Announcements

Session Starting Soon! – My EXCELLENCE IN PIANO TEACHING Online Course

Hi there! Just a quick post today…

How would you like to take a piano pedagogy course from the comfort of your own home?

The next offering of my six-week course, EXCELLENCE IN PIANO TEACHING starts up very soon! It will run October 7 – November 18, 2019. Here’s a peek at what you’ll learn each week:

  1. Business Sense. We’ll get your finances organized so you can focus on the part we all love most: teaching!
  2. On Teaching and Learning. You’ll learn how to maximize student learning through teaching strategies that are research-based and time-tested.
  3. Conducting the Piano Lesson. You’ll learn how to plan for and use in-lesson time in a way most conducive to student success.
  4. All About Piano Methods. You’ll learn the purpose, benefits, and limitations of piano method books and become familiar with the today’s most popular method books.
  5. Piano Technique for Beginners. You’ll learn how to nurture your students towards playing the piano healthily, efficiently, and – most importantly – expressively.
  6. The Student’s Repertoire. You’ll learn how to choose piano literature for your students that is appropriate and suitable so they are happily advancing in their piano studies!

Here’s a video overview and a peek inside the course, so you can see if the [Excellence in Piano Teaching] course is right for you.

Intrigued? Visit the Piano Teacher Institute with Joy Morin website and be sure to join the email list there! Registration links will be emailed out soon.

Thanks for reading!

Announcements

2019 Piano Teacher Retreat Highlights

This was definitely a highlight of my summer — hosting a third annual Piano Teacher Retreat! This involved three days and fourteen teachers exploring this year’s theme: rhythm and Edwin Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT). I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed our shared three days of discussing, learning, laughing, and musicking. It was such an honor and pleasure to spend this time with this wonderful group of teachers. 

The event was held at my home in Bowling Green, Ohio, August 1-3, 2019. Nine of us stayed overnight here in my home, while the other five were hosted at my colleagues’ homes nearby.

These ladies arrived with coordinating black-and-white, and red-white-and-blue! :)

We began our first day by breaking out into small groups to research some introductory information about Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory.

Continue reading “2019 Piano Teacher Retreat Highlights”
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!

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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!”
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”
Announcements

Highlight: Ice Cream Intervals Game

Our 10-year blogiversary celebration sale continues this month! Don’t forget to take advantage of the promo code, if you’re planning to, before the end of February!

Today, I want to highlight an item from my shop you might be interested in: the Ice Cream Interval game. There’s also a freebie for your young beginners below…so keep reading!

Being able to recognize the placement of and distances between notes on the staff intervallically is crucial to reading music.  I like to tell my students that music reading involves more interval recognition than it does note identification. To help my students learn to identify intervals quickly upon sight, I created the Ice Cream Interval game.

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The cards show intervals both on the staff lines and on the piano keys, so students are encountering situations.

This simple game works great as a single person activity. We lay out the cones on the floor, and start sorting the interval “scoops” to the appropriate cone.

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Continue reading “Highlight: Ice Cream Intervals Game”
Announcements

2 Pieces of News

Hi there! Just a quick post today to share two bits of news.

FIRST:

Starting tomorrow, I’m holding a 20% off sale for everything in my digital shop! The reason for the sale? We’re going to be partying all February long to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s upcoming 10 year blogiversary. Woohoo!

To receive 20% off, use the promo code 10YEARS between now (January 31, 2019) and February 28, 2019.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know that I rarely hold sales. If you’ve been eyeing my favorite Ice Cream Intervals game, my rhythm cards, or are thinking ahead to music camp curriculums for this summer, now’s a great time to buy! Visit the shop now by clicking here.

SECOND:

I pleased to announce the upcoming 2019 session of my online piano pedagogy course called Excellence in Piano Teaching! The dates will be April 1st through May 5th.

Have you always wanted to take a piano pedagogy college course, but haven’t had the opportunity? Or are you looking for a refresher of the pedagogy instruction you received during college, to put new energy into your teaching?

If you’d like to receive the details about this course, please join the separate email list by clicking here. I’ll be sending out more details by email in the upcoming weeks. For now, I thought I’d send out this save-the-date note in case you are interested in making plans to participate!

Stay tuned — there’s more coming soon to celebrate ColorInMyPiano.com’s ten years of existence. :)

Announcements

Upcoming 2019 Appearances

Hello, readers!

At the beginning of the month, I had the opportunity to fly to Charlotte, NC to speak for the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum. I spoke on the topic of rhythm — specifically, how we can approach teaching rhythm from an ear training or MLT perspective. I had SUCH a fun trip! I posted some photo highlights from my two-day adventure on my instagram here.

I’d love to tell you about some other speaking appearances coming up this year.

First of all, in March, I will be participating in a few sessions during MTNA’s 2019 National Conference in Spokane, Washington, occurring March 16-20, 2019.

  • Saturday, March 16: “Games & Activities for Groups“, a 20-minute presentation during Pedagogy Saturday’s Recreational Music Making (RMM) track.
  • Wednesday, March 20 @ 8:00am: “Teaching the Way We Learn: Applications of Edwin E. Gordon’s Music Learning Theory (MLT)” with co-presenter Amy Chaplin.
  • Wednesday, March 20 @ 9:15am: “Creativity Throughout: A Panel Discussion on the Business Side of Teaching“, appearing as a panelist.
Continue reading “Upcoming 2019 Appearances”
Announcements

In The Shop: “Notes To Self” Wall Art

It’s here! I’ve been hinting about this on instagram all week. I’m so excited to today share with you a project I’ve been working for the past few months.

Inspired by a project I saw at my town’s local university campus, I decided to create something similar for my piano students. I call it the “Notes To Self” wall art.

Those who approach the “Notes To Self” wall art are encouraged by the sign to “Take one to-go, for you or somebody else!”

The quotes and sayings were chosen with positivity and encouragement in mind. They’re fun to admire, and it’s fun to pick out one to take with you. My students are enjoying this!

I drew all of the quotes and sayings myself by hand — but the designs have been digitized so they can be printed out directly onto the sticky notes using the template shown below. Easy! (Learn more about the template here.)

These “Notes To Self” sticky notes are a great way to promote positivity and camaraderie among your students. Continue reading “In The Shop: “Notes To Self” Wall Art”

Announcements

2018 Piano Teacher Retreat: Developing Piano Technique in Beginners

Hi there!

Today, I just wanted to share a little bit more regarding the retreat for piano teachers I’m planning in August 9-11, 2018.

The topic our retreat will be centered around is: Developing Piano Technique in Beginners.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always find it easy to help my beginner students form a happy, healthy technique. Sometimes, in those early years they play with awkwardness or too much tension. The tone they produce at the piano sometimes comes out weak-sounding, or harsh. If they form habits for playing this way, it could lead to tension or even pain down the road.

We all want our students to play comfortably, without struggle, and producing a beautiful sound. It takes a watchful eye, time, and patience to help them learn to play with ease, naturalness, and a beautiful tone. I’m always looking for tips and strategies to help my student with this, and I’m sure you are too! I would love for every one of my students to play comfortably and beautifully at the piano.
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Here’s a photo of my student, Robbie, playing his piece after we talked together about finding his “sit bones” and thinking about “head forward and up”. You can really see the difference in his shoulders!

These are the sorts of things we will be discussing during my piano teacher retreat this summer. I invite you to consider joining us! This is an experience designed around attendees sharing their insights and exchange teaching tips and strategies. Through combining our knowledge and experiences, we will all benefit from the collective wisdom. I can’t wait!

Here’s the full description of the event:

Retreat at Piano Manor is a three-day experience for piano teachers to get-away to connect, share, and become better teachers for our students. Together, we will explore how we can ensure our students each develop a healthy, happy piano technique from the beginning. Attendees will be expected to share their best tips and insights, and participate in group projects researching the various schools of thought when it comes to piano technique. A highlight of the retreat will be a session by guest speaker Nancy Crego disseminating the Alexander Technique. While at “Piano Manor,” you’ll also enjoy relaxing downtime and deliciously healthy food planned by my foodie friend, Amy Chaplin of PianoPantry.com.

At the end of three days, you’ll leave equipped with new perspectives and teaching strategies for not only avoiding playing-related injuries or discomfort down the road, but enabling even beginner students reach their fullest potential as pianists. You will know when and how to intervene with a student’s use of themselves at the piano, so your students develop musical skills without undue effort. You’ll be equipped with the confidence and strategies to help your students prevent discomfort and experience ease at the piano, so they can play happily and healthily. Retreat at Piano Manor will leave you feeling inspired and connected, with newly formed friendships and fresh ideas for your teaching.

If you are interested in attending the retreat, read more here and then please be sure to join this special email list. Registration information will be sent out in upcoming weeks.

If you can’t attend the retreat this year, don’t worry: I’ll be sharing highlights in weeks ahead — of both the preparation process as well as the actual retreat activities. Watch my blog or instagram for updates!

Thanks for reading.