Guess what: February 28 marked the seven-year anniversary of Color In My Piano!
At this time each year, I like to reflect upon the time that has passed since I started blogging and teaching and recognize how things have grown and changed. I hope, whether you are a longtime or a new follower of Color In My Piano, you will enjoy reading the brief history below.
If you are short on time, please feel free to skip down to the overview of the most recent year.
The First Year
On February 28, 2009, I wrote my first blog post: a welcome and brief statement of purpose. I found my inspiration largely from Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog and Susan Paradis’s Piano Teacher Resources, whose resources I found tremendously helpful and inspiring for my piano teaching. At this point, I was running a successful piano studio of about 20 students out of my parents’ home, and finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Hope College. I graduated in May of 2009.
On July 9, 2009, I decided that I was enjoying blogging enough to go full swing: I came up with the title “Color In My Piano,” bought my own domain name and a year’s worth of web hosting, and gave the site a new look.
The name “Color In My Piano” was coined when, during my senior year at Hope College, I was required to write an essay which reflected upon my life so far and summed up my current worldview. Not surprisingly, much of paper focused on my beliefs about music and the role of the piano/teaching in my life. In my life, I strive to keep my music-making and teaching from feeling like merely a job or a requirement. I strive to keep “color in my piano” for both my students and myself.
Over that summer, my husband and I moved to central Michigan to attend graduate school. In August of 2009, I started my Master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at Central Michigan University.
The Second Year
I continued to work on my Master’s degree and teach between 5-10 students each week. My responsibilities as a Graduate Assistant required me to teach college level Class Piano courses to music majors and collaborate with vocalists and instrumentalists.
The Third Year
In May of 2011, I graduated with a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy and Performance. Over the summer, my husband and I moved to Ohio (so he could earn another Master’s degree in English), where I started my studio again from scratch. We rented a charming little house with a dining room that works perfectly as my studio and I bought a piano. I taught between 10-13 students each week and continued to grow my studio.
I blogged pretty regularly throughout this year, continuing to share ideas and printables each week.
The Fourth Year
My studio grew to 25 students. Although sometimes I still miss being in the academic environment of college, most of the time I was and am thrilled to be “living the dream” and running my own piano studio!
Color In My Piano grew a lot this year! Plus, I added a Shop to sell digital resources such as my music history lapbooking curriculum.
The Fifth Year
My studio grew to 35 students, which I consider “full”! My husband, Paul, finished his Master’s degree and was hired as the Public Relations & Communications Coordinator at a science museum for kids in Toledo, Ohio.
Gradually, I started giving workshops for local music teachers associations. I never thought I would want to pursue public speaking, but I am finding that giving workshops is an incredibly fun way to share ideas and research with others!
The Sixth Year
My husband and I bought our first house, which meant moving 20 minutes away to Perrysburg, Ohio. My new studio room needed some updating, but I love how it turned out. There is no shortage of piano students in the Perrysburg area, so my studio is full as ever.
This year, I started a new endeavor: offering online courses for piano teachers through Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin. Creating the curriculum was a huge investment of time and energy, but it is unbelievably fun and rewarding to be able to interact with and mentor other piano teachers in this way!
The Seventh Year
Today, I am still as dedicated as ever to Color In My Piano, although now I’m lucky to publish two or three posts each week instead of five posts per week I was able to do in the past! I am never at a shortage of ideas to write about; I just find time to be a precious commodity, as we all do.
In recent months, I experimented with creating live video conversations about piano teaching using the app Periscope. I have mixed feelings about the results, and am still deciding whether to continue the series or not. (I’d love your input!) For one thing, I am considering trying out YouTube Live instead of Periscope.
Over the past year, I have spent quite a bit of time and focus on continuing to develop and improve my online course through Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin. To date, over 60 teachers have gone through the six-week course! Facilitating this has been an exciting and rewarding experience. I plan to continue mentoring teachers through offering the course three times each year: in Winter, Summer, and Fall.
I am still as active as ever in the wonderful local music teachers associations in my area. After holding various board positions for local chapters in the past, I am now serving a second year as Vice President for Membership for the Ohio Music Teachers Association (affiliated with MTNA).
My husband just started a new job as Marketing Strategist for the Office of University Development at University of Michigan. Although his commute now involves driving to Ann Arbor, Michigan, he is thrilled about the exciting opportunity and new challenge. Life is good, and we have much to be thankful for!
It is so exciting to be a piano teacher in a day and age when the internet allows us to be so connected. I am so grateful for the friends I’ve gained as a result of blogging, as well as the endless inspiration I’ve gained through haunting other piano teacher blogs and facebook group forums.
Thanks for all your support, dear readers, and for making this blog such a fun place to hang out! Here’s to many fun-filled years ahead! Thanks for reading.