When I first discovered podcasts years ago, I went bananas. Every free moment I was listening to one – working out, driving, making the bed, cooking dinner, laminating and cutting out teaching aids – you name it. I couldn’t get enough.
It almost got to the point where it felt like a to-do list. I didn’t want to miss an episode of any of the podcasts I was following (the list was much shorter then).
Then one day it hit me. I’m burnt out. I simply have not had the motivation to listen to any-more, especially those that are more than 30 minutes.
Keep in mind I’m talking about on a weekly basis. There are those times on long drives or when I’m mowing the yard in the summer when I’m happy to plug in and listen to a long show, but in general, I am now reaching only for those that are 30 minutes or less and even more frequently 20 minutes or less.
So, today I wanted to share with you my favorite podcasts under 20 minutes.
Andy Stanley Leadership Podcast
Host: Andy Stanley
(Also known for: Pastor at Atlanta-based North Point Ministries)
Description: “A conversation designed to help leaders go further.”
Episodes worth mentioning:
03.02.2017 Creating a Culture of Continual Improvement
05.05.2017 Doing What Only You Can Do
07.07.2017 How to Lead When You’re Not In Charge
Dear Piano Teacher,
OK, OK, I’m a total copycat! I admit it. This is not an original idea. Last year, Leila Viss wrote a post called 40 Trendsetting Piano Teaching Resources that she compiled along with her friend Marie Lee (which included Friday Finds B.T.W. 🙂 and I absolutely loved it.
So, I started making a list of items that impacted me this past year and the list just started flowing. As the list evolved, it started to include not just specific events, items, and products that impacted me, or that I “discovered,” but items and happenings that I would consider “big news” in piano teacher world.
In alphabetical order…
In Piano Teacher News
Big changes at The Francis Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy
There’s lots going on at The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy! Not only did they hire a new Full-Time Executive Director in October 2017 (Dr. Jennifer Snow), but in December 2017 they appointed Ryan Greene as the new Director of NCKP (National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy).
Carol Matz’s inter@ctive Piano Method
Composer Carol Matz wrote and published a new method that has online interactive materials.
Colourful Keys Quick Clips
After attending NCKP this summer and seeing all the wonderful teaching demonstrations, Irish piano teacher Nicola Canton began posting short clips of her own teaching on her blog Colourfulkeys.ie.
The older we get it seems life tends to move more quickly every year. When you’re young it feels like life will go on forever. The next thing you know, you realize your high school graduation was 20 years ago (or 30-40 for that matter).
As I understand more and more how fast life passes by, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of reflection. We’re always working to do more, learn more, and be better. The result though is that it’s easy to forget where we’ve come from, hard to see all we’ve accomplished, and not realize all life has given us.
This yearly re-cap post is about putting all of your favorite topics from the past year (and from all-time) in one place. It’s also a chance for me to reflect on all that’s happened in my own life as a piano teacher at Studio 88 and blogger at Piano Pantry.
Before I wrote this post, I loved reading the recap post from last year. Here is Piano Pantry’s Best of 2016 recap.
In this post you will find:
- A Month-by-Month Recap of 2017
- The All-Time Top 5 Posts/Pages
- The Top 5 Posts/Pages from 2017
- The Top Friday Finds Post from 2017
- My Personal Favorite Posts from 2017
As we roll into the end of a semester of teaching, students and teachers alike are itching for a much-needed break from the past months. It’s time to breathe and reset our mind, body, and spirit by walking away from our day to day tasks and celebrating the season with friends and family.
Part of my daily routine in our home is that every evening before we go to bed, the dishes are done, the dishwasher is running, coffee is made, and lunches are packed so the morning goes smoothly.
I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy start to the day.
After the morning gets moving and my husband is off to work, I clean up breakfast dishes, tidy up blankets and such from the night before, make the bed, and prep dinner so when we arrive home from work the evening goes smoothly.
I prep and reset the house for a clean and easy end to the day.
When we go on vacation we like to make sure the house is clean and picked up, trash is taken out, dishes are completely done and put away, the refrigerator is as empty as possible, and there’s something frozen in the freezer to eat if needed when we return.
We prep and reset the house for a welcome and relaxing return.
Before you close the door to your studio to reset the teacher in you, I would like to encourage you to take a little time to reset your workspace so when you return, you can hit the ground running in a fresh environment. It feels so good!
Here are a few areas to pay attention to before you hang up your teacher hat.
Tidy Up Your Teaching area
- Put everything back in its place. You may even play around with rearranging items to see if you can find a better workflow.
- Take inventory of and order stickers, post-its, refills of pens, pencils, erasers, etc.
- Sharpen up any pencils you have, be sure all the pens are closed.
- Close all piano lids and push in the benches.
- Download new assignment sheets or update your old ones for the new semester. Have a fresh set printed and ready to go. (I find using new sheets each semester refreshing. There are plenty to pick from on Assignment Sheet Central!)
BEFORE – AFTER
This has been a busy start to the school year. Not only are my husband and I smack-dab in the middle of building a house (the walls are up!), but I just started a two-year stint as President of the Indiana Music Teachers Association, and it’s my fullest year yet as far as presenting/speaking engagements go. What was I thinking?! LOL
Ah, well, life is good and it goes in phases, you know? Sometimes it’s crazy, sometimes it’s quiet, and sometimes it just IS.
Since I’m in the heat of this whole “busiest presenting season of my life” thing, I thought it was a good time to talk a little about it with you.
If you’ve never presented before and are looking to get started or if you’re just looking for a few tips to improve your game, this post is for you.
I’m going to share some of my biggest tips (rules I use for myself) for preparing and giving a presentation as well as a list of resources that helped me in my journey to becoming a better presenter.
It’s time to insert my disclaimer. I do not pretend to be some awesome know-it-all presenter. I just want to share what I’ve learned along the way. After attending so many conferences over the years, you do start to form an opinion of what constitutes a good presentation. I definitely have my opinions ;-). Not everything works for everyone and we all have different personalities so what works for me may not fit you and that’s OK! Disclaimer over.
But first, a pep-talk.
My husband and I both do a lot of online shopping. Amazon Prime, I’ll admit, is arguably our most frequented “store.” It’s just SO CONVENIENT.
While I’ve never been a “couponer,” several months ago, my husband and I started using Wikibuy.
A couple of weekends ago, I made quite a loop-de-loo around Indiana and Ohio. It started out with a 2-hour drive up to Bowling Green Ohio to present with Joy Morin to her local MTA chapter. It was our first time out (and our first session together!), Teaching the Way We Learn: First Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory. We will be presenting the same session for Indiana and Kentucky MTA conferences this Fall. For details visit my speaking page.
After enjoying lunch with several Ohio teachers and one of Joy’s adult students who came to the session, I made the 3-hour trek down I-75 to Cincinnati where I attended my first Summit for MTNA Leadership.
This year is going to be chock-full of opportunities for me to share with teachers at both the local, state, and national levels.
Let me know if you’ll be attending any of these and we can be sure and meet up. Feel free to contact me if you need details. I’m excited to connect with more of you in person and learn together!
I’ve also created a permanent page here on Piano Pantry listing all these upcoming events as well as my previous events and topics. Find it here.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory for Piano Teachers (with co-presenter Joy Morin)
Location: Wood-Ottawa Counties MTA (Bowling Green, OH)
Friday, September 29, 2017
Teaching the Way We Learn: First Applications of Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (with co-presenter Joy Morin)
Evernote for the Independent Music Teacher (Lightning Talk)
Location: Indiana MTA state conference (Marion, IN) Continue reading
Following the 2017 NCKP Conference in Chicago, my travel buddy, Joy Morin and I had a few days to explore Chicago. It was great having a little brain break anyway!
I’m going to first share with you a little of our 3-day P.T. vacay followed by some of the great things I attended at the GIML (Gordon Institute for Music Learning) Conference. If you’re not familiar, the conference focuses on teaching inspired by Music Learning Theory (MLT).
Joy and I did a two-week training course in MLT and its practical application for piano in Boston, August 2016 so this was the perfect follow-up.
Chicago Food and Fun
In Laverne and Shirley style, we took to bikes and did the 10 mile(ish) lake shore bike track – we couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day.