Taking time for yourself

I’m the kind of person that needs time to herself. I can’t be around a lot of people for a long time. I need to be by myself in order to stay calm. You’ll see me doing a lot of things by myself. I eat most of my meals alone. I relax by myself sometimes. And I prefer to have my alone time pretty much most of the day. I’ve always been like this my entire life. I think I’m a rare individual for feeling this way. I find it even more interesting that I frequently talk about moving to an island myself.

I might not be normal, but that’s okay with me. I know that I am super introverted and I’m happy. I don’t need other people to validate my feelings for myself. I have a strong sense of self and I’m okay with people leaving my life. When you realize that you’re the only person that can truly make you happy, your entire world changes for the better.

Why become a teacher?

Being a teacher has changed my life. I don’t think people quite understand why teaching is so important to me. When my students have a question, I’m always happy to give them an answer. When I see them succeed at learning a song or a small piece, I’m so proud. I’ve always been their number one fan. I’m rooting for them to succeed. And I hope that I can be their mentor. When they grow older, they can pass on the knowledge I gave to them.

Teaching has given me a purpose. I care about their progress and I know it’s my responsibility to help them as much as I can. This has changed my life for the better. I’ve grown to be responsible and I know my students can rely on me to be there for them.

Whenever I see pictures or videos of piano students, I feel a sense of awe. I can’t believe a teacher was able to teach them how to navigate this complex instrument! And I can’t believe I have been doing that for many years now! Behind every successful student, there is a great music teacher. I know I would be nowhere without my teacher. I am so blessed to be a teacher!

Sometimes I feel like my community is so small

I realized that the reason why I was feeling like blogging was going out of style was because I don’t interact with the blogging community enough. I just went through the discovery feed on WordPress and I found tons of great blogs that I would love reading. I felt like I was only experiencing a tiny sliver of what WordPress has to offer. I heard that WordPress has millions of users, but I only followed a few. I am going to connect with the community more and continue to explore. The WordPress community is big! And I’m excited to read amazing blog posts!

I’m getting search engine recognition

I think it’s finally time to announce that my blog is showing up on search engines. I’ve come a long way with my blogs. I feel like they’re not just hobbies anymore. They’ve become more than that. They’re almost like extensions of myself. I’ve spent a lot of time building and writing these blogs. And I’m very happy with the results. My blog is now showing up on search engines like google and bing. I didn’t know when the time would come when this would happen, but I’m excited. I’ve been blogging for awhile and it’s easy to forget about these small milestones. I hope to continue to make more successes with these blogs! Thank you for all the support along the way! 🙏

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.

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.

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!

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!