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!

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

What’s been new with me

My birthday just recently passed and I’ve been working a lot. I have 21 piano and double bass students that I teach every week. They are quite a handful of young kids. And I’ve been noticing that some of the younger ones are not practicing. I’ve been thinking of implementing a check in on practicing every Thursday to see how their progress is going.

I dealt with some trials and tribulations yesterday, but I shared that with my other blog. I went out to buy my own shoes, so no one will steal them. And I hid my current ones away too 😁 They are my “teaching shoes” that I wear every day to go teach. Even my oldest sister, that I don’t live with anymore, knows that those shoes are mine. But somehow, they were taken when I needed to wear them… now that won’t happen! I’m also going camping today with friends. We’re camping in their backyard haha because we don’t want to tough out the actual wilderness. And bathroom breaks are a lot easier.

I have my first piano lesson of the day in 45 minutes. And I’ve been spending these last few minutes, as I always do, just relaxing and calming down. Yesterday was a good full day of lessons. My students definitely cheer me up when I feel down.

I hope everyone is having a great day 👍

Daily motivation #1

I’m doing this on my other blog, but I thought it would be cool to bring it on here also 🤗

Life can sure bring us down sometimes. You need good people around you. Your friends and family are going to be the most important people in your life. They will help you stand up and they’ll be there if you fall.

On the contrary, if someone does not help you; if they only want you to care and they don’t care about you, drop them. Fill your life with good people and watch your life flourish like a beautiful garden ☀️ 🌸 🌺 💐 🌹

Perfect Day

I had the most perfect day today. I went out to eat with my best friend for dinner. We went out to Grimaldis🥂 it’s a pizza place that serves really awesome food.

I learned that my friends are one of the most important people in my life. They motivate me to tackle each day head-on. And I am so happy to see them when we are both free. Friends add so much happiness to my life. I’m thankful for all of them.

I also spent the day with my amazing boyfriend. We don’t always get to spend the day together because of circumstances beyond our control. I was able to eat lunch with him. And it’s rare that we can eat a meal with just us at a table. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and napping. I really needed to take it easy for the rest of the day. He was also sick, and I had brought all sorts of medicine for him. While he slept, I was able to play some games on my phone. I played Mario Kart on my iPhone. That is such a fun game! I got first place every single round. My favorite character is toadette.

I’m ending the day with working out at the gym with my boyfriend. I’m actually writing this blog post while I’m on the bicycle in the gym. I’m learning that life is so precious. If I didn’t take the time today to appreciate the amazing people in my life, I would have taken this day for granted. Thank you God for bringing my loved ones in my life. I’m also chatting with my other best friends on text right now too. My best friend just told me she’ll be back from Reno for thanksgiving. Life is great ❤️

I want to take this time to thank all my friends for making my life so much better. I love you guys.

Small things

My heart has been so full of love lately and I’ve been falling in love with life again. I’m not the kind of person that gets too sappy. I know that my life is amazing. The people in my life are incredible. Everything is in place. I don’t want this happy feeling to end.

I’m even more happy that I’m blogging again. Blogging fills up the empty space in my heart that I didn’t know was missing. My two blogs are my babies. I’ve been posting for awhile. There’s something about blogs that make me so happy. I feel fulfilled when I blog.

I don’t think blogging is for everyone. Not everyone will stick with it for a long time. I took a break from blogging. And I came back to it. Blogging is continuous. Even if you take a break, your blog will always be there waiting for you 💜

Overcoming Fears of Rejection (Piano Teacher Edition)

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I mean, let’s face it… fear is probably the number one reason why we can’t expand our business. We often ask ourselves why our business is not working or if investing into our business is worth it. Remember this: it takes money to make money. You have to invest your time and some money in order to be successful. You can be as safe as you want and that is definitely okay. However, you have to ask yourself whether or not you really want this. Do you want to make your own business work? Do you want to be able to work for yourself? I think the answer to these questions are up to you. YOU make the decision, but never let other people make the decision for you.

Another fear that I initially had was the fear of losing students after only a couple of lessons. I had lost so many students that I liked and I almost thought there was no point in continuing to teach. However, I had to get over it. People will stop taking lessons eventually. I have to be happy that I even got the chance to make money and that I was able to teach them something.

There are many fears that we may have, but we cannot live in constant fear. We have to reach for our dreams. Even if they may seem far away, you have to believe in yourself. If anyone is going to believe in you, it has to be yourself. Stay strong and grow your amazing business. Don’t let the fear stop you 🙂

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