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!”

2016 Blogiversary Sale Starting Now

Guess what: next Sunday, February 28, 2016, is the 7-year blogiversary of the Color In My Piano blog. Wahoo! 😀

In celebration, I am running my annual 20% off sale on everything in my digital shop. The sale will run for a month, starting today, Monday, February 22 through Saturday, March 19, 2016. Please enter this promo code during checkout to receive the discount: 20OFF2016.

What will you find in my shop?

My favorite Ice Cream Interval Game


A variety of rhythm cards

Rhythm Cards, Levels 1-3

My composer lapbook PDF series, Great Composers & Their Music

Beethoven both

The Eras of Music History PDF kit…

Photo - collage

There are also a few camp curriculums (So, You Want To Be A Composer? and Music of the World), and more.

View the Shop here. Thanks for looking!


Sale Reminder

Just a quick reminder:

There are only THREE days left to shop during the February 20% sale, in celebration of the 5-year blogiversary of ColorInMyPiano.

In the shop, you will find PDF’s of Rhythm Cards, the Prompts for Composition e-Book, and the “Great Composers & Their Music” lapbooking curriculum — perfect for group classes or music camps.

You will need to enter the following code during check-out in order to receive the sale price.  This sale won’t be back until next year, so plan accordingly!  Copy the code below and then click here to visit the shop.


The code will expire on February 28, 2014.


Google+ Update

Have any of you been hanging out on Google+ (pronounced “Google plus”) much lately?  (If you aren’t familiar with what Google+ is, check out this post on social networking.)  Google+ hasn’t risen in popularity as quickly as I had hoped.  The features, layout, and user-friendliness of Google+ is so much better than Facebook (IMO).  And yet, everyone seems to still be hanging out on Facebook.

Fortunately, Google+ just announced this week that anyone can create a Google+ page for their business/organization.  Maybe this will help make Google+ a thriving place to be!  I’ve created a page for Color In My Piano which I’d love to have you all join (click here).  Wendy Stevens has also created a page for her ComposeCreate blog, which you can view by clicking here.  If you haven’t added me to your circles yet, I’d love to connect with you.  My profile page is here.

Google+ pages offer a variety of features, including “Hangouts” that allow individuals to group chat (like Skype).  Someday, I’d love to organize LIVE round-table discussions about various piano teaching topics!  Wouldn’t that be fun?!

So, head on over to Google+.  We need more action over there!

Resources, Technology

7 New and Not-So-New Blogs To Check Out

I’m always on the prowl for new piano teaching blogs to follow via my Google RSS Reader.  If you’ve started a blog or have discovered a gem of a blog lately, please let me know!  Here are a few I’ve stumbled upon recently:

  1. Discoveries Piano Studio blog by Sarah Lantz | a new blog that is a joy to read. Sarah has a wonderful writing style that is both easy and enjoyable to read. Continue reading “7 New and Not-So-New Blogs To Check Out”

Celebrating Two Years!

Today marks the two-year anniversary of Color In My Piano!  Thanks to you all for your support and for making this blog a place to share resources and ideas with each other.  What a wonderful online community we have!

Here’s a run-down of the history of the Color In My Piano blog:

The First Year:

  • It was on February 28, 2009 that I first conceived of this blog and wrote my first post: a welcome and brief statement of purpose.  I found my inspiration largely from Natalie Wickham’s Music Matters Blog and Susan Paradis’ Piano Teacher Resources.  My blog was initially a free wordpress blog, titled “Piano Teaching Blog” (or something similar).  At this point, I was running a successful piano studio of about 20 students out of my parent’s home, and finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in piano performance.
  • In May of 2009, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree.  Over the summer, my husband and I moved so we could attend graduate school the next year.  Unfortunately, this meant I had to “give away” all my piano students and find new ones.
  • 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 whole new look.
  • In August of 2010, I started my Master’s degree in Piano Pedagogy at Central Michigan University.
  • Color In My Piano continued to grow and change.  A new Printables page allowed for easier navigation through free resources, and new Facebook integration gave readers a new way to stay updated.
  • As of February 28, 2010 (the 1 year anniversary), Color In My Piano has had 18,371 visiters and has about 50 subscribers. The record number of page views in one day is 425 on February 11, 2010!

The Second Year:

  • I continued to work on my Master’s degree and teach between 5-10 students each week.  My GA (Graduate Assistant) responsibilities kept me busy teaching college level Class Piano courses to music majors and collaborating with other vocalists and instrumentalists.
  • Color In My Piano gained a Reading List page and a Highlights page, and begun asking monthly forum questions which quickly turned into weekly Forum Q&A’s. The screenshot at right shows what we look like today.
  • As of February 28, 2011 (the 2 year anniversary), Color In My Piano has had 169,274 visitors, 177 email subscribers, and 172 readers who “like” us on Facebook.  The record number of page views in one day is 1,192 on January 11, 2011!  THANK YOU!

In honor of this celebration, I’d like to open up the floor and allow you to ask me questions about myself.  What do you want to know about me?  Leave a comment or send me an email (admin[at]!  I’d love to share — if I get enough questions, I’ll answer them all in a post later this week.

Also – a brand new printable is also being posted today: Rhythm Values Posters.  Just because it’s our 2 year anniversary doesn’t mean you won’t get a new printable this week!  =)  The post describes a fun game you can play with your students using the new printable.

Can you believe it — two years already?!  All I can say is, once again, THANK YOU!  =D

Photo Credit: D Sharon Pruitt | CC 2.0


Tips For Making Your Blog Reader-Friendly [Part 2]

This post is a continuation of Part 1, available here.

DO offer a variety of subscription options and make it easy to follow your blog.

Sometimes new bloggers wonder why it takes so long to establish a following of readers.  I once read somewhere that it takes about a year before you will begin to recognize a committed following of readers start getting regular comments.  Don’t be discouraged – keep the posts coming!  Meanwhile, here are a few things you can do to help gain a following:  Continue reading “Tips For Making Your Blog Reader-Friendly [Part 2]”


Tips for Making Your Blog Reader-Friendly [Part 1]

With today’s advances of technology, there are many new blogs popping up about music, piano teaching, and everything else under the sun.  This is a wonderful thing!  It’s great when people can freely share their expertise, ideas, and resources with others via the web.

However, if you’d allow me, I’d like to offer some DO’s and DON’T’s about blogging.  New bloggers often make rookie mistakes, and I’d love to help you avoid them. Among these tips, you will find ways to make your blog more accessible and reader-friendly.

If you are just starting or thinking about starting your own blog, this post may be a better place to start.  Today’s post is more in depth for those who’ve already gotten their feet wet.

Without further ado, here goes…!
Continue reading “Tips for Making Your Blog Reader-Friendly [Part 1]”


Best of 2010 @

Here’s to looking backwards and looking forward!  Here are some highlights from 2010:

  1. 30 Theme Ideas for Music Studio Events | a list of theme ideas teachers can use for studio events or incentive programs.
  2. Practicing Efficiently | A discussion about how to make practice time more efficient.
  3. Free Board Game for Music Students |
  4. Early Childhood Music Online Resources | a compilation of resources online about early childhood music.
  5. Preparing for Student Recitals: Recording! | Discusses reasons for and ways to record your students as a teaching tool to prepare for upcoming performances.
  6. 12 Tips for Memorizing Music | some ideas for effective ways to memorize your music.
  7. So You Want to Start a Blog? | I share my experiences about blogging so far in this post.
  8. Dealing with Performance Anxiety | a list of ideas for ways to cope with performance anxiety.
  9. Teaching Music Theory: Our Responsibility | discusses why music theory is our responsibility as piano teachers and ways to incorporate theory into piano lessons.
  10. Tutorial: Using Audacity Software in the Piano Studio | tips for touching up your studio recordings using the free software Audacity.
  11. Dealing With Frustration | A discussion why mistakes are okay and about the importance of keeping lessons fun.
  12. Developing a Good Sense of Rhythm | A post about the components to developing a good sense of rhythm in students.
  13. 9 Ideas for Motivating Piano Students | a list of ideas for getting students excited about piano again!
  14. Introducing Students to New Pieces | some ideas for setting up the student for success when you introduce a new piece.
  15. Rallentando & Ritardando: What’s the Difference? | an attempt to make a distinction between two Italian terms for “slowing down.”
  16. Go For the Sound | With music, listening is crucial!
  17. Teaching Phrase: Pretend It’s Easy | Sometimes, the brain or the fingers get in the way.
  18. Teaching Tip: Engaging the Emotions | a discussion about how engaging the emotions can enhance your teaching.
  19. Musical Spins on Favorite Games | a list of links to other blogs where you can find musical versions of favorite board/card games.
  20. Best of 2009 @ | check out some posts back from 2009.

End-Of-The-Year Update

Hello Readers,

I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying this blessed season with your family and friends.  I’ve been enjoying some time off from both school and blogging in order to visit and spend time with my family.  I hope you’ve missed me while I was away.  =)  Although the blogger inside me has been taking a break, I can assure you that the piano teacher inside me has not taken a break!  I have several projects underway that I can’t wait to share in the coming weeks/months.

Next month brings the beginning of my final semester of my master’s degree, which is certainly bittersweet for me.  My husband and I do not yet know what the post-graduation months will bring, but I’m sure posts about our adventures will be forthcoming eventually.

Next month also brings my master’s solo piano recital, which will likely occupy much of my time and attention.  My postings might again become sparse for a few weeks during January, so I hope you’ll forgive me!

As I contemplate the last year and look forward to the next, I can’t help but think of all of you, readers and supporters of Color In My Piano.  The past year has seen a huge increase of visiters, followers, and commenters.  This month even brought a few generous donations via paypal.  Your support keeps me inspired and motivated to continue creating and posting!  So thank you!  I truly believe that through collaborations such as this, we not only help and encourage one another as piano teachers, but we also help bring integrity to our profession and calling.

I look forward to another wonderful year with all my internet friends.

Happy New Year!

– Joy

Photo Credit: BigKidsLoveToys | CC 2.0


New: subscribe for daily OR weekly email updates!

New!  You now have the option to subscribe to either daily OR weekly Color In My Piano updates via email.  Weekly updates might be just the thing for you if you want to stay updated with what’s new at Color In My Piano, but do not want your inbox cluttered with emails from each day.

Of course, for those of you who love the daily updates, thanks and please continue loving them!  =)

To subscribe to either the daily or weekly email updates, look for the subscribe buttons located on the left-hand sidebar of the Color In My Piano homepage.  If you are currently subscribed for daily updates and would like to switch to weekly updates, please unsubscribe to the daily updates via the link on the bottom of one of the daily email updates and then subscribe to the weekly updates via the form on the homepage.

You can also be a facebook fan of Color In My Piano by clicking here.

Thanks for being a follower of Color In My Piano!

Resources, Studio Business, Technology

Free Studio Website Builder:

Have you thought about starting a website for your studio, but felt that you didn’t have the resources or expertise to build one?  Check out — an attractive and easy-to-use online resource where you can create a website for free.

Personally, I currently use iWeb software (comes free on all Mac computers) to create and maintain my studio site.  However, Weebly sites are so attractive, I might make the switch someday!  I switched, and now I use Weebly for my studio website!

Some great features:

  • Extremely user-friendly. The drag-and-drop site builder is extremely easy to use, even for those who might not consider themselves to be very technologically savvy.
  • No software is needed. That means, no buying or installing software onto your computer.  Creating and maintaining your website is done completely online.
  • You can use a free domain name, or use your own domain name. Weebly is one of the few free website building sites that allow you use your own url (e.g., if you desire.  Just purchase one from a site such as (a year usually costs around $10).  If you don’t want to use your own domain name, for free you can just use
  • Attractive themes. Of all the free website building sites I’ve seen, Weebly by far creates the most attractive-looking sites.  They have tons of great customizable themes to choose from.

Here are some links to some studio websites that were created using Weebly, to get you inspired:

Good luck!  If you are successful in creating your own studio site using Weebly, be sure to share the link with us in the comments!