If you're looking for a simple way to add fun to your piano lessons, consider surprising your students with a story. It's a great way to engage kids and get a few giggles too!
Here are some of my favorites!
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
One day a bear cub finds a strange object in the forest. He bravely touches it and is suddenly startled by the odd sounds.
But.....he's also intrigued.
And so begins this wonderful story about a bear who discovers a piano and learns to master the instrument.
This book is about much more than the piano. It's a lovely story about friendship and is a must-have for your collection!
Mole Music by David McPhail
Mole lives a simple, quiet life until he hears someone playing a violin. From that moment on, Mole is never the same. He determines that he can learn to play music too!
Through daily patience and practice, he see success! Soon others are enchanted by his music in a way that Mole never realizes.
It's a great way to discuss the importance of practice and the impact that our music can have on others.
Never Play Music Right Next to the Zoo by John Lithgow
If you're looking for giggles from your piano students, this is the book for you!
It's a story is about a little boy who goes to a concert at the zoo. Before long, he falls asleep and dreams that the animals storm the stage - becoming the musicians! They end up playing all sorts of instruments in a concert for the humans.
It's a creative story and the illustrations are delightful! Just what you'd expect from John Lithgow! And of course this one is great too!
The Cardboard Piano by Lynne Ray Perkins
We've all had times when playing the piano made us feel.....different.
If you have students struggling with those feelings, grab this book and start talking about it!
This is a story about a girl named Debbie who takes piano lessons. She creates a cardboard piano for her friend, in the hope that her friend will love playing the piano too.
Unfortunately, things don't go the way Debbie planned and both girls learn a life lesson: just because you're friends with someone, doesn't mean you always have the same interests. And that's okay!
(This is a great book to get discussion going, but I recommend it for your older students, not preschool.)
Other posts you might enjoy....
What are YOUR favorite books? What would you add to my list?
As piano teachers, one of the best things about summer is that most of us have extra time on our hands. If you’re like most people, that means you're excited to tackle some big projects!
Do any of these sound familiar?
I'll be the first to admit that summer projects are great, but here’s the truth. Unless you tackle those projects right away, they'll likely hang over your head the entire summer and depress you.
Let's do something TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Instead of choosing something TO DO - I encourage you to take something OFF your list.
Here's the idea -
Let’s fast-forward to September. You’re about to launch into a new school year and you're hoping it's your best year ever.
What could you take OFF your schedule this summer that will make you happy in September? What can you let go of that will get you excited?
Here are some ideas:
1. Is there a family who always pays late? Is is time to let them go?
2. Maybe it’s a student who never practices and they need to move on.
3. Could you move 3 current students into a small group class? That would take OFF some teaching time, but you’d still be getting paid for those students. (Another idea: if you have any slots open for fall, start those new students in a group class instead of private lessons. You'll decrease your teaching hours AND increase your profit at the same time!)
4. Home - Is there a chore you could delegate?
5. Do you hate grocery shopping? Try the online shopping at Walmart. I have a friend who recently gave it a try and said it she'd definitely do it again on busy weeks!
6. What about cooking? Can you share the responsibility with your spouse? Even doing some basic freezer meals would take daily prep OFF your schedule on busy teaching days.
7. Maybe you have a monthly subscription to something that you never use. Cancel it or put it on hold. Come September, you'll be glad to have that extra money in your bank account!
My Personal Example
This is going to surprise a lot of you, but.......I’m taking preschoolers OFF my schedule!
Yes - Sara and I just created a fabulous webinar all about preschoolers, but it's not the right season for me to do this. At this point in my life, I simply prefer to add older students to my roster.
(And yes - I'm still teaching a lot of kindergarteners!)
It won't always be this way though. Fast-forward a couple years to when my son graduates from high school and it'll be the perfect time for me to add preschoolers back to my studio!
Make Smart Choices This Summer
Let me clarify - I’m not saying that you shouldn't tackle summer projects. We ALL have things that need to be done, but we need to use wisdom when planning the months ahead.
And truthfully, sometimes the smartest choice might be very simple: Take something OFF your list!
If you need help managing your time, this is how I learned to maximize my mornings!
If you're a piano teacher expecting to find teaching tips, this post might surprise you.
Yes, I LOVE sharing ideas for teaching piano! But truthfully, faith and family are also important to me, so sometimes I'll write about those topics too.
And truthfully, most of us work from home, so "business" and "life" sort of overlap, right? (If you're a "Piano Mom" like me, then I know you get it!)
Today I'm sharing some ideas to jazz up your quiet time. ("Jazz" used intentionally right there!) If you're anything like me, it's all too easy to get into a rut. Summer is the perfect time to try something new!
Here are 4 easy ways that you can change up your Bible study:
1. Entrusted: Beth Moore Online Bible Study
Entrusted is an online Bible Study sponsored by Lifeway Women and it's entirely FREE! Well...you will need to get the workbook which sells for 12.99, but the teaching videos are all included at no charge.
The 5-week study revolves around 2 Timothy and it kicks off June 15. You read more about it and register here.
Note: This might surprise some of you who are fans of Beth Moore, but I've never done one of her Bible studies. I've read her books and even attended one of her simulcasts, but I've never actually taken part in a Bible Study. Have you done one? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
2. Write the Word Journals
Lara Casey has created Write the Word Journals that might be perfect for your quiet time.
Each journal has scripture selections for you to write out, but there's room for so much more! You'll find space to write down your blessings, a prayer, or anything else that comes to mind.
There are 5 different journals to choose from and they are all lovely. This summer, I chose Cultivating Joy and I'm really enjoying it during my morning quiet time. (Learn how I established my early morning routine here.)
If you're looking to cultivate joy, faith, gratitude, hope, or renewal, then you'll love these books.
3. She Reads Truth - Romans
If you're interested in studying Romans, She Reads Truth is kicking off their summer study on June 5.
You can access the free reading plan and daily devotional here. Poke around on their website and you'll see that you can also access past reading plans.
They also have a great app that you should check out AND there's a He Reads Truth app (and website!) for the men in your life!
4. His Mercy is New Scripture Writing Plans
I discovered Candace Crabtree about a year ago when Sara Campbell and I interviewed her for Upbeat Piano Teachers. Little did I know then, that I'd become a HUGE fan of hers - and it goes WAY beyond piano!
Candace has a heart that shines for the Lord in all she does. Personally, I just love her Scripture Writing Plans. They'll get you in the Word and keep you on track!
Best of all? They're completely FREE! Just print the plan, grab a notebook and a pen!
Click here to find over a dozen writing plans!
Do you change up your summer Bible Study? I'd love to hear what works for you!
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
The Upbeat Book Club kicked off last summer and already over 600 piano teachers have jumped on board!
If you haven't joined our club, we'd LOVE to have you! It's fun and FREE! (If you're curious about our past selections, click here.)
Here's the Scoop!
What Do You Need to Do?
Registration is still open!
We have webinars about everything from growing your studio to using technology to teaching group lessons and summer camps!
Click here to learn more! (At checkout use LAST5 for $5 off ANY webinar. Registration ends May 10!)
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)
Hi there! I'm Tracy Selle. A Christian wife, mom, and author of 101 Piano Practice Tips. I'm also a piano teacher and founder of Upbeat Piano Teachers.