Giveaways

GIVEAWAY: Music Note Face Masks

Hi there!

How are you all? I’ve been quiet here on the blog, but keeping myself busy as usual! Baby Aria keeps me busy, and I also have a couple of projects coming down the pipeline that you’ll hear about sooner or later. 🙂

I’m still teaching my piano lessons online during these Covid times and practicing physical distancing as appropriate. Here in Michigan, our quarantine measures have loosened somewhat compared to be before, but there are guidelines still in place to keep us safe. I know the specific guidelines vary greatly state-by-state and country-by-country according to the current risk in each area. I hope we can agree it’s important to be smart and cautious during these times.

I’d really love to hear from you all about how you are faring and what life during Covid-19 is like currently in your neck of the woods. You’ll have a chance to do so — more on that in just a moment!

But first, let me back up and introduce you to my sister, Heather. We are teaming up to offer you a giveaway.

Heather operates her own business sewing a variety of products and selling them on her website, at craft shows, and local gift shops across Michigan.

Heather makes beautiful baby blankets, bibs, burp cloths, hair bows, infinity scarves, and more…and more recently, masks! During these Covid times, she started selling cotton face masks and using some of the proceeds to donate masks to some local elderly care facilities. She’s awesome, isn’t she?!

Recently, I mailed Heather some music-themed fabric I had found at a thrift store for $1 and asked her to make me a few masks. I not only wanted to have music-themed face masks for myself, but also wanted to have child-sized masks on hand for whenever I decide I’m ready to resume in-person lessons. Heather happily obliged.

They turned out beautifully, didn’t they? I was pleased! I’m happy to have those cheery music notes on my mask when I need to run out to the grocery store or wherever.

I saw a tip online about adding beads to make the straps more precisely adjustable. I happened to have some beads in my craft bin (this kind), so I went ahead and tried it out. They work great. You could knot the elastic instead, but I find that the beads allow you to make smaller adjustments to make the fit just right.

I suggested to Heather that she might like to offer music note masks on her website alongside her other beautiful prints. I told her I might know some music teachers interested in having music-themed masks around. 😉 So, she searched around to get her hands on more music fabric, and this is what she found:

Beautiful, right?! She does nice work.

If you are interested in having a music-themed mask, you’re in luck — Heather has a promo code just for my readers PLUS we’re offering a giveaway!

Here are the details:

We are giving away the three masks pictured below: a child-sized mask and two adult-sized masks. THREE winners will be chosen.

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below here on my blog by Sunday, July 19 at midnight (Eastern time) sharing with us a bit about what life is currently like in your corner of the world during these Covid times. For example: share with us a story or tip about online teaching. Or, tell us something interesting about how you are doing and what you’re up to while living in quarantine. It will be fun to read everyone’s comments!

The three winners will be chosen on July 20 and notified by email. The masks will be shipped shortly after.

If you would like to make an order from Heather’s website, here’s the discount she’s offering my readers: Enter the promo code COLORINMYPIANO during checkout at Heather’s HeatherMadeDesigns.com website to get 10% off your purchase of $25 or more. This offer is good until Monday, July 27th, 2020. Check out all the beautiful sewn items on her website here.

I look forward to reading your comments!

91 thoughts on “GIVEAWAY: Music Note Face Masks”

  1. You and your sister are cut from the same cloth! Lol. Amazing!! I’m “tucked away” here in GA. I’ve been teaching online and of course trying to come up with creative ideas. I have been having great success having several students at the same level playing the same piece. I take the videos they send to me on Tonara and put them in into iMovie where I can edit them and have a mash-up of several students playing the same piece. The students are loving it!
    Hugs to sweet Aria!
    Lou Ann Pope

    1. I’m in GA too and have been teaching in person for the last month. I always wear a mask and clean the keys between students but my students rarely wear a mask. I’m looking forward to our first “driveway” recital at the end of the month. Would love to surprise the kids with a music mask!

    2. Hi Lou Ann! Yes, my family is all pretty much the crafty sort. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recent adventures with your students and Tonara!!

  2. Sweet music notes mask?. Taught the past 3 months virtually. Have really been missing playing duets with my students. We play a call and response game. First I play a line or passage of the music, then student plays that section back. We take turns who leads. It isn’t the same as a duet, however we enjoy this music game. ???

    1. Wonderful to feel connected to you and this community during these crazy times! We’re in it together! I’ve been teaching online since mid-March, hosted a Zoom Spring Recital, taught as a music director for an online musical theater camp (a new experience, for sure!), and now figuring out what in the world we’re going to do for our Summer Recital…

      In other news, maintaining our bubble as a family and enjoying hikes and backyard play…and trying to live in the moment until we figure out what the next school year will be like!

  3. These masks are so cute! Great idea! I have enjoyed being with my students via video lessons. One of the practical advantages was seeing the instruments they play at home. Several pianos needed tuning and I was able to supply information leading to getting these pianos in good condition. One teen commented at the end of our video lesson that he was so glad we had a lesson because he really needed a lift that day. A few parents have asked for video lessons when visiting relatives on vacation. In person lessons are obviously better, but I am grateful to be able to keep my students advancing through this season.

  4. Those masks are beautiful! I am continuing lessons online at this time, and things are going relatively smoothly. I was quite thankful that I already had duplicate copies of all my students‘ materials on hand. That makes things so much easier! I am also keeping a list of game ideas handy to help keep kids engaged. Most have done fine, but some students have a really hard time staying focused. For them it seems to help if I think of myself as an app on their device ? Good luck to you and stay well. We will all get through this!

  5. Love the music masks! I’ve been teaching online since the beginning of Covid quarantine. I made some goodie bags with new music books for sight reading, music-themed pencils, bookmarks, and stickers, and a few other goodies. I plan to drive around dropping them off on students’ porches tomorrow and will wave at them from a safe, masked distance!

    1. I’ve almost finished delivering my goody bags and virtual recital certificates and award ribbons. Also a few of them needed the next level lesson books! The students were so surprised when I showed up at their door! It sure took awhile to find everyone’s house! My husband did a few for me since he’s on the road quite a bit.

  6. Lovely! I’m in Manitoba, Canada where our COVID numbers are very low. Experts are, however, warning us to guard against complacency and continue to be vigilant with distancing and wearing masks. I’ve been teaching online since April. I’ve found that my teaching has improved in surprising ways…my explanations are more succinct and my students are having to learn how to describe sections in their pieces without simply pointing to them. We like to play a game where I think of a symbol in their current piece of music, and then they have to identify it, using descriptors (ex. is it the quarter rest in measure 6?) and the symbol names (ex. is it the fermata?). It’s been very eye-opening for all of us!

  7. Hi Joy!
    This is wonderful! I’ve been teaching piano online since the middle of March. I can’t believe it’s been almost 4 months! I love all your posts and the pics of your beautiful baby girl!

  8. What a cute idea to make the music face masks and also in child size! Very nice work! I will be finishing up my Zoom online lessons tomorrow and then taking off 1 month. They have gone smoothly most of the time but have been frustrated with randomly getting cut off during the lessons due to internet issues. Even though COVID cases are still rising here, the death toll is very low (1,400 cases/7 deaths with 335, 000 people). I plan on resuming in person lessons in mid-August. I haven’t decided if I will make masks mandatory or not.

  9. Those masks are super cute!
    Im in Utah, we’ve just been hanging out at home finding different ways to stay entertained and not get bored 🙂 We are not doing any lessons, the online learning were not for my students. So, I await the day they feel comfortable coming back

  10. I’ve had to take a break from teaching piano because of various reasons (and miss it terribly!). I do however teach full time as a band director and general music teacher to kids in grades K-12. The spring was so difficult with schools closed down… no performances, no music, no kids ?. I ran into one of my elem students over the summer and the first thing she said to me was “I miss music so much!” I do too… Just hoping we can be back in the next few weeks…

  11. Beautiful masks! I’m in California and only doing online lessons right now. It’s been a struggle, but grateful we have the technology to teach online. I teach piano and singing, and even had a 91 year old gentleman learning to sing! We had the first Virtual Recital which was successful. The students sent a video, and I created a playlist on YouTube, adding a few special guest artist… We watched together on Zoom. I finally had a logo made and have been adding it to my website, etc. I’m editing a webinar in iMovie. And outside of music, I’ve been slowly learning ASL. I go out only to walk my dog. Thanks Joy and Heather!

    1. I love ASL and took it a few summers ago. I was able to combine some signing with songs for our class projects. Such a beautiful visual language but not that easy to learn. My husband is now working for Fed Ex package handling and there are a few managers there who use ASL. so he’s learning some and I’m getting my old books out for him.

  12. Oh my! Those are wonderful!! I am figuring more tips and tricks on zoom for online teaching every lesson 😉 I have a 3 yr old son and an 8 month old daughter. We have been distancing as much as possible and enjoying being outside everyday (even in the rain-we call it singing in the rain-haha).

  13. Hi Joy! I’ve taught online since mid March. All of my students decided to continue with lessons. I just received a logitech camera and am really excited for my students to actually be able to see my piano keys. My tip is be yourself! Your students know your style of teaching, and if you’re too wrapped up in the latest apps and the technology, that will show in your teaching, just do you and be there for your students!

  14. What beautiful masks. I was able to transition to online lessons the end of March. It is amazing how so many musicians helped to make the transition doable. I am thankful for all the help, free resources and encouragement as we continue to share the gift of music with others.

  15. Beautiful masks! Quick question… do they have a pocket for a filter? I didn’t see that info on her website. 🙂 Thanks!

    I’m on break for the summer. Instead of doing a live online or in person summer workshop like I normally do, I recorded it. Students can access their recordings inside Tonara along with a set of summer video lesson recordings as well.

  16. I’ve been teaching on line since March. However, there have been very few cases in NH. I’m seriously considering moving to in person lessons in a couple weeks with precautions in place., masks, sanitizing keys between students, one student at a time in my home, no one waiting in other rooms. I will also give people a choice to remain on zoom, skype, facetime etc. I’m finding the hardest ones to teach are the youngest ones who need help tracking and cannot focus as well. I feel that I’ve become a better teacher by having to do a clearer job of explaining things. For example, instead of pointing, they have to find the measure by its number. I realized a few did not know how to do that? who knew? I’m learning this week how to add my phone as a second camera to view the keys. It’s an advantage for those who are more visual learners. All in all, I’m proud of all I’ve accomplished tech wise.. I knew NOTHING about zoom, skype, facetime until March . As hard as it was to learn all the new stuff, and over night! I’m thankful . Now I will offer this format for snow days and not have to worry about make up lessons as long as the connections work! sometimes weather affects the internet connections. And I do have a few with quite poor wifi. Love the masks your sister has made and all the other baby things. I have a new grandson and will be ordering something cute from her in the future. such talent in your family!
    Happy Summer Everyone!

  17. Hey Joy, Cyndi from Canada ??. Not sure what happened. Love the masks! Would love to win one. I just finished off my studio teaching year with a virtual recital following your instructions from your blog. I had all but two students participating. The recital was a great success! Thank you for your blog and your love of music. You are an inspiration and a wonderful encouragement!

  18. The masks are so beautiful! I especially like the music notes mask.
    The spring and summer this year are just passing by us.
    We finished our school year a few weeks ago. And my daughter actually liked distance learning mode. So she is considering homeschooling now, which makes me happy.
    Thank you for the giveaway and a chance to win.

  19. Those are really cool masks! I have been teaching online since mid-March and went from 15 to 11 students. With my younger students, I have found focusing on 1 song, then rotating activities every 5 minutes to work best. If their interest starts fading, we do a quick last question or thing, then sign off. Often, the same student will come back another time and not want to stop playing! I’ve been using lots of online/virtual resources to help keep interest and progress going.
    I still had my year-end pizza party – wearing a mask and using sanitizer in-between, I picked up pizzas and delivered them to my students’ doorstep, later we met on Zoom for some virtual games. They loved it! I’m starting a 6 week online summer composition camp with my note-reading students. I have 4 guest musicians lined up as bonus interviews (a composer, guitarist/singer-songwriter, non-professional drummer, bass player). For my younger students, we’re going to do a 20 minute staff reading camp with a story, games and creating together. Once a month, I go to my student’s homes and play socially distant games with them plus restock their music treats and stickers!
    My husband works in a public setting, so I am going to keep lessons online into the foreseeable future. My current families are thankfully understanding but I do wonder how gaining a few new students will go.

  20. It’s a Joy to read your blog! Thank you for sharing your studio ideas. Heather is certainly a gifted seamstress, and the giveaway masks are a great idea, as I’m sure it will expand both of your businesses. I’ve been teaching online since mid-March in the Chicago area. My college plans to keep private teachers online (and classes either online or hybrid) in the fall, so I plan to follow their lead even with my at-home students. In order to entice my students to keep up with lessons over the summer, I made a Summer (Pandemic) Piano Project list. There are 22 fun projects for my students to choose from. I was sneaky, as some of the items on the list are things we would tackle over the summer anyway, but I gave them fun titles, and some of my students picked several projects to do! I felt very lucky recital-wise. I normally have one in January and the other in June, but I added a ‘special’ Latin music themed recital at the beginning of March, so most of my students had the opportunity to perform for each other more recently than most. I did end up hosting a pre-recorded Virtual Recital in June, which seemed to go over well, for those who remembered to attend. It was strange that some students ‘performed’ at the recital, but weren’t there in the audience. However, I think all benefited from the recording experience. After researching (binge-watching webinars), I finally mustered the courage to teach some group lessons last week. I’m hoping to do it 2 more weekends over the summer. My students miss seeing each other, and I hope this way we can all stay motivated until the day we can get back together in person again.

  21. I’m in Maryland, and so far we’re keeping our curve from skyrocketing like many states. I was lucky in having already implemented FaceTime lessons for snow days in past years, so my families made a pretty easy transition to Zoom. Much prefer teaching in person, but so happy we can continue lessons. I use my phone over the keyboard for littles, and hosted a zoom recital watch party successfully (students submitted videos in advance). I’ll be staying online for the foreseeable future ?, as four people in my close family are high risk (including me), but am spending my summer “off” figuring out how to do more hands-on/games/etc when I restart in September. Love the music masks!

  22. This masks are amazing! They’re a great idea, love them ! I also been doing online lessons , and Im finding it really difficult. I struggle a lot specially with kids.. any ideas?
    Hopefully we can get back to face-to-face lessons, and with this lovely masks!

  23. What adorable masks. The masks I’m currently wearing are lame compared to these! I’m not teaching right now and can’t wait to get back at it with many precautions in place. Online just didn’t work in my area….poor internet support. Be safe….be well.

  24. Great post – and although I would love to win the drawing, I went ahead and ordered myself five masks, and look forward to sharing a couple of the music themed ones with colleagues! I’m enjoying having June and July off, while my son and I settle into our new home and the local school district goes back and forth deciding whether or not to reopen in August. I plan to follow their lead; the current plan is to give parents the option to choose between sending their kids back to the classroom or doing digital learning. Regardless, I am grateful that I didn’t lose a single student to COVID-19, and will take every precaution to keep everyone who chooses to return to the studio safe.

  25. Dear Joy,

    I’m from Italy, I live in one of the most damaged places in the whole world by the Covid-19. In Brescia, at certain time, every 10 minutes a person died. It was terrible. Finally we are reaching out. I’m starting to teach music again. We want to get back to our lives and we all, are working to make it happen. But, for all of us, artist and musicians, is not easy. Yet we have to be strong and to continue to go on only because the youngest need to express themselves with music, which could help us heal. I have no money to buy these beautiful masks, but I also hope that they go to someone who loves music and who really needs one.

    Greetings with all my heart!

    Maestra Luna

  26. These are so cute! Thank you for all you’re doing to help your fellow teachers.
    The conservatory I was working for closed last month, so I’m rebuilding my private studio with a combo of online and in-person wearing a mask and sanitizing. It does make for a bit of extra time and brainspace! I’ve been impressed by the amount we can get done online–even technique works (at least mostly) if the camera is at the right angle.

  27. Hello Joy! First, excuse me for my very basic English …. Oh my God, what a wonderful idea these musical masks !! I must admit that, everyday, I look everywhere at home in Switzerland to find fabric masks with pretty patterns and … nothing, I don’t find anything nice, nothing that can make my students smile when I go teach piano lessons with them !! During this Covid, I was first obliged to interrupt my piano and music theory lessons that I give each week to the home of my students and it was very hard to let them fend for themselves (I am not fully equipped to give “distance” lessons). I offered to send them to me, via Whatsapp, a video each time they found that their song was presentable and then I would resume the score with my mobile phone, I would indicate to them what they could improve and I would play them piece. I also sent them music theory games, like arrow words, crossword puzzles, treasure hunts and some people loved to change their minds with it … it was much more fun than work than school. was sending !! Certainly the children reacted very well and sent me lots of videos so, to congratulate them, and even if they are in 1st year of piano, they received a bonus: they could choose any song (music by film, singer, musical …) and I prepared it for their level. I was incredibly surprised because they did perfectly with these partitions, all alone !! So the positive point with this confinement was to make them much more autonomous than before. And as of May 11, I was able to return home with a lot of protection (masks, lessons at 2 m distance, do not touch the students’ hands, nor the keyboard, nor the scores (all the lessons are prepared on photocopies …), and of course disinfect my hands on arrival !!), but they all greeted me with a big smile and a lot of relief, it was very emotional !! The epidemic is not at all over here in Switzerland because since everything is open, people forget to stay cautious enough, so I think that I will still have to give lessons for a long time with a mask !! So: long live your sister Heather’s masks, I’m going to go look at her website !! See you soon and stay very careful !!

  28. I’ve been teaching virtually and I really hate it lol! I’m actually taking a two-week break right now and I’m hoping to do in-person lessons after that. We’re slowly opening up around here so we’ll see how long it lasts!

    1. I love your masks! I just started back to in person teaching for those that feel comfortable. Some of my students have progressed well during quarantine due to lack of other activities. Some of the younger ones have struggled with the remote format and in looking forward to seeing them in person soon.

  29. Hi Joy. Thanks for having the mask giveaway. I took advantage of Heather’s discount and placed an order today. I taught online lessons from mid-March through June. I found that the students and parents loved it! I am on a break now, getting ready to move from Chicago to Kentucky, because of a job change for my husband. I want to be able to say goodbye to my students in person, so I am going to host an outdoor “party” in my yard, where the students can stop by for an ice cream treat, while social distancing! And then I am off to Kentucky for a new adventure!

  30. I have been teaching online since mid March and it’s going well! My husband and I decided to go 100% online from now on. We will not be going back to in person lessons. It is a challenge but I’m excited to learn more tech to be an even better teacher online. Thank you for your blog. The masks are beautiful 🙂

  31. I think the last few months have made me a better teacher. I now know how to hold a virtual recital, create and edit videos, and of course, teach online lessons, which I can now offer in the future! Thanks for supporting us through this, Joy, with your timely blog posts to assist in online teaching. Love the masks!

  32. I have been learning like everyone else how to teach online. I now feel like I have a handle on that and we are planning some canoeing, hiking and camping for the rest of the summer. I am using online teaching as an excuse to purchase a new digital piano for my studio to set up for online teaching and because I was looking to upgrade my old Yamaha keyboard. i’m excited for it to come! The biggest thing I am working on to improve my online teaching is setting up my games to be played online better. Using the PDFS of game boards and figuring out how to screen share them easily is my most recent project. I’ve seen other people use google slides and powerpoint to even make the cards of games show up on the screen and cycle through them all. I haven’t figured that out yet but I hope to!

  33. I’m in Spring Lake Michigan, not too far from you Joy! Teaching online has been an adventure and another great learning curve. I am so thankful for the technology that has allowed us to continue teaching. For some of our students, this has been the only activity they could continue doing since sports and camps have been cancelled indefinitely.

    One of my great challenges has been with an extremely ADD teenager who has also been one of my most fun and creative students to teach online. Elton John is his idol and he connects mostly with his music so I teach him 2 – 3 chords a week using skittles on the keys and a gooseneck Ipad holder my husband found for me. I post pictures on Tonara so he can practice them during the week. We have found some balance using Supersonics for his reading. I keep a lighthearted, good sense of humor with him because I never know what to expect!

    Best to you and your family – I’m going to check out the masks since I lost the one I had, also made from music note fabric!

  34. would love to enter to win a mask! In Eastern Massachusetts I have started a few summer lessons back in the studio but I have two full sized pianos on each side of the studio….so I stay on my piano and the students stay on their piano, we wear masks, only 1 student at a time in the studio, no parents or anyone else in the waiting area…they wait in the car or outside, hand sanitizers coming and going and I space the lessons apart by 5 minutes to clean between students. No group lessons.

  35. Would love to enter for the Music Note Face Masks! Something fun to share during these difficult times of Zoom lessons.

  36. Thank you for the offer, Joy! The masks are great, and the other things your sister makes are lovely. I taught online for 6 weeks until my 30 lessons for the year were completed. We even managed to have my year- end Studio Festival virtually. The students were great about recording each of their pieces to YouTube and sending me the links, which I then shared with the fellow teacher who served as our judge. But I really don’t enjoy teaching online, and my summer lessons have been here in my studio with me at my digital piano and the students a few feet away at my acoustic piano. I have scheduled them with @15 minutes between students so I can wipe down the keys, etc. It has been so good to have the students back in the studio and they seem genuinely glad to be here and to be able to do something in an almost normal fashion. I have for several years enjoyed reading your blogs and using some of the materials that you share. Thank you for all you do.

  37. These masks are great! I will definitely be purchasing some even if I’m not lucky enough to win them. I have been coping with the shutdown by switching to online lessons via Zoom, FaceTime and WhatsApp depending on what works best for the student. As of July 1st, I was down to only 8 students from 19 so I decided to take the month of July off with the exception of two students who didn’t want to stop. The final nail in the coffin came after my most recent lesson with a six-year-old student who is normally very enthusiastic. After she yawned repeatedly during the lesson, I asked her if she was tired that day. She replied, “Yes, I’m tired of doing piano lessons!” I will go back to the grind in August, online if needs must, but am hoping that with masks, hand sanitizing and studio sanitizing, I might be able to resume in-person lessons.

  38. Love the masks! Your sister looks quite talented! My students and I take a break over the summer. I used to give a 6-week summer session and often had a half dozen, or so, takers, but they usually turned out to be the ones who weren’t as excited about lessons in the fall. My “studio” is in my home, next to the living room, so it’s really my partner who especially needs the break from lessons!

    I’ve been following several blogs and discussions about lessons in the fall, trying to decide how to best offer them. Because my music room is relatively small, it would be difficult to have 6’ between my student and me, and having a Plexiglass “spit guard” just isn’t practical, so it looks like virtual lessons will have to continue, at least for the time being…

  39. I’m in southern Alabama. Have been teaching virtually since mid-March. I started going to a very few students homes the past few weeks but most have stayed online. School starts next month and my school plans to return but require masks for every student and teacher, even the preschool students. That will be a huge adjustment, but I am confident we all can make it work.

  40. Hi! I live in Washington state. I’ve been teaching virtually since mid March. It’s not my favorite way to teach, but I’m so glad I have it as an option. Most of my studio has stayed with me, even my youngest student (4 years old)! I’ve learned things during this that I think are making me a better teacher. I plan to continue virtual lessons for those who want/ need it, but teach in person again when we move on to phase 2. We only recently moved to 1.5!! We’ve been stuck in quarantine for a long time! ?
    I’ve had so many parents thank me profusely for continuing lessons virtually. Most of my students went from super scheduled to almost nothing to do overnight. My lessons, even though they weren’t “normal” was the only thing that wasn’t cancelled for a lot of them. I’m so glad I could help things feel more normal for them!

  41. Hello! I LOVE these masks so please include me in the drawing. I gave lessons to all of my students via Zoom for 3 months. It honestly was exhausting. NE has gone through several phases of re-opening restaurants and other venues. Most people are wearing masks going into stores and many stores are requiring them. This summer I gave parents/students the option of continuing with virtual lessons or coming to the studio. Only three students opted for staying with Zoom lessons, but that was mainly due to other members of the family being immune-compromised. I am following the protocol set by MTNA for opening studios back up again for private lessons. I have a hand sanitizing station outside my studio door, I disinfect the keys after each student, and all students are wearing masks as well as myself. Students wait in their cars or outside my door until the student before them is finished. I have built in time between students to wipe things down. Also, no “guests” are allowed and student are only allowed to be in my studio. I’ve told parents to make sure they’ve washed their hands and gone to the bathroom before their lessons because my bathrooms are off-limits. I don’t like being so harsh, but my husband is immune-compromised and everyone has been so supportive of the policies. They are just thankful that piano is still being offered to their activity deprived children. Thanks for your blog, Joy. I always enjoy reading your news and tips. Diane

  42. I have been teaching online since mid-March here in CA. It’s been an adjustment, and not what I want to do forever, but I will do so until the Covid cases are on a decline. I held a virtual recital via Facebook group (created just for this purpose) where the families posted their student videos, and we watched each one while together on Zoom. When I polled them afterward, most students said they would rather perform in person, but at least they were able to see each other and had a project to work on during May. Many thanks to those teachers who shared their ideas for onlne teaching, including Ms. Joy!

  43. Hi, I absolutely love these musical masks! What a wonderful site your sister has as well! 🙂 I have been teaching online since March, and, I’ve been so fortunate to have such amazing, patient and supporting families. I too am working on my goodie bags for students 🙂 and planning a virtual summer concert and/or an in person with some of my families who are in a pod (we live in a small town). I have learned so much about teaching online, how to speak slower and connecting with my students, and using creative ways to engage them via Zoom. I feel because my students are not socializing as much, that they really look forward to piano lessons, and often times they talk about other things, like a book they’re reading, or a project they’re been working on, it’s been really wonderful to connect with them and parents are grateful! It also has helped me organize my studio and continue to work on my piano method book (more coming soon) 🙂 It’s also been wonderful to see so many ideas from other teachers, like Color In My Piano, that share so many wonderful resources that makes our (teachers) lives easier. Please include me on the drawing. And happy teaching and music sharing to everyone 🙂 <3

  44. What beautiful masks! I especially love the “Piano” one. Thank you for including the link to your sister’s website. I am in Wisconsin, in city that has the highest infection rate per capita of anywhere in the state, so I will not be returning to in-person lessons anytime soon.

    I was terrified of online teaching at first but, thanks in part to this blog, I have grown to really love it! Adding a second camera (suspended above the keyboard) has made a huge difference in allowing students, especially beginners, a close-up view of my hands when playing an example or explaining a new technique.

    In addition to teaching online lessons, I have recently completed training to become a state licensed substitute teacher in the public schools. It has always bothered me that so few substitutes understand how to teach music. If a music teacher is out sick, that class usually gets turned into a study hall. It is so sad to have to lose valuable rehearsal time just because there is a sub that day. I look forward to when it will be safe to return to the classroom, and I am enjoying teaching online in the meantime.

  45. Love the masks! I too had to jump into teaching via Zoom since March. I had wonderful parental support,and the recitals went well . Thank you for such a wonderful website to refer to. So creative!

  46. So happy you are well and safe! Continue to take every precaution to protect your family.
    Thank you for connecting our extended family of musicians during these somewhat reclusive days.
    I am not clever technologically so I waited to begin teaching in person after receiving clearance from my primary care physician. I now have two keyboards set up socially distanced from each other so that I can demonstrate. I also clean the keys after each student and we all use hand sanitizer.
    Congratulations to you and your sister for being so clever and creative during this pandemic. You are showing us how to embrace the lemons and make lemonade.

  47. Thanks for your encouragement! I always enjoy hearing about what other piano teachers are doing. Out of 21 students I only had 2 that participated in Zoom lessons. I have 8 students that just started taking in-person lessons. My husband helped me do an online recital which about 9 students participated in. I have really missed my students and have tried to find various ways to keep in communication. I still had my spring practice contest and sent them gift cards for prizes. Am hoping we can resume normal lessons in the fall! The piano masks are classy!

  48. Even though things came to a stand-still in March, I did have a small handful of students that wanted to continue in-person lessons. I had to disinfect in between each kiddo, but it was great to continue lessons with a few kids. I did not opt to give online lessons, but I did send home “Piano Packets” to all my other students every other week. Now that the school year has ended, I started my summer lessons and have 12 in-person piano students and 3 flute students!! YAY! I pray that we can “go back to normal” in the Fall.

  49. What great masks! I live in NJ and have 8 students, including my daughter, but only 1 so far has continued over Skype occasionally. I’m sure as we get back into the school year they will be wanting to continue lessons. I’m leaving it up to each of the families what they want to do. Best wishes to you! I love your blog and get great ideas from it!

  50. Wow! Reading a lot of these comments, I’m surprised so many people are still teaching online. Makes me feel out of the loop. Everything here in Utah has been open since mid-May, and I resumed in-person lessons at the beginning of June, with most of my parents’ full blessing. (That attitude is probably why our COVID numbers are spiking so much.) I don’t use masks in my home studio, but I do ask the kids to wash their hands or use sanitizer. My number of summer students always drops down during the summer, but I’m not much lower than I usually am. I did online lessons from mid-March through May, with mixed results. My older kids did fine overall, but the younger ones (aged 9 and under) struggled. Not sure how things will go for the fall with this virus getting out of control. I may end up reverting to online lessons again for awhile. ?

  51. Wow! Reading a lot of these comments, I’m surprised so many people are still teaching online. Makes me feel out of the loop. Everything here in Utah has been open since mid-May, and I resumed in-person lessons at the beginning of June, with most of my parents’ full blessing. (That attitude is probably why our COVID numbers are spiking so much.) I don’t use masks in my home studio, but I do ask the kids to wash their hands or use sanitizer. My number of summer students always drops down during the summer, but I’m not much lower than I usually am. I did online lessons from mid-March through May, with mixed results. My older kids did fine overall, but the younger ones (aged 9 and under) struggled. Not sure how things will go for the fall with this virus getting out of control. I may end up reverting to online lessons again for awhile. ?

  52. What an awesome gift from one musician to another! I have played piano since 5 years of age and everyone I know sends me musical objects or sayings. I have been teaching for 26 years and the fat lady hasn’t sung yet!!! lol I have put on my huge mirror in my chorus/music classroom these words about 15 years ago and they are still there! “Teamwork makes the dream work”. How fitting is this? I teach in a military school and have started a piano class 13 years ago. I just have a makeshift keyboard lab with all sorts of different keyboards I bought, were given, or purchased with school monies. During this ‘noted COVID’, it has been extremely difficult to teach piano to beginners virtually, especially when the students don’t have keyboards or pianos at home. To me teaching piano on a cell phone is NOT PLAYING PIANO! It has been very frustrating but my kids are strong and resilient and power through it. Elation! Music has been such a cherry lifesaver for most of my middle schoolers. It has been the best medicine for them since some of their parents are still deployed through all of this! Our hearts share so much together. We have been online learning since MARCH – JUNE and may have to go back to online virtual learning again this fall. The students really miss school, believe it or not, and the social interaction of humans and touch. That is where the music has been a God send for them and myself included. I love your site and your ideas that I have branched out on over the years. I have used your sheets mostly for my SPED students in piano class and general music classes. During this pandemic and before, you have been my cherry lifesaver! Continue to be blessed as we all are in this together, learning as we go along the process. You make teaching music so much more easier and for this, I am grateful beyond ‘measure’!

  53. Loved the idea of your contest, and thank you for sending the photo of your pretty sister! She has been very busy!! I have also conducted FaceTime lessons, (something I thought I couldn’t do, but it worked well and I felt good)! I had an outside recital in the lawn/driveway in June. Students played on the Clavinova which was carried outside.
    Students were also invited to play their 2nd instrument, so the recital consisted of piano solos, a duet I played with a graduating senior, a flute solo and then a duet played with the student’s teacher, and accompanied by another student, an oboe solo and a bassoon solo. Those teachers were invited. The garage doorway was decorated and the order of the recital was accomplished by breaking a balloon attached to a tri-fold board. I broke the first balloon and took it to another student, who placed the large printed name on a stand for everyone to see. On and on it went. I had small snacks (all junk food: cookies, small pretzels, party mints, popcorn, goldfish crackers) bagged up in snack bags and placed in a wagon. Also pop and water were available and everyone could help himself before the recital or in between the numbers. (That was a hit)! Everyone brought a lawn chair and my neighbors were invited – I live on a short cul de sac street. We began by singing “America.” I had a wonderful feeling and felt so blessed!! I am supposed to be balancing our checkbook, but have been sitting on my patio reading and enjoying all your these wonderful comments. I’m in my seventies and I still love teaching piano!!! Thank you, Joy…and thanks to your sister! Marylee Morton

  54. Hello from Dayton Ohio! Thanks for offering the giveaway! And thanks for your many resources for piano teachers!

  55. I’m just about to finish my summer session, and I’m looking forward to having a break to recoup mentally from all the crazy changes this year. Also, I will be sending out info for this coming school year. It’s hard trying to plan for the educational scenarios that out state has put out.

  56. I’m outside of Philadelphia and I’ve been teaching online since March. I hate it! I finally had one student back in person and it was so wonderful. I’ve enjoyed reading these comments because it’s given me some new ideas. Thanks!

  57. Hey Joy!! Cyndi here in Canada. I love your posts, your love for teaching, your game ideas, your inspiration and encouragement for teachers. I find your blog refreshing and often refer it to my students to explore. Covid has touched Canada in similar ways as the USA. The Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association is working through the logistics of what in person lessons will look like come September. Presently we all have to wear masks in and out of public and personal spaces. Teaching piano will be mask wearing with the possible addition of a sneeze shield, especially if you are teaching voice or wind instruments. Cleaning the keys and all surfaces in your studio after each student as well as taking away your sitting area. An extra keyboard may be considered to demonstrate to students certain technical concerns. I will probably be purchasing disposable masks for my studio along with hand sanitizer. I would love to order masks from your sister, (I checked out her site)
    however, delivery only happens within the States. Having a music mask to wear as the music teacher would be awesome. Heres to hoping.

  58. Since going online, I decided to do a search of other subjects with online teaching videos. I found awesome videos of teachers teaching subjects such as English to students and really gathered some great tips on keeping the younger student engaged. Do a search onYoutube and you will find a ton. Online teaching Can be really fun and it’s can add that one bright spot in your students day!

  59. Teaching online was definitively a new world for me and stressful at first. But thanks to my technical support (my hubby) and searches for info online from different sites and blogs everything went very well. I even did my first online recital, recorded it and put it up on my private Facebook page.

  60. This is beautiful!! I teach in Ontario, Canada and our restrictions have been pretty tight. Virtual lessons have been working well for some of us but we have taken quite the hit with so many students opting out until “things return to normal”. As we move into stage 3, music studios will need to have social distancing, masks and plexiglass barriers between teachers and students. This is going to be tough for everyone but we will do everything we can do keep our teachers and students safe.
    We love your blog and materials available there. Thank you for keeping us all moving forward with fun tasks for our classes.
    Take care!

    Heather
    TriTone Music Studios

  61. Teaching online is difficult. I will be glad to get back to in-person lessons whenever that becomes possible again. But onward, and forward, with continuing to make music with our students the best we can.
    The masks created by your sister are delightful! A good way to allow the public to relate to us and our profession.

  62. Hi from Ontario, Canada. In mid-March I’ve made the huge transition to teaching online using FaceTime and Zoom. I jumped on-board hesitantly but along with my students have made it work and have learned so much about my students and myself in the process. I’ve valued the many resources, webinars and support groups available to us online as we’ve navigated these unique times. It has caused me to rethink how I can be a better teacher and how I can best support my piano students as we will continue online for as long as need be for our safety.

    Even after reading about all the successful virtual studio recitals this spring, I decided to try a different approach for our June recital. My students know how much I love prepping for this special June event and how disappointed I was that this couldn’t be as usual. Instead I challenged them to create their very own recital event for their family & special guests! I would help them polish as many of their favourite songs as they’d love to play – more than they could ever do in our recitals. They could choose their recital date, create/design an invitation for their guests, design their program paper, decide the most effective order of their songs, determine if and when to send out the program and perhaps even arrange for a virtual reception to follow.

    Was I delighted by the response of my students & families to this idea! This definitely caught the attention of so many of my students, especially the tech-loving ones! They were excited to share their plans with me. I even received invitations to their zoom recitals. One pre-teen along with her younger sister decided to make it a “family affair“ by asking their cousins to participate- one family of 3 cousins from the US, another family of three an hour away from our town, the two of them AND their out-of-town Grandmother/piano teacher! Was that an amazing event – 2 generations of 9 performers, complete with an invite and program sent out in advance. I’ve decided that with her skill set, this year student could be a successful event planner in the future.

    I’ve received such overwhelmingly positive, appreciative responses from parents! They’ve proudly sent me videos & pictures of their event. Their extended families have appreciated this specially- planned musical experience. To see my students eagerly sharing their favourite repertoire and their progress since our Christmas recital and reaching out to their extended family in such a personal way has been heartwarming for me AND for their relatives. It has given the students the opportunity to make choices and empowered them to organize “their” event…a bit of a perk in their lives of COVID isolation and their routine of online school learning. This is a “time-capsule kind of event” for them. I know they will always remember “their recital” as they reflect upon life during COVID and their days of piano lessons in years to come.

    Well, this has been lengthy but I had to share this ? highlight of mine with you. It was a greater success than I could ever have imagined! Music has allowed my students and me to live with greater joy and purpose during these COVID days. Joy and Heather, your musical masks are a wonderful and subtle way to share with the world that we love and value music in our lives . Thank you for making it possible!

    1. Hi Joy! I love the music face masks! They are so cute and comfortable. I bought 5 of them for my 2 daughters (violin and orchestra teachers), for my two granddaughters (violin/piano players) and for me. I sent Heather’s web page to all my piano families!

      Here in Michigan at this time we are required to wear face masks in all public spaces. My studio has been online for 4 months using Facetime and Zoom. Our March 14 NFMC Festival was cancelled the night before the event. This required all performing events to move to a video recording experience which was quite stressful for most of my families. So when it came time for the Spring Recital I knew that video recording would not be the best. Plus parents and students really wanted to see their studio friends live!

      So…our Spring Recital on Zoom was divided in 4 “House Recitals” of 30 minutes each hosted by 4 different families. All recitals were on the same day but at 4 different times. It went very well! Families were so happy to see and hear each other again! We did have a rehearsal (again the kids loved seeing each other!) on Zoom to cover camera angles, lighting, speaker set up etc. That proved to be very valuable and made the recital run so smoothly! The students prepared well, dressed in recital attire and were very proud to play for their friends. The Zoom invite for all recitals was available to all families. Held in Michigan, we had an audience from 4 different states and Australia! One family of 7 turned out for all 4 recitals to see and hear all their piano friends! It was a great refreshing and affirming experience for all.

  63. Between an extended maternity leave and a move it’s been over a year since I regularly taught. I had hoped to start a studio by fall but with covid I’m not sure how it will be, trying to get new students that are online students right off the bat.
    A student wasn’t able to find a teacher she liked after I moved so we continued to do distance lessons intermittently until she graduated from high school. It is always nice to develop special bonds with students. I was looking through cards I received from students and some students I do not remember while others I cannot forget.

  64. I’m in Southern Cal. and the Governor just announced that nearly all schools will go online in Aug. because the case load is too high here. It looks like you’re closer to your sister now, just as I now live closer to my sister (also the crafty one). The cousins get to grow up together now, yay. Sisters are the best!

  65. Thx for the opportunity Joy !!

    I actually love online teaching and some requested to stay online even after pandemic is over.

    Your sister is so talented 🙂

  66. I live in Louisiana. I work full-time as a medical scribe but teach 6 students. When we went to phase 2, 4 of them wanted to return to my home studio, but the 2 older ones preferred online lessons. I am enjoying learning new teaching techniques. I would love to wear a mask that reflects my love of music!

  67. Hi Joy! I am just now catching up with all of the comments. It is great to see what everyone else is doing. I taught online from March through May and have taken the summer off. I am in Texas and our cases of covid are on the rise. Schools have just announced that they will start late and online. That probably means a fall of online lessons for me. I found online lessons better than nothing but exhausting. I am enjoying reading through everyone’s ideas.
    I love the masks! I mean, I don’t love masks, but if we have to wear them, they should at least be cute!

  68. Hi Joy! The most interesting part of my quarantine was that I was able to take a class called Performance Anxiety Management for Musicians. It has changed my life! I feel so much better equipped to prepare for performances and to help my students understand what steps they can take to minimize anxiety, both proactive and reactive. I highly recommend “The Mindful Musician” by Vanessa Cornett to begin exploring these strategies for any musician. This has been an unexpected and inspiring benefit of having to stay home for the summer!

  69. Hi everyone! I’m embarrassed to say I live in Florida where everything is going backwards in regards to the pandemic. ? However since spring break I’ve online with the Zoom and it’s been going great! Only lost two students but gained three more. I generally have 55 to 57. Thanks to our musical community that includes Vibrant Music Teachers and the many other Facebook groups as well as your wonderful blog I’ve been able to continue seemlessly. My students have been practicing and have made a lot of progress these past few months. Who would’ve thought????

  70. Hi Joy and all the brave piano teachers who are figuring out how to continue bringing music to their students and the world! I, too, have been teaching exclusively online since the beginning of March this year. I have taught piano for the past 30 years and have continued to learn new “tricks” for this older “dog”! Here in Northern, Lower Michigan we are accustomed to resorting to online lessons during snow days so that helped make the transition easier. I have 42 students and all have been more than willing to continue lessons via Zoom. Each student usually comes to the lesson with books on the piano, open and ready to go. I am so grateful to have positive, supportive parents and families who are happy to have something normal in their lives while still dealing with the daily news and closed schools. If the Michigan schools open up in September, I will continue to teach online as I am in the age bracket that is vulnerable.

    I have already placed an order for your sister’s masks and other sweet baby bibs and teethers as we have a new Granddaughter in San Antonio! Looking forward to getting those music masks for all 8 professional musicians in our family!

  71. Those face masks are absolutely adorable! I love them so much! They would be a perfect addition to our new “normal” studio life!
    Life has been crazy these Covid days. March was a whirlwind of trying to figure out zoom and reschedule a studio of 40 students in one weekend. Zoom lessons were exhausting, but we persevered for 12 weeks. Now that we have slowly almost fully transitioned back into in-person lessons, the reality of having to close down again is appearing on the horizon. What have I learned during this time: Be like the squirrel, Girl. Only one nut at a time! I can only handle one day at a time and focus on making today the best that I can in the midst of such uncertain times. Also, what I’ve learned: you don’t have to talk louder to do Zoom lessons. Just speak normally. The students can here you! Otherwise you will end up with a sore throat every evening after teaching. I learned this from personal experience. 🙂

  72. I love the face masks! Going into quarantine I had two piano students because I also teach at a public school. We ended up taking a month off then did 5 zoom lessons and then had to break for summer. I have been having more time to myself over quarantine thus more time for me to play the piano and have fun playing whatever I want to.

  73. I have a very small studio (currently 4 students) in Nebraska. We switched to Zoom lessons in March. Because of the small studio size, we were able to have an in-person, “socially-distanced-with-masks” recital at the beginning of June! There was a buzz in the air as everyone was so excited. ?

  74. Unfortunately just before the lockdown began I lost 4 of my students because of moving. Since I only do this part time, it was a big loss. Fortunately I still have one student, my granddaughter. After a month of no lessons she is back regularly, in person.

  75. I live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. I have been looking for insights into the fall teaching. I went to Skype lessons in March and lost over half my students. I continued with the students that stayed and we had our mid-semester Skype recital in April. We then had our end of the year recital the middle of June. I also do an advanced recital which this year was with John William’s music which was held the middle of July. I usually do summer lessons and the summer Skype recital will be next week. I try to provide as many opportunities for them to perform as I can. I too found that lessons were an important social opportunity for many of my students. They needed the normalcy, the connection. I usually engage with the students socially for several minutes before we start the lesson. I appreciate all the insights and helpful hints.

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