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.
Warning: If you're looking for a fancy recipe - this is NOT the post for you!
On the other hand, if you want something that's SUPER quick and tasty - you'll absolutely love the recipe! My boys are CRAZY about these meatballs!
There are only 3 ingredients:
Just toss it all in a crockpot. Seriously - that's it!
I set my crockpot on high for 2 hours and then switch to low for about an hour. Before I switch to low, I'll stir the meatballs to make sure each one is coated with sauce.
(I recently replaced my 20-year-old crockpot with this one. No, it's not one of the fancy programmable ones, but it does everything I need and I love it!)
Sometimes we'll pair these with a salad or noodles. My boys love them best when I serve them on sub rolls.
Regardless of how you serve them, they're super tasty and quick. Perfect for piano teachers!
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)
A wonderful friend made this soup for me when I was recovering from surgery a couple years ago. It's SO yummy that I had to get the recipe!
Best of all? There's a quick version that you can make when you're short on time. Which is pretty much all the time for piano teachers!
The Original Recipe
Sometimes I'll make this on a weekend when I have more time, then we can enjoy the leftovers during the week.
5 cups water
Handful of baby carrots
3-4 celery stalks
Tablespoon of Salt
2 Bay leaves
Boil the above, the simmer for 1 hour with lid left on.
Smash carrots with a fork
Add 1 box of chicken stock
Add 1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 - 1/2 cup half and half (you can omit this)
Sprinkle top with Pepper
1 Tablespoon Parsley
Thicken with Cornstarch (start with 1-2 tablespoons mixed with water)
1 bag (12 oz total) of Reames Noodles. (Pictured below.) These are THE best and you'll find them in the frozen Asian section. If you can’t find them, just get any egg noodle in the regular pasta section.
Cook for about 20 minutes
The Quick Version!
This whips up quickly if you use a rotisserie chicken. Sometimes I'll get a couple, debone them and put the meat in the freezer. Then it's quick to pull out when I need it.
Here's what you do:
This soup tastes even better the second day! Pair it with a quick salad and biscuits and you've got a yummy meal in no time!
(Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.)
I love being a mom and a piano teacher, but finding time for professional growth can be a challenge.
A challenge - yes, but not impossible!
Here are some quick ideas to help you find time to GROW! What would you add to the list?
1. Turn ordinary chores into conference time
Every week we're doing the laundry, right? Why not turn "laundry time" into your own personal conference? Folding the laundry and ironing (yes - I still iron!) will be a lot more fun if you're watching a webinar or listening to a podcast.
The same goes for cooking dinner. It's the perfect time to serve your family and get some great teaching tips while you're at it!
Another idea? Pop in some earbuds and listen while you're running around cleaning bathrooms. I do this all the time!
2. Exercise your body and mind at the same time
Several teachers have told me that they do this. One Upbeat Piano Teacher, Amy Thompson, even sent me a picture of her on her exercise bike. This made my day!
You can do this too! Whether inside or outside, we can all turn exercise time into our own personal conference.
3. Read 10 minutes every day
Reading is such a practical way to grow and the best part is that you can do it anywhere. Maybe it's while you're relaxing with a cup of tea between lessons or while you're waiting to pick up your daughter from dance class.
Consider this - By the end of the month, 10 minutes of daily reading adds up to over 5 hours of reading. That's HUGE!
Everyone can find 10 minutes! It's a matter of priorities! Join our free Upbeat Piano Teachers Book Club on Facebook for extra encouragement! (Right now we're reading The Savvy Music Teacher by David Cutler. I've learned SO much!)
4. Watch a webinar or podcast while getting ready for your day
This is a favorite of mine! I love listening to a podcast in the morning hours. It's a great way to get motivated and energized for all my students.
If you enjoy audio books - it's also a great way to sneak in some extra reading!
How do you make time to grow? I'd love to hear!
Did you see all of the Upbeat Piano Teachers webinars are open for registration!
You'll get help with -
Make sure you register soon. The code WELCOME10 will get you $10 off but it expires November 9th!
Recently, a couple piano teachers have asked for advice about handling dinner time.
I need to teach through the dinner hour and my family is upset. They just aren't supportive of me right now. What do I do?
If you're in this situation, know that you're not alone! It's a struggle for EVERY family, but yes - probably more so for us piano teachers. After all, dinner time is an ideal teaching hour since most of our students aren't available until later in the day.
But good news! You CAN make family dinners a reality in your house. I'm not saying it'll be easy, but it can be done and you won't regret it.
My Personal Story
My husband works odd hours and yet I make dinner time a priority for our family. Looking back, I can honestly say that I've always put our family before piano. I've taught before dinner and after dinner, but not during dinner.
Did I always cook fancy meals? Absolutely not. Many nights I served sandwiches, but we enjoyed those sandwiches TOGETHER and that's what matters. You can do it too!
Here are my 4 tips to having dinner with your family:
1. Use strategic timing
Even the busiest teacher can schedule a 30 minute break. Making this a priority will mean the world to your family!
Perhaps you can schedule a late dinner? Or maybe it needs to be early. You might find that you need to have dinner at a different time each night of the week - that's ok
2. don't think all or nothing.
Your family probably has various activities at night. If that's the case, start small. Set aside just 2 or 3 weeknights for meals together.
If you're not having ANY meals together right now, even adding just 1 meal is a step in the right direction. That's enough to show your family that they are your priority.
Plan something and then work the plan.
4. build a routine.
Let's say you decide to have family meals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Keep those meals the same every week. Think "Taco Tuesday" and "Thursday Casserole."
Or maybe you come up with a couple of easy meals that you alternate from week to week.
3. create simple meals.
Don't feel pressure to cook a full meal. The point is not the food, but the time together.
Here are some quick and easy ideas:
Whatever you decide - DECIDE SOMETHING!
If you ignore family meals, that right there is a decision. Be intentional with your family life and make that a priority.
You'll never regret it.
Tell me how dinners work in YOUR family. I'd love to hear!
Do you need practical help setting up your day?
Just a couple summers ago, I was struggling to keep my head above water. We had just moved to a new city and it was all kind of overwhelming.
But I decided to do something about it by being more intentional with my mornings.
The Make Over Your Morning Course made a huge difference in my life. Shortly after I finished that course, I was so motivated and encouraged that I created Upbeat Piano Teachers. It completely changed the direction of my life!
What is Make Over Your Mornings? It’s a 14-day online course that includes videos, a workbook, and step-by-step projects designed to help you maximize your mornings. You’ll experience more success in your business, more order in your home, and more joy in your life.
If you’re ready to put some excitement and fulfillment back into your life, check out Make Over Your Mornings. (You can try the first day for free!)
Find out more about it here.
Note: Some of links in this post are affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
You know those books that stay with you long after you finish the last page?
That's how I feel about The Dynamic Studio by Philip Johnston.
I chose this as the launch book for the book club because it's one I read years ago and absolutely loved. I knew it'd be the perfect selection to get everyone excited about fall lessons.
From the very first page, Philip challenged me, excited me, and helped me see all the possibilities that exist with my studio.
My Teaching Rut
When I first read this book, I was exhausted and truthfully, a little depressed. My son had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. It was a rough time for our family - emotionally and financially. Of course, learning to care for Matthew became the top priority and teaching got pushed to the back-burner.
Before I knew it, I was in a massive teaching rut and I'm sure my students noticed. Oh sure - I tried to appear upbeat and excited, but in hindsight, my lessons were boring. I was simply going through the motions and putting very little effort into lessons.
As much as I hate to admit it, I'm sure my students suffered from my lack of enthusiasm.
Shortly after Matthew's diagnosis, I discovered The Dynamic Studio. The description pulled me in immediately. How to keep students? Dazzle parents? It sounded like fun and oh how I needed some fun.
This Book Has Changed Me
With every page that I read, I found this weight being lifted from my shoulders. Philip gave me hope. I realized that adding a few minor tweaks to my studio could have a tremendous impact on my students. I could bring back the fun for all of us.
Not only did my enthusiasm return, my studio doubled in size. I even wrote a book - 101 Piano Practice Tips. It was wonderful to feel like my "old self" and enjoy piano lessons again.
Some of My Favorite Quotes
"We cannot continue to teach the same way we were taught, because the students we're working with are not simply more contemporary versions of what we once were. They're just not."
"It's about switching the focus from curriculum and methods to being able to engage today's students compellingly enough to keep them."
"Establish a Theory And Pizza evening. Which of your students might be laughing for the first time in a theory lesson, instead of looking at their watch?"
"You have to actively create reasons to stay. The key is to make sure the reasons to stay is long, and regularly being added to."
What are those reasons? In The Dynamic Studio, Philip shares his ideas with you and helps you think outside the box so that you come up with your own reasons.
Such good stuff.
What's Your Story?
Faith is a big part of my life and by the grace of God, I got through those tough years. Our family adjusted to our "new normal" and my teaching life is back on track.
I say all this to encourage you. Life is tough and things don't always go the way we want, but you do have choices.
And it decides with hope. Sometimes you just need someone to remind you that there are other alternatives. You really can do something different.
As Philip would say, ""Make a decision as CEO of your teaching studio - which is exactly what your are - and create change."
You can do it!
(Note: The 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.