Recommended Resources

On this page, you will find a thorough list of all my favorite tools and resources that I use on this site, in my studio, and at home.

Recommend items are those that I have been using for a long time and can recommend with 100% confidence.

I try to update this page regularly so be sure and check back!


Affiliate Disclosure

Some of the resources listed on this page contain affiliate links. If you choose to purchase one of them, I will receive a small percentage of that sale for the referral at no additional cost to you.


 

 

Top All-Around Favorite Tools

Notion. My new favorite digital filing cabinet besides Evernote. Notion is really giving Evernote a run for its money. It offers highly visual features with nearly all the same functionality as its competitor. While I still use Evernote, I am slowly transferring a lot of what I do as far as daily personal and work management into Notion!

 

Evernote. The easiest way to describe Evernote is that it’s a digital filing cabinet where you can save multiple types of content formats in one location: documents, URL links, clips from YouTube, selections from internet pages, PDF files, and more. Highly useful for both our teaching and personal lives!

Check out all my Evernote tutorials on Piano Pantry.

 

Feedly. Using an RSS Reader is, in my opinion, the only way to properly manage content in today’s world. An RSS Reader is like a personalized digital newspaper. You tell it the website you want to follow and it will stream all the newsfeeds into one location so you can keep up on new content in one place.

Read more about how I use Feedly in this post: Managing Internet Content the Easy Way

 

Grammarly. My English teacher and writing sidekick. With Grammarly Premium, you not only get the basic critical grammar and spell-check errors, but you also get instant feedback on over 400 advanced grammar rules. Microsoft Word spell-check can’t even touch the capability of this program.

Read more on why I love Grammarly in this post: Grammarly – Spell Check on Steroids

 

LastPass. I couldn’t manage all my accounts and passwords properly without Last Pass in this day and age. Your life will be made easier (and more secure).

 

 

Food / Cooking

Paprika. I love this app for managing all my recipes for many reasons. First of all, it has a built-in browser so you can easily import recipes from any site. Second, there is a desktop version so I can manage recipes from my desktop and not just the app which I find to be much more efficient.

 

 

Studio Marketing and Social Media

Canva.com. An amazing tool for creating easy and incredible social media images. Use built-in templates perfectly sized for each social media network.

EyeDropper Extention. Super handy Chrome extension to grab color codes off the internet.

InstagramFind out why having an Instagram account can be beneficial for your music studio in this post: Instagram for Independent Music Teachers: The #1 Reason You Should be There

Google PhotosI could put this one under several different categories really. Switching to Google Photos was one of the best things I did for managing my studio photos. Read more here: 5 Reasons Why Google Photos Might be the Perfect Solution for Your Studio.

Tailwind. Over the years, I’ve used several social media scheduling programs including Hoot Suite, Buffer, and scheduling tools specific to Facebook and Twitter (I’m not on Twitter anymore). I love Tailwind because it is focused on Instagram but is able to connect to Facebook as well. It will recommend tags, have a link-in-bio setup (Smart.bio), is user-friendly, and has a nice visual feel. I use this to schedule posts for all my social media accounts including:

Instagram@amychaplinpiano
Instagram@food.fun.with.amy
Facebook@PianoPantry
Facebook@Studio88PianoLessons

 

 

Email

Gmail. My email client. I like using the browser mail client as opposed to Outlook or Apple’s Mail app.

Boomerang for Gmail. This Chrome extension helps me schedule emails to send at optimal times, snooze messages, and my favorite benefit – follow-up reminders if someone doesn’t respond to your email.

Flodesk. My email-list manager. After using Mailchimp for years and years, I have found Flodesk to be even more sleek, simplified, and user-friendly than Mailchimp.

Wisestamp. Generates professional, custom email signatures.

 

 

Studio Business

My Music StaffMy Music Staff is a studio-management cloud-based software. It does not have an app and is only available on desktop. While it has many robust features, I simply use it for sending invoices and tracking payments. I also use their form embedded form feature to connect student inquiries on my website to my student lead list in My Music Staff. Nicola Cantan highlights this latter feature in this blog post.

Coinhop. While I use My Music Staff for my invoicing and payment tracking, I do not connect it to Stripe for taking payments through the site. I prefer having all my clients making monthly payments set up with Coinhop. At only a 1% fee, it’s much cheaper than Stripe or PayPal. Read more on my experience in this post: Save Time and Money Taking Online Payments With Coinhop.

Google Forms. Google Forms are free and easy to use. Use it for studio registration forms as well as event sign-up forms. You can easily export the entries into a spreadsheet format.

Tally.so. Tally is another form builder I’ve been using in conjunction with Notion. It takes a little more tech-savvy work to connect the two so if you shy away from tech, I would recommend sticking with Google Forms. Otherwise, I am loving Tally.so and moving a lot of what I’ve done in Google Forms over the past years into Tally.

 

 

Apps for Students and the Profession

forScore. This app is well worth the fee. forScore is the best sheet music reader out there, especially when paired with my favorite Bluetooth pedal, the iRig Blueturn.

NoteRush. This is my #1 favorite app for students as the app recognizes whether or not the student is playing the exact note on the piano. Check out my new assignment-series design just for this app.

Scannable. Made by Evernote, the Scannable app scans things faster than a desktop scanner. Save scans as either an image or PDF. Send scans via email or other share methods. (All scans are connected to your account and automatically saved to Evernote).

Genius Scan. If I’m scanning I don’t necessarily want to save in Evernote, my go-to is Genius Scan. It’s easy to use and does a good job at recognizing and capturing scans quickly.

Tonara. The best platform thus far for online lesson assignments.  Attach sound files, links, and PDFs to every individual assignment. (Use the code: PIANOPANTRY to get 20% off a yearly subscription.)

 

 

Hardware

Logitech Wireless Keyboard. This ergonomic keyboard takes a little getting used to but I’ve been very happy with it so far!

 

 

Logitech Vertical Wireless Mouse. Again, the ergonomic shape takes a little getting used to but this wireless mouse has been extremely comfortable, especially for long periods of computer usage. I like pairing it with a mouse pad with a wrist rest.

 

 iRig Blue Turn Bluetooth Pedal. This Bluetooth hands-free page-turner works seamlessly with my iPad. I use it weekly along with my ForScore app for Sunday service.

 

 

Apple 12.9″ 128-256 GB, Wi-Fi iPad ProBeing that I don’t have a laptop, the 12″ iPad, and Smart Keyboard combo are the perfect (and cheaper than a laptop) substitution. The larger screen makes reading sheet music on the iPad much easier on the eyes. I wish I would have gotten one sooner. Also, I definitely wouldn’t recommend less than 128 GB.

Apple Smart Keyboard for 12.9″ iPad Pro. I know it’s expensive, but it is absolutely AMAZING and I would buy this keyboard all over again. It’s sleek, simple, and versatile.

Apple Pencil for iPad Pro. Again, expensive but it is absolutely AMAZING and totally worth it. It works perfectly for my students doing worksheets on the iPad.

Casio Celviano Keyboard. I currently have 4 Casio Celviano AP-620 models in my studio similar to this one on Amazon. They’re a solid, simple, reliable, and nice-looking keyboard for group classes.

 

 

Hosting / Website / Blogging

Hawkhost. I have been super happy with Hawkhost. Their client support has always been quick to respond and very helpful. They provide great service.

WordPress.org For those more comfortable with technology and looking for lots of customization possibilities; Piano Pantry and my studio website Studio88Piano.com are both built-in WordPress.

Weebly.com For those less comfortable with technology, Weebly is a great way to go and will help you produce a great-looking website more easily.

 

 

Recording Equipment

Anchor.fm. Owned by Spotify, Anchor.fm is where I record and upload The Piano Pantry Podcast. It’s easy to use and visually satisfying.

Blue Yeti USB Microphone. This microphone is easy to use and best of all has a mute button to avoid those little coughs when recording. The pop filter is important to help reduce puffy sounds from your voice that create “pops” in the sound.

Camtasia and Snagit. By TechSmith, Camtasia is my video editor of choice. It is especially brilliant for doing screen recordings. You can purchase it along with TechSmith’s screen-snipping tool, Snagit in a bundle.

Khanka Microphone Case for Blue Yeti. A small, simple, and compact case to carry the Blue Yeti microphone. Room for cables, and a pop filter.

 

Presenting

Canva. Most recently, I’ve been using Canva’s excellent Slide Templates for creating my presentations. Even more so than Microsoft PowerPoint, Canva makes it really easy to add graphics and make your presentations visually appealing. It also has a built-in “present” mode just like PowerPoint!

Google Slides. While Canva does allow you to collaborate on documents, Google as usual makes the process very streamlined. I also recommend Google Slides for someone who perhaps doesn’t use Canva already.

 

Books

See the Books for Piano Teachers on Piano Pantry.