Friday, August 26, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - August 26

Here's this week's roundup.  Have fun!

Building a Business Plan - Part 1 | Studio Helper Blog
If you run your own studio, you run your own business.  In this post, Suzanne outlines why you should write a business plan and what goes into a business plan.

Tips for a Successful First Studio Recital | Color in My Piano
With fall around the corner, chances are you are thinking about your fall or winter recital.  Joy gives some great advice on how to run your recital - whether it's your first one or not.

Carols for Choirs by David Willcocks and John Rutter
Here's a "must have" for your choir for this Christmas season.

Here's a question for you: What features do you like or look for in an email newsletter?

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Chords for C Major through A Major

Here's the I, IV, and V7 chords for the keys of C major, G major, D major, and A major.  This sheet is designed as a reference and practice sheet for your students as they learn the main major chords.  Click here to view the music.

If you'd like to order your own copy, please click here and fill out the form.  You will receive the sheet as a pdf file.

Friday, August 19, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - August 19

Finding A Piano For Any Budget | The Taylor Studio
If you are thinking about having your children start piano lessons, you might be worried about the expense of the actual instrument. Kristen gives some great insight in this post about how to find a piano that matches your budget.

Gearing up for Fall | Studio Helper Blog
It's time for a new school year to start. Kim outlines her plans for this August. What's your plan to get ready for the new school year?

One Secret To Increasing Engagement On Twitter: Mix Up Your Tweets | All Twitter
If you're on twitter, you probably find yourself wondering what to tweet next. Lauren gives some great ideas in this post. Time to spice up your twitter stream.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Promoting your Studio with Google Places

Recently I had a friend ask me about what I have done to promote my studio.  One of the things I have done is set up a listing with Google Places for my studio.  It's easy and it's free.  And, I have found that it provides quite a few leads for me.

Here's how to set up your studio information on Google Places.
- Go to
- Under the "Get your business found on Google" click on the "Get started" button.
- When you set up your listing you can give viewers information about how to contact you, what services you provide, and what type of payment you accept.
- Google will then want to verify that your listing is accurate which can be done over the phone or by mail.

Keep in mind that this will most likely be the first contact potential students and their parents will have with your studio.  Therefore, make sure that what you provide in your listing reflects your studio.

A cool feature that Google Places offers is the ability to post coupons that will show up with your listing on Google Maps.  You can set a brief description of your offer, an expiration date, and the parameters of your offer.  One idea might be to offer a free first lesson.

Another nice feature about using Google Places is that it gives you diagnostic tools to see how many times your listing has been seen and how many times searchers have acted upon seeing your listing.

Question for you: How do you promote your studio?  What have you found effective?

Friday, August 12, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - August 12

Musical Word Search |
Spice up your music lessons with this fun word search.  Or, have your students work on it while they wait for their lesson.

How Ready are You for Your Child's Piano Lessons? | The Taylor Studio
You may not realize this, but parents have a vital role to play in helping their children with their music lessons.  Want to know more?  Check out this article from The Taylor Studio.

Record Bookends | Retrograndma (Etsy Shop)
These bookends would make a great addition to any studio or office.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Sheet Music Available - Secondo to Ice Cream

Here's an easy secondo part to Ice Cream and More Ice Cream found in the Piano Adventures 2A lesson book. This secondo part is geared towards a student that is in the Level 2 books.   Click here to view the music.

If you'd like to order your own copy, please click here and fill out the form.  You will receive the sheet as a pdf file.

Friday, August 5, 2011

What I'm Reading This Week - August 5

Since this marks the end of the first week of August, and since many of us teachers are in "planning for the new school year" mode, I thought I'd share some of my favorite online resources today.

Making Music Fun
This website has easy arrangements of classical pieces and folk songs as well as other music teaching resources.

Are you planning to work more on music theory with your students this year?  This website has some great resources relating to theory.

Piano Squall
Are your piano students into video games?  How about having them learn some of the music to their favorite games.  This website features arrangements that will probably work best for an intermediate student.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How to Incorporate Drills

Here's a list of ways to include drills as a part of your regular teaching repertoire.

1.  Use drills as warm-ups.  
We know it's good to stretch out before excercising.  The same applies to playing an instrument.  There are a lot of muscles involved, so warming up is a great way to get ready to play.

2.  Challenge.
Everyone loves a challenge.  Try to see how many times your student can complete the drill perfectly in a set amount of time (for example: in one minute).

3.  Moving up.  
Use an object (my preference is to use my Lego minifigs) that moves up the piano for each time the drill is completed.  This is a great way to make the repetition not so mundane.

4.  Assign drills as part of normal practice.  
Assign one drill each week as a part of the practicing assignment you give your students.  Let your students choose one of the methods listed above to use at home during their practice time.

Do you use drills as a part of your approach to teaching?  Why or why not?  Join the conversation in the comments below.  

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