Forum Q&A's

Introduction of a New Series: The Monthly Forum!

At the expense of sounding like an old record, I’d like to express once more (last time, I promise!) how much I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments lately, especially the shared stories on the giveaway post from a couple weeks ago.  It’s comments such as those that make Color In My Piano a success and a worthwhile resource for everyone including myself!   We have so much we can learn from each other.

For this reason, I’d like to introduce a new series that is coming to Color In My Piano designed to inspire and facilitate worthwhile discussions on various topics.  It’s essentially a place to “throw our heads together” and share our expertise and experiences so that we can grow and learn from each other.  Each month, a topic will be introduced in a post titled “The [current month] Forum: [topic].”  The success of this new series lies in your hands…so please, be ready to type away!   Think of it like a potluck: we each bring a dish to pass so that we can share a fabulous meal with each other.  =)

At the end of the month, I will post another post summarizing the various points of discussion brought up and perhaps adding more of my own thoughts, effectively bringing that month’s forum to a close.  (Although you may certainly feel free to continue commenting about the subject if desired.)  At the beginning of the next month, a new topic is then introduced.

Stay tuned for the introduction of the topic for the first-ever monthly forum — to take place tomorrow!

Photo credit: incase. | CC 2.0

Announcements

Just checking in….

Hello all,

Just a brief update for today, as my husband and I are in the middle of moving to a new apartment!  This week’s posts will be not as intensive as usual.  Hopefully, we will be more settled by this weekend, and next week’s posts will return to normal.

Meanwhile:

  1. If you haven’t already, check out the Discussions page of the Color In My Piano blog facebook page.  A few of you have introduced yourselves there, and I can’t tell you how exciting it is for me to get to learn a little bit about my readers!  Thank you to those who’ve taken the time to post.
  2. Also, if you haven’t already, enter yourself in the free giveaway that ends Thursday, May 27 at midnight!  And feel free to spread the news!  If you’ve entered already, however, you should still take a moment to visit this post to read the great things others have shared in the comments.  Thanks for sharing your memories, tips, and quotes – they are so fun to read. =)
improving as a teacher, Resources, Technology

Readers, Introduce Yourself! …on the Color In My Piano facebook page

Get to know the other readers on this blog – please take a moment to introduce yourself on the discussion page of the Color In My Piano facebook page!  There are a few introductions there now, and I’d love to get to know more of you.

To receive blog updates right in your facebook newsfeed, click the “like” button on the facebook page.  It’s a very easy and convenient way to stay updated.  Please give it a try!

improving as a teacher, Technology

So you want to start a blog?

Today, I thought I’d share a little bit about my experiences as a blogger.  I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I would like to share what I have learned over the past year!

Considerations before starting your own blog:

  • Determine your audience. Who are you writing for — your students?  fellow piano teachers?  Music teachers in general?  Stay focused on one target audience, rather than trying to combine. Find your niche and start generating ideas for what to blog about.
  • Choose a focus/goal. What kind of topics would you like to cover?  What do you hope your readers will gain from your blog? Brainstorm ideas for blogging for the long term.
  • Think long-term. What are your goals in having a blog?  How long do you see yourself blogging?

Tips for successful blogging:

  • Post original content. While it’s great  to share links to great sites and blogs where you’ve found great resources, you don’t want to be constantly directing your readers away from your site.  Posting original content is what will keep them coming back!
  • Keep yourself on a schedule. How often do you plan to post on your blog?  Every day?  Once a week?  Think realistically, make a plan, and stick to it.
  • Keep an “ideas” notebook. Are you bursting with ideas for blog posts?  Capture all your ideas on paper, before you forget them!  Later on, you can return to this list and continue blogging even when inspiration is low. Continue reading “So you want to start a blog?”
Announcements, improving as a teacher, Printables, Teaching Piano, Technology

Celebrating One Year!

After browsing through the colorinmypiano.com archives and — alas! — it seems that we’ve missed our own anniversary!

Here’s a rundown of the history of the colorinmypiano.com blog:

  • 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. Continue reading “Celebrating One Year!”
Announcements, Technology

New Facebook integration

Exciting news: you can now follow the Color In My Piano blog via Facebook!  Click the new button on the left, Find Us On Facebook, to view our page on Facebook.  Become a fan and receive blog updates right in your Facebook news feed!

In addition, now when you leave comments on posts at colorinmypiano.com, you can leave them using your facebook account.  Colorinmypiano.com will even display your current facebook avatar (photo) beside your comment.  What fun!

Announcements

Best of 2009 @ colorinmypiano.com

The new year is here!  Here’s some highlights from 2009:

improving as a teacher, Resources

6 Ways for Teachers to Stay Current

Although many of us teachers are no longer in college, I think it’s safe to say that we all want to stay connected with other teachers/musicians and continue to improve and grow both as teachers and musicians.  Here are six ways to do just that:

  1. Stay in touch with any previous teachers or professors you may have had in the past.  Email is a great means to do so, as well as Facebook (it’s not just for the young folks anymore!).  Ask questions or ask for suggestions, and exchange teaching ideas.  You can never have too many resources.  It’s important to keep past contacts fresh.
  2. Join a formal organization such as MTNA or Piano Guild.  By attending meetings and entering students in their events, you will invariably meet new fellow teachers and make new friends.  In addition, by attending lectures, you will be furthering your education as a teacher/musician.
  3. Join forces with fellow piano teachers in your area and hold a summer piano camp or a Christmas Party/Recital together.  Be sure to keep it fun and non-competitive, and never try to “steal” students from another teacher.
  4. Subscribe to blogs of other piano teachers.  There are thousands of other teachers out there just like you, with ideas and resources to share with you.  The internet holds a wealth of information just waiting to be found.  Once you find a few sites you’d like to regularly follow, subscribe to their sites via email (you’ll receive an email each day that they post new content) or via a feed reader.  A feed reader is a free service that allows you to read the latest content of all your favorite blogs all in one place.
  5. Start your own blog (separate from your studio website).  Share your ideas and expertise with other teachers by posting articles about various topics and putting up any worksheets or other materials you have made in the past. Both Blogger.com and WordPress.com allow you to make and maintain a blog for free.  (If you want your own domain name, you will have to buy one, however.)
  6. Participate in online forums. There are a number of sites that have forums, such as the Piano Club Forum on the Fabers’ pianoteaching.com website.  In addition, you can join a Yahoo group such as piano_teacher_support and talk with other piano teachers about any topic under the sun.

Do you have other ways you stay connected?  Let us know by sharing below!