Announcements, Giveaways

Celebrating 12 Years of Blogging (and a Special GIVEAWAY!)

Hello readers,

Guess what! This Saturday, February 28, 2021, marks the twelve-year anniversary of Color In My Piano! Can you believe this blog has been around for TWELVE years now?

In this post, I will share a bit about ColorInMyPiano’s history, my own story, a celebratory sale, and finally a giveaway. (Have you ever wondered how ColorInMyPiano got its name? You’ll find out if you keep reading!)

The Beginnings

It was back in 2009 when I first considered writing my own blog. At that time, 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 was finding helpful resources and much inspiration for my teaching from other blogs, including Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog and Susan Paradis’s Piano Teacher Resources, and had even begun creating some of my own worksheets and other printables. I felt I wanted to give back and share in the same way, and so on February 28, 2009, I wrote my first blog post: a welcome and brief statement of purpose. 

[Blast from the past: Here’s a photo of me with some students back in 2009!]

On July 9, 2009, I decided that I was enjoying blogging enough to go full swing: I came up with the name “Color In My Piano,” purchased the ColorInMyPiano.com 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 thanks to an essay I wrote during my senior year at Hope College. The class assignment required that I reflect upon my life and summarize my worldview. Not surprisingly, much of my essay centered around my beliefs regarding music and the role of the piano and teaching in my life. One of the themes that arose as I wrote the essay was my commitment to never allow music-making and teaching from ever feeling like merely a job or a requirement. I strive to keep “color in my piano” for both my students and myself.

[Here’s how my blog looked back in 2011!]

This is still an important life goal for me and helps provide a framework for what I share about on this blog. Personally, I find that I am able to keep myself invigorated in my work when I am open to learning new things, improving as a teacher, and striving towards excellent piano teaching for my students.

That summer, I moved with my husband (whom I married between our junior and senior years) to attend graduate school at Central Michigan University. Despite my responsibilities as a Graduate Assistant accompanying fellow music majors and teaching Class Piano, I made it a priority to teach between 5-10 private students each week. Teaching has always my primary motivation! I kept the blog going during those two years, too.

Years of Growth

After graduating with my Masters in Piano Pedagogy in May of 2011, my husband and I moved to Northwest Ohio (so he could begin another Master’s program in English), where I started my studio again from scratch. We rented a charming little house with a dining room that worked perfectly for my studio and I bought a piano. Sometimes, I missed being in the academic environment of college, but most of the time I felt thrilled to be “living the dream” and running my own piano studio!

Because it took a couple of years to build up my student roster, I found I had plenty of time for blogging. I continued sharing ideas and free printables — usually publishing new blog posts five days per week. Color In My Piano grew a lot during these years. I even added a shop to sell digital resources, such as my new-at-the-time music history lapbooking curriculum.

[A screenshot of the new shop!]

My studio eventually grew to 35 students, which I considered “full”! My husband finished his Master’s degree and was hired as the Public Relations & Communications Coordinator at a science museum for kids in Toledo, Ohio.

IMG_1914
[Speaking at the 2014 Ohio Music Teachers Association conference — one of my first “big talks!”]

Gradually, I started giving presentations for local music teachers associations. I never expected to pursue public speaking, but I discovered it’s an incredibly fun way to share ideas and research with others. Now, I give at least a handful of presentations for local, state, or national-level events each year. (Curious to see my calendar and session topics? Learn more here.)

[Here’s how my blog looked back in 2015.]

In 2014, I started a new endeavor: offering online courses for piano teachers under the name Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin. Creating the curriculum for my flagship piano pedagogy course, “Excellence in Piano Teaching”, was a tremendous investment of time and energy. My goal was to combine the best of what I learned during my pedagogy classes in college while also including many practical aspects of piano teaching not typically covered. To date, my six-week course has been offered over ten times to small cohorts of teachers (over a hundred teachers total). I find it so rewarding to interact with and mentor other piano teachers in this way. (Learn more about my course and join the email list here.)

In 2017, I came up with the idea to host a summer Piano Teacher Retreat at my home. Thirteen teachers attended — I was thrilled! The theme we explored was “piano method books”. In the summers that followed I held two more retreats, each centered around a different theme. My retreats are currently on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but I plan to offer them again when it becomes feasible. (Join the email list if you’d like to receive information when the time comes.)

[2017 retreat attendees]

Recent Years

In December of 2019, my husband and I moved from Bowling Green, Ohio to Saline, Michigan, just outside Ann Arbor (see a tour of my piano studio here). We always wanted to move back closer to our families in Michigan, and my husband was already commuting to Ann Arbor for his job in marketing at University of Michigan. Part of the impetus for this move was also the expectation of our first baby’s birth in February, 2020!

After my daughter’s birth and a six-week maternity leave, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns hit in March 2020. I started up my students’ lessons all online, and remain so at the present! It’s been an interesting ride so far, and I’m doing my best to see this time as a learning experience. I’ve definitely had to get creative in certain respects during lessons, which has made my teaching stronger in ways.

Being a new mom has been a highlight of my days over the past year. I’m finding that my teaching is informing my parenting, and my parenting is informing my teaching. It’s fun being a parent, and my daughter brings so much joy to our household.

[Aria, now one year old.]

Since moving to Michigan, I became a dual member of OhioMTA and MichiganMTA and joined the Ann Arbor Area Piano Teachers Guild. I’ve been helping with their website redesign project, and also recently accepted a position with MichiganMTA as the Teacher Education Chair. We are currently working on the possibility of launching a new webinar series as part of our ongoing offerings for our members in Michigan. (If anyone has any experience or advice to share, please reach out to me! I’d love to hear about it.)

Today, I am still as dedicated as ever to Color In My Piano. I am never at a shortage of ideas to write about, and try to find time to put up 1-3 posts per week. True to its original intent back in 2009, I still think of my blog as a way to journal my piano teaching adventures, writing for myself to clarify my thoughts and to document things I was learning and doing. Twelve years later, I find that my blog has also become a platform for helping other piano teachers like me teach effectively, organize their businesses, and have fun in the process. I never could have imagined the outgrowth of projects and opportunities that resulted, thanks to writing a blog and gaining a wonderful readership base.

So, many thanks to you, my dear readers! I appreciate you coming along for the ride, and for your kind attention and interactions. I am deeply grateful for the things I’ve learned over the past twelve years of blogging and for the wonderful lessons and friendships that have resulted.

Here’s to a wonderful twelve years, and to many more to come. Thanks for celebrating with me!

–Joy


Giveaway & 20% Off Sale

To celebrate our twelve years, I’m running a giveaway and a sale! Use the promo code 12YEARS to receive 20% off any item in the shop. If you’ve been eyeing my favorite Ice Cream Intervals gamerhythm cards, composer lapbooks, or are thinking ahead to music camp curriculums for this summer, now’s a great time to buy! The sale runs between now and through March 31, 2021. Browse the shop now here.

Here’s the details about the giveaway: TWELVE randomly-chosen winners will receive ANY single item of your choosing from my shop! To enter, leave a comment below on this blog post telling us how long you’ve been following my blog and something you appreciate about ColorInMyPiano (a favorite printable, things you’ve learned, etc.). On Monday, March 1, 2021, the twelve lucky winners will be randomly selected and notified.

Good luck, and I look forward to reading your comments!

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102 thoughts on “Celebrating 12 Years of Blogging (and a Special GIVEAWAY!)”

  1. Joy,

    I love the printables and games that I have used… but I love even more that my students love them. My absolutely favorite resource is your Rhythm Value Cards. I use them to recreate measures that are difficult to understand rhythmically. It’s amazing what the bright colors and various sizing of cards can do to help them along. I enjoy your blog and your insights. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to enhance the lives of piano teachers everywhere!

    1. Thanks so much, Nicole! I love hearing what you favorite resource is. I love those Rhythm Value Cards myself, too! They are so useful with students.

  2. Joy,
    I have only been a private teacher for a few months and following for about that length of time. I love the printables and suggested ‘center games’ for kids that you have. These could be accessible to students as they wait for a sibling in my case.
    The blog is very well done. I enjoyed very much this post on the history of the blog! Thank you and best wishes for your continued success.
    Cheri Berti

  3. Congratulations, Joy. I’m pretty sure I started reading your blog from the early days. I’ve been teaching in this town for 30 years and you’ve given me lots of ideas over the years. I particularly liked the Musical Alphabet Cards for young beginner first lessons and my pupils have loved doing the Composer Lapbooks and playing BANG at holiday music camp mornings. God bless you. xx

  4. Congrats! I’ve been following you since your early Michigan days. (I’m from Michigan too!) I love your practical ideas.

  5. I just had to say a big Congratulations on 12 years, Joy! I have been following you from the beginning and you were back then (and still are) an inspiration to me! Thank you for the impact you have made and continue to make. 🙂

  6. Joy,

    Maybe your parents named you for what you brought to them and/or what they saw in you, either way, they got it right. You are a JOY! I began following you early on in your dining room in BG days. My brother-in-law graduated from BG, so I spent a lot of time visiting him and my sister there when I was a young piano student. I could easily imagine your successful studio in that sweet college town. I’ve said it before, you are an inspiration to us “oldies but goodies!” My favorite printable is the piano valentines. I’ve made them red on the inside, pink on the inside, attached them to bags of candy, etc. They never fail to delight, me and the students! What I appreciate most is your kind and gentle approach to teaching and learning. I’m not surprised at all that your parenting has influenced your teaching and vice versa. You are open to learning and sharing and caring. Oh, that our world would have more JOY like you in it. Thank you! Cheers/here’s to another 12 Color-full years!

    1. Anita, what a kind comment. Thank you! <3 How neat that you remember BG. And I'm so happy you understand the spirit of ColorInMyPiano. I do hope this blog is a welcoming place for any music teacher to learn, grow, and teach well. Thanks for the well wishes!

  7. Hi, I’ve been following the blog for a couple years I believe, and I have enjoyed the ideas I glean from it, such as creating an online YouTube recital last year. I also enjoy the resources that are available and look forward to purchasing some items from the shop in the future once I can get my home studio started later this year.

  8. Hi Joy,

    I only just recently found you. yeah! The games are so helpful. My favorite is Adventures in Music because it hits on more concepts with the two different stacks. I also like your sharing of your continued learning and helping us teachers be better. Thanks and congratulations!

    1. The Adventures in Music game is a good one — very useful for reviewing music terms and symbols. So glad you found my blog, Amber! Welcome!!

  9. I have been following your blog for about 7 years and teaching music for over 21 years! I have been blessed by this blog in many ways. Some of the resources that I use the most (daily) are the attendance sheets and record of income. I have used the keys resource for an incentive while teaching scales. I also love the ice cream interval resources and many of the business resources you have posted. It has been a blessing to myself and my studio! Thank you. Joy!!

    1. Thanks for sharing about which resources you’ve most used and enjoyed, Glenda! I’m so happy my blog has been a blessing to you and your studio. Thanks for following my blog!

  10. I started following your blog in 2011 around the time my kids were nearly all grown up and I began to devote more time toward my original career of teaching piano. I appreciate the honest and sincere approach of Color in my Piano and really like the way you began the blog as you were finishing your degrees and embarking on your teaching journey! My favorite idea I gleaned from your resources is the piano hand cards. I use them along with Susan Paradis’s music alphabet cards. The student and I take turns flipping over a hand card and a letter card then playing that key with the hand and finger shown. It’s one of the simplest things, but every young student enjoys it so much!

    1. You’ve been a longtime follower, Tana! Thank you for that!! And thank you for sharing your activity using the piano hand cards and Susan Paradis’s music alphabet cards!

  11. Dear Joy,
    Greetings from the sunny island of Penang, Malaysia. For 5 years or so, Color in My Piano has been a go-to for me to refresh ideas for my studio and also to be inspired. It definitely has not been an easy year last year and this year isn’t looking great either. I truly enjoyed using your materials in class and revamping them for online classes too. At times, students were also given the extra worksheets to complete at home. You have been an inspiration. I would love to start a blog of my own but do not have the guts to do so yet. Maybe, one day. All the best and congratulations on your 12th Birthday!

  12. Happy 12 year anniversary! I’ve been reading and enjoying your blog since Feb. 3, 2010! I love your eras of music history booklets as well as the many other resources you have so generously shared over the years!

  13. Hey Joy. Firstly, congratulations on 12 years of successful blogging and teaching. I have been teaching for 10 years in total now, and finished up my BMus Hons in Composition 7 years ago. I run a simple studio of 50 students, and I really look up to you. I don’t know where you get time to think up your resources, but they are truly inspiring, and I love the joy that comes through in every activity, game and worksheet.

    I’ve been following your blog for around 4-5 years now, since I decided to leave a corporate job to pursue music education only. Before then, I was scared to take the leap. But after researching and becoming very much inspired by your blog as well as Susan Paradis and some others, I decided to take the leap. Back then I had 5 students. I can’t actually believe how much my studio has grown since then, and I am excited to continue to journey.

    Please do keep blogging. It is wonderful to lend from your ideas, and you are absolutely bringing colour to my students’ (and others’) piano.

    Regards,
    Cindy-Joy

    1. 50 students is no “simple” studio, Cindy-Joy — that’s a lot of students! 🙂 Thanks for your comment, and I wish you continued success and joy with your teaching!

  14. Congratulations on 12 years , Joy!! I think that I have been following you about six years and always have found your information so creative and useful. One of your most VALUABLE posts was your review of the Note Rush app, which I promptly began using with my students. One of your most USEFUL posts was from last year which described how you created an online virtual recital. I found that SO useful in putting together my studio recital last May. One of your TIMESAVING posts that comes to mind was a compilation of holiday gifts you have given to your students through the years. I definitely gleaned some fun gift ideas from that for my own students.

    1. Hi Jill! It’s great to hear which specific blog posts have been most valuable, useful, and timesaving! Thanks so much for that feedback!!

  15. Congratulations on your 12 years anniversary !!!
    I started to read your blog since 2011. Then, I met you first time at Irina Gorin’s workshop. And many MTNA conference. You are always analyzed and shared many topic with us. I am so fortunate to know you . I’ve learned so much from you this 10 years. I love all tools you created those years especially Ice cream corn …I used at my summer camp and theory classes several times.
    Please continue to enjoy being mom, teaching and sharing amazing ideas .
    Wish you all the best !

    1. Thank you so much, Sachiko! It’s always great to hear from you or see you! I hope to see you again at a conference once it’s safe for them to take place in person once again. 🙂

  16. I’m not sure how long I’ve been following your blog, but at least 6 or 7 years ago I found your site and used some of your worksheets. They have helped me to look outside the box to help kids learn in new ways. One of the first worksheets I remember is the one drawing rings on fingers to learn finger numbers. I love that one, and so do the students! Thank you and here’s to many more years for you and your blog!

  17. Hi Joy,
    Congratulations on a turning 12! I’ve been visiting your blog right from when I started teaching music (piano) around 8-9 years ago till today when I have finally opened up my own studio. So much of practical advice (business and otherwise), games (who doesn’t love ’em?), activities for students and teachers to enjoy the learning experience! Over the past few years, I’ve even been inspired to try making my own resources and worksheets (I started off using your music symbol files). I think I’ve been using different resources at different points in my teaching so can’t pick one! However, the improvisation and composition cards were a big hit recently! Thank you so much! All the best for the future!

  18. Hi Joy,
    I’ve been reading your blog since February 2016. I was looking for solid piano pedagogy, hands-on tips, and inspiration as I started teaching piano at a music school in Arkansas. I found all three on Color in My Piano. I love going back and reading your music convention journal posts. I also love your sticky note ideas and your piano recital program template. I’ve used it for every recital. And I’ve learned so much from the Piano Teacher Institute.
    Congratulations on 12 years! I’m glad I’ve been following along for 5 of them!

  19. Joy – thank you for creating this blog! I’ve been following your site for around 6-7 years now and have found so much of your content to be useful and inspiring for me as a piano teacher. I have been eyeing your composer lap books for a few years now, love them!

    Melanie

  20. Congratulations on 12 years. I have be reading your blog from the beginning.
    Enjoy reading your blogs. You helped me start Summer Piano Camps, which the students have loved. Skipped last year. Hoping to do again this year.

    1. I skipped my summer camps last year, too. Not sure about this summer yet. It’s certainly been an interesting ride. 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Karen!

  21. Thanks for putting your efforts into this work year after year. I return to your content and resources on a regular basis for new ideas and creative inspiration. I look forward to where the future leads for you and your family. Congrats on 12 years!

  22. Joy, Congratulations on 12 years of blogging!!! Thank you for sharing your history of the why, what and how for your blog. I discovered your blog a number of years ago, (8 to 10 years ago), and was impressed with how clearly your intentions were. You wanted to equip teachers to be better at what they do. You have a large library of resources that I have tapped into, used and shared with my students. I enjoy your challenges, and am presently taking your digital course. Your insight, passion and encouragement is appreciated. Keep up the awesome blogging, teaching and inspiring.

  23. I’ve been following you for a couple of years. My main instrument is oboe but I have found myself teaching piano lessons and sometimes I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing! Your blog has been helpful to me in more ways than I can mention. I’m so grateful to you for that! Happy anniversary!

  24. I started following your blog in 2014. Your blog shows your generous character in many free resources and thought-provoking ideas. I’ve used a handful of your composer notebooks for my ‘Music Learning Labs’ and my students love learning music history this way. Thanks for recently making your compositions available for purchase – they are wonderful to teach & to play for my own enjoyment. Congrats on 12 years!

  25. I found your blog when I was an undergrad piano pedagogy student. I needed to find resources for teaching in a group class/private lesson for my internship. I loved using the ice cream intervals. Now that I’ve graduated and started teaching in a studio, I still love reading your articles and checking out your new content (the Wednesday Words of Wisdom are a quick inspirational shot in the arm for the middle of the week slump!).
    Looking forward to following you for many years to come!

  26. Joy!! I honestly can’t remember when I started reading – maybe a year or two into your journey – but yours was actually the FIRST piano blog I’d found!

    I distinctly remember finding it randomly on an internet search and thinking, “Woah! Is this a thing? Someone talking about piano teaching on the internet?” So funny. Look at how far we’ve all come! ?

    Congratulations times a million on all you’ve accomplished and the oodles of people you’ve inspired. You paved the path for many!

  27. Oh my! What a great story! Joy i have been following ColorInMyPiano for probably two years now maybe a little more. I love your blog. I have been able to use some of the tools you provide for organizing my studio as well as printables to help with teaching my students. The jumbo note flashcards have definitely been a big hit this year with my beginner piano students! Thank you for all you do. You inspire me to be a better teacher and to find more ways to add value to myself, my students, and my community. Wishing you many more successful years ahead. 🙂

  28. Joy, congratulations on 12 years of freely sharing ideas and wisdom! I always know I can go to your site to get creative ideas and games. I especially enjoy the studio business tools you share (that’s where I am most lacking). You make it easy to succeed as a piano teacher. Thank you!!!

  29. Hi Joy! I’m not exactly sure when I started to follow your blog, but several years ago for sure. I have used several of your printables, but have especially enjoyed the Composer Lap Books with my students. You obviously put a lot of time and research into those! Great information, and something my students can keep for reference. You have made my teaching life easier – thank you!

  30. I have been following you for years! I love your printables and games. I always look to your site when I need an idea. I have purchased several lap books of the past few years and my students love them. They look forward to group lessons and the composer part of it.
    Thank you !

  31. I loved reading this article about the history of Color in My Piano! Twelve years ago at this time, I was preparing to move to Indiana and start a new studio there. It would have been sometime during 2009 or 2010 that I first discovered your site, but didn’t have any idea that you lived so close to me. I just thought you were the loveliest person and really enjoyed all your great ideas! Probably my favorites are Ice Cream Intervals and most recently, your helpful video on how to easily do online lessons. I was so honored when I finally got to meet you and to attend your first Piano Manor teacher spa. That was so fun! Thank you for blessing us teachers with your blog all these years! Best wishes for many more years of blogging and teaching and, most of all, parenting your sweet new daughter!

  32. So much fun to read this history! I think I’ve been reading your blog from the beginning! I love all the perspectives you offer on the blog and all the resources you’ve created. Some of my favorites are the ice cream scoops and the music history timelines. I look forward to following you for many years.

  33. Congratulations, Joy! I am not sure when I started following your blog, but it was probably because someone from the Grand Rapids Piano Teachers Forum recommended it. And I’m so grateful for all the wonderful ideas, guidance, and resources you have shared. When I attended one of your retreats, I saw firsthand that you are gracious, sincere, and knowledgeable, and your humble curiosity and desire to keep learning is such an inspiration.
    Even though I also started teaching in college (a mere 40+ years ago!), I continue to grow and enjoy learning about new ways to be more efficient, relevant, and effective as a teacher. Your blog is practical and so helpful!
    Last year, to celebrate Beethoven’s birthday, 25 of my 40 students completed your composer lap book and several asked if we could turn it into a Which One is Your Favorite? contest at our fall recital. So all the parents enjoyed seeing them on display too! Thank you for helping them all learn more about Beethoven!

    All the best to you, Joy, as you continue to serve not only your students, but a multitude of teachers who learn from you as well through your excellent blog.

  34. Hello, I found your blog in 2014 when I moved from Alaska to Nevada and was starting over with my studio. Your resources and blog helped me so much! I have used many of your products and they have never failed to inspire and be an incredible resource for me as a teacher. I love your composer lap books!! I hold two music history parties every semester. I use your lap books and have many comments from parents and students of how much they love them.
    I am hoping to be able to attend your piano teacher institute and one of your piano teacher retreats one of these days! I’ve loved reading about your sweet family this past year! I don’t usually comment on things but wanted you to know you have made a difference in my teaching and I am thankful for you!

  35. I have followed you since you began your blog I believe. I have used many of your materials but most recently the Beethoven lapbook as a studio project and a way of celebrating Beethoven’s 250 years. It was a great success and fun to do. Thanks for all the time and creativity you put into your website and blog.

  36. Hi Joy! I feel like I have been following your blog forever but It’s probably only about 5-6 years. I really enjoy your games, printables and other ideas!! I admired your creativity and ambition!

  37. Congratulations on twelve years of blogging!!! I’ve been following you for a good portion of the time, if not since the very beginning.

    I used your Valentine printable for box candy gifts for my students again this year. They loved them!!!

  38. Your blog always lifts my spirits – so positive! I’ve enjoyed some of your freebies and products too. Following 5-6 years, I think. Thanks!

  39. Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas and summarizing your years with your site. Congratulations on all your accomplishments. I’ve used a few of your printables and especially enjoyed the composer lapbooks.. Did Mozart with a small group last year before covid hit.

  40. Joy,
    Every Wednesday when the Wednesday Words of Wisdom come out, I post the saying on my studio door.. The students waiting for their lesson have become accustomed to watching for them every week! This has been good for them for conversation starters and for me, to ponder each one.. I look forward to Wednesdays!
    Also, I’ve been teaching for 52 years now and your words of explanation of the technical end of online teaching this past year has been every. helpful! Thank you so much!

  41. I’ve been following your blog since college and have always enjoyed it. One of my favorite resources of yours that I love using are the ice cream interval cards. Kids love them and we always talk about favorite flavors of ice cream. It’s such a great visual to work on intervals!

  42. Joy,
    Congratulations on 12 years! What a wonderful accomplishment. I have followed your blog for many years. I have appreciated the ideas you have shared and the excellent resources. They have helped me so much in my teaching. I appreciate all you are willing to share. It is fun to see your studio and read your history. Congratulations on your little one!

  43. Wow, 12 years! Congratulations! Sounds like you’ve adjusted and grown with every move. I can’t remember when or where I first heard about you and your blog. This blog was fun to learn about you and all the cool things in your life. I’m still discovering your materials so I don’t have a favorite yet. Hope you multiply that 12 years by many more.

  44. Happy 12th Anniversary, Joy! As your name denotes, you have brought joy to many piano students and teachers, including myself. I have used many of your products and they are excellent. I’m sure your greatest “joy” is your little daughter! Continued success in your blog and your business.

  45. Congratulations Joy for your 12 years of blogging and sharing teaching ideas with teachers. I have followed you from the beginning! I have loved using so many of your ideas and sharing them in my teaching. The ice cream intervals are so colorful and fun and the rhythm cards at various levels have been used continually. I like to add “color” in my teaching and your blog has given me so many ideas. Thank you!

  46. Joy,
    Thank you for work and dedication and congratulations on 12 years!
    I have been following your blog for 10 years or so and it has been wonderful reading about your ideas and fun lesson activities for students. Your blog was the very first piano blog I read and as a young teacher at the time, I was inspired by your dedication to teaching. Your posts about lesson set-ups (both studio and online) and fun activities for beginners were very helpful! Congratulations again and best wishes to the future years of Color In My Piano!!

  47. I’ve been following your blog since 2012! I started out using your piano lessons flyer and business card template and studio business printables. I also love your lapbooks and hope to try some of your camp curriculums in the future. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

  48. Wow! Congrats on 12 years, Joy! I started following you right off the bat, and you have added SO much to the music education community. I love all your creative ideas and the ways you have invested in helping other teachers. I’ve always loved the idea of a small summer piano teacher retreat, so I hope one day I can make it to yours!

  49. I’ve enjoyed the support and encouragement from your blog and site for about 3 years now. The Composition and Improvisation prompts as well as your Composition Summer Camp plan was a big hit when I used it in 2019. I’ve also enjoyed some of your printables. Mostly I’ve gleaned support and clarity from your posts that really uplifted me in a time of discouragement in my teaching. Thank you for your help and keep it up!

  50. Hi Joy! I don’t remember when I found your blog, probably around a year ago when I started researching a bit more about piano pedagogy. I mostly have read some of your articles about that subject and I find that they are very well informed and organized and helpful for newbie teachers like me! I also like your original compositions. Keep up the good work, you are awesome!

  51. I’ve been following your blog for maybe eight years now. It helped me so much as I started teaching my own students! It was the place I first learned about reinforcing musical concepts through fun games. Quite different from my own experience taking private piano lessons. Your shop was the first place I ever downloaded music resources from. Thank you for all the creative ideas you have shared through the years!

  52. I have been a follower for several years (I don’t remember how many) and enjoy all of your content! I have been a piano teacher for about 30 years, and I am always looking for more ideas, education and of course printables! My favorite so far is the ice cream intervals. They are so much fun!

  53. I think I’ve been following your blog since around 2016? I found you through Teach Piano Today, I think maybe it was a podcast interview? Or a shoutout through one of their blog posts.

    One thing I really appreciate about your blog is the constant call to view ourselves as “music educators” and not simply “piano teachers”. I had come to this realization around the time you were advocating it. And I decided to incorporate the curriculum I use for general music (Conversational Solfege-which applies much of the findings and philosophies of Music Learning Theory) into my private lessons. Since they should also become musically literate.

    One of my favorite resources is the Ice Cream Intervals-I once held a studio wide challenge to sort all the intervals they were familiar with to continue to beat their own time to earn a certificate for ice cream 🙂 I have also started doing annual studio t-shirts, and offer “mini-camps” as a summer option after being inspired by your summer camps. I love that what you do is versatile and easy to adapt to nearly any situation.

  54. I’ve followed your blog for about 1.5 years now and I’m always looking for new ideas and games to use in my studio. My students love the Trick or Treat game —- we actually play it all year long! Congratulations on 12 years of blogging!

  55. Happy Anniversary! I learned about your blog a few years ago from a fellow teacher in the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association. I was able to attend your Piano Manor Retreat in 2019! That was super fun and I’m so glad I was able to go. It was so ch a treat to have you speak to the RPTA last year. You’re a really sweet person and your blog is an inspiration to me. I always feel your sincerity in your speaking. I never feel like your trying to sell me something or talk me into doing things your way. Keep up the good work!
    Debbie

  56. I have been reading your blog for some time and love everything you do, but I have been most impacted by your piano teacher course. It really changed the way I run my business and encouraged me to step up my business and teaching game. Thanks for all of your support through the years – here’s to 12 more years of reading your blog!

  57. Congratulations on 12 years Joy! I have been following your blog for 3 1/2 years when I moved (again) to another city and was looking for marketing ideas.
    I learned so much from your excellence in piano teaching course and it re energized my teaching approach. I was inspired to go on to graduate school which was something I had been considering for a while.
    I used several of the free printables this past summer for piano kits for my online students, but my favorite purchase has been the prompts for piano book. My students love creating new pieces with those guiding ideas. Thank you!

  58. I think I’ve been following you for 3 years! My favorites are the rhythm cards (so many uses!) and the ice cream intervals. I love all your freebies and well organized info. Thank you and congrats!!

  59. I love your blog. Anytime I am looking for a new idea or inspiration, I search your sight. Loved your studio tour and your set up with multiple electronic pianos. So very neat!!! Thanks for all your ideas!!!!
    Brenda

  60. This was so wonderful to read! I love looking back and seeing growth. It reminds me that while every day it might feel like I’m not growing that much, if I look back I can see that things are changing.
    I just searched my email (and since I never delete emails–yikes!) and I first subscribed in Nov of 2013. At that time, I would have never thought that I’d eventually get to meet you and say we are friends. So grateful for all you give back to the teaching community!

  61. Hi! I’ve been following you religiously since 2012! I love so many things about you and your work but I think what I find most useful is how practical and REAL your offerings are. You clearly know what teaching and learning are actually like so it’s easy to grab a printable and follow your straightforward directions to use it promptly! Thank you!

  62. Yay for 12 years!! That’s wonderful! And so many teachers have been reached through your blog. I loved it when I found your blog back in 2018. It has been wonderful attending your events and learning from you Joy! Thank you for all that you do! Cheers to many many more!!!

  63. Joy! I‘be just began following your bog this year. I have felt so alone this year in teaching piano. Your site is a real comfort!

  64. I have enjoyed using the free printables with my band students. I also use the png files to make custom worksheets. I appreciate your knowledge. I’ve been a subscriber for about 10 years.

  65. Hi Joy,
    Thank you for your very informative and interesting blog, for all the excellent teacher tips and the many printables which are so helpful and appreciated. I found you this year and I’m very glad that I did- you’re super talented, an excellent teacher and always really positive-most inspiring! Thanks for all that you do here.
    Congratulations on being a mom, your daughter is very cute, and has a lovely name. 🙂
    Sincerely,
    Judy

  66. Dear Joy,
    Congratulations on 12 years of “Color In My Piano!” As I recall, we met several years before you began your blog. What I first noticed about you as a pianist and educator was your spirit of transparency and thoughtful adventure. It was evident while observing you perform Bach at Calvin University for a masterclass with Angela Hewitt. Your Music History ideas were bright and well planned as we taught at St. Cecilia Piano Camp in Grand Rapids. What a joy to see you gracefully embrace so many opportunities in your life, allow us to learn from your experiences and to share outstanding contributions to a worldwide music community. Your honest and open life continues to be a breath of fresh air and inspiration. Thank you so much, Joy! God bless you and your family!
    Love,
    Susan Crosser

  67. Hi Joy and big congratulations on 12 years of blogging! Your blog was one of the first ones I discovered. I love the studio business printables, the ice-cream intervals, the summer Olympics camp and all your ideas for piano parties! Your blogs about virtual recitals really helped me last year as I didn’t know how to do any of the technology. Thank you so much for all you do for your fellow piano teachers! We appreciate you!

  68. Hi Joy,

    I just found your blog not long ago and started subscribing in January this year. Congratulations on your 12 years of blogging and thank you for the inspiration on activities and sharing of your teaching tips and resources! I am also appreciated for your recommended reading lists. I am a fan of Dr. Edwin Gordon and MLT, and also glad to read your sharing about this in the blog too!

  69. Congrats on 12 years of blogging, Joy!!! I consider myself very lucky to have somehow stumbled upon you several years ago, and have been following you ever since. I love your practical advice and easily accessible ideas re specific ways I can be a better piano teacher. You never disappoint! I also love following your life as a new mother with adorable baby Aria. Thank you , thank you for everything. Blessings!

  70. Congratulations. I have been following for several years. I loved Piano Teacher Institute. I gained so much knowledge and ideas. It was then I made my website. Wishing you many more years of teaching piano and inspiring teachers

  71. I’ve been using, on a daily basis, the printable that allows students to fill in the black and white patterns for 5-finger positions. It’s really helpful as a visual that is away from the keyboard, so students have to internalize a pattern that is not just the physical keyboard in front of them, but one in their minds’ eyes. With teaching being online, the manipulatives we use are limited, and seeing what students can do when they have to internalize a pattern has been helpful. I use these sheets in conjunction with music note names wooden blocks to reinforce the visual impact, and to attach the pattern to letter names in a visual way.
    I turn to your blog for inspiration.
    Thank you!!

  72. Hi Joy! I don’t recall exactly when I discovered you, but you were “my first” of the bloggers and sites that I now follow. Your ideas and positive energy have always been an inspiration to me! Thank you for generously sharing so much with all of us!

  73. Even if I’m late for the giveaway: Happy 12th Anniversary!!! My students love the ice cream intervals the most, I think! We’ve had some quick wins for interval reading! Headed off to the online store!

    Much peace and joy for the next 12 years – and beyond!
    Peace
    Lisa

  74. Hi Joy!
    I’ve never commented before but I do really enjoy reading all of your informative articles and looking at pics of your studio and your sweet little girl. I even bought a music-related book for one of the new babies in our family based on your recommendation. Thank you for all you do for your fellow teachers! You are appreciated.

  75. I’ve been following your blog for about 5-6 years. I love the piano key flashcards. They are one of the first things I give to beginning students. We play lots of games with them!

  76. Happy Anniversary, Joy! I don’t think I ever posted anything here, but I’ve learned from you a lot. Thanks for sharing!

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