Inspiring Creativity with Student Art Books

Before I opened my studio, I always knew I wanted to have a student art book in the waiting room. Where the idea came from, I’m not sure, but I know it wasn’t my original idea. Thanks to whomever the blogger was that inspired me!

I bought a blank canvas sketchbook similar to this one at Michaels and had an artist friend decorate the cover. It would have been fun to hold a studio-wide contest but since I was just building my studio at the time, that wasn’t an option.

Here’s what she came up with. Isn’t it amazing?



This particular book has been full for a couple of years now. Before I show you what we’re using for our new studio-art book, I wanted to share some of my favorite entries.


ARt by: My Students




It was especially touching to come across a page like this for the first time, especially when it was written several years ago!



Our New Art Books


The new books we’re using are these awesome Moleskin Journals. They come in in a set of three and are perfect because they’re small, thin, and completely blank.

Besides having a studio-wide book, these art books are wonderful for individual student use.

After taking the two-week long professional development course on Music Learning Theory through the Gordon Institute for Music Learning (GIML), I was inspired to keep individual art books for my beginning piano students.

In the Music Moves for Piano Keyboard Games, there are often “creative activities” suggested such as having students listen to a song while drawing a picture of what they hear. These small journals fit the bill beautifully for this type of assignment.

Here, two sisters are spending a few minutes drawing pictures for the pieces “Three Blind Mice” and “Poor Blind Mice.”


Another bonus of these journals is that the cover is blank so each child can decorate their own cover! They come in a kraft brown color you saw above as well as black.


I just used a silver permanent marker to draw on the cover. They’re nice and slim so I’ll use a new one for each year.


Do you have any kind of a student art book in your studio? I look forward to hearing how you may incorporate similar ideas.


  • I recently discovered your site and have loved reading your posts! I’m interested in how you do lab time–what kinds of activities and how do you plan them for students? What materials do you need to provide for lab time (ipad, keyboard, earphones, etc.)? I’d love to know how you have lab activities that correspond with Piano Safari teaching. Thank you!

    • Hi, Cathrine,

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the site! That makes me happy. I do plan on writing a post in the near future regarding lab time. I’ll give you as much as I can now, though.I don’t arrange them to correspond specifically with one method. I just assign based on what concepts they’ve learned already. I both a desktop computer and an iPad although I use the desktop much more. I only like using programs that can track student progress and not many apps there allow for multiple student logins. Ningenius is one that does that I love. I use Music Learning Community (while it’s is outdated and pricey for the old-style, it offers the most variety of games and listening games and most of my younger students like it. I’ve not found a replacement thus far. I use Essentials of Music Theory for students that have been in lessons 3 or more years. I use 88 Piano Keys’ Get Inspired series as well as a couple of listening play lists I’ve put together on Pinterest when the student is caught up on other lab assignments. It’s developed over the years and will always continue to develop I’m sure. Keep an eye out for a post on all of this. I would expect it between April and June of this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *