Resolutions for the Piano Studio

by | Jan 3, 2017 | Professional Development, Studio Ideas, The Business Side | 6 comments

Hi there! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Hello 2017! I hope your year is off to a great start. I am excited for all the new year will bring and I have some goals I’m setting for myself personally and in the piano studio. Today I’m sharing what’s on my list and I’m interested to hear what’s on yours as well!



1. Utilize studio licensed music to its full potential.

The value of studio-licensed music can’t be beat.  I want to make sure that I’m getting the most of my purchases and subscriptions then get this music into the hands of any student that could benefit from it.

If a piece is too easy for a student to be considered a performance piece, maybe I could use it as a sight reading challenge, a piece for analyzing form or chords, or give out as a YOYO (You’re-On-Your-Own) piece, or even start using actual pieces for theory study.

I am also going to focus on using this music especially in January and February as there is more potential for snow days–meaning more Skype and video lessons will be taking place. Working on studio licensed music will mean I have an easily accessible copy to refer to when I am not in the same physical space as my students.

Some licensed music I’ve purchased that I am super excited to hand out is Chrissy Ricker’s songbook “Rock On!” I know my students are going to be excited about these songs.  She’s got another book coming out soon that I can’t wait to hear…I think my boys will go crazy for it–a video game themed book titled “Let’s Quest”!




Another resource for studio-licensed music is Supersonics by Daniel McFarlane. I was hesitant to take the plunge into the Supersonics Plus membership, but when it went on sale for Black Friday, I couldn’t resist. I’m looking forward to exploring more of the music in my subscription, and getting it out to my students.  With the focus on Christmas music for the past month, I haven’t made time to explore all that comes with a part of this membership.




2. More rote teaching and ear training and chords.

I want to make an effort for students to be able to step away from the page and not rely on the written music.  This is something that I didn’t develop until after high school and I want to make sure my students have these skills and are developing them early in their studies.


3. Get rid of as much paper as possible.

I admittedly struggle with organization and paperwork is probably my biggest downfall.  I plan to take an honest look at all of the paper in the closets of my studio and decide whether it is adding value to my teaching.  I think that I will find that many of my paper resources that could be easily replaced by of all the great music apps out there that are more interactive and stimulating than a piece of paper.

I have been trying to incorporate the principles from this book in our home (I have a LONG way to go) and it’s time to do the same in the studio.  There’s a lot of power in the question “Does this bring me joy?”




4. Bettering myself through professional development.

I strive to never become stagnant with where I am as a teacher.  I want to continue learning and challenging myself to try new approaches and methods, and to keep up with the latest technology, teaching materials, and music.

There are so many brilliant teachers out there sharing their ideas and resources on blogs, you don’t have to spend any money to up your game as a teacher.

There are also some wonderful opportunities to learn through workshops and conferences, and these three opportunities are the big steps I’m taking towards professional development this year.


88 Creative Keys – Denver, CO

Be sure to mark your calendar for this event! Leila Viss and Bradley Sowash are joining forces with Tim Topham and the Music Mentor Group to provide a four-day immersion into THE trending topics that are grabbing the attention of today’s piano teachers: creativity, group teaching, technology, and business. Click the picture to learn more about the great things that will be happening at this workshop.




National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy – Chicago, IL



I attended this conference two times at the beginning of my teaching career.  Then I missed five conferences in a row because a local music festival that my students are involved in that always falls on the same weekend.  I made the decision that I was not going to miss another NCKP and I went back in 2015.  I’m so glad I did.  It was so great to be back!

I enjoyed the workshops, the master classes, the pre-conference seminars, PedTalks, and concerts. It was also great to connect with other teachers and meet new people, make new connections, and start new friendships.

NCKP 2017 is an event that is NOT to be missed! I look forward to seeing you there!


Online Webinars and Workshops

Marketing Course with the Music Mentor Group

The description of this course has me really excited to dive in.  The possibilities of taking your teaching studio to the next level is intriguing and I’m looking forward to working with this group!




Upbeat Piano Teacher Webinars

If you’re looking to up your game when it comes to Technology, Group Lessons, or Getting More Students, the Upbeat Piano Teachers, Tracy Selle and Sara Campbell have brought together a top notch group of teachers to share their insights on these topics.  I’ve purchased all three webinars. I just need to finish the videos I haven’t watched yet.  I love all of the bonus materials, coupon codes, and resources that are included in these webinars.  Plus, you can’t beat lifetime access so you can watch and replay any time you want.



More Online Workshops

Online Piano Teaching Workshops from Wendy Stevens at Compose Create.



5. Something new every week.

I find that when I am doing the same lesson activities, saying the same things, and structuring lessons in the same way week to week I get bored and much more likely to get burned out.  And if I’m bored, I know my students are bored and that is the last thing I want.  I’m determined to try something new every week.  Not necessarily with every student and at every lesson, but something new every week.



6. Influence my students in a more meaningful way.

I connect with my students and feel good about what I’m doing as a teacher, but I am looking for something more.  A way to connect what we are doing in the lesson to what they are experiencing outside of the lesson and create a stronger, deeper connection to music and life.

After reading Nick Ambrosino’s book, Coffee with Ray, I was really inspired in this deeper purpose and this vision that I am doing more than just teaching music. I highly recommend this book! I am going to revisit this book and my notes on it and start implementing the principles within it.



Personal Resolutions

These aren’t directly related to the teaching studio, but they definitely effect my teaching performance.


I find that I can get into an “all or nothing” mood when it comes to all of the things that I spend my time on.  I can spend a whole morning working in the studio and lesson planning and then my house looks like a hot mess because I’ve neglected the chores that need to be done.

Or I get inspired by an idea for blogging and stay up late to finish while I’m still excited, and then I wake up late the next day and find myself grabbing something quick and less healthy than I intended to eat.

Or if I do take time to work around the house, meal plan, then I don’t take the time to sit down and compose.

Let’s add in being a good wife, having a social life, time for silence and meditation…..I could go on and on.

I want to find a way to balance all of these things and not stress myself out in trying to do it all at once. I’m hoping to gain some more peace of mind with this balance.




Connection to me is being in the moment and fully cherishing the time I have with my loved ones. I want to make an effort to make more phone calls instead of text messages, more hand written notes instead of instant messages, and more face time and time being present with my husband, my family, my friends, and anyone whose path meets mine this year.



More of my personal goals focus on health, finances, taking time to read, meditate, travel, create, and spread love.

What’s on your list?

I’m interested to hear from you! Tell me about the goals you’ve set for yourself personally and professionally. Let’s make 2017 ridiculously amazing year!



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