Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year

I hope you all have been enjoying the Christmas season!  My husband and I have been happy to be staying with and spending time with family and friends for the past few weeks.  We are finally back home, which feels great.  We plan to do plenty of relaxing in order to get rejuvenated before the next busy semester begins January 11.  I plan to take at least another week off from blogging.

I hope you all have had a blessed Christmas season, full of music and happiness. See you in 2010!

Announcements, improving as a teacher, repertoire / methods

Organizing your Music Books

DSC_20090831_6801How do your organize your library of music books?  About a month ago, I purchased a new bookshelf (see photo) for my music, because most of my books were still in boxes with no place to go since our move to our new apartment.  In just a few hours, I managed to re-organize all my music books, and I’m proud to say I can actually find stuff I’m looking for when I need it!

Here’s how I organize my books:

I divide my music into two major categories:

  1. Student-level repertoire
  2. Advanced repertoire

Within the above categories, I divide my books further into the following categories:

  • Sheet music — organized by level (e.g., early elementary, late intermediate, etc.).
  • Classical music — alphabetized by composer last name.
  • Classical Anthologies — books that contain pieces by a number of different composers.  When possible, I organize these books chronologically (i.e., by music period).
  • Sacred music — books of hymn arrangements.

I also have a few other categories:

  • Method Books — such as Alfred, Faber, etc., organized by method series and then by level.
  • Technique — such as Finger Power, Dozen A Day, Hanon exercises, etc.
  • Theory — such as Notespellers, books of theory worksheets, etc.

How do you organize your music library?

Printables, Studio Business

Make Business Cards for Your Music Studio

Having business cards on hand is a convenient and professional way to give your contact information to potential students and their parents.  Here’s a simple, clean template for making your own business cards for your music studio!

Printables > Studio Business > Business Cards Template for Music Teachers

This template is a Microsoft Word (.doc) file, containing a page of 10 business cards, which you can edit to fill in with your name and contact information.  Then all you have to do is print them onto card-stock or other professional-looking paper and cut them apart.  Have fun!

Announcements, improving as a teacher

Top 3 Obstacles when Teaching Improvisation | Part 2 of the series

Okay, so I’ve been promising to talk about the findings from my research paper about improvisation.  While I don’t plan to post the entire 20+ pages as is, I do plan to post the information over a few posts, bit by bit, so it’s easier to read.  The first bit here (below) establishes the problem (i.e., the reason for writing a paper about improvisation).

Teaching improvisation is challenging for many teachers.  As I was reading books and journal articles about improvisation for my research paper, 3 common obstacles surfaced.  These are obstacles that music educators (not just piano teachers) encounter when trying to incorporate improvisation into their curriculum: Continue reading “Top 3 Obstacles when Teaching Improvisation | Part 2 of the series”


My Current Repertoire Choices…

Since the end of the semester is near, my piano professor and I are thinking ahead to repertoire for next semester.  I really enjoyed learning a few movements from Prokofiev’s Visions Fugitives this semester, and was thinking it would be great to learn some more 20th century music!

I found this lovely gem by Poulenc (Novellette No. 1 in CM):  

I also love this pairing of Kabalevsky Preludes (Op. 38, No. 8 and 16):

I also would love to learn a couple of the Barber Excursions Op. 20:

I can’t decide!  They are all such beautiful pieces.  Any votes?

Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“Education in music is most sovereign, because more than anything else, rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.”

– Plato

Every Wednesday brings Words of Wisdom here at the Color in my Piano blog…in the form of a musical quote or joke, intended to bring inspiration or humor to the middle of your week.   Have suggestions?  Send an email off toadmin[at]