the fact that I’m not in a normal routine…

Or…maybe it’s that I’m turning 39 in two weeks and things like that just start to happen as you get older. I HAVE been noticing changes since I hit my late 30’s… (I’ll just leave it at that. 🙂 )


The photo you see here is at Joy Morin’s Retreat at Piano Manor that was held last week. As always, it was a lot of fun feeding and getting to know all these beautiful ladies.

Everyone is always asking for the recipes I use, so I put a list together for attendees. I thought you might also enjoy getting the links as well so let’s kick off this week’s finds with some winning recipes!



This isn’t a list of everything we ate, but just those that I used a recipe for. 🙂

Honey Vanilla Yogurt

Blueberry Baked Oatmeal

Whole 30 Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas

Mexican Restaurant-Style Cauliflower Rice

Herbal Iced Tea

Easy Fruit Salad with Orange Poppy Seed Dressing

Milk Street’s Israeli Hummus

Gooey Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies [Chickpea Cookies-Gluten Free]

5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies [These were from the 2018 Retreat. Several of the ladies who were there last year remembered these and were asking for the recipe. 🙂 ]


If you’d like to read more about the retreat, here is Joy’s recap post.



I really enjoyed reading this Day in the Life” photo journal post from an Ex-Pat living in Barcelona. At the end of the post she talks about upgrading her Kindle Paperwhite to the “All-New Kindle.

Does anyone have this and recommend the upgrade?



I need your vote…I try to avoid being a “gadget” person, but this Avocado Tool looks really cool. What do you think? Should I try it?

Do you happen to have one? If so, let me know what you think!



Drew Barrymore Just Launched the Cutest Food-Themed Art Prints for Kids (and We Secretly Want Them for Ourselves)



Did you see my announcement from earlier this week?

The goal is to open shop THIS WEEK. We’re also painting the new studio, getting carpet, and moving the studio.

So…if you could do me a BIG favor and send some extra energy my way so I can wrap this project up and get you some Music Lab materials, I appreciate it!


Talk soon! ~Amy


Friday Finds #141

Happy Friday everyone!

If you didn’t already figure it out, today’s featured images is from last week’s National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP). While waiting for a table at a restaurant one evening, we had had a little fun in front of a beautiful wooden door around the corner from the restaurant.

The conference was great fun as always with the best part always being the connections you make with your colleagues.

I hope your July held plenty of time for relaxation and that your August allows a little extra breathing time before you return to your regular teaching schedule.

Enjoy this week’s goodies!



I’ve been trying to catch up on some of Tim Topham’s podcasts recently. Here are some of my recent favorites:

CPTP161: Intelligent Music Teaching with Dr. Robert Duke

CPTP163: Christopher Oill Interviews Me

CPTP164: Meet My Student Tim and His Dad



My husband and I have been getting more into Bluegrass music over the past year. We’re talking about trying to make it to a Bluegrass Festival sometime. Here are 5 of the Best Bluegrass Festivals in the Country.



Why We Should Stop Segregating Children by Age: Part I. Children learn by playing in the zone of proximal development



Chicken thighs have always been popular in our household. So much more flavor and a lot less susceptible to drying out when you cook then. I almost never eat chicken breast at restaurants because 95% of the time they’re over cooked and dry.



Pivoting the Education Matrix by Seth Godin



How to Organize Your Kitchen Like a Pro

Do I admit I already do a lot of these? Go figure, right?! 😉



A few things I made this past week:

Cod Sautéed in Olive Oil with Fresh Tomatoes

Avocado White Bean Salad with Vinaigrette

Balsamic Beef Roast and Veggies


As we speak, I’m at Joy Morin’s Piano Teacher Retreat providing delicious food for all the lovely teachers here. Next week I’ll share some of the recipes I made for the retreat!

Talk soon!



Friday Finds #140

Here’s my weekly round-up of all good things from around the web one music teacher to another. Up this week: an amazing new course, a fun house-keeping experiment, tacos and more!



Calling all taco lovers – Netflix just released a new series “Taco Chronicles!” (It’s in Spanish with English subtitles.)



A man was swept over the largest waterfall at Niagara Falls, police say. He survived. (Wow!)



Have you been thinking about purchasing an AirTurn Bluetooth pedal? Now is the time! I use the AirTurn PedPRO and absolutely love it. They just announced that due to recent tariffs, the price will be going up as of August 1. Now is the time to buy!



Diver Swims Alongside a Jellyfish That’s as Big as a Human.  (Incredible!)



Tim Topham launched his newest project this past Monday called  Music Teacher Startup.

I seriously wish I had this course three years ago…

Affiliate Disclosure:  Please note that Piano Pantry is an affiliate for this program. All this means is that if you purchase the course via links from me, it allows me to make a small percentage at no extra cost to you.



Here Are 8 Shelf-Stable Pantry Items to Always Have on Hand



This is kind of a fun little experiment! I sooo would totally try this myself sometime. LOL.

I Kept Up with a 1950s Cleaning Schedule for a Week — And I’m Exhausted Now



Any James Taylor fans? Yo-Yo Ma fans? Then you’ll enjoy this!


Friday Finds from this time in Piano Pantry history:

July 21, 2017 – Friday  Finds: Pack ‘n Roll, Peaches, and Politicians

July 15, 2016 – Friday Finds


Friday Finds #139

Here’s my weekly round-up of all good things from one music teacher to another. Up this week: Homemade Root Beer, Steinway’s Secret Vault, a Fun List of Books to Read for Each Year of Your Life, and more!



What’s inside Steinway’s Secret Vault? Oh my, this is too exciting. I want to see, don’t you?!



From the Washington Post: A list of the best books to read at every age. One book for each year of your life. What a fun idea!

It makes me want to go “aw…” when I see books like “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein and “Ramona the Pest” by Beverly Cleary. 🙂

I think it would be fun to start at the beginning and even read all the kids books! That’s now on my Summer bucket list!



I’m not even a sports fan, and I was excited to hear about the win for the US Women’s Soccer Team against the Netherlands at the World Cup. (Notice I said I was excited to “hear” about it. Yeah, that means I didn’t actually watch it. I’m terrible, I know!)



The Result of Saying “Yes” to My Family from piano teacher Tracy Selle.



Someone, please make this Homemade Root Beer for me right now. I still have one more week before my kitchen countertops are installed. Time is ticking!





Ready to update your professional headshots? Here’s a unique idea…



The cutest little greenhouses ever. I can’t wait to have a garden again!



Humongous Horns: Texas Longhorn From Alabama Sets Guinness World Record. 

Yeah, yeah, super cool and crazy, but honestly, I just like the look of the word “Humongous!”



Two Dozen Piano Teaching Blogs That Have Transformed my Teaching from Heidi’s Piano Studio.


Friday Finds #138

As I began to write this post, I thought “I’ll have to do a 4th of July Friday Finds here in a couple of weeks.”

Then I looked at my calendar…

For real?! Independence Day is NEXT WEEK!


Something is happening today, that I just have to tell you about. It has absolutely nothing to do with piano but it kind of has something to do with food…

We’re finally getting our kitchen cabinets installed!! 6 months. 6 months is how long we’ve been living with just a small convection oven, single induction cooktop, and microwave all sitting on two folding tables. I am SO OVER it.

Photos coming soon!



After scouring my files, I realized there aren’t a lot of 4th of July-themed materials I use in my studio. There are a few Summer-themed worksheets I’ve used from time to time. They’re all from Susan Paradis, of course!

4th of July Composing Activity
Summer Treat Fun Sheet for Beginners
Strawberry Notes
Snow Cone Signs and Symbols
Our Buggy Friends: A Note Story



Sara Campbell has compiled a list of free-downloadable Patriotic Music.



I finally got around to taking the Enneagram. After listening to this episode on the Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast, I coined myself a 1 or 3.

A friend recommended the test at the Enneagram Institute. For $12 it’s better than some of the free ones out there but not as expensive as others available.

My suspicions were confirmed. My highest score was a tie between Type 3 and Type 1. My second highest score was a tie between Type 2, 8, and 9.

What’s your number?



You Should Pour Vinegar into Your Washing Machine – Here’s Why 

We just got a brand new Speed Queen set (which, BTW, I totally recommend) so I won’t need to do this for a while, but it makes complete sense!



Fear of Kohlrabi | Seth Godin



What Really Happened to Malaysia’s Missing Airplane

This is a long read, but quite fascinating. I’ll admit I ended up skipping the final 30% of the article or so, but it’s worth the read.



A 10-Year Old Just Climbed a 3,000-foot Nose route on Yosemite’s El Capitan. Impressive!



Reindeer Yoga? Really Alaska? LOL.



Homemade strawberry milk. Yummo.


Have a lovely holiday next week everyone! Eat lots of hamburgs (as my grandma would call them) and all things that scream “Summer Food.” Your belly and your soul will thank you.


Friday Finds #137



Four Essential Piano Teaching Tools Everyone Needs in Their Studio

Agreed, Tim! They’re so simple but the absolute basics.



While we’re talking about the very basics things you might need to teach piano, you might check out my “minimalist’s list” list of piano teacher must-haves.



Understanding Piano Parents: What Minor League Baseball Taught Me

If you’re not already following Rebekah Maxner, add her to your list. Every article I’ve come across of hers on piano teacher groups has been well-written and insightful.

Here’s another excellent one I just read while browsing her site:

‘Quitting’ piano: 7 options for teachers, students, and parents



I finally added Rebekah’s website, to my Feedly account. Find out why I think RSS reader’s like Feedly are the best way to follow your favorite websites in this post: Managing Content the Easy Way.



A couple of items to help you through your summer:

Simplify Summer | Becoming Minimalist

Grasping for Summer Routine | The Lazy Genius Podcast



I’m dying to make these recipes::

Chickpea Ceasar Salad

1-Bowl Peanut Butter Protein Pancakes

Easy, Crispy Baja Fish Tacos

Fresh Lemonade



Some posts that focus on Instagram for Piano Teachers:

Instagram for Independent Music Teachers: The #1 Reason You Should Be There

Is Instagram for Piano Teachers? Yes, here’s why! (On Using Hashtags)

How piano teachers can leverage Instagram

Instagram for Piano Teachers: 5 Fun Accounts to Follow