Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Rewards of Organization- My Studio Is Ready!

Find cute bookshelf for lending library...check!
I found this bookshelf at Salvation Army for just under $10. It even has a glass door on the front- perfect for
keeping toddlers out of it. :)

 Organize and label music for lending library...check!
The label cards I made on the computer. They are inserted into plastic card holders I found at the dollar store
 Create check-out method for lending library...check!
This notebook will serve my check-out purposes until I get my library entered into Music Teacher's Helper
Buy teaching resource bins...check!
Found these super-cute bins at the dollar store

 Label teaching resource bins...check!
These are labeled the same way as the lending library cards.  I used some wispy pink ribbon to hang the cards from the inside of the bin and then taped them down. The polka dot decor came from my scrapbooking supplies.

Set up bulletin board and incentive charts...check!
At this point, I use incentive charts for child students only

Buy and label practice notebooks...check!
These are labeled the same way as all my other labels, and attached with scrapbooking photo squares. I still have some more of these to make.
Organize teaching aid shelves...check!
The basket holds music theory games. To the right of it is my "Music Box"- my prize box, which I hope to fill with all sorts of surprises! :)

Take picture of finished living room studio...check!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teacher Shortage!?

     It seems that our city is experiencing a teacher shortage.  It amazes me how a studio can grow from one year to the next, even without active advertising- word of mouth works wonders! This year I find myself overwhelmed with students to the point where I am trying to refer them to other teachers, and they are swamped too. 

     I am taking on some students for a teacher friend of mine, which is maxing out my student capacity for this time in my life.  Even so, it's more than double what I had last year.  My husband will love me when it's time to babysit while I teach. :)  (Just kidding- he fully supports what I do!)

     Just when I thought things were settling into a schedule, my neighbour approached me. He is a piano teacher also, and lives at then end of our street. "Do you want some more piano students?" he asks, and then explained why he needed to refer his students.  "I have 10,"   he said. Gulp!

     I'm also seeing a trend in the music academies in our city.  Some of our music stores have studios on the upper floor, and guess what?  They are short on teachers too. A teacher friend of mine got a call from them just before I asked her if she wanted some of the ones coming my way.  For various reasons, some of the teachers in our area (including myself) are not keen on recommending students to the music schools.  But what to do with all these students?

     I have had to resort to a "first come, first served" policy.  I leave slots available for our church people, but for the general public,  I still can't get over the fact that I am turning students down. 

     Thoughts for discussion: Teachers, how do you handle a rush of students?  Who do you refer them to? Do you recommend your city's local music schools?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Multi-Cultural Music

     Two weeks ago Moncton hosted their annual multi-cultural festival downtown.  Last year we were taking French with the multicultural association, and made many friends from all over the world.  This year we enjoyed going back and catching up with them.  We also enjoyed the booths set up in the streets- I even got a henna marking on my wrist. :) It lasted about 10 days and then disappeared.

   One of the highlights of the festival is the multi-cultural music. We made a special effort to go hear the African children's choir on Saturday morning at the farmer's market. They did a great job of blending together, and it was amusing to watch as they switched places in their rows while they sang, and then ended up right back where they started. 

     Here is a pic of them singing "Soon, oh, very soon....we are goin' to see the King...":

Monday, August 1, 2011

For Love of Musical Food: Piano Birthday Cake

     I made this cake last week for my husband's birthday.  Although I am not Wilton-trained (but hope to be someday!), I really enjoy making fun cakes for our family birthdays. Here are some pics and simple instructions on how to make this piano cake:
I started with a plain white cake mix, and baked it in a 13x 9 pan. I measured actual piano keys to get the right size and cut two squares of cake.  Then I fit them together so they made a long keyboard and iced it with white icing.  The Kit Kat bars, although longer than actual black keys, do nicely on a cake like this!
I used Scribblers to write the message on the cake- I had just enough keys to write "Happy Birthday."
Underneath the keyboard it says "to a # pianist."
I found these adorable tiny rose candles at our local farmer's market.  They looked so cute on this cake.  It would have been a bit cuter with green time!
The sharp is made from black licorice

Here is the finished product.  It was really hot the day I made this, and the icing was melting.  The "black keys" were threatening to slip off the keyboard so I had to get it in the fridge quick!

My husband declared the cake a winner! :)