The Traffic is Horrible!!

I’ve been stuck in traffic most of the time this year and I’m getting sick of it. I have to go to places and I’m always on the go, so this is a huge deal for me. My eyes and legs can’t possibly stand being in traffic anymore. I have to add about ten extra minutes to my travel time just in case. I hate traffic.

Favorite apps at the moment

I’ve been very interested in finding down time to relax. I don’t get to do this often because I’m always busy, but when I do, I have a list of games that I love to play. I’m going to share my list and some pictures of these games 🙂 I highly recommend them. Let me know what your favorite games and apps are! By the way, I just recently watched After, the new season of Grey’s Anatomy, Unbelievable, For Love or Money, Falling Inn Love, and Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I’m always open to new movie or show suggestions!

1. Netflix

2. Plants vs. Zombies Heroes

3. Mario Kart

4. Doodle Jump

5. Dots

Small Things you can do to get ahead in blogging

I am going to preface this by saying that this is not a foolproof method or some hack to get more views. You won’t achieve thousands of views through this method. These tips are for those blogs that are gaining very little traffic. It can be a small boost to get ahead in blogging.

I use word ads on my blog and I gain a small profit through views, so it’s important to get these views. If you use the incognito mode on your phone, you can open a browser with your blog that will count as a new view. I open up a couple of tabs and I leave them open. From what I’ve known, the views still count towards your view count. And that could be a small boost for the day that you might need. It’s still very small, and you shouldn’t rely on this method to get views.

This next tip is not something new. I’ve seen this tip mentioned in a lot of other blogs. You have to interact with the blogging community. If you think blogging is an individualized path, it’s not. There’s an entire community out there of bloggers and it’s important to join it. If you’re using WordPress, you can search key terms to find other blogs in that topic area. I like to go through these posts and read them if I like it. I also go ahead and like the post. Showing appreciation for someone else’s work is important. It’s a reciprocal process.

Choosing the correct tags for your blog post is also another way to get your blog post seen. For me, I’ve seen the tag “Wordpress” be the most successful. WordPress also gives you analytics to see which tags get the most views. Use that to your advantage!

The last thing I do is I leave my blog browser open. I believe that the length of time someone dwells on your blog plays a role in your google analytics. It shows that your blog has good content. I do this when I have something else to do and I leave it open on my phone. This is not meant to have a huge impact, but I have seen my blog show up more on search engines. We all know blogging is a process that takes awhile, so don’t be discouraged.

Taking a Break From Working

I feel like we all need a break time to time from working. Working is great, but I think I’m physically exhausted from it. I took a three to four hour nap today. And I still feel tired. Life is too short to live unhappy and overworked. Even just a short break from everything can help me clear my mind. I need more sleep. With the extra hour we have, I’m happy to use that towards recuperating.

How to survive long days as a teacher

Hi everyone 👋 it has been awhile, but I’m trying my best to be consistent in blogging. To be honest, I feel like I’ve already written about all I could possibly write about. And I have no more new ideas. I want to write more though, so I’m going to keep thinking of new blog post ideas. Today’s post is going to be about how to survive long days as a teacher. I’m going to be working for most of the day tomorrow and I thought it would be nice to share how I prepare/survive for these long days. Let’s get right to it.

I feel like I am the queen of coffee lately. I can’t go a day without it and I’m beginning to think that I wouldn’t be able to achieve all of my goals for the day without the help of coffee. That’s just my honest opinion about myself. I’m an addict. I use the McDonald’s app to get $1 coffees in the morning, and I also have Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts reward apps. If I’m really struggling by the end of the day, I’ll drink a second coffee. I’m not ashamed. If you ever wonder how I manage to work, study, and go to the gym every day… the answer is caffeine.

Another thing I try to do is to stack all of my lessons back to back to one another. I used to love down time, but I’ve changed. I’m now more interested in getting as much done in a day. If I have too many breaks in between lessons, I feel like my day is too long. This is an advantage for someone who manages their own schedule. I like to feel the pressure of going to the next lesson. And that makes my days go dramatically way faster.

I use Spotify and pandora during my drives. I don’t think I could be as productive as I am without the help of Spotify. I listen to stations that are test related. And I listen to Pandora when I’m tired. Music makes the time go by faster.

The last thing I do is just trying to relax. I’m not a strict teacher. I tried to be as laid back as I can because I don’t want to be bored during the lesson either. If I know I have a lot of lessons, I will create a game or include something fun to do. I’ll do this for Tuesday’s, Wednesday’s, and Saturday’s. It makes the lesson time go by faster and in return, my students also get to have fun learning.

Crowded Gyms

I think if I lived in New York or another busy city, I would be more cramped than usual. I don’t, however. I don’t have to deal with crowded places very often. And it’s unusual for a place to be crowded where I live. I figured that I’m definitely not a fan of cramped or crowded places. I like to be where there aren’t many people. And I need my space. Speaking of space, I’m a very private person too. I need my privacy in my house. I don’t like to leave my door open and the thought of other people entering my room without me there gives me anxiety. Therefore, I’m glad that I don’t live in a bustling city. The traffic here is mild and worse during rush hours. Where do you live and is your city crowded?

Real Adulting Rant

Real adulting doesn’t happen until you address your problems and work towards fixing them. I see so many people that never do anything with their lives and once they become old, they say that they have so a lot of regrets. You don’t go through life thinking that you’re the best. That’s just not the way to do it. No one is perfect and if you think you are, then you’re never going to grow.

I also see people making excuses for their bad behavior. I hear the “oh that’s just the way I am.” And those people are the ones that are unwilling to change. Just grow up! Geez. It doesn’t take much to evaluate your own behavior and to start making healthy changes towards being better. I am constantly surprised by people older than me. Their personalities need some work.

I think we all should take responsibility for our behavior. I’m tired of dealing with people that act like jerks and think they’re better than everyone else. It’s time to grow up. For some people, it’s too late. It’s not late for me however. I’m ready to make changes.

There are those that think they are better than everyone else. I don’t feel sorry for you and I’m not going to help those who are jerks. End of story! I’ll let karma do its work.

The blogging community is amazing

I love how we can share our thoughts freely. No one is critically judging us and the annoying narcissists are not here either. I’m constantly amazed by how we share our thoughts without constraint. We know that there are bad days and that there are good days. And we have no shame in talking about it.

Whenever I’m having a bad day, I come on here and write. This isn’t like Facebook or anything similar. My friends and family don’t constantly read my blogs. I’m able to talk about how I feel. And sometimes, I talk about topics that are extremely sensitive. I know I am going to be accepted. And I’m so glad I became a blogger. This community is saving me every day.

Mini Rant

I’ve been looking up new blogs and blog posts. I found some posts that look like they were posted from spam accounts. All I see are hashtags or the writer of the post didn’t write anything in it at all. This is incredibly distasteful. Creating a blog isn’t about creating spam. We already have enough spam on the internet. I want to see thoughtful posts. All of this nonsense makes me think that blogging is losing its appeal. I wish there was a way to delete these posts.

I don’t want to continue bashing these accounts. Do whatever you want, but know that no one is clicking on them. ✌️

Grateful rather than hateful

My mentality has been wavering in between two moods: grateful and hateful. I hate that I tend to think in the latter, but I think that’s normal. I try my best to stay positive for what it’s worth. And I will not let anyone change that.

I’ve learned that if you stop thinking about others as much, your mind remains more clear. I’m going to start practicing this more often. I have so much to do that I am surprised that I can still think about others that are not beneficial in my life. It’s okay. I’m heading towards the right direction and I’m happy overall!

My LinkedIn Group for All Teachers and Aspiring Teaching Professionals

I want to share with my blog an exciting opportunity to join my LinkedIn group for Pocketful of Learning. My focus is to help teachers become better at their job and to help them gain the fluency they need. When you’ve been teaching for awhile, there are skills and tasks that you can do faster than other beginning teachers.

I hope to help as many teachers as I can. The link is here: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/13774608

Thanks!

My Holiday Teaching Plans

This year, I’m going to do something a little different than I usually do. I promise I’m a good teacher. I always invent new games and activities for my students. And I hand out plenty of surprises. This year, however, I want to make it a little more special. I’m planning on celebrating Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I never celebrate Halloween or Thanksgiving. I just don’t. And I want to change. I want to constantly strive to be a better teacher for my students. I’m planning some surprises for my students this year and I’m very excited.

For Halloween, I’ve already bought spooky candy that I’m going to hand out during lessons. And I want to have them do a “candy cane challenge” to see who can learn the most songs. I think I’ll have them compete against my other students. There should also be a bonus challenge on who practices the most or who improved the most by Christmas. I want to get them excited about learning. I used to have a star challenge where they earn stars for practicing and they can redeem the stars for a gift. This year, I’m still brainstorming, but I want to do something similar. I was also thinking of having students try the challenge to learn a set of songs I picked. And they have to play them perfectly to earn a Christmas gift. I have so many ideas, and I want to implement them all.

I’m still brainstorming on what to do for Thanksgiving. I’m thinking on giving a worksheet packet and using that as a token to get candy. It’s really easy to reward kids because they like candy or they like toys.

I’m also hoping that this will make me excited for the holidays. I love this time of year and I’ve always wanted to share it with my students. I’m thinking of getting them Christmas books as their Christmas presents because they keep asking for them. And I want to make them piano ornaments! There are so many ideas!

Let me know what you think and what you do for your students during this time of year! 🌲 ❄️

The Overarching Trend of Losing Blog Views

If you find that your blog viewership has been down lately, I’ll tell you why. For a couple of weeks, I’ve been analyzing my blog and looking at the trends. I’ve also been thinking about why my views are not as great as before. I came to the conclusion that a good blog has to post multiple posts daily. There has to be constant replenishment of new content. If you post good content, people will still come, but there’s something about a blog that continually posts.

I hope this helps someone out there. We’re all in this together!

The Life of a Blogger

What is blogging like? What do I do every day? If I could describe blogging, I would say that it is like throwing your fishing pole into the ocean and waiting. You’re going to be constantly waiting. And this waiting process is the best part. You never know what’s going to happen. The excitement is always there, but your waiting time is there too.

I try to blog every day and it is difficult to do. I don’t always have a catchy blog post idea in my mind. And sometimes, I find myself not writing anything that day. I think it’s better to wait until a good idea comes along.

When I do have a good idea, I start writing. And I write furiously because I don’t want to lose my creative thought. The writing process takes about 20 minutes to 1 hour of writing. Whew… that’s a long time. And it is. I also go through and add additional information if needed. Pictures and miscellaneous items are added last. The last thing I do is proofread. If the post is 1000+ words, I still proofread every single word.

I never thought I would become a writer. My life is unconventional in some ways because I’ve been working on my own hours for about five years now. And I love it. I think that’s why blogging came naturally for me. Working at a desk for eight to nine hours straight would be like a prison for me. I need to be able to work freely on my own time. And that’s why blogging is so fun for me. I can blog anywhere and anytime I want. I’m thankful that I’ve found blogging and that God has brought this into my life. I’m also thankful that he has put me on this path.

Setting up my blog’s social media

I’m not a huge fan of social media. I’m trying to avoid doing it as long as I can, but I don’t think I can anymore. I did set up my social media a long time ago for this blog and it wasn’t updated very often. I’m hoping to be able to build these up slowly. I have so much other work to do and it’s hard to keep up with all of the work my blog entails. It’ll get done though. ✅ I’m sure of it. Stay tuned for more updates on this blog. I’m planning a lot of great posts! I’ve also been updating my shop with me page. Stay tuned for more!

Resources for the new teacher

I remember my first days of being a new teacher. I didn’t own any extra books. I only had one pencil and one pen. And nothing else really. It was tough. I made my own calendar by drawing lines. I mostly didn’t know what to do or how to organize anything. I was completely new to being a teacher. And I didn’t receive any supplies from anybody. I had to purchase all of my own supplies and come up with all of my own techniques. Now, on the internet, people are sharing their teaching methods everywhere and it is much easier. Back then, it wasn’t as easy.

I learned a lot of my techniques through joining a Facebook group tailored specifically for piano teachers. Whenever I had a problem, I asked other teachers. And this helped a lot. They talked me through many of the initial problems new teachers go through. I feel like I am stronger now because of the support from that group. I’m still a member of that group and I’ve began helping other new teachers. I’m the mentor and it feels great to help other teachers. The advice is free. And they are always willing to help.

I found that there are some apps that you can use on your phone to make teaching easier. In my first couple of years, I was obsessed with using apps and I’ve began to drift away from them. I still use a metronome and tuning app though. Those are my favorites. I would stay away from all other apps because they can be distracting for students. I prefer to have my students learn from a book rather than staring at a screen. In addition to using apps, I’ve found that google is a great resource for looking up musical terms. I have my own pocket dictionary of musical terms that includes all composers, but google is a great resource in the beginning of your teaching career also.

If you have a smartphone, I suggest using text messages to communicate with piano families. It’s much more convenient and you can access it wherever you go. Use technology to your advantage and always look for new ways to maximize your time.

Supplies and books were always a huge obstacle for me. I was always short in supplies until I started making more money. I used secondhand items until I could afford my own. When I discovered the dollar store, everything changed. It’s much cheaper and I would strictly shop from there for supplies. I’ve found that buying supplies from amazon in big bulks is helpful too. My students are always using all of my supplies, so I need a lot for my backup. I shop at my local music store for books because I get a teacher discount, but amazon is great for buying books too. I would go to music stores and ask for their teacher discounts. I’ve found that students can also use my discount because their under my teacher account.

I joined the teachers music association two years ago and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made. They put your name on the teacher directory so other schools can find you if they need a teacher. They provide free resources and books. I went to a music book sale and bought a lot of books because they offered it. And they donated me more books too. I can also offer my students more extra curricular activities. I’ve found it to be a very valuable resource. And I met other teachers too.

I used Facebook neighborhood groups to advertise for my lessons. And the amount of calls I got was way more than other forms of advertisements. Facebook is an amazing resource for advertising and you can also create your own Facebook page for your music studio.

If you want to give your students a great experience, that’s really great. It’s expensive though. And we don’t always have the money for it. I’ve found ways to make small gifts in cheap ways by looking online. And I make my own music flash cards with plain notecards. There are many great resources and things you can do for your students that are cost effective. You just have to be creative.

YouTube is a great resource for learning about teaching. I learned more about teaching techniques and materials by watching YouTube videos. And I also have my students listen to their piano songs on YouTube before learning it. It’s a great free resource to have on the go.

If you don’t know, Spotify offers free podcasts to listen to. And if you have a gmail account, you can access word document and excel sheets for free. I’ve made lecture slides for my students through google drive. And I’ve also printed free domain music sheets online. If you’re using your books for private use, you can photocopy your music sheets for students. I would stockpile all of my good music and my books for reuse for all of my students. Having multiple students use a performance book or a sightreading book can dramatically cut costs.

If you’re anything like me, you need lots of coffee. I’ve found that Starbucks offers an account to earn free drinks and food. I use that frequently to earn stars. I also have a Dunkin’ Donuts card to earn points. If you have the McDonald’s app, the large coffees are only $1 and you can earn free coffee there too. I use the curbside pickup to save time. And the breakfast sandwiches are a penny too. I always grab food there early before my lessons or during my breaks. If you’re looking for lunch, download the Sonics app and you get access to happy hour 24/7. All drinks are half off and they offer deals on there too. If you have a smoothie king account, they offer a rewards system. If you want $2 extra when you sign up, you can use my referral link here. If you exercise at a gym, they might offer extra discounts for smoothies at tropical smoothie. All of us teachers are always looking for good drinks and food. I hope that helps.

Once you get started teaching, you’ll get better at being a teacher. And many things will become reflexive the more you do it. There are so many resources available and I hope you take advantage of it all. Keep researching and working hard!

Does Having an Editorial Calendar Work?

I’ve been struggling to think of blog ideas on a daily basis and the reason why I think this is happening is because I don’t have an editorial calendar. I take blogging day by day. And there aren’t set goals I want to accomplish each week. I think I might feel intimidated if I have goals to accomplish every week, but I think it’s good to have an idea of what to expect from yourself. We all have to be held accountable somehow.

I’m not sure if I should integrate this into my already cluttered google calendar. And it seems silly to set aside times to write. I know that I will end up feeling too pressured to write, and I won’t end up doing it. For me, is a calendar really worth it?

The running list of blog ideas seems more like something I’ll do. I’ve noticed that I’ll have some blog ideas, and I’ll quickly forget it if I don’t write it down. They are short bursts of inspiration throughout my day. Once I forget it, I have trouble trying to remember it.

I think that instead of having an editorial calendar, I’m going to make a list of blog post ideas. I’m going to spend time brainstorming every day before I write. And then hopefully I won’t feel so lost when it comes to choosing a topic to write about.

Blogging is a process and we are all learning what works best for ourselves. I’m looking forward to expanding my blog and putting more work into it. I’ve worked so hard so far on my blogs, but I know I can do better.

Five things I’ve learned from blogging

Throughout my short time with blogging, I’ve learned a couple of things along the way:

1. Blog about whatever you want. Don’t let other people tell you what to write. If you write about what inspires you, it’s more likely to be a good post.

2. Short blogs posts are okay. You’re not always going to want to write long posts. And you’ll want to write something, just don’t be afraid to write short posts. They’re easier to read and sometimes they are better than longer posts.

3. Reading other peoples’ blogs are inspirational. You can see how other bloggers present their content and it helps to see how good bloggers post.

4. Liking other peoples’ blog posts back when they like yours is an absolute necessity. It’s like when someone says thank you and you say you’re welcome. It’s polite and it shows that you are thanking them for reading your content.

5. Blogging is not accomplishable in one day. It takes months and sometimes years to create an empire. Each blog post is like a mini advertisement that can grab traffic. The more blog posts you write, the more chances you have for attracting traffic. Each blog post is an investment.

Seven Quick and Easy Tips for New Teachers

If you’re a new teacher, you know the anxiety of starting your teaching career. What do you buy? What do you absolutely need? What is the budget like? I want to give you some quick advice if you’re a new teacher. We all need some help once in awhile:

1. Don’t buy a lot of supplies. You won’t need them all your first year, and you’ll end up stockpiling junk later on.

2. You don’t have to participate in all of the holidays and birthdays. It’s okay to relax your first year and not celebrate holidays like Easter. It’s not necessary. And you’ll need to save money later on anyways.

3. Don’t buy too many rewards/incentives! I’m still using up my stickers I bought three years ago. Buy them as you go and I suggest going to the dollar store to buy them. It’s much cheaper there.

4. You’ll figure out things as you go. Take a deep breath and find solace in the fact that we all have to start somewhere. Teaching is a learning process. You’ll get better at it as you go.

5. Don’t copy other peoples’ ideas. Create your own instead. Think about the best ideas that fit your personality and do it. It’s easy to get caught up in other teachers’ stuff, but it’s easy to just focus on yourself. If you are unique, your students will value you more. They won’t be able to find another teacher like you!

6. Know that you’ll have tough students pretty often. And learn not to take it personally. Be firm, but try not to be mean. It’s important to not let them overstep your authority.

7. Enjoy teaching. It’s easy to get caught up in the technicalities and the curriculum. Remember that your students are young pupils that are in their adolescence. Being too strict can be more harmful than beneficial. Let them laugh and share a joke or two!

Blogging is a tough job 😂

A blogger’s job never ends. I took this picture in the line for the Costco gas station. And I could feel everyone staring at me. It’s alright, it’s a nice day outside and the weather is getting a lot better. It’s finally getting colder which I’m very happy about. It seems cozy to think about writing my blog posts during the winter time.

I recently updated my phone, so all of my icons look different. I’m not sure if I’m used to it yet. I’m able to connect my phone to my car and the home screen now looks different too. 👀

I’m hoping for good weekends in the future and more prosperous opportunities. I’m glad for the ability to write wherever I want and to be able to figure out my schedule the way I want. And I’m proud of the strong mentality that I’ve adapted. I hope everyone is having a great Sunday!

Busy busy busy

I’m so tired right now and my weekend just started. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to relax. I’ve been going through ups and downs of being busy. Time flies when you’re too busy. I’m looking forward to just relaxing my mind for the weekend. Every teacher needs a break before burnout happens. I’m glad I still have energy to update my blog. I hope everyone is having a great weekend 👍

The Art of Waiting

What I’ve found to be the most important tool in someone’s arsenal is the gift of patience. When things are too hard or if they take a lot of time, some people are quick to quit. If they don’t seem immediate rewards/results, some people quit too. And if you don’t end up quitting, you learn that waiting has huge benefits. If God wanted you to have something, he’ll make you wait for it. It’s not going to be handed on a silver platter right there for you. Many things in life are not easy like that. You can’t just take it. It’s all about the waiting game.

I’ll bet you one thing that will always be true: the best things come to those who wait. Have you ever seen a long line at a restaurant? Have you witnessed a long line of people waiting outside a store on black Friday? That’s not what I mean about waiting, but the concept is still applicable. Waiting is one of the most important aspects of life. Everything takes time, and if you’re not willing to wait, someone else is ready to take your place in line.

I’ve had this happen to me before. I waited for the right guy to come into my life. And I waited for a long time. I learned that the guy I was waiting for was there years earlier, but I didn’t see it at the time. I was focused on other things that didn’t allow me to see what was right in front of me. Years later, I was able to see him. And I think that by waiting, I ultimately did myself a good thing.

I’ve found that waiting in other areas of life works too. Learning the piano was one of those things. It took me many years to learn how to play the piano. And in the middle of those years, I quit for an entire year. I also took a two year break away from the piano during that time. In the midst of my 19 years of learning the piano, I stepped away from it for three years. When I talk about waiting, I mean really waiting. Waiting takes months and years. It takes a long time to wait for something. And I spent a lot of my time waiting for the moment where I could play the piano how I always wanted to. Those years were worth waiting for. And I would do it all over again if I had the choice. The takeaway is if you really want something, be prepared to invest a lot of time and patience for it. Nothing great was built in a day. And be prepared to embrace the process. We are all waiting for something.

How Being a Teacher Causes Stress

strongly believe that every teacher goes through periods where they have an intense amount of stress. I could be having a good one or two months of bliss, and then I’ll be stressed. I think the things that make me the most stressed is the amount of prep I have to do before each lesson. Books are a huge problem for me. And when my students level up from a book, almost all of them level up at the same time; it means that i’ll have to go and get new books. What happens if you can’t remember the lesson books that your students are in? That’s what i’m stressed about right now. I just leveled up a couple of students from their books and I have a new batch of students to level up. And I can’t seem to remember their book levels. I know I’m probably overreacting, but I like to be perfect. And it’s taking all of my courage to admit this.

Another thing that causes me stress is when it is musicianship exam and competition season. It’s a huge deal to me to make sure that all of my students are prepared and ready. I think that I’m more stressed than my students are during this time. We have to pick songs from specific guidelines and we have to follow all of the rules. If you don’t abide by these rules, they disqualify you automatically. Last year, I went on a trip to Florida with my family. While I was there, I got a couple of calls from the music association saying that the songs I picked for my students don’t follow the guidelines stated. I was so stressed about this because I had spent a lot of energy preparing for this festival. And this festival required me to volunteer also. I spent hours that night coordinating with the music association and I planned new songs. It was tough because I only had a couple of weeks until the actual day of the festival to prepare my students for these new songs. When I came back, I was in a rush to prepare my students. Thankfully, nothing went horribly wrong, but i’m promising myself that I won’t mess up like that this year.

Musicianship exams take months to prepare for. And they can be difficult. Students have to complete a written exam and perform a playing test for a judge. There are tons of guidelines and other requirements that the students have to meet. I spend these months walking through every single detail of these tests with my students and I also hold extra rehearsals for these. I won’t say that I haven’t been worrying about these exams yet because they’re next year, but I feel like I haven’t been putting them as my top priority. And right now, as the date gets closer, I am feeling the stress emerging.

As I admit all of this, my stress is slowly disappearing although I haven’t done anything in the last couple of hours to complete the work I need to do. Admitting all of this is the first step. I feel more empowered now to get my work done. And I want to add more things to my lessons. There are so many things to do and now… it’s time for me to get to doing it. Thank you for listening!

What do I do if no one is reading my blog? Aka “Ghost Town”

Writing to no one is probably every blogger’s fear. We spend all of our time writing a great blog post and once you go to post it, you find that no one is there. No one reads it. The term is called ghost town. And what everybody doesn’t know is that writing to a ghost town is completely normal. Imagine if you set up a shop on the corner of your street. You fill the shop with all of your products and you wait for someone to come by. On the first day, no one shows up and you have zero sales. Wondering what went wrong, you show up the second day and you get one sale. Oh, that’s not the amount of sales you were hoping for especially if you sat there for two to three hours waiting. What did you do wrong? Is there something wrong with your products? No, it’s not you. It’s the fact that there are hundreds of other shops next to your shop. The viewer is faced with the decision to visit your blog or they can visit somewhere else. And you have to really ask yourself: Is your blog worth stopping by? Are your posts helpful? Are they worth reading? Don’t lie to yourself. Truly evaluate your blog and ask yourself if you would stop by if it wasn’t yours.

Writing to a ghost town is completely normal. You have to know that the town is not always going to be empty. People will show up, but they’ll show up gradually. Your main focus should be on your content. Make your content the best that it can be! Write about what makes you happy. Make sure your blogs are helpful and that you keep them long. Short posts don’t gain as much attention and traffic than longer posts. You shouldn’t be so worried about viewership in the beginning of your blogging journey though. Why would you worry about it? I wouldn’t. I would focus on stepping up my posts and making them super readable and likable. And I recently stopped looking at my blog stats. Don’t put all of your attention to your blog stats. It costs you too much energy. Eliminate your stress completely and enjoy the ghost town phase as best as you can. Embrace it! There’s nothing to be ashamed of. All of us start somewhere. I used to get one or two views on this blog. And I still continued to write. It’s okay -hakuna matata.

 

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How to manage your schedule as a teacher and entrepreneur

I’ve been struggling with finding time to complete all the tasks I have for the day. And I’ve found that I don’t have time to do everything I want for the day. So what do you do? Do you sacrifice sleep to get more done or do you sacrifice your free time? I’m not a fan of losing sleep, so I sacrifice my free time. I’ve been writing a lot for my blogs while also studying for school and working. It’s been busy, but that’s the kind of sacrifice you have to make if you want to have it all.

How do I find time during the day to accomplish everything I need to do? I find spurts of time scattered throughout the day to do something productive. When I get home, instead of laying on the bed watching YouTube videos on my phone, I clean. I just get started and I don’t think too much about it. I’ve adopted good habits during the morning and at night. I clean in the morning and I clean at night before I go to sleep. If I need to do anything, I make sure to do it first thing in the morning; this ensures that I utilize my free time wisely. I also write my blog posts when I’m in the gym or if I’m waiting in line. I make sure my time is always being used for something useful. I also listen to podcasts when I drive or clean.

In the morning, I’ve mentioned this before, but I always check my schedule in the morning and the night before. I keep my schedule on google calendar, and that’s the number one tool that keeps my life together. I also check it throughout the day. If I have a class that’s canceled, I mark it on my calendar. It’s so convenient to have your calendar on the google calendar app too. Having my calendar on my phone is the best decision I ever made.

Another way I can work while I’m not at home is by having the WordPress app on my phone. I can blog whenever and wherever I am. I’m always on the go, working six days a week, and I have to blog every day. I wouldn’t be able to accomplish all of this if I didn’t have the WordPress app. I’m glad that I can manage all of my blogs from one account too.

I’ve also mastered the art of working hard now and relaxing later. I’ll usually save my relaxing time at the end of the day and it’s the last thing I do before I go to sleep. I know this sounds monotonous and boring, but so much time is wasted when you aren’t doing anything. And hard working people don’t relax very often. You get used to the fast paced life.

I also manage my schedule by having multiple things being done at a time. For example, I’ll be air drying my clothes, listening to my podcasts, doing laundry, having my diffusers working, leaving the window open to let fresh air in, cleaning my room, and updating my phone. You have to be the master at accomplishing multiple tasks at once. Why only get one thing done when you can get five things done at a time? That’s how you save time!

When you have complete control of your schedule, you have to keep yourself accountable. No one is going to tell you to be productive. And you will have to do that for yourself. Think about what you want and what your goals are. What can you do right now to get closer to your goals? Where do you have time in your schedule to get things done? Take control of time and don’t let it fly by.

The last thing you need to do to completely be able to manage your own schedule is to have motivation. You need to wake up every day feeling energized and ready to work. You should also be accomplishing something every day. Think of your time as money, and you’ll learn not to squander it. Be conscious of where your time is going. I wake up every day ready to attack this new day. I won’t relax unless I know that I’m exhausted and I deserve to relax. Once you treat yourself like you’re worth it, you’ll start to see the changes. And managing your own schedule will become easier.

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Why You Should Work Multiple Jobs and Have Many Streams of Income

I’ve learned the hard way that having a backup or multiple streams of income is better than relying on one. I’m a piano teacher and I have many students that I teach weekly. Therefore, if one student quits, I have the safety of still having the rest of my students. I doubt that they would all leave me at the same time, so I think i’m pretty safe for now. And if one student quits, I would be on the lookout to fill that spot. I am also blogging on the side. I have four blogs that I’m currently building up. And they take almost all of my free time. I believe in having multiple streams of income. I remember the days where I only had one student and it was devastating when that one student quit. I also remember the days where I was flat out broke and had no money. It’s not that money is everything, but I can’t afford to have zero income right now. And I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Why do I have four blogs? Well, in the future, i’m hoping to monetize all of them. I know that blogging takes a long time, so i’m in no rush to do this. I think that it’s better to have lots of backups rather than relying on just one blog.

The reason why I brought this topic up was to discuss how it feels when one of my students decides to quit. It’s a horrible feeling, and the stress of having to fill that spot is even more horrible. And if I was solely relying on that student’s lesson fee for my income, I would be at a loss. Don’t do this. Make sure that if your boat sinks, you have another way of staying afloat.

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How long have you been blogging?

I’m interested to see other peoples’ responses to this question. I’ve been blogging for a year and nine months with a three month break in between that time. It’s amazing that that I didn’t realize that it’s been that long. I know I’m still a rookie that has much to learn, but it feels like I’ve been blogging for awhile. I remember when my friend and I decided to become bloggers. We had the talk about creating our own future and creating something that is ours. I was blogging my thoughts and I also posted helpful articles to other piano teachers. Time has flown by, and I’m so happy I took that leap to start blogging almost two years ago.

I didn’t actually start taking blogging seriously until about two weeks ago. After my long hiatus, I decided to jump into blogging almost full time. I’ve spent hours every day pouring all of my free time into my blog. And I am so incredibly happy with the results. When you start to take blogging seriously, you start to see your blog grow. And the growth is huge. I suggest that if you’re not already blogging every day, you must. Blogging every day consistently has grown my audience much more than blogging every other day or once a week. The amount of new content you are publishing is important. It shows that you are updating your blog and you aren’t wishy-washy about blogging. People want to see someone who is going to be around for a long time. And if you are gone every so often, people will leave. And your content is king. If you are creating interesting and new content all the time, your blog will blossom.

It’s funny that whenever I think of blogging, I also think of the characters in the sims game. In the new sims game, you can self-publish books and you can also become a content creator. At first, not many people are reading your content. And when you start posting better content, people start reading. Your writing skill also levels up. It’s awesome to see how your sim progresses through this career type, and becomes more and more popular. Eventually, when you publish enough books or post better content, you start collecting royalties. And these royalties add up to a decent amount every month. Isn’t blogging just like that? We write our blog posts in the hopes that they gain views, and when they do, we collect the royalties. It’s also very enjoyable too. I love blogging and it has changed my life for the better.

I also want to mention that I’ve added more products in my shop with me store! You can check it out here. I’ve added some piano books in there and I’m going to write some reviews about each book to help other people decide which books to purchase. And I’ve added some health/beauty products. I believe every teacher has holy grail products they use every day. Sometimes from the lack of sleep, I’m not able to look my best. My hair is a mess and my face looks like a zombie in the morning. I use these beauty products to hopefully counteract my zombie face. Oh, and I’ve also added essential oils in my shop. I use essential oils for vitality and it’s a great, natural bug-repellant. I’m looking forward to talking more about essential oils in future blog posts. If you use my links, they help to support me and my blog. I would appreciate it very much. Thank you always for reading and I appreciate every one of you.

The take-away from all of this? If you’ve always wanted to start blogging, go for it. Don’t wait! I want to see how long everyone has been blogging. Comment your answers below. And let’s all look forward to many more years of blogging!

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Where do you find inspiration?

I’ve noticed a huge drop in blogging engagement and blog posts being made in the community lately. Blogging is not easy and I’m beginning to understand that. I’m finding my inspiration level very low after writing a lot of blog posts for the last two weeks. It’s not easy to think of topics to write about. And this is true especially if you have to write a lot of posts per week. Not everyone has something to say all the time. You also have to write long posts or else the google algorithm will not recommend your blog post.

When I was younger, I found inspiration by watching celebrities. I was obsessed with the Olsen twins. I liked their style and how they were always working. They wore professional, but stylish outfits. And I loved the color black because they wore it all the time. Now that I think about it, I might have liked them because they were young, professional business women. There’s something inspiring about people that have a good work ethic.

When I was older, I drew inspiration from YouTubers. YouTubers are not exactly celebrities, but they do have influence. I didn’t know how they made their money and I couldn’t understand how they could afford so many nice things. Even though I didn’t understand, I still watched their content.

My inspiration now is different. I’m drawing my inspiration from business executives. And these aren’t celebrities. They are real business owners that make their own money. Wow, I’ve changed a lot. I find strong work ethic and financial independence inspiring. Others my age find celebrities inspiring and I don’t fall into that category. I’m different, but I like being different.

I’ve been listening to The Blogging Millionaire. I like how the podcasts are straightforward and easy to understand. The information is also new and not the typical, stereotypical information people usually give about blogging. If you need to find inspiration, you can find it there. I listen to their podcasts on Spotify. They have helped me to be inspired to blog, and I owe much of my rewards to them.

I also find inspiration from a youtuber Names Sarah Rae Vargas. She’s a mom that started blogging. And she branched out to making videos on YouTube. She is completely financially independent and she can afford many things for herself. I want to be just like her.

Another person I find inspiration from is a youtuber named Dixie. Her YouTube name is Homemade Wonderlust. And she makes videos about thru-hiking. She was an engineer that quit her job to start hiking. And she created her own micro greens business while focusing on creating passive income. I want to enjoy life just like her.

Lastly, I am inspired by Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy. I know she’s not a real person, but you can still be inspired from the show right? I like her ability to be strong even though she faced many hardships. She doesn’t allow herself to break down. I like how hard she works. She’ll go to work even when she’s sick. And she’s at work no matter what the circumstances are. Meredith knows her responsibilities and obligations, and that’s what I admire from her character.

I believe we all have people we are inspired by. And if you are ever in a rut or if you’re trying to find something to write about, look at the people who inspire you. Do they inspire you to work harder or do better every day? Become that person. I believe you can be whatever you set out to be.

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Opening my own shop with me!

Since becoming an amazon affiliate member, I’ve been exploring new ways of sharing my favorite products with you guys. I stumbled on the idea of a shop with me store. And I think it’s a great idea. I’ve found that a lot of my students and other piano pupils don’t know which books to purchase. New teachers may also want to know more about other books. And this gives me the opportunity to share my favorite books with everyone. I can also write reviews on these books.

I also want to be able to share other products too. And I’m very excited to start adding more products in my store.

You can start shopping when you click on my menu bar and click into the ‘shop with me’ page. There’s not much on there right now, but I’m planning on filling it up 🙂 Thank you everyone for all the support! I’m still learning!

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It’s been quiet in the blogging sphere 🍃

There was a huge influx of bloggers posting and I haven’t seen any new posts lately. My favorite bloggers haven’t been posting any new blog posts either. It’s been surprisingly quiet lately.

I’ve been thinking about blogging in comparison to artists. We all set up our shops with our content and we hope someone likes them enough to stop by. Our content are our art pieces 🖼 and we are the artists; this reminds me of the classical era in music. Composers like Beethoven were writing original pieces and hoping that they gain popularity. He was renowned for his work. And terribly disliked by his community. Beethoven wrote hundreds of songs and he always remained focused on his greater work. As bloggers, we have to consistently focus on our work. If we don’t post for awhile, our blog becomes forgotten. On the other hand, if you post great content, they will never be forgotten. Fur Elise is not forgotten. Actually, it’s one of the most popular songs of all time. These are just my thoughts about blogging today.

Let me know what you think 💭

Can you learn the piano by yourself?

Yes, you can learn the piano by yourself. However, it is best to have a teacher by your side to guide you through the difficult stages of learning the piano. There are techniques such as fluid hand motion and technical issues that you can’t solve by yourself. Imagine if you tried to learn how to fix your sink and you spent hours googling how to do it. You could have just hired a plumber to come fix it and they could have done it in 30 minutes.

I know that this isn’t what people want to hear. It’s not what I would want to hear if I was a beginner, but I don’t want to lie to you. I don’t want to sell you a piano course that doesn’t guarantee that you will learn the piano. I don’t want to sell you a product that might work. I actually want to give you advice that will save you time and money. You can’t do everything yourself. I’ve seen many students fail at learning the piano by themselves. Please don’t listen to all the advertising gibberish online. You need to find a piano teacher that can physically be right next to you and to guide you through this process. Don’t waste your money on anything else. I’ve seen many instances where it doesn’t work.

I hope this helps you and let me know if there are anymore topics that you want me to discuss.

Working on my blog

It’s been a long road and I don’t think anybody knows how much work it takes to have a decent blog. You have to constantly update it every day and there are additional things you have to worry about. Keeping new content is a big issue. No one wants to read posts that are more than two months old. And my blog doesn’t support plugins to hide the dates of my posts. I also have to add in amazon affiliate links; those take forever to do. I’ve also been searching on different monetization strategies. My blog isn’t quite there, but I have many ideas. And I hope I can help other people with their blogs along the way. I learned recently that word ads updates monthly. And U.S. based readers are worth more in ad monetization. Word ads also works by counting impressions. It depends on people to see the ads, but they don’t have to click on it. You will get paid if they see it. A lot of other blogs have been confusing on this question and I thought I would make it clear here. If you want to use google adsense, you need to have a WordPress business account. Having a premium WordPress account is not going to let you configure the html on your blog that google adsense needs you to do. You can still run ads on WordPress premium by using word ads though. Taking the next step to purchase WordPress premium is well worth it. I also learned that part of blogging includes major reader interaction. You have to be generous and give meaningful comments on other blogs. I enjoy doing this and I only like posts that I find interesting. I’ve learned so much in the last couple of days and I’m excited to learn more.

Feeling Inspired

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs on WordPress and I’m inspired. I see people of all ages that are killing the blogging game. And I can’t be more happier for them. They’ve worked so hard. I see people that have been blogging for three to seven years. Wow! That’s amazing and I’m semi-jealous.

Blogging is not limited to a certain subset of people. Everyone can do it. And it’s about sharing your thoughts and ideas with other people. The best part of blogging is being able to help others. And you never know if your blog post is something that will help someone smile that day.

The most important thing is to stay authentic. Don’t let the business side of blogging consume your life. And just enjoy blogging. If you stop liking what you do, then that becomes a problem. Happy blogging everyone! 🎉

The Best Complete Guide to Piano Lessons and Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

Hi, welcome to my blog, if this is your first time on here. I’m going to tell you all about piano lessons: where to look for lessons, which books to buy, how to pick a teacher, when to practice, and many more. I’ve found that many students don’t know that much about piano lessons before getting started and I haven’t seen a complete guide to help students get started on the internet yet. I thought I should be the first one to pioneer this guide. I’ve also linked the products into this post, so it is easier for you to purchase what you need.

Purchasing a Piano

Not many students know where to purchase a piano. I wrote a blog that discusses the various types of pianos to buy for different level players. When you’re just beginning, it’s best to purchase a keyboard. You don’t know if you’re going to like piano and purchasing a keyboard is more affordable than buying a real piano. I would choose a keyboard that has 88 keys as that means it’s a full piano. And I would make sure that it comes with a stand to hold it up. Quality is definitely better than a cheap keyboard. I would not buy a keyboard that is $100 or less, especially if you’re going to buy it online. You never know what you’re going to get. And in my experience, these kinds of keyboards are flimsy and not worth buying. If you can, I would consult with your piano teacher about the best keyboard to purchase. If you can’t, I would look at the reviews online. Essentially, a keyboard with 88 keys will not be cheap, but it’s better than wasting $80 on an unusable keyboard on amazon.

I’ve looked on amazon and here are some keyboards that I recommend:

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Additional things to consider are if the keyboard comes with a piano bench or not. It’s nice to have a piano bench, but it’s obviously not necessary. Check to see if the stand where it holds music is either flimsy or unusable. I would purchase a music stand if you find that you need to do so. It will hold your music for you and you can put it behind your keyboard.

I think pedals are absolutely necessary to purchase. Most keyboards support the use of an extended pedal, but you should be careful to check if the pedal is compatible. Look at the requirements of the keyboard before buying a pedal.

Another accessory to purchase later on in your studies is a piano light. You need good lighting near your piano and I would either purchase a light that clips on to your books or a lamp near the piano. Pictured below is what my set up looks like:

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I have an upright Pramberger piano that I love, but yours will most likely be a keyboard. It’s okay, I think keyboards are wonderful also.

I’ll link to my blog post about the cost of pianos here: How much does a piano cost? (Keyboard, Upright and Grand Piano) A helpful guide to also buying a piano

Buying Books

The music store is your best bet to buying a book, but online on amazon is wayyyy better; it’s cheaper online to purchase than purchase in a store. If you are an adult, I would purchase the Faber Adult Lesson 1 Book and nothing else. People have a tendency to buy books that contain material way beyond their level. Don’t waste the money. If you are looking to purchase a book for a younger child five years or younger, I would buy the Primer Level Faber Lesson Book. If your child is older than five years old, I would purchase Lesson Book A Faber Piano Adventures. And if they are teenagers, I would suggest starting them in the Lesson Book B Faber Book with the Faber Writing Book B.

Buying books is not an ordeal to stress over. It would be stressful if you buy unnecessary books. I can’t imagine having books you can’t use just sitting there.

Looking for a teacher: music store vs. independent contracted teachers

I am an independent teacher and I do not teach at a store. I’ve found that teachers at music stores cost more than independent teachers. For independent teachers, you’ll have to travel to their home to have a piano lesson. There are some teachers that teach online. I would avoid lessons online because they’re much more of a hassle than necessary. Regular lessons range from being 30 minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour. Typically, a piano teacher will not teach less than 30 minutes and no one will teach for more than an hour. A decent price for a 30 minute lesson is $30-40. And anything more than that is not worth the price. Lessons are going to be once a week. If the child is younger, I would suggest trying 20 minutes twice a week if the teacher is okay with that. Younger children tend to have more difficulty sitting still for 30 minutes at a time.

Finding a great teacher will take multiple attempts. Some teachers’ styles of teaching might not vibe with yours. And you have to be picky when choosing a teacher. Once you’ve found a good piano teacher, treat them well and make sure your payments are on time. A good teacher is one in a hundred. Trust me.

How do I practice?

Practicing is an art that will take time to master. I would strive for 10-15 minutes of practice every day because quantity is going to be better. It’s better to practice often than to practice one hour once a week.

Imagine if you’re paying for lessons and you see your teacher once a week. Seven days go by and you haven’t even opened your book. Oops. Seven days is a long time to waste and you’ve most likely forgotten what your teacher taught you. Remember: practice often.

If your teacher assigns you a song, practice the most difficult parts of the song. I wouldn’t waste my time on repeating the same easy parts. Your time is valuable and it is not a good use of time to play only the easy sections.

How long does it take to learn the piano?

It varies for everyone and I wouldn’t be worried if it takes you two or three years to start seeing significant results. Three months or less is not enough time to learn the piano. I would look at learning the piano as a long term endeavor. The more time you invest into practicing and learning the piano, the better you’ll become.

For young children, three years is a decent amount of time for them to grasp all the basic knowledge and skills they’ll need. Adults will learn faster, but be wary of not committing and quitting early. Just because you’re older, it doesn’t mean that you won’t struggle with musical concepts either. A good piano teacher is an absolute must if you are serious about learning the piano. And YouTube will not suffice along with apps like simply piano.

As a music teacher, I’m sad to say that I don’t endorse apps for music learning. I think Josh Wright’s videos on YouTube are superb for learning piano concepts. I also recommend Paul Barton’s videos for advice on the piano. I just don’t like music apps. They charge too much and many aspiring piano players waste their money on them.

How do I stay motivated or how do I find the time to practice with my busy schedule?

All adults will struggle with committing to a practice schedule. I am guilty of this too, don’t worry. I usually practice the hour or two hours before my lesson starts. And I think that’s okay. I understand that all of us have other responsibilities and obligations. We don’t always have time to practice. Don’t be hard on yourself for this.

As far as motivation goes, you have to keep trying. A great teacher will be able to keep you on track and you just have to trust the process. You’ll start learning the basics and it’s okay to start from the beginning; everyone has to start somewhere. Just don’t let yourself quit right away until you have given it your best try. 

Types of pianos

There are multiple types of pianos and I will provide a picture for each type.

Digital Piano:

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Keyboards:

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Upright Piano:

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Baby Grand Piano:

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Grand Piano:

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Brands of pianos

Yamaha pianos are great for long term piano students. They last forever and the touch is a little heavy. I find that the sound is less resonant, but these pianos are beautiful.

Kawai pianos are also fantastic. I suggest looking into deals or coupons before purchasing these pianos. On their website, they offer great deals. Music stores often offer deals on these pianos. And the price range for these high quality pianos are high.

I can attest to Pramberger pianos being the best. I enjoy the light touch, bright sound, and the great quality of the keys. These pianos last forever and I would never purchase another piano other than a Pramberger piano.

Other brands you may see are Bosendorfer, Bluthner, Steinway & Sons, Bechstein, Fazioli, Mason and Hamlin, Stuart and Sons, Schimmel, and Grotrian Steinweg.

The best selling piano brands are Steinway & Sons, Mason & Hamlin, Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Kawai, Bechstein, Baldwin, Charles R. Walter, and Yamaha. 

I suggest that when you are looking at pianos, consider the touch of the piano (how it feels when you play it- light/heavy), the sound (bright/deep), the color (black, wood, or white), and where you are going to place it in your home.

Print sheet music at home

If there are songs that you want to play, but you don’t want to buy the entire book, check out sheet music online. I would google “canon in D piano sheet music” and print out the public domain copy of the song. There are popular songs that don’t cost anything to print and there will be songs that you have to pay for. I wouldn’t purchase anything unless you know that the sheet music the owner provides is unique and can’t be found anywhere else.

Additional Resources

I have other blogs about playing the piano below. Pick the ones you need and I hope this information is helpful for you! Continue to read my blog for more information on playing the piano.

Five Techniques/Exercises for Beginner Piano Players to Gain Finger Strength and How to Play Better

How to afford multiple music lessons at a time

5 Simple tips on how to improve communication with your piano teacher or the student’s parents

What to expect from your child’s teacher

5 tips on how to find a good piano teacher

Keyboard or Real Piano?

Is amazon trustworthy for buying piano books?

Do you like reading my blogs? If you want more, please check out Cleverly Begun and Live Strong and Beautiful

Everything is Happening so Fast

I’ve been writing drafts and deleting them because after I bought my domain, I feel like I have to impress other people with my writing. And I haven’t been able to feel comfortable with that. I want to be able to write like I used to. I don’t care if people are not as interested. What is the point of blogging if you aren’t able to say what you want to say?

I’ve been learning more about blogging and I finally joined Amazon affiliates. Word ads has been a whole new learning curve for me. And I haven’t even started redesigning my blog. I have been very excited though. My facebook page for Pocketfuloflearning is back up and I am still writing every day.

I’ve been working day in and day out. And it’s exhilarating. Blogging is so much fun and I can’t stop working on my blogs.

If you want to check out my other blogs, they are:

Cleverly Begun

Live Strong and Beautiful

Thank you always for reading 🙂

Five Techniques/Exercises for Beginner Piano Players to Gain Finger Strength and How to Play Better

I’ve been teaching for a long time and there’s so many mistakes I’ve seen beginner piano players do. They might lift their fingers too high or apply too much pressure on the keys. That’s why this week, I’m going to be sharing five techniques that can change your piano playing and help you fix those bad habits.

1. Master the art of the five finger exercise. Place both hands in C position. Start with the left hand and play the pinky first, then the fourth finger, third finger, second finger, and the thumb. Then play going back down. Repeat this for the right hand. Each finger is being exercised here and it will help to ease any tensions in the hands. You’ll look like a professional after mastering this exercise.

2. Set your hands at C position and start with the right hand first. Play fingers 1 and 3 together at the same time. Hold it there. Then play fingers 2 and 4 together. Hold it there. Lastly, play fingers 3 and 5 together. Your hands may be shaky at first. Play slow and you’ll progressively get better. This exercise helps with finger power!

3. Relax your hands! I know this may be very difficult in the beginning and I understand. For me, my hands didn’t start to relax until years later. It’s helpful to constantly remind yourself to keep your hands relaxed. If you do this correctly, you’ll see more improvement in your playing right away.

4. Keep your fingers curved. Playing with flat fingers is tough. And if you’re a beginner, it will take some time getting used to playing with curves fingers. Work at it every day. I recommend placing curved fingers on the piano, but not playing anything. Take a look at your posture and correct yourself if needed.

5. When you’re practicing a song, as you advance a little further, make sure to practice with separate hands first. Playing with separate hands should be the first step, but you will want to start practicing with both hands right away after. You’ll see much more progress in your practice sessions this way.

How much does a piano cost? (Keyboard, Upright and Grand Piano) A helpful guide to also buying a piano

Not everyone can afford to buy a piano. And if you really want to start learning the piano, that could be a big problem. That’s why I want to help you find the right piano for you and make sure you get it at the right price.

A keyboard is your best bet for a beginner and especially for younger children. The keys are softer and easier to play than a real piano. I caution you to look for an 88 key piano and not settle for less than that. If the keyboard has 88 keys, then that means it is a full piano. Anything less, unless you are buying a keyboard for a 2-3 year old, is not good enough. Another thing to be wary of is how big the keys are. They should be normal size and not smaller. I’ve found that some keyboards on amazon sell these cheaper keyboards with smaller keys. I also caution against keyboards that have an electronic sound. It will not sound pleasant and it gets tiring very quickly listening to it. Weighted keys (keys that can change in volume by how hard or little pressure you use to press it) are the best, but not absolutely necessary for beginners. I would also look into making sure the keyboard comes with a stand to hold it up. Be careful of online purchasing. The best way to purchase any piano is to see it in person. Keyboards can range from $80-$200. I would say $120 for a keyboard will guarantee that it’s a good quality.

I want to give a small mention to the amazing pianos they sell at guitar center pictured below. The Williams Rhapsody 2 88-key digital piano is the best piano for its price. It’s priced at around $500, but completely worth it. You won’t have to purchase another piano after this and it will keep its pristine quality for a lifetime. Since it’s digital, you don’t have to worry about tuning the piano either. I love that it comes with two pedals, a full set of 88 keys, a recording ability for piano players to hear how they play, weighted keys, a metronome (to count the beats in a song), and a stand to hold the music up. Shout out to the best piano ever made at the perfect price! My students love this piano and I love it also.

What is an upright piano? An upright piano is in the featured picture of this post. It is considered a real piano with pedals. I also have a piano bench that goes with the piano. My preference for upright pianos are “bright” sounds and soft keys. Each piano will have a different “touch” and you have to try it yourself to see how the piano keys feel. Some will be harder to push down and some pianos have lower sounds. Pedals are absolutely necessary if you are an intermediate piano player. Buying an upright piano is not necessary for a beginner piano player. The costs go from $2,000-$15,000 depending on the make and model of the piano. I prefer black because it’s easier to clean and it always looks nice.

There are two types of grand pianos and that’s where the price skyrockets up. The types are a baby grand piano and a grand piano. I would only suggest buying a grand piano, either type, if you are serious about playing piano and you’re an advanced piano player. The price can range from $20,000-$200,000 depending on the piano.

I hope you found this guide super helpful in your search for a piano. Learning the piano has been the best gift I have ever received and I hope you find the best piano for you.

Is blogging worth it?

This is part of my series of answering questions about blogging. In order to answer this question effectively, you really have to ask yourself why you are blogging in the first place. What is your goal? What do you want from blogging? The thing is… you aren’t going to see results immediately. It takes years sometimes for a blog to grow into a profitable one. And you have to weigh that into your decision before you decide to start blogging.

If waiting for a couple of months or years is okay with you, then blogging might seem worth it for you. In addition, if putting hundreds of blog posts out and getting no results is okay with you, then go for it. But please, do not think that blogging is a get rich scheme. It is not. And you will be very disappointed to find that out.

For me, blogging is about sharing my thoughts and it’s such a cool place to interact with other people. The community is very welcoming and I see blogging as a long term gain. I want to have my blog for years and years into the future. And I’m very happy with that outcome. That is why I think blogging is worth it for me.

Why you need to build skills

I think we are told endlessly to get good grades and go to college. And after, we’re just supposed to magically have a great job that pays a lot of money. That is false. If you are solely relying on any degree to be successful, you are sorely mistaken. You will need to be better than the rest of the pack. Everyone around you will have a degree, so what makes you so special with your degree?

In order to set yourself apart from other people, you have to be unique. Your skills will make you more hirable and attractive to job employers. Sadly, everyone wants to the best and not everyone can be. If you start early and begin building valuable skills, your chances of having a better life are greatly going to increase.

These skills have to be unique. I can give some examples:

1. Speaking a foreign language and becoming fluent in writing/reading- you will become more hirable at law firms, translator gigs will pay much more for your time, and you can reach more audience if you blog in many different languages

2. Playing an instrument- you could probably guess that I was going to write about this and you were right. Teaching music classes, making a website of your featured pieces, or sharing them on YouTube are all viable options to become better than your peers

3. Computer knowledge- knowing how to fix computers or smartphones can lead to a good source of income. It could start with friends and family, and eventually turn into an online business

Those are just a small subset of examples I can think of. If you are creative and skilled at something, you are going to become more successful. Start building your skills day by day, and slowly start watching your progress. Use these skills as tools for gaining jobs or earning money. It will take awhile, but nothing worth having comes easily.

If you liked reading this article, please go check out my other two blogs where I post more articles 👍

Cleverly Begun

Written by a strong woman

I did it!

I decided to go for it and finally make this blog into the real thing. You’re looking at the proud owner of Pocketfuloflearning.org and I’m so excited to continue posting on here. I love the way my blog currently looks and I can’t wait to expand more on here. I’m still learning the ropes of how everything works, but I’m so happy. Thank you for all the support!

The one thing I need every single day

I need my cup of coffee every day. I realized that I just don’t function the same without it. It’s funny how just a cup of elixer like this can become your lifeline. I’ll feel like a zombie before I get my coffee. Who have I become? 😁😓

Stockpiling and nervousness

I’m extra afraid that purchasing the domain for this blog will not be a good thing. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and I feel like I just need to take the plunge to do it. Do you guys have any advice?

I think what will make me feel better is if I stockpile a lot of blog posts and save them to post later. I’ll feel like I prepared for this instead of doing it on a whim. It’ll be like I’m saving food for winter ❄️ I also don’t want to become inconsistent. I think my biggest fear is that I will stop blogging for good and the money would have been a waste. Arghhh what do I do? I’m going to start stockpiling in the meantime 😓

Daily Motivation #2 Stick With It

I think that I have a huge tendency not to commit to projects unless there’s an incentive. I’m not a big believer in trying to achieve many goals, but I do have goals in my life that I want to achieve. I also have a lifestyle that I want for my future self. And I’m very motivated now to work hard. I know that life is not easy. And I can see myself in the future living the life I imagined I would.

I want to ultimately become a mommy blogger. Right now, my blog is mostly about me and my day to day life. However, I want to have my blog in the future too. This is a long term commitment for me. And I can see myself blogging while at home in the future. It would be so much fun to still create and share my ideas on my blog. I hope I can manifest my dream and make it happen 💫

Day One: Set Three Goals

I’m taking this mini course on getting my blog on the right start. I’ve been blogging for awhile, but not until lately have I been investing a lot of my time into creating my blog. I have two other blogs and three in total. I’ve been slowly uploading consistently on all my blogs and it’s been a blast to see the response that I’m getting. Blogging is truly addicting and it makes me so happy. I’m going to write three goals for each different blog and customize it to what will fit for each blog. For this blog, I’m hoping to:

1. Reach 500 followers by the end of this year

2. Post consistently three to six times every week

3. Inspire other people to be productive and to live their best life 😊

If you want to read more of my blog posts, click here and here.

A day in the life of a piano teacher 🍎 🍏

I find myself really busy all the time. There are a million things on my todo list and honestly, there’s not enough time in the day to get everything done. For me, I always make sure that all of my students are progressing. And that takes a lot of attention and decision making every day.

Today, I started out with a doctors appointment. I cleaned out my teaching bag yesterday night so I have a clean start for this new week. I also answered some text messages from parents. I almost always get texts every day from parents either to reschedule or cancel a lesson. Before lessons, I spend time answering all these texts for the day. I then start packing my teaching bag. I carry a lot of materials with me when I go to teach. It’s a big deal to really stock up on materials because my students use it up very fast. After that, I usually almost always bring a big bottle of water and a coffee for the day. Then, I’m out the door.

For me, I use google calendar for all of my scheduling. I know I’ve written a separate blog post about google calendar before, but if you guys want me to write another one, I can explain more about how I use it. Google calendar is my lifeline. It’s where I store ALL of my information on lessons and addresses. I also store personal events and reminders for every aspect of my life on there. It’s kind of like a planner, but more catered to my style of planning. I also share my calendar with my boyfriend so he can see what I have to do for the day. He also shares his calendar with me. I glance at my calendar for the day and I see how my day is going to be.

I travel to each of my students’ homes to teach. It’s convenient for me because I don’t want to teach from my own home. And they like the convenience of it. Each student has lesson books and technical exercise books I’ve chosen for them. We go through the lesson by me watching them play. And I give feedback. At times, I’ll have to teach a concept and they just listen. I have four lessons today. That’s quite a large load for me on a typical day. I average about 4-5 lessons a day.

I don’t know how today’s going to go because I haven’t started my lessons yet. But I hope it’s going to be a good day 🤞 I hope everyone is having a good Monday!