Creating a Studio Legacy with Student Photo Boards: A Canva Tutorial [Video]

This is my current student photo board.

Students are not displayed from oldest to youngest, but by how long they’ve been studying with me – moving from left to right and top to bottom.

Every photo includes the student’s picture, their first name, and the month and year they started taking piano lessons at Studio 88.

The white spaces are inspiring quotes. I could have filled them all up individually if I had included my adults, but I assumed they would want anonymity. (After one of them asked why they weren’t on the photo board, I realized next time I should just ask if I could include them rather than assume!)

Today I want to show you how you can create a photo board like this using an online design studio called Canva.

First, I want to briefly share what got me started on having a student photo board.


Who’s the Team?

One of the hottest series here on Piano Pantry is called the Varsity Musician’s Playbook. Written by a good friend of mine, the series focuses on how we can develop thriving studios and students who are deeply committed using principles from team sports.

Part two of the series is about creating a legacy in your studio. One of the ideas is to think of the setup of a locker room which includes photos of all team members. This post is what inspired me to begin displaying photos of my students in the studio.

Here’s my first board.

I simply stapled the photos to my corkboard and wrote out by hand the date they joined Studio 88.

Knowing the studio would eventually be moved into our home, I wanted something that would be a little more home-decor friendly.

The 21-space photo frame I found at Meijer was perfect. You can find similar ones on Amazon.

The first year I needed more than 21 spaces so I doubled up the photos and alternated the frames with quotes.

This year I was able to move to one student per frame.

The black backgrounds really make the photos pop. (In case you’re wondering, the quotes are printed on photo paper, just as the photos are.)


Using Canva to Create Your Photo Board

In this video, I’m going walk you through how you can create your own student photo board. Using a program like Canva allows you to print text on the photos as well as crop the photos so they look uniform.

Two tips: First make sure you take both a horizontal and vertical photo of every student since you likely will not know ahead of time which frame they will be placed in. Second, I like to choose the same “pose” for each student so it looks uniform on the board. Sitting on the piano bench right in front of the piano facing forward works well.

Post photos of your student board in the comments!


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