Do you listen to podcasts? I enjoy listening to podcasts as well as audiobooks while driving, exercising, getting ready in the morning, or getting things done around the house. It’s like listening to the radio, except you have more control over exactly what you’re listening to!
There’s been a number of new podcasts for piano teachers popping up recently, which is exciting to see. In this blog post, I’ll share a list of some of the best podcasts, both new and not, for piano teachers.
As promised, here is a video tutorial about how I edited my students’ videos for our most recent virtual recital project, Countdown to the New Year. In particular, this video tutorial focuses on how to use Canva.com to design animated opening/ending screens and then how to use Adobe Premiere Rush to complete the video editing. I hope you’ll pick up some useful tips, no matter what video editing software you prefer!
This tutorial video ended up being 35 minutes long — much longer than I expected. But I hope you’ll find the tutorial thorough and complete, and the pacing of the video to feel just right.
0:30 An example of an edited student video with an animated and ending screen.
1:08 Browsing the templates at Canva.com and saving them to your “Likes” folder.
3:20 Selecting a template and using it as a starting point.
4:22 Getting the right dimensions for your video project (e.g., 1920×1080, 1080×1920 or 1080×1350). This step is the magic that allows you to use ANY template you find in Canva as a starting point for your project!
7:10 Opening a new custom project in Canva using your project’s dimensions.
8:30 Copying the template’s elements into your project.
12:45 Resizing, recoloring, rotating, centering, adding text, etc.
17:00 Adding animation.
19:00 Downloading from Canva.
20:15 Keeping your files organized for your project.
22:30 Starting a new project in Adobe Premiere Rush.
23:50 Editing your video: moving things around on the timeline, trimming, layering the opening/ending screens, adding transitions, timing the applause track (I got mine from FreeSoundEffects.com), etc.
30:40 Downloading your finished video.
32:05 A peek at some of the different opening screens I designed for my student videos.
Questions? Any steps I should clarify? Or do you have additional tips to share? Leave a comment and let me know!
Thanks for watching, and I hope this helps with your future virtual recitals or other video projects!
Hello, friends! I’m excited to share with you today about a recent project that has just reached completion.
If you’re like me, you probably find yourself creating various digital/print projects such as flyers, worksheets, recital programs, and social media graphics throughout the year for your music studio. Perhaps you, like me, enjoy using music notes or symbols to spice up your projects visually.
But if you’ve ever done an internet search for “music note clipart” or “music symbol graphics”, you may have noticed there isn’t such a good selection of options available. This is especially true if you, like me, care about the music symbols being correct (e.g., no backwards treble clefs or eighth notes!). The choices become even slimmer if you are careful to observe copyright terms (as we all should!) and use only images that explicitly allow for what’s known as “commercial use”.
This is an issue I’ve run into more times than I can count, but I only recently decided to do something about it. So, I got out my iPad and Apple Pencil, and started drawing my own set of music notes and symbols. Here is the result:
The project was so much fun that one set soon turned into four. The “regular” handdrawn set was followed by sets of curly notes, hearted notes, and smiley notes. 🙂
Thanks to my Adobe Illustrator skills, I was able work some magic and transform my handdrawn designs into a folder of high quality images that can be used in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, Apple Pages, Google Docs, Canva.com, or whatever program I might choose to use for my projects.
I had such a blast creating these, and I’m proud to offer them to you as well. The four sets have just been added to my shop so you can purchase them yourself and start using them in your projects!
Let me tell you more about what makes my clipart sets unique. What’s cool is that when you purchase a set, you’ll receive TWO versions of each design: PNG files and SVG files. If you aren’t familiar with these two file types, let me explain. PNG is a file format that supports having a transparent background — which means you won’t see an ugly white square surrounding the music symbol should you place it over a colored background.
Are you on Instagram? Although I’ve had an Instagram account for a long time, I have been surprised to realize that the enjoyment I get from Instagram has been increasing the more/longer I use it. Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, I like Instagram better than Facebook.
In this blog post, I’d like to share a little about how Instagram works, how I use it, and why you might enjoy being on Instagram, too.
[If you enjoy the content here on my blog, you’ll probably enjoy the content from my Instagram channel, too. I invite you to follow me there!]
Instagram is available as a free smartphone app (iOS | Android). It is also free to create an account.
Instagram is a visual-based platform. It differs from Facebook in that all posts must contain a photo or a video — you cannot post text alone. This puts the visual element front and center. For that reason, there is generally less negativity (and less political talk) on Instagram than on Facebook. I enjoy scrolling through my Instagram feed!
[Here’s an example Instagram post from earlier this year. You can find the mentioned BINGO sheet here.]
Instagram is a fun way to connect with friends and contacts. You can use Instagram for sharing anything you’d like, whether personal or professional. You can also opt to create multiple accounts — one for your personal life and one for your piano studio, for example. Personally, I prefer using only one account and using it to share a combination of things from my family life and professional activities.
In short, I use Instagram as a “microblog.” As the name implies, microblogging is like blogging except the posts are generally shorter and quicker to read. I see my blog here at ColorInMyPiano.com as a platform for sharing lengthier articles, while Instagram can be a platform for sharing smaller, everyday things. When I have something fun to share that doesn’t warrant an entire blog post here at ColorInMyPiano.com, I can post it on Instagram!
Back in May, I shared about how I organized a virtual recital for my students. In that post, I briefly mentioned how I combined two videos to create “duet” videos for a couple of my students. Today, I’d like to share how I accomplished this “duet” video magic, so you can try it for yourself if you’d like!
First of all, here’s an example of what I’m talking about. In this video, you’ll see a beginner student playing the rote piece “I Love Coffee” (from the Shaaks and of Piano Safari method fame), accompanied by me playing the teacher duet.
Below, I will share the steps for how to create and combine a student video and a teacher video to create a “piano duet” video. This technique is similar to that used by many YouTube musicians — you’ve probably seen the type. Even if you already know how to do this, I hope perhaps you’ll gain at least a helpful tip or two from this post!
Step 1: Acquire Student Video
The basic process is that one person records their video first, so that the other person can use it as a guide (using earbuds) while recording the second video. The first person’s video determines the tempo throughout the piece, which the second person must follow and match.
Fast forward to the present, and guess what: I’m still a GoodNotes fan. I have it loaded on my iPhone, iPad, AND my MacBook. It works with my Apple Pencil, and I use it for all sorts of purposes: taking notes during conferences, hashing out or capturing ideas, composing, as well as storing teaching resources.
Do you use Gmail for email? Today, I’m sharing a few tips that might prove useful for your studio emails. We’ll talk about how to maintain email lists, use BCC, add an email signature (or two!), and create a simple-but-awesome template for your studio emails. Let’s streamline our emails and make our studio communication look great!
Some of these tips might still apply even if you don’t use Gmail, but you’ll have to search out the how-to instructions yourself. A quick Google search will hopefully help you out.
Without further ado…here’s my four tips for using Gmail for your studio emails!
1. Maintain a Student Email List in Google Contacts
In your Google Contacts, you can maintain a email list for your current students, which makes it easy to quickly send out announcements or reminders.
How to set this up? Visit contacts.google.com and click on “Create label.” Call it “Piano Students – Active” and then, if you like, make another for “Piano Students – Inactive.” Then, start adding your students’ email addresses to the list.
When students begin or stop lessons, be sure to return to contacts.google.com to update your lists to keep things current.
Ever since downloading Note Rush for iPhone/iPad (read my review here), my students and I have been having a blast using the app to improve fluency in corresponding pitches notated on the staff to the keyboard.
Just for fun, I started keeping track of each student’s best time for each Note Rush level using a clipboard and a blank sheet of paper. Pretty soon, I realized I needed a better chart. So, I decided to contact the developer to ask if I could create one that visually matches the user interface of the app. He agreed, and happily sent me the graphics and information I needed. (Thanks, Thomas!) Here is the result:
Today, I am so excited to introduce to you a brand new app for music teachers called Note Rush. As I have been experimenting with this app during beta testing, I soon discovered just what a useful tool this app is for my students. Note Rush has become my favorite app for piano teaching.
Note Rush is a note reading app that is simple, intuitive, and fun. Unlike other note identification apps that present a note and require the user to name the note by letter name, Note Rush “listens” using the iPad’s microphone to identify whether the user is playing the correct piano key. It’s so important for students to learn to associate staff positions with the corresponding piano key in the correct octave, and Note Rush encourages this!
The app automatically calibrates to the piano, allowing the app to be useable even if the piano may be slightly out-of-tune.
Allowing you to choose from a variety of levels — covering various ranges of notes in treble clef, bass clef, or the entire grand staff — the app is customizable to the user’s ability.
Because the rounds are timed, students are invited to repeat the rounds to try to improve their times.
The three themes appeal to a wide range of students while not creating a distraction through too many options.
Note: I bought this app. As always, my reviews contain my honest opinion.
The Note Rush developer has kindly offered two promo codes for a giveaway! For a chance to win a free download of Note Rush, leave a comment below before Tuesday, June 28 at midnight (Eastern time) sharing your favorite aspect of Note Rush. Two winners will be randomly chosen and contacted the following day.
I’m excited to announce today a brand new experiment — read on.
Periscope is a platform (for iOS or Android) that allows users to broadcast a live video feed. Many bloggers and personalities are taking advantage of this relatively new platform to reach out and interact with their followers in a unique way.
Blogger and piano teacher Jennifer Foxx has already used Periscope a couple of times to talk about new products and giveaways.
Elizabeth Gutierrez is using Periscope for her Piano Play-Along series on her blog, PianoTeacherCamp.com. In her Piano Play-Alongs, teachers can learn and study repertoire together and talk about how to teach it.
So, I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and try out Periscope as a way to create short, interactive talks about piano pedagogy. If it works out, I would love for this to become a weekly thing. If you have questions or ideas for what we could address in Periscope discussions, please submit those ideas here!
Interested? Here’s how to participate:
First, download the Periscope app (for iOS or Android). You can either login using an existing Twitter account, or create a brand new login.
Search for Joy Morin and click “follow.”
You will receive a notification when I start a broadcast (I’m planning on Monday at noon Eastern time). During the broadcast, you can type to post comments or questions.
If you aren’t available Monday at noon, the broadcast will be available for replay within Periscope for 24 hours. After that time, I’ll have the video available via YouTube here on the blog.