Teaching Anniversaries: Celebrating on Social Media and Beyond

August 2021 marks 10 years of my full-time piano studio (Studio 88), located in Bluffton, Indiana, 10 years of full-time piano teaching, and more than 20 years of teaching in general!

In a four-part series this month, we’re going to talk about marking time by acknowledging, reflecting on, and celebrating special teaching anniversaries/milestones.

In today’s post, I’ll share how I used social media to celebrate special moments and students of the past.

In the next post, you’ll hear from a teacher friend who really impacted me with her incredibly thoughtful ideas on this very topic (including a special commission) – you won’t want to miss it!

In the third post, I’ll share seven ways my teaching and studio have evolved over the past decade and encourage you to find new ways to continue evolving your own teaching and studios.

In the final and shortest post, I’ll reveal how I’m starting a new decade in my studio with new branding. That is, a new logo!

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Friday Finds #221

Social Media Madness

Hello, my friends! As we enter this new season, many of us begin rethinking things we do in our studios from policies to studio setup and offerings and (yes), our social media.

Can I make a big confession? I’m not really a big fan of social media. Surprised? I am a fan, however, of YOU and my kiddos, and sometimes social is the only way to connect.

Otherwise, I would likely be outta-here. 🙂

Here are some wonderful resources for you this week if you’re ready to up your game on social media.



Using Social Media to Effectively Market Your Studio with Sara Campbell (Episode 15) (Teach Music Online The Podcast)



How to Create an Automated Message for Your Studio’s Facebook Page (Piano Pantry)



Social Media Image Sizes: Everything You Need to Know (Dustin Stout)



12 Facebook Settings and Notifications You Can Turn Off Immediately (Real Simple)



Is Instagram for Piano Teachers? Yes, here’s why! (Leila Viss)



Instagram for Independent Music Teachers: The #1 Reason You Should Be There (Piano Pantry)



How I Use Instagram, and an Invitation to Follow Me There! (Color in My Piano)


Instagram for Piano Teachers: 5 Fun Accounts to Follow (Piano Pantry)



10 Perfect Instagram Theme Ideas You Can Create (Helene In Between)



Instagram Content Ideas ANYONE Can Use (The Preview App)



Subscribe to the Piano Pantry email list to keep up to date!

You’ll get my once-a-month “Secret Letter” which includes what’s been going on in my studio that month, books I’m reading, and more. You will also have the option to have new posts delivered to your inbox weekly.


How to Create an Automated Message for Your Studio’s Facebook Page Inbox

Do you ever have a sudden realization that you’ve been making things much harder on yourself regarding something than needed?

Recently I had such an epiphany when it came to my studio’s Facebook page.

A lot of people like to contact me through Facebook. I really hate messaging through Facebook and much prefer email however, it’s 2021 and that’s just how a lot of people work now.

95% of the time, the message sent to me via my studio Inbox is the same.

I’m interested in piano lessons for my 6 years old. Can you tell me more about your lessons and prices?

Yada, yada, yada. You get it.

One by one I would type out a reply. Sometimes I would get smart and cut and paste from previous messages and then customize a little from there.

Today, I was suddenly DONE.

I knew it had to be easy to create a generic automated message that would direct people to my website where I really wanted them to be. It took a little research (I mean, nothing is terribly intuitive with Facebook, am I right?) but it was no big deal once I found my way.

Today I want to share a quick 2-minute video to show you how you can also do this as well as give you a copy of my message you can use as a starter to craft your own.

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Instagram for Piano Teachers: 5 Fun Accounts to Follow

This is a post I’ve been excited to write for a long time. I don’t know why exactly.  I think it’s just because it’s a fun and light post that doesn’t require any of us to revamp our piano teaching or extend our to-do list. LOL.

If you’re not already on Instagram, you might want to check out this post first on the #1 Reason Why You Should Be On Instagram as an Independent Music Teacher.

Whether you’re just creating your Instagram account for the first time, or if you’ve been on there since the day it launched in 2010, there are five Instagram accounts I’ve really enjoyed recently you might want to consider following if you’re not already.

Before I give you my list, I wanted to let you know exactly what I was looking for in this particular list.


The Criterion

While there are a TON of piano teachers, bloggers, etc. on Instagram, this post is focused on accounts that spark a little “fun” in the piano studio world.

They can include a little (but not too much) of:

  • Marketing for their website or product.
  • Videos of their own playing or their students playing.

They should include:

  • Student / studio-related photos (but not too many).
  • A few personal photos – keep yourself real and relatable!
  • A lot of fun, beautiful piano-related eye candy.

In other words, I was looking for accounts that balanced life and studio, that didn’t seem focused on marketing themselves or products, and that included a lot of piano beauty, fun, and even humor.

Here’s are my recommendations in no particular order. (Except the last one which is definitely my favorite!)

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

With so many social media apps out there, many teachers are hesitant to put the time and effort into trying a new platform. Believe it or not, though, Instagram isn’t new – it’s been out for almost 10 years!

As a fellow skeptic, I want to share with you today the biggest reason why any music teacher who is running an independent music studio needs to be on Instagram.

My own personal journey to Instagram is a big part of this story, so let me start there.


Entering Instagram

In July 2015, I opened my account and posted my first photo.

Since it was August, the month for fresh produce and canning (and you all know I love food), I had a little fun posting a lot of food photos.

Then it was pretty much crickets until October 2016 – more than a year later. Eek!


I’m suddenly back in and using Instagram even more than Facebook.


What happened?

Inspiration finally set in from a session I attended earlier that year at the 2016 MTNA Conference in San Antonio. The session was actually put on by a friend and colleague of mine and was called The Varsity Musician’s Playbook.: Commitment-Building Strategies from Team Sports to the Studio.

I was so inspired by her session, that I asked her to write a 3-part series here on Piano Pantry.

Part 1: Studio Interdependence
Part 2: Studio “Locker Room”
Part 3: Community Presence

Part 3 is where the conviction to start using Instagram again set in. Granted, it took me almost 7 months to gear up to start using Instagram again, but once I did, I haven’t looked back and there’s one big reason why.


Student-Studio Connection

Instagram is (one place) where my students go to connect. Every single one of my high school students is on Instagram as well as a few younger students.

Students can see what’s going on in the studio outside of just their lesson. Most of my students go to different schools, so it’s fun for them to see the life of their piano peer’s outside of piano studio life as well as inside our piano studio life.

They can celebrate each other’s achievements and connect with each other outside of group classes. I witness students “loving” (as it goes on Instagram) and commenting on each other’s photos as well as the studio.

I always like to imagine that if I had social media like this growing up, and I saw a photo of a fellow student who has finished a book that I was struggling through, it would have been great motivation to work hard to also complete the book.


My Instagram Focus

Instagram is such an important part of my studio that I try to keep it focused on just that – my studio. Do I share personal things? Of course. Do I share a few Piano Pantry things once in a while? Yep.

If you follow me on Instagram though, you’ll see that I am 95% focused on my students.

Can we use Instagram as a way to market our studios? Absolutely! My mindset, however, is less on “outward” marketing and more “inward” marketing. That is, developing a community within your studio which then seems to radiate outward on its own.

P.S. Just a tip that in order to actually allow outward marketing to also occur, don’t keep your Instagram account private. That is, when you create an account, don’t set it up so people have to “request” to follow you. Let it be a public account anyone can follow. You want the public to see all the wonderful things you do in your studio!


Fun Accounts to Follow

Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to get on the Instagram bandwagon, here are 5 really fun accounts for piano teachers to follow.


Find me on Instagram!

Follow me on Instagram @amychaplinpiano

Hope to see you there!


Managing Internet Content the Easy Way

Let’s stop for a minute and think about how many people we “follow” online. To keep it even more specific and focused, only think about those you follow who create content for piano teachers.

Can you count them all on one hand or do you lose track after listing more than a dozen?

I stopped counting after 50. Yes, 50.  I’m pretty sure my number is actually closer to 90.

Let’s crank that jaw back shut – it’s not as scary as it seems!

Next to email, managing the influx of content from all our favorite blogs and websites seems to be the one area that teachers struggle with the most – and for good reason. The last five years especially have seen an explosion of new content creators – I’m one of them!

Believe it or not, it is possible to follow a large number of sites online in a manageable way without it feeling overwhelming. More importantly, you can do it without clogging your email Inbox or Facebook Newsfeed with articles. Curious?


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