Celebrating 13 Years of Blogging (and a Special GIVEAWAY!)

Hello friends, 

Guess what: Today, February 28, 2022, marks the thirteen-year anniversary of Color In My Piano. It’s hard to believe this blog has been around for that long!

As is tradition as part of our blogiversary celebration, I usually share a little bit about myself and the origin story behind ColorInMyPiano. I’m not one to talk about myself a lot, but I do like history and I do like my readers to know the story behind my blog’s name, for example! And as usual, I’m also running my annual 20% off sale (applies to EVERYTHING in my shop), and finally, a big giveaway. Keep reading to find out more!

The Beginnings

I began ColorInMyPiano in 2009, while I was finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. At that time, I was running a successful piano studio of about 20 students out of my parents’ home and teaching group keyboard classes at the local YMCA. I was finding so much inspiration and helpful resources from other blogs — including Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog and Susan Paradis’s Piano Teacher Resources — and had also 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,” paid for the domain name, bought 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, my husband of one year and I moved to mid-Michigan 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, we moved to Northwest Ohio (so my husband 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 shop when first launched.]

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.

My blog has led to a number of interesting outgrowth projects I had never anticipated. One is public speaking. I never expected to enjoy 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. (See my calendar and session topics here.)

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

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. Today, my Ohio-based students’ lessons remain online while I’ve gradually begun accepting in-person Michigan students as my schedule allows.

Being a parent has been such a joy for my husband and I. My daughter brings so much joy to our household! I’m finding that my teaching is informing my parenting, and my parenting is informing my teaching.

[Aria, now two years old.]

Today, I am still as dedicated as ever to Color In My Piano. I am never at a shortage of projects and 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. Thirteen 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. 

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

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 thirteen years of blogging and for the wonderful lessons and friendships that have resulted. And I’m very excited to share with you a couple of exciting new projects in the next year. Stay tuned! 😉

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


Giveaway & Annual 20% Off Sale

To celebrate our thirteen years together, I’m running a special giveaway and a sale! Use the promo code 13YEARS to receive 20% off any item in the shop. If you’ve been eyeing my favorite Ice Cream Intervals gamerhythm cardscomposer lapbooks, my original sheet music, or are thinking ahead to music camp curriculums for this summer, now’s a great time to buy because this is the ONLY time of year I ever run a sale. 🙂 It starts now and lasts through March 31, 2022. Browse the shop now here.

Here’s the details about the giveaway: THIRTEEN 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 7, 2022, thirteen lucky winners will be randomly selected and notified. 

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

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106 thoughts on “Celebrating 13 Years of Blogging (and a Special GIVEAWAY!)”

  1. I love your blog Post! I’ve been following you since 2009 when I started teaching piano and traveled to students’ homes. With the pandemic, I now teach virtually. I love your printable rehearsal programs, flash cards, and great teaching ideas. Thank you!

    Donna Atkinson

  2. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and benefited a great deal from your ideas and advice. Thank you for keeping the blog going and sharing your creativity with us.

    1. Congratulations Joy! I started following you before Instagram. I found you when I was looking for music resources. You offered several beginner sheets and scales. I love the trick or treat game. It’s fun but at the same time let’s students explore different rhythms.
      Thank you

  3. I started reading your blog in Feb of 2010. My favourite purchase from you is your Eras of music history. They are a great resource! 2nd must be the Ice cream intervals! I’ve enjoyed following you over the years, and am enjoying the pictures of Aria on Instagram! Thank you for all you share with us!

  4. I have enjoyed following Joy over the past 6 years, (myself) and have gleaned many helpful teaching ideas. I also have enjoyed using several of her tools for teaching. I have used the rhythm cards, So You Want to Be A Composer, Composing.Improv Prompts, and the very popular in our studio– Stickie Notes for Encouragement,” I appreciate Joy’s expertise, (of course!) but also her kindness and generosity to share and support and value of other teachers.

  5. Happy 13th birthday, Color in My Piano blog! What an accomplishment! I came across your site around 2016 and have been a regular viewer ever since. I enjoy the way you share what you’re learning within your studio; it encourages me to keep growing as a teacher and musician. I’ve used several of your printables ( the bling finger number sheet is fun for little girls to use!). I’ve also used your Composition camp curriculum and improv ideas packet. Way to go, Joy. Best wishes on another year of growth and happiness!

  6. I have been following Color In My Piano for several years and enjoyed the blog for the past year (have followedon Facebbok and email for quite awhile). I especially enjoyed the Piano Teachers Institute. It was a great course and I highly recommend it.

  7. Happy Birthday… I was looking for an idea for a piano camp, way back in 2014.
    What I came across was your 2012 Musical Olympics camp. I used lots of your outdoor games that year with great success. In 2022, this year, we decided to revisit the idea of having more outdoor theory activities to help with the Covid threat, getting some fresh air while learning about music. I’ve revamped ideas using rhythm bean bag toss, chalked staves on the path. Just great fun and students are learning more practically those foundation principles. Love your ideas.

  8. I can’t remember when I started following you, but it was probably sometime around 2015 or 2016. I heard about you from a fellow teacher in the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association. I attended your Retreat at Piano Manor event in 2019. It was so fun! I would love to do it again, but I don’t want to take a spot away from someone else that’s never been.
    Your little girl is so adorable, and I love your Facebook posts. You’re one of the sweetest people I know and such and inspiration to me!

  9. Congratulations Joy! With all your years of experience, you have been so helpful to music teachers by sharing your experiences, great tips, great resources. I discovered you about a year ago and I love reading your blog, emails and posts. I wish you many more years of success! Thank you!

  10. Congratulations! I think I’ve followed you from the beginning. I live in mid.Michigan and have a student graduating and heading to Hope!
    I love your Wall Art Kit and it’s been great in my studio.

  11. Congratulations on 13 years! I appreciate your willingness to share what you’ve learned and what you’ve spent time creating. I so appreciate your Printables. I’m not sure what my favorite might be as I”ve pulled various ones for different students. Your blogs are always interesting and usually bring a smile to my face. I guess I’ve been following you for close to 2 years now.

  12. Hi Joy,
    I have been following your blog off and on for about 10 years now, maybe longer. I had no idea you offered courses or teacher retreats so I must have tuned out a few posts. I will have to start following more closely. I believe you are speaking to my Minnesota piano teacher group, APPI, over zoom this spring. My favorite printables are the black key cards for beginners and the 12 bar blues improv. I also like your Christmas tree ornament ideas.

  13. Congrats on the 13th anniversary of your blog! I don’t even remember when I started reading your blog. But my email records show that it goes back to 2013 when we both attended NCKP that summer so at least 9 years but possibly earlier. I remember you were one of the first blogs I started reading. The first music/piano blog I ever came across and found really helpful was also Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog too!

  14. Hi, I’ve been following your blog for about three years I think (it was before the pandemic). I loved your online recital ideas when covid came along. I had my students all record, and then I put a YouTube playlist together and sent it to the families. I loved it and the families did too!

  15. I found your blog in 2010, I was following the music matters blog – I quickly became an avid reader of your blog as well, Joy! You’ve taught me so much and I have especially loved your Wednesday words of wisdom. It was a highlight to get to meet you in person this January! So excited to have you as a colleague in Michigan now!

  16. I discovered your blog a decade ago when I first started teaching and felt very isolated and needed ideas for my teaching. Your blog has been a great launching pad for discovering other blogs you’ve mentioned, resources and apps you use, printables, inspirational quotes. Through your blog I discovered your piano teacher’s course, which I loved. It’s been wonderful to see your blog evolve over the past 10 years and yet it still holds my interest very much!

  17. Congratulations, and thank you Joy! You are part of my teaching in many ways. Just yesterday, in fact, I started another student playing “Simplicité!” Best wishes for you and your family going forward!

  18. Thank you so much for taking the time for this blog. I accidentally stumbled across it while looking for something else and so far I just love it! Thank you especially for allowing us to use your printouts to share with our students! Talk to you soon!!


  19. I found your blog about 7 years ago. I have loved all the great ideas and encouragement. I’ve used your recital program template for more recitals than I am going to try to remember at this point. I love your ice cream intervals and the board game (can’t remember what you call it). ? Thanks for sharing with us!

  20. Hi, I’ve followed you for so many years. Not sure the beginning. It’s amazing how just when a student needs support I find it from some of your blog posts. Printables are always appreciated.

  21. I don’t really know how long I’ve been following you. I looked through your site to see what things I recall using, but I recognized quite a few things and realized how many other cool things/idea you have in there that I’ve yet to use. Thank you for your time and talent that you share with us.

  22. I love receiving your emails. I always learn something new. In one of your latest emails you provided a link to your free printables and I have appreciated being able to print some of them out like the recital printables, piano jokes, and scale and arpeggio fingering tips. You are amazing doing this on the behalf of all of us. Thank you!

  23. I’ve been following your blog since around 2012 when I was studying at Hope College and our professor raved about you and the exciting work you were doing in piano teaching. And then I’ve been following ever since, enjoying the retreats (and looking forward to future ones as well!) and love being in the same state as you today!

  24. I’ve been a follower since your blog began. At the time, I lived in a relatively small Texas border town, where there were no piano resources, and your blog gave me the push I needed to maintain a happy attitude regarding teaching and fun ideas to reinforce that attitude and help my students. The resource I continually come back to are the composer lap books. I purchase a different ones each year to use for group classes. Thank you Joy for your dedication and perseverance in keeping up the blog for these 13 years. What an honor it has been to be a part of your life through your many entries!

  25. I was first introduced to the Color in My Piano Blog when I was studying piano pedagogy at MBU. I was so happy when I discovered Joy’s Music Camp Curriculum “Music Of the World” I used it at my then relatively new summer Music Camp & it was a huge success! It made my life so much easier because I didn’t have to do a lot of work! It was already done for me. 🙂

  26. Happy Blogiversary! Another piano teacher introduced me to your blog and web site when I started teaching 3 1/2 years ago. She was careful to only lead me to people that would be most helpful and you were one of those people! I love the example you are of being a lifelong learner. Thank you for sharing through your blog and resources.

    I incorporated several of your printables into my routine right from the start. I still use the planning calendar, student information forms & interview sheets from the section on studio business. They are helpful for keeping me organized. The Black key group sorting cards, piano key flashcards and piano finger bling have been very handy for first lessons. My students refer to the worksheet on identifying intervals as a reference sheet before working out flashcards in their music or different games. Other printables I have found helpful each year have been the Clef dot to dot & worksheet as well as any to do with sp/line notes or the staff. Thank you so much.

  27. I’ve been reading your blog for about 7 years. I’ve learned so many helpful hints, tips, strategies, games, gift ideas.
    Keep up the great work and THANK YOU!
    Congratulations on 13 years.

  28. Congratulations! I am not sure when I started following you, but it’s been a number of years. I have used several of your printables (thank you for those freebies!), and have loved using some of the Composer Lap Books with my students (time for another, I think!). You put an incredible amount of research time into those! I also love your gift ideas. I have used a couple of the Christmas ideas. Best wishes for your future success!

  29. I have followed your blog for several years and have enjoyed the many resources, reviews, and teaching tips. Thank you for your time and creativity.

  30. Congratulations on 13 years! I’ve been following you for a few years now on Facebook but just recently found you on Instagram.. I recently looked through your website and can’t believe the wealth of information and resources I’ve been missing out in! I’m excited to check out your music as well as your free printable!!!

  31. Congratulations on 13 years! I discovered your blog just a few years ago and have been incorporating ideas from it ever since. I most recently copied and laminated the space notes on the grand staff and am using it with my students. I’ve been teaching for 40 years and have gotten a new enthusiasm for teaching using many of your creative ideas. Thank you!

  32. Happy 13th!!! I probably started following you in 2015-16 and have really enjoyed learning from you. I have used many of your printables and would like to do a summer music history/theory class. Thanks for all your hard work and great ideas!

  33. Congratulations and happy birthday! I’ve been following your blog for ages! I’ve also used a lot of your free printables, the first one being the musical alphabet cards and I still use it for young beginners. I especially love the composer Lapbooks and use them every time I have a holiday music camp. Best wishes and thank you! God bless .

  34. Happy Birthday, Color in my Piano! I’ve been following your blog since 2013. I started my teaching journey in 2012. Your site has been very informational and helpful. Seeing the evolution of your blog has been fun and encouraging to watch! Thank you for all that you for the site and for teachers!

  35. Joy, thank you for many games I could download from your blog. I did it a few years ago and my students and myself are enjoying them every single time we play. Thank you! ? congratulations ??

  36. Thank you for your wonderful contributions to the world of piano teaching! Many have benefitted from your work!

  37. Congratulations Joy! Your site has been such a blessing to me since I started teaching piano a couple years ago. I wish you the best as you continue your journey that’s helping so many along the way! 🙂

  38. Happy 13th BIrthday! I’m so happy for your success and thank you for all your wonderful ideas. I can’t remember when I started following you exactly, but I know it was towards the beginning of your blog. You have so many creative ideas and I have used many of them. I wish you the best of luck in the future and look forward to many more wonderful teaching ideas and resources. .

  39. Hi there, Happy Birthday! I have been following your blog since at least 2015! I always enjoy your information and helpful fun ideas! Good luck in the future and thank you!

  40. Dear Joy,
    I think thirteen is your lucky number! So much pleasure in looking back on your posts and insights, so generously shared with us all! A recent favorite of mine was your posted student bios with pictures. My students love being on my “wall of fame” as one parent commented.
    I was struck by your comment that writing clarifies your ideas, as I have found the same to be true.
    I’ve been following you since the beginning and so have been inspired by many of your gifts, blogged, printable, et al.
    Wishing you at least 130 more years of blogging and teaching, MJP

  41. I don’t remember how long I’ve been reading your blog, Joy, but it’s been quite a few years (probably at least 10?). One of the sets of posts I’ve really enjoyed is the different musical Valentine’s you’ve shared.

  42. Congratulations Joy on another successful year. It is special to see your dreams come true! There are always unexpected surprises along the way! Thanks for helping us teachers to be more effective.
    Cheri B

  43. Dear Joy,
    You were the first piano teacher blogger I discovered (years ago) and I’ve learned so much from you. Your ideas, your printables, and the other professionals you’ve offered to us have made such a difference for me and my budding studio. I work only with beginner and intermediate students, as I never completed a pedagogy degree. You’ve helped me weather imposter syndrome and realize that I’m already doing many things well. The creativity and generosity of you and others keep me moving forward in this field and always striving to improve what I do for /with growing musicians.

  44. I started reading your blog about 10 years ago and then was so happy to find you on Instagram. My favorite resource is the composer lapbooks ..just did the Bach lapbooks a few weeks ago in fact and my students loved it!

  45. Happy 13th birthday! Woohoo! I’ve been following you for several years now and have been so inspired by what you do. Thank you for all you’ve brought to our lives as teachers!

  46. Dear Joy,
    I think thirteen is your lucky number! So much pleasure in scrolling through all your adventures in teaching and in life, generally. They work reciprocally and can be much the same, true?
    I’ve enjoyed seeing pictures of your teaching studios and adaptations (ahem, not to reduce sweet Aria to an “adaptation”!) through all their permutations. A recent favorite blog, loved by my students , was the student- bios-with-pictures, my “wall of fame”, as a parent commented. I was struck, too, by your comment about how writing clarifies your thinking, as I find this to be true as well.
    Wishing you 130 more years of enjoying (and sharing) all your gifts,

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment, Maryjane! I enjoyed hearing which resources have been your favorite. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you!!

  47. Congratulations!!!!! I’ve recently joined the MTNA a year and half ago and met some great teachers. I am new to teaching piano, and I heard so many great things about your ability to teach, pedagogy and great website. My favorite materials I used from your site are some of the pdfs like the flyer, business card template and some music note flash cards. Thank you for all that you share.

  48. Happy 13th Birthday!
    I honestly cannot remember when I discovered your blog/site. Several years anyway. I’ve purchased many of your resources and especially enjoy the ice cream intervals and composer lap books! The lap books have been a great way to incorporate music history into my lesson curriculum. Just gave out Scott Joplin at the end of Feb. to celebrate Black history month. Since I’m not currently doing group piano, I have been using part of the lesson time to go over some of the folder info. And we listen to a CD while coloring the cover etc. For the younger students, I made up the folders ahead of time since we would not have time to do the whole thing at the lesson. (That was a bit of work!) I was hesitant to just send the whole thing home for them to do for fear of it getting lost and not get completed. For the older students, (JH) I told them they would receive 30 minutes of practice credit when it was completed and turned in. That assured them getting returned. lol (They earn rewards for their practice times once they accumulate a set number of hours)
    I LOVE these composer lap books and think they are a genius idea.
    Thanks for all the inspiration! I’ve watched many of your videos and read the blogs. Keep up the great work! You truly are an inspiration. And you even named your daughter with a musical name! love it., She is just beautiful,
    God bless

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback, Susan, specifically about my composer lapbooks! I’m so happy to hear how much you and your students have enjoyed those!!

  49. Congratulations on your beautiful 13 years, Joy in Colorfully beautiful walk through the world of music!!
    You are AMAZING!!

    I have been following your professional work from the beginning, then we worked in Alexandra, Egypt . Even though I wasn’t teaching music at that time yet I found you blog so valuable and interesting to read…
    Thank you for your great work, Joy!
    Your name reflects the joy of the work of your hands.
    The Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly!!

  50. Hi Joy,
    I loved reading your 13th Birthday blog post and hearing of your journey and history! I I started following your blog around 2013 and have gleaned so much knowledge and inspiring ideas to use in my studio. My all time favorite have been the composer lap books and summer camp ideas/materials. The free resources have also been very useful with students. Thank you! Happy Birthday Color in My Piano! Looking forward to another 13 years!

  51. I remember finding your free items in your shop and buying a couple games and music history things back in 2016 when I started teaching. I didn’t get on your email list until last year when I realized you were incorporating MLT in your teaching. I love MLT and would love more games that involve MLT sequenced topics! The Trick or Treat game is perfect 🙂

    1. Hi Alyssa! Thanks for this. I definitely want to continue incorporating MLT into more of the teaching resources I create! It’s a process, but it’s gradually becoming more and more core to the way I teach!

  52. I enjoy reading your blogs.
    I find your postings inspiring & got me to try more new ideas for my own piano studio.
    I appreciate you so much and looking forward to read more of your creative piano teaching stories.
    Thank you!!!

  53. Joy
    Congratulations on reaching 13 years. You are very gifted and have great insights. Th as nk you for sharing.!

  54. Happy Birthday! I love reading your posts. Your little piano that you so lovingly restored for your girl was inspiring! Greetings from Ireland. Best wishes for the next 13 ??

  55. Hi Joy !
    Thank you for your all wonderful work for this 13 years. I will have Summer Camp this summer. I definitely use your materials ! my students will love them. During pandemic , we couldn’t do much . I can not wait to see them to enjoy many of your fun tools !

  56. Happy 13th anniversary! I don’t have any idea how long I’ve been following your blog. I also don’t know how you manage so many things in your life but you’re doing great at it. It’s fun to read your new ideas and they are always inspiring. Keep blogging for us so we can all learn from your ideas and be better teachers.

  57. Hi Joy, I’ve been following your blog since probably 2010 when I was teaching in WI. Now, like you, my husband and I have moved closer to our family and I have a studio in Omaha, NE. I’ve gleaned a lot from your blog postings, but one of my favorites is something I see everyday. It is the decal for “Please remove your shoes” that you linked your readers to a couple years ago. I put it on the window of the door that students enter my studio through. It’s a gentle and attractive reminder to anyone who enters through that door. I also designed a “No Solicitation” decal that I put on one of the sidelights next to our front door. Thank you for sharing all your teaching ideas. It’s nice that young teachers such as yourself are willing to do so!

    1. I’m glad the decal idea is working well for you, Diane! It’s a little thing, but it sure does help keep clean the off-white carpets that came with our house! 🙂

  58. I don’t even remember when I first started following you. It’s been forever! I love seeing the evolution of your piano teaching journey and have learned a lot from your blog. I have really enjoyed the ice cream intervals game. My students love it, and it’s such a great way to reinforce intervals without it feeling like a chore. ?

  59. Congratulations Joy on your 13 year anniversary. What I love about your blog, posts and course is your desire to equip, educate and encourage students and teachers. I have printed off many of your “freebies” and use them all the time. The keyboard printable, RCM technic sheets, new student intake forms, I purchased the ice cream interval sheets, I printed off your selection of piano pictures, framed them and gave them away as gifts to my senior students for the end of year gift. I have encouraged my students to check out your blog and resources as well. Thank you for being so generous and sharing your resources with me and others

  60. Joy, I can’t remember how I found your blog … it’s been many years now. I always love reading your thoughts on music teaching and have used many printables from your shop You are definitely a bright star in the piano teacher blogging world.

  61. I have been following you for around 10 of the 13 years! I especially liked using your composers lapbook series for several of my own piano camps. I enjoy your honesty and encouragement from a fellow studio teacher versus a piano professor and getting a glimpse of your studio. Your inspiration has sparked creativity in me! I also enjoyed having you do an online teacher workshop for our local association in Mobile, AL ! Here’s to many more years of Color in My Piano! Blessings!

  62. Congratulations on the 13th anniversary of your blog! I’m not completely certain of when I discovered it, or how, though I’m going to assume that it may have been something to do with discovering many piano teaching groups, etc., on that big social media site (which shall remain nameless, LOL!). At least by 2014, though, if not slightly earlier than that. Because I still have not mastered the art of organizing computer files, I don’t remember how many resources I have. One, though, that I use the most are the 5-Finger Pattern coloring block pages to help students wrap their heads around the black and white key patterns of each pentascale. That one I use constantly, and possibly more than any other resource I’ve ever purchased. Thank you for sharing your light, and insight with us out here in the world. I’m incredibly grateful!

  63. Your blog is lovely Joy, and as usual a pleasure to read.

    I would really welcome any information you can provide related to memorization of music for adult students. Thank you so much for your blog.

    Please keep the blog coming…

  64. Thank you for all of your work! The number of students I teach has gotten much smaller due to some other career changes, but I appreciate all your materials very much! Keep up the good work!

  65. I’ve been following you for at least ten years. I’ve used many of your shop items and enjoyed them with my students so much! Our favorites have been the composer lap books and camp ideas! I also use many of your studio management forms!

  66. Thanks for all of your wonderful work! I love your blog post. Even though I am a “newbie” (Following since 2019), I have found your ideas to be really useful in my own piano teaching. I look forward to reading about more of your great strategies!

  67. I’ve been following your blog since 2019, just before the pandemic hit. I love your highly creative teaching ideas , which are so helpful and a great way to keep up the fun elements of piano lessons. My very first printable was your Ice Cream Intervals and it’s still a studio favourite! I’ve got my eye in your great looking Composer Lapbooks now. Thank you for all you so generously share with the global “colourful piano” teaching community.

  68. I’ve been following you for a few years now! I love your blog. I watched a video you made about creating your own worksheets and i haven’t looked back since. I use the music symbols package also you made available. I am very thankful for this. Happy birthday!!

  69. Happy birthday and congratulations! I’ve been following your blog for ages and have found it so helpful, even though I’ve been teaching for over 40 years. I’ve also used lots of your free printables, beginning with the music alphabet cards and always start a very young beginner with those. I also love the composer Lapbooks and I have quite a collection now – they get used every music camp morning I have. Thank you and best wishes. God bless.

  70. I follow your blog for about 3 years, it was one of the firsts I started reading when I became more interested in piano pedagogy and a thorough system to teach piano and music. I really enjoy all your articles and would love to join the Piano Teacher Institute someday. Thank you for all the information and resources you have shared here! 🙂

  71. Thank you for your blog! Over the past two years that I have read it, I’ve learned so much from you and implemented many new ideas. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks! Thanks again and keep up the good work!

  72. Congrats for 13 years of your blog! Your materials are wonderful. I especially like your composer lap books!

  73. I can’t remember exactly, but I think I have been following Color in My Piano 8-9ish years. Way back then I ran piano summer camps using your composer lapbooks and Music of the World lapbooks. Congrats on 13 years!

  74. I have been following you the last 10 years after your blog was recommended by Dennis Alexander at a workshop I attended. I think I have nearly all your materials, my favorites being Alphabet Trail and the many Great Composer lapbooks I’ve gotten so far, though wanting the few more I don’t already have! Happy Anniversary!

  75. Wow, 13 years! That’s fantastic! I’ve been following your blog for about 10 of those, I think. I have used a number of your resources, and when I find a need for some type of resource, I tend to check your shop first because I have absolutely loved the style and quality of materials you have put together – it is always so well done!

  76. Your blog has helped me to think outside the box beyond only using traditional books and worksheets to teach kids how to play the piano and understand reading music. I have followed your blog for at least 3 years. Thanks for the inspiration! And congrats on your 13 years!!

  77. I have probably been following you for the last 2-3 years. Congratulations on 13 years of great blog posts. I think my favorite offering on your website are the Great Composer lapbooks. Keep up the good work!

  78. I always enjoy reading your blog and emails. I looked in “your” folder on my computer and see that the first thing I downloaded from you was in Febraury 2012 so I think that would be when I first found you. It is always very helpful to read your ideas and helpful links, and I hope you’ll be continuing for a long time to come.

  79. I have been enjoying and following your post for about six years now. My students and I really enjoy your composer lapbooks. You are one of my top go to places when looking for games and teaching resources for my studio. Thank you!

  80. I’ve been following for all 13 years. It is so fun to be connected to a dedicated piano teacher who is honest and open about her life. Joy, you are so refreshing! Your direct, simple approach in discussing various aspects of teaching, how you personally grow and how you deal with the ever changing music scene is what appeals to me the most!

  81. Happy anniversary! I love your positivity and creative suggestions, it always gives me a little boost in my musical life! I can’t remember how long I’ve been following, it seems like many years. My students love the ice cream intervals and rhythm cards, but I think they especially look forward to the Halloween trick or treat game! Thank you!!

  82. Not sure how long I’ve been following, has to be at least 5 years. We regularly use your Improv prompts in lessons. Students love them!

  83. Huge congratulations Joy !! So proud of you for all your accomplishments and your hard work

    I always enjoy reading your blogs and learn so much from them. I’m so honored to call you wonderful friend and a colleague. Hugs !!

  84. I think I found your blog searching for a resource, though what it was I don’t remember. I have used some of the lap maps and use ice cream intervals and the snowman ones frequently in my studio. I’ve appreciated see your studio change and the updates and you’ve moved and changed. It helps me think about my own direction.

  85. Dear Joy,

    How exciting! Congratulations to you on 13 years of Color in My Piano! What an inspiration you and your blog have been to me and so many other teachers! I have been following your blog for the last year or two and my favorite thing is the passion and joy that you bring to your students through interactive games and little gifts at holidays! (Just came here to print out the Rainy Rhythm, Piano Hand Hunt, and Black Key Group Spring Cards for upcoming new student lessons!) You inspire me to bring the same energy and liveliness (to keep color in my piano!) with my own studio and students! Wishing you many, many more years of creativity and success!


  86. Hello! I’ve been following you since 2021 as I had to prepare to teach kids without any knowledge of teaching. Your blog hhas greatly helped me to prepare materials for the young children. Congratz on your 13th anniversary!

  87. Happy Birthday, Color in My Piano! You’re such a kind, generous person, Joy. Thank you for sharing so many lovely ideas all these years. I think I started following around 2016, and you’ve helped me revitalize my teaching (now 35 years).

  88. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us. I’ve been reading your blog for about 8 years thanks to a recommendation from another teacher. It always gives me a fresh perspective in teaching.

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