Monthly Archives: October 2018

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Whats on Your Bookshelf?

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I love to read, and I really like to read in the fall when the weather is just beginning to cool down a bit!  So I thought it would be fun to share what I have been reading this year, and hear if y’all have any great suggestions for what to read next!

This first set of books focuses on piano teaching and or running a business. I think it’s important as a teacher not only to grow in running a music business but also that we make a conscious effort to grow as music instructors as well. We owe it to our students to be constantly growing and maturing as teachers so we can develop better and more effective ways to encourage and assist students in reaching their full potential. I believe the mark of a truly excellent vs. a mediocre teacher is the continual desire to learn more about our students, the world we live in, and how we can most effectively reach students.

The Mindset of 100,000 Piano Teacher by Kristin Yost  

I thoroughly enjoyed Kristin’s newest book! I read Kristen’s first book many years ago when it first came out (“How I made 100,000 my first year as a piano teacher”). At the time when I read her first book, I was also just beginning to grow and establish my business and found much of the first book helpful. Kristen’s newest book is wonderful and well worth the read. At just around 90 pages it is a quick read but full of knerals of wisdom. In the book Kristin goes into more detail about opening her music studio and streamlining the process of running a music school. But even if one is not planning to open a large commercial studio this book is a wonderful addition asl the principals can be applied to a music studio of any size! Kristin also shares some of her personal teaching philosophy as well, which makes for a fun encouraging read.

The Piano Practice Physicians Handbook by Nicola Cantan

I ran across this book while browsing Amazon one day. Nicola takes many technique challenges students struggle with and gives creative suggestions for helping student learn to improve. This book is not so much intended to be read through in one sitting (though you could) but as a resource for when you need a fresh suggestion in your studio. Nicola’s premise is that students need to practice effectively not just “more” and so she not only gives fun ways to work on rhythm but also effective ways to assign practice at home.This isn’t just a great resource for the new teacher but as a teacher with over 15 years of experience I always enjoy a fresh perspective.

Coffee with Ray by Nick Ambrosino  

This book has been out a while so you have probably heard of it already if not read it. But I hadn’t had the chance to read the book yet, so decided to pick it up. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline format and philosophy of the book is such a good reminder. It’s a short fun read so if you haven’t made time to read this I suggest you pick up a copy. I enjoyed this book alot and am looking forward to reading “Lessons with Matt” (the 2nd in the series) soon!

The Savvy Music Teacher by David Cutler

I just started reading this book, and though I haven’t gotten far I am thoroughly enjoying the book. This is a much longer read but so far it has been worth my time. Some of the concepts in this book are not new to me, such as charging enough etc. but instead of stopping there, as so many books do, he also goes on to emphasize how all musicians need multiple sources of income, ideas for such, and what those would look like.

These last two books are just for fun!

Because I usually don’t finish teaching until after 7:00pm most nights I am often in need of a quick super, but I also want it to be healthy. I have enjoyed trying the recipes in the Skinnytaste slow and fast cookbook. And some of them have become regular meals that can quickly be prepared.

Note: I have found her recipes usually taste ok, though I learned I often prefer to tweak the seasonings a bit as I like more flavor. This is also considered a healthy cookbook, so if your looking for a classic pot-pie recipe this isn’t the right book for you. But if you are looking for a quick healthy meal then there are some great suggestions.

Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

This is another fun book! I love historical fiction and this was a particularly excellent book. It is based on the lives of three women who lived during WWII, in three different environments and life experiences and how their stories intersect. Though the basic facts about their life are accurate there are fictional details woven in as well. Because the topic is WWII and the holocaust, this book does carry a sad element to it but I did not find the book depressing at all but an all around interesting and enjoyable read.

I often find I don’t have time to read, but because I enjoy it so much I decided to give audible a try. I finish many more books by listening to them then I do reading. Some public libraries also have some free listening apps available to their members, it’s worth looking into if you enjoy reading but don’t actually have time to sit and read.

 

What are some of your favorite books, either business or just for fun? I’d love to hear your suggestions!