Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“I’m still learning.” –Michelangelo

This quote is remarkable, especially coming from such a great artist and as his last words!

So, let’s talk about this quote. I, for one, want to never stop learning! You too? How do we continue learning as teachers? And how can we nurture our students to adopt this outlook, too?

Here are some of the points you’ll hear in the video below:

  • How we can position ourselves as coaches, working alongside students, so they are experiencing a certain level of independence during the learning process. It’s not about transferring certain knowledge from our brains into theirs; it’s about helping them grow their own knowledge.
  • We teachers don’t always know everything. :) I think it’s great when we can admit this to students, and explore solutions together!
  • I tell the story of a teacher of mine who was always working to improve his teaching, and how inspiring that was to me when I was a teen.

Video links: YouTube | (Facebook link coming soon — Facebook has been having technical glitches all day today!)

I hope you enjoyed the video! For more videos, check out the playlist here.

P.S.: Looking for a way to purpose your professional development? I’ve got two ideas for you! 1: My upcoming session of my online course, Excellence in Piano Teaching. Learn more here. 2: My three-day Piano Teacher Retreat this summer, held at my home in Northwest Ohio. I’d love to have you be part of it! Learn more here.

Announcements

Save the Date: 2019 Piano Teacher Retreat

Hello friends!

I’m very excited to invite you to attend a retreat for piano teachers taking place at my home studio this summer.

I hope YOU will consider being a part of my third annual Retreat at Piano Manor. Retreat at Piano Manor is a three-day getaway for piano teachers to connect, recharge, share, and learn from each another. During this unique experience, you will have opportunity to contribute and benefit from collective wisdom during group discussions, interactive activities, as well as relaxing downtime. While at “Piano Manor,” you’ll also enjoy deliciously healthy food planned by my foodie friend, Amy Chaplin of PianoPantry.com. Retreat at Piano Manor will leave you feeling inspired and connected, with newly formed friendships and fresh ideas for your teaching.

Here is the theme for this year:

Exploring Rhythm from an Ear Training Perspective 

We all want our piano students to be able to perform with rhythmic accuracy and an appropriate sense of metric flow and style. Join us as we explore how approaching rhythm from an ear training perspective can lead to stronger performance and reading skills. During the retreat, you can expect to learn rhythm activities your students will love, engage in important conversations about MLT (Music Learning Theory), and greatly improve your own aural perception over the three days! ?

Retreat at Piano Manor is happening August 1-3, 2019, at my home studio in northwest Ohio. I hope you’ll consider being a part of this!

More details are available at: pianoteacherretreat.com. The full schedule and registration will be posted soon. In the meantime, be sure to join the email list to receive details in your inbox as they become available. Those on the email list will receive more details very soon about what we will do during our group retreat experience.?

Thanks for reading!

Image
Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.”

–Mary Poppins


Forgive me for sharing this quote/image once before already, but I decided to get on track for posting the video alongside the quote in the same week — rather than creating a video for the previous week’s quote. So, I’m posting the quote again, this time with the related video below. :)

So, let’s talk about this quote: “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun.” –Mary Poppins. How can we apply this to piano teaching? What does “fun” in piano lesson settings look like?

Video links: YouTube | Facebook

For more videos, check out the playlist here.

P.S.: Let me know if you’d like me to consider making more of this kind of video!

Announcements

A Few Quick Notes

Thank you for the entries for last week’s giveaway! I loved reading all of your thoughtful comments about technique for beginners. I definitely picked up some news tips and ideas to try out with my students. (Click here to read all the comments that came in.)

The randomly selected winner of the giveaway is: Amy Kendall! Amy, I sent you an email requesting your mailing address so I can send you your three handmade butterfly bands. ?

THANK YOU so much for celebrating my blog’s 10-year anniversary with me. It’s been fun to think upon the past years and what I’ve learned since starting ColorInMyPiano.com. I feel incredibly grateful.

Just FYI, the 20% off promo code (10YEARS) will be good through the rest of the weekend. :)

Happy weekend to you!

Announcements

Celebrating Ten Years!

Today, February 28, 2019 marks the ten-year anniversary of Color In My Piano! It’s hard to believe it’s been TEN years!

What does ten years of blogging look like? And how did my blog get its name, anyway? Well, let me tell you the story! I’ll try to keep it brief — but we’re covering ten years of history here. :)

The Beginning

10 years ago today, on February 28, 2009, I wrote my first blog post: a welcome and brief statement of purpose. I found my inspiration largely from Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog and Susan Paradis’s Piano Teacher Resources, whose resources I found tremendously helpful and inspiring for my piano teaching. At this point, I was running a successful piano studio of about 20 students out of my parents’ home, and finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in piano performance at Hope College. I graduated in May of 2009.

On July 9, 2009, I decided that I was enjoying blogging enough to go full swing: I came up with the title “Color In My Piano,” bought my own domain name and a year’s worth of web hosting, and gave the site a new look.

The name “Color In My Piano” was coined when, during my senior year at Hope College, I was required to write an essay which reflected upon my life so far and summed up my worldview. Not surprisingly, much of paper focused on my beliefs about music and the role of the piano/teaching in my life. In my life, I strive to keep my music-making and teaching from feeling like merely a job or a requirement.  I strive to keep “color in my piano” for both my students and myself.

Continue reading “Celebrating Ten Years!”
Music Camps

Highlight: Music Camp Resources for Your Summer Camps

Greetings!

As part of our 10-year blogiversary celebration, I’d like to continue our series giving you a tour through the resources currently available in my shop. Today, we will be taking a look at the music camp resources. If you are thinking about offering a music camp this summer (or ANY time of year) but aren’t sure how to get started, this post is for you! Don’t forget — everything in my shop is 20% off through the end of February 2019 if you use the promo code 10YEARS!

#1: Camp: So, You Want To Be A Composer?

“So, You Want To Be A Composer?” is a fun, creative camp designed to inspire and equip your students to compose their own pieces of music! Students will leave camp knowing how to make a piece of music reflect its title, use motives, organize a piece using a form, and much more.  This camp is full of music listening, music making, and music composing.  

Continue reading “Highlight: Music Camp Resources for Your Summer Camps”
Announcements

Highlight: Notes-To-Self Wall Art Kit

Our 10-year blogiversary celebration sale continues this month! Don’t forget to take advantage of the promo code (10YEARS) for 20% off, if you’re planning to, before the end of February 2019!

Today, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in: my “Notes To Self” printable. A couple of teachers sent me great photos and notes about how these sticky notes are impacting their students…be sure to see those at end of this post!

The “Notes To Self” Inspirational Wall Art Kit (PDF) contains the digital materials you need to create interactive wall art to inspire those within your social sphere. It’s a great way to promote positivity and camaraderie!

I created the “Notes To Self” wall kit with my piano students in mind, but they are perfect for any setting where people gather for a common purpose. Here’s how it looks in my piano studio:

Continue reading “Highlight: Notes-To-Self Wall Art Kit”
Teaching Piano, Technique

Butterfly Bands for Beginner Piano Technique (GIVEAWAY)

I enjoy using a butterfly band prop — credit to Irina Gorin — to help my beginner students develop a physical approach to the instrument that is comfortable and effective for ideal sound production. In Irina’s words, the butterfly exercise helps students experience “relaxation of the hand/wrist, a floating arm, and a gentle touch”.

Today, I thought I’d share how I make these bands for my students — including an improvement I came up with during the most recent round of butterfly-band-making. :)

Continue reading “Butterfly Bands for Beginner Piano Technique (GIVEAWAY)”
Words of Wisdom

Wednesday’s Words of Wisdom

“In every job that must be done there is an element of fun.”

–Mary Poppins


P.S.: I recently made a short video discussing the quote from last time: “A fiery, good beginner always stands higher than a master in mediocrity.” —Robert Schumann.” Click here to watch it, and please let me know if you’d like me to consider making more of this kind of video!

Teaching Piano, Technique

Lesson Videos: Tone Production, Rhythm Dictation, and Staccato

This post is a followup to yesterday’s post, Meet Lucia, Piano Teacher in Puerto Rico! where we got a glimpse into Lucia Fernandez’s lovely piano studio space.

Quick backstory: Lucia attended Irina Gorin’s workshop back in May and is familiarizing herself with Irina’s method, Tales of a Musical Journey. I took Irina’s workshop back in 2015, and have been an enthusiast ever since. Lucia and I connected via Irina’s Facebook group, and decided to get together in person while I was vacationing in Puerto Rico. Using Lucia’s daughter as a guinea pig, we explored certain aspects of Irina’s techniques together. Today, I’m sharing a few of the video clips Lucia took during our time together!

A few things I want you to know before we dive into the videos:

  • Irina’s method is designed around developing a beautiful sound and a healthy technique from the beginning. That is the focus of these activities, as you will see.
  • Ana isn’t a total beginner — she has been taking lessons with her mom for over a year. They’ve been using other books in addition to recent explorations into Irina’s book. Ana is seven years old.
  • Although I did take Irina’s workshop and have been using her materials for a few years now, my teaching isn’t as amazing as Irina’s. :) I encourage you to learn from the master! Check out Irina’s extensive YouTube channel here.

Video #1: Tone Production

Continue reading “Lesson Videos: Tone Production, Rhythm Dictation, and Staccato”
Teaching Piano

Meet Lucia, Piano Teacher in Puerto Rico!

A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were in Puerto Rico. I highly recommend it as a fun place to vacation! The culture is different enough from the mainland U.S. that it feels a bit exotic, and yet, it’s familiar enough to the point where you can get around easily. Many of the locals speak English in addition to Spanish. There’s so much history to experience, great food, beaches, gorgeous weather, and fun excursions such as snorkeling and the rainforest. You can’t go wrong!

Before our trip, I connected with Puerto Rican piano teacher Lucia Fernandez, thanks to Irina Gorin’s Tales of a Musical Journey method Facebook group (check out my review of Irina’s method book here). Lucia and her husband arranged a lovely dinner meetup for us and the couple we were vacationing with.

A couple of days later, Lucia picked me up to visit her home studio. It’s always fun to get a peek into a fellow piano teacher’s studio, right? Lucia agreed to allow me to feature her home studio here on my blog for you to see. :)

Continue reading “Meet Lucia, Piano Teacher in Puerto Rico!”