I could easily spend an entire day happily sifting through Pinterest… okay I could probably happily spend a week!
But when you’re a piano teacher time is precious, and you may think that Pinterest is simply a way to waste away hours looking at a hodge-podge of piano teaching games, outfits you’ll never own and gluten-free soup recipes. And while this certainly can happen (and boy oh boy is it fun!) if you have a great way to organize your online time, Pinterest is full of piano teaching treasures!
How To Use Pinterest To Find Piano Teaching Awesomeness… in Just 5 Steps
If you love new and exciting piano teaching ideas, then you definitely need a Pinterest account. It’s free and it’s easy to set up. Once you’re officially a “pinner”, follow along to find out how to use Pinterest in the most efficient and effective way.
1. Create boards that are very specific – avoid “Piano Teaching” or “Studio Ideas” and take it one step further by creating boards with uber-specific titles. My suggestions for a great arrangement of boards would be: Piano Teaching Games, Piano Studio Event Ideas, Shareables for Studio Facebook and Newsletters, Benefits of Music Articles to Share With Parents, Piano Studio Advertising Inspiration, Piano Recital Ideas, Piano Blog Posts I Love, YouTube Videos for Piano Teaching, Piano Studio Wish List.
With boards like these, you’ll always be able to find what you need immediately. Having just one board called “Piano Teaching Ideas” means you’ll likely never find what you need when you need it. If you also like to pin other interests beyond piano teaching, consider starting a Pinterest account under your studio name to keep your piano teaching pins separate and organized.
2. Add your own comment to each pin – add your immediate ideas on how you will use what you’ve just found (such as “Modify this game and use bass clef flash cards” or “Great spring recital theme” etc.) This enables you to quickly remember why you pinned the image in the first place, and it also contributes to the overall Pinterest community. Adding hashtags also helps other users find helpful content (#pianogames #pianolessons #halloweenpianogame etc.) You can add your own comments as you pin, or you can do so after the fact by clicking the “edit button” on the pin.
3. Don’t just hang out on Pinterest – add the “pin-it” button to your browser and as you read your favorite blogs be sure to pin images and ideas onto Pinterest. Pinterest gets very “recycled” after a while when you’re always searching for the same topic. Grab new content from your favourite bloggers and use pinterest to organize it for you so you will never again be thinking “Now, where did I see that idea…”
4. Create Desktop Folders – Even if you have the most organized Pinterest boards, you still want to save your resources onto your computer – nothing on Pinterest is guaranteed to last forever and a simple broken link can mean you’ve lost your resource forever!
Create folders on your computer to keep those those “gotta save this” resources As you pin, be sure to also download the materials that go with the article you’ve found at the same time. Each time you download a pdf, save it to the appropriate file on your computer (Piano Teaching Games, Composing Activities, Practice Activities etc.). I go one step further and create sub-folders within these folders and then organize by season or by when I intend on using each resource.
5. Make use of Commercial Printers – Now that your resources are nicely organized, at the start of each month (or however often you do your planning) go through your folders, decide what you’re going to use and then send the pdf file to your commercial printer. I use Staples as they have a really simple online uploading system. At the start of each month I choose my practice activities, supplementary repertoire, composing project, and games and I send them all to Staples. I can select color vs. black and white, laminating, cutting… you name it and I pick it up when I go grocery shopping. Whammo… the bulk of my planning is done for a fraction of the cost of printing myself… and a huge chunk of time has been saved. I hate cutting and pasting 🙂
Aren’t We Lucky?
A huge part of piano teaching success is staying relevant; with the online world, you have every opportunity to do just that. Don’t feel guilty about the time you spend online – but do make use of it in an efficient way. It’s easy to get lost in the web, but if you set out with an organized approach you’ll actually end up saving time in the long run and your studio will benefit from the thousands of ideas just waiting to be found by you!