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


Friday Finds #136



Add this quote to your next studio newsletter.

“You can’t judge success by the day, the week, the month, or even the year. You have to judge success by the decade.” -Nicholas Cole

from: What 15 Years of Classical Piano Taught Me About Discipline (and Judging Your Own Potential)

(I discovered this article only after it was shared by Benjamin Steinhardt earlier this week on The Art of Piano Pedagogy Facebook group.)



Millennial Music Teachers: 4 Traits They Bring to the Table



Sweetwater is giving away $5,000 of gear any music lover will love in celebration of this year’s Gearfest.



The headphones I wish I had purchased for my keyboards and music lab time 7 years ago.

The AKG K52 has an automatically-adjusting head band that fits nicely to any size head whether it’s a 6-year-old or a 16-year-old. The sound is amazing, and the over-ear, closed-back design helps keep the sound of the other piano student in the room out while students do their music lab. Totally worth the money.



One Way to Think About Talent | Seth Godin



The “Traditional” Teacher (Some Encouraging Words) from Forrest Kinney.


A fun activity for group class: Meter Test – play clips of music to determine if the meter is duple or triple.


As we’re getting our feet wet in Summer: 4 Lessons I Learned From Doing Less.

Friday Finds #135



People Magazine is not my idea of a regular reader, but I have two stories from People to highlight this week.

First, I’m a huge fan of Ina Garten but this Ina-themed Bachelorette Party kind of freaks me out. Mostly the photo where they all dressed like her. Weird.

Second, my husband’s niece just graduated high school and for her Senior Prom, her date MADE her prom dress. The story was not only featured in the June 2 edition of People Magazine, but it made news in the Daily Mail of the UK!


Daily Mail UK
Fox 35 Orlando
Fox 5 NY
Fox 59



Fruit Pizza. Maybe we should be totally disgusted with those two words combined, but it’s totally American and totally yummy. Here’s one from Pinch of Yum.



How to Plan for Your Summer Growth

Part of me loves this but part of me wants to curl up in a bawl and scream…

“Stop making us have to grow and improve every moment of our lives! Sometimes we just need to live life and do summer and not have to have a 12-step plan for getting better at everything in life!”

Rant over.



An article to use in your upcoming newsletter to parents regarding the importance of keeping up a practice routine – especially through the Summer months! (This goes for teachers as well 🙂 )



Do you have a certain phrase you tend to use the most right of the bat at the beginning of lessons? Mine more often than not (after greeting the student and asking how their week has been) is something along the lines of…

“What did you work on or focus on most this week?”

“What was your favorite piece?”

“Is there anything particular you would like to share with me about your time at the piano this week?”

Here are 21 more phrases gathered by the Curious Piano Teachers.



The 2020 MTNA Collegiate Symposium is going to be held right here in my own state of Indiana and at my alma mater, Ball State University! Mark your calendar to attend!



Lifetime access to Piano Teaching Academy for only $127. Wow!



I handle my materials fees similar to the way Spring Seals describes in this article and completely agree with the reasons she states why it works.

The only small difference in the way I do it is rather than charting a flat amount per year, I charge $60 per student when they start and then when their account falls below $5 I ask them to recharge $60 again. This could happen at any point of the year. I just keep a spreadsheet for each student so I know what books I’ve given them and how much I’ve spent per students



Today is the last day to take advantage of the 50% Trade-in-offer from AirTurn. I mailed out my old Bluetooth pedal today in exchange for a new one. It’s a great deal!


Friday Finds #134

This past weekend was my student’s Spring Recital. It always feels so good to see my students and realize how far they’ve come from the previous year!

Having a recital as the final event at the end of the school term is kind of like a period at the end of a sentence. It’s a final statement of what’s been said while also being an invitation for what’s ahead.

Here’s to Summer and fresh beginnings!



Self-Care for piano teachers: 6 tips for mental, physical, and spiritual wellness

#2 has me curious. Do any of you drink the “Natural Calm” hot drink that the article recommends? If so, let me know in the comments what you think.



On Alfred Music blog:

The Worship Music Debate Continues: Understanding Music’s Role in Worship Services



It’s the end of the school year and I’ve been trying to Spring Clean my studio. One purchase I made to help tidy a little more is a 32 x 31 Portfolio Case to hold my extra poster boards and the thick foam boards I use for my One Minute Club sign.



Summer is upon us and my Amazon shopping cart also housed my second pair of these Sanuk Yoga Joy Metallic Flip-Flops.

The sole is made of rubber but the upper portion is made of Yoga mat material and is really comfortable. They also have a bit of arch support in them which makes them a winner in my book.



Still looking for a fab gift for your favorite graduate?

One of the best gift packages I’ve come up for a special graduate was a package with these three items.

Electric Water Kettle
I Love Ramen Cookbook
12 Pack of Ramen Noodles

The graduate I gave this gift to informed me it was the best gift they received and they absolutely loved it!



Taco Bell Is Opening a Resort in Palm Springs This Summer




If you haven’t already had the conversation with yourself yet on whether or not you will be raising your tuition for 2019-2020, check out these two articles from Wendy Steven’s as well as the cool Inflation Calculator she recommends.

How Often Should I Raise Teaching Rates?
Can You Raise Your Piano Lesson Price Too High?
CPI Inflation Calculator



Fiery Piano Sheet music: Showstoppers for Students Who Like to Play Fast



These “Sessions” Books from Teach Piano Today look interesting. I do have a few teen students that I think would enjoy these. Is anyone else using these books? If so, let me know what you think!