Category Archives: Music Planning

Spring has Sprung

This past Sunday was my least favorite day of the year – Daylight Saving Time/Time Change Sunday. My body has a very difficult time adjusting, even though I try to go to bed early, etc.

I still don’t understand why they don’t have the time change Friday night/Saturday morning. But they didn’t ask me, right?

Anyway, I’m always paranoid that I’m going to set my clock in the wrong direction, or miss my alarm, or forget to set it altogether. In this day of “smart” technology, we can’t even set our phones ahead. They change automatically. Or, they are supposed to.

I knew someone whose phone didn’t update correctly and they were late for practice before Sunday service. Ever since then, I’ve set multiple alarms and even pulled out the old “manual” alarm clocks.

This year I set my alarm an hour earlier just in case something didn’t go right. The only clock I could set ahead was my oven clock, which I did. Then when my alarm went off at 5:15am, I got up and went out to the kitchen to see if my phone matched the oven clock. It did! Score! Then I went back to bed for another hour. 🙂

We got to church on time and had a wonderful worship service. We sang/played one of my favorite packages – Crown Him King of Kings/Crown Him with Many Crowns. I love playing those songs!

The weather even cooperated and was absolutely gorgeous!

Perhaps Spring has (finally) sprung!

(We are supposed to get back down in the 50s tomorrow, but we won’t think about that right now.)

Do you have any stories from Time Change Sunday? I would love to hear them!

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Piano Teacher Resources: Susan Paradis

Do you ever come across something online and the next thing you know, an hour has gone by?

That happened to me last night. And it wasn’t Facebook! 🙂

I was looking for a handout to use for my kids explaining whole steps and half steps for their Five Finger Patterns, and I stumbled on this amazing website.

Susan Paradis has put together an extensive compilation of resources for the piano teacher. I was so excited!

Many of the resources are free to download, which is even more exciting!

Her resources include Worksheets, Teaching Aids, Games, Sheet Music for all seasons and holidays, and much more!

In addition to all these free items, she also has a store with even more stuff!

If you’re looking for easy church music for your piano students, she has several seasonal and hymn arrangements you can download.

I downloaded several worksheets that I plan to use for my kids, and I’ll definitely be going back!

Be sure to check it out. Who knows…you might even find something for yourself!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Saturday…Best Laid Plans…

Very rarely do I have a Saturday with nothing planned that I have to go to (meeting, get-togethers, church functions, etc.). But today was one of those days.

I still gave piano lessons in the morning, but after that was open and free.

My plans: go to the grocery store, clean the house and watch college football (Roll Tide, btw).

Sounds fun, right?

Let me explain…the last two weeks have been pretty hectic, with work and lessons and church music. So, needless to say, the house had been pretty neglected.

So I cleaned. all. day. long.

Seriously, I just finished an hour ago.

But, I have this awesome open floor plan where I can pretty much see or hear the TV from anywhere.

So I also watched/listened to college football. all. day. long.

And, yes, the grocery store run happened during halftime. I had motivation to be quick!

After all that, I just sat down to do some lesson paperwork, plus make sure I’m ready for church music tomorrow. Good thing, since I was contacted to play for someone in the morning service. Plans were quickly made to meet and practice in the morning.

All is well here. My feet hurt. My house is clean. My football team won.

How was your Saturday?

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Piano and Cowboy Boots

I’m very picky about what shoes I wear to play the piano.

Flats don’t work. Wedges don’t work.

Heels do work, but not too thin of a heel. Not too chunky either. (I’d take chunky over thin, though.)

So, this week I’m faced with a dilemma.

Our church has a special Sunday this Sunday called Fall Festival Day. It’s a day where the service is more casual and somewhat of a western theme.

It’s a day where cowboy(girl) boots are the “in” footwear. And, yes, I do own cowboy boots. And I love them.

My boots

My boots

But I’ve never played the piano in them.

I have played wearing winter boots before, and I didn’t like it. The boots were just below the knee, and when I lifted my foot for the pedal, the boot rubbed against my leg in a very weird way.

I really want to wear my boots. If I don’t wear them, I’m not sure what shoes I would wear.

Decisions, decisions.

What do you think? Would you wear cowboy boots to play the piano? Have you done it before?

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Saturdays: Catch Up and Prep Up

Catch Up Prep Up1Saturday is probably my favorite day of the week. Normally, I try to plan very little for Saturdays to allow myself to take a deep breath and catch up from the week.

And I have caught up today, but I haven’t really taken a deep breath until now.

With all the earlier prep in the week for my first week of piano lessons, I neglected some of my housework. (Don’t worry…my music room looked great!)

So the majority of today has been spent catching up on house-cleaning, picking up random clutter (it’s always random it seems), doing loads of laundry (yes, pun intended), and going to the grocery store.

I kept thinking of things that needed to be done, so I put them all in my iPad for me to mark “completed” once they were done. I only have six left of twenty-one!!

Some of those tasks included prepping for Sunday’s worship service. I practiced the accompaniment for a solo, put all my music in order on my iPad, and looked over the songs for any transitions/modulations.

I also need to prep a little bit for lessons next week. Thankfully, last week I did lessons plans for the entire semester, so I won’t have to do lesson plans each week. (Hurray!)

I’m going to try to relax in a little bit, then head to bed to be fully rested for tomorrow. (A horrible night’s sleep on a Saturday night makes for a miserable attempt at playing the piano.)

How have you spent your Saturday? Relaxing? Working? Playing?

However you did, I hope you enjoy(ed) it to the fullest!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Musical Pop-ups

On-the-Go Pianist

So yesterday was one of those days where I truly felt like an on-the-go pianist. From the time I started my day until I went to bed, I had the following “musical pop-ups”:

(in random order, unless I can get them in order)

(remember, these are not complaints; just an idea of how music follows me throughout the day)

1. Received emails with comments, notifications, likes, etc. from my recent blog posts. (I love all of these…keep them coming!)

2. Sent text to soloist for Sunday to check on music for their solo.

3. Received text back from soloist that music with recording should be emailed sometime that day.

4. Realized I needed another set of piano books for student coming that night, so I ran to the music store on lunch to grab the books. (Yay, they had them all in stock!)

5. Received emails from soloist with sheet music and audio recording.

6. Put my headphones in and listened to the recording.

7. Emailed soloist about practice.

8. Emailed driving directions to parent.

9. Prepped for lessons – filled water bottle, grabbed Listerine mint strips (love those things!), made sure pens and pencils were handy.

10. Gave three piano lessons.

11. Worked on lesson plans for upcoming students.

And all this is in addition to work, commuting to and from work, quick run to the grocery store (after lessons), putting away the groceries, eating dinner, cleaning up the kitchen, and feeding and taking care of the dogs.

But I was on such an adrenaline rush after teaching, I was glad to go to the grocery store and walk it off.

I’m looking forward to more musical pop-ups this week!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!

Let the Fun Begin (again)

piano studioI’ve been teaching piano lessons for over 15 years. Now I haven’t taught for 15 years straight, but my teaching still covers a span of 15 years. And I love giving lessons. It’s fun.

For the last year or so, I took a break from teaching lessons; mainly because I got married.

Today, the fun begins (again). Tonight, I’ll start teaching piano again, and I’m very excited and nervous.

Why excited?

Because I love playing the piano. And I love to see young people want to learn to play the piano. I’m excited because teaching piano is a way that I can plant seeds in future church pianists. I won’t be around forever.

Why nervous?

Because I want to do a good job. I want to explain the concepts clearly in a way that the students can learn and want to continue learning. I want to make learning piano and music a fun experience. I want my students to love playing the piano as much as I do.

I want to be successful and help them succeed as well.

So, here we go. All the prep work has been done. Books are ready to be opened and marked in. The house has even been cleaned (thanks to my awesome husband)!

All we have to do now is let the fun begin (again)!

This post is part of a series I’m doing this month called “On-the-Go Pianist.” Click here to see all the posts!