Category Archives: Teaching Business

Student Challenge Chart to Edit or Print by Hand

[Not Editable] Student Challenge Chart

[Personalize on your computer] Fillable Student Challenge Chart

Today I am posting two versions of a chart to make a list of students in your studio. I made two versions. The first one is blank so you can hand write your students’ names. The second one is editable in Adobe Reader. I use the editable one for my theory challenge because it is a really easy and fast way to make a student chart.

The dates and title of the chart can also be edited. I use the date of the beginning of each week because there is not enough room to add the month.

You can use this for any kind of studio-wide activity, such as a practice challenge, theory challenge, scale challenge, or sight reading challenge. It can be used for anything where you need a checklist or even to keep attendance or to assign music.  You can name the editable chart anything you wish and type anything that will fit into the text fields. If you can’t fit something in, you can change the size of the font. Be sure to delete “Student Name” (select>delete) if you have less than 21 students.

I hope you find these charts helpful!

Directions to Personalize the Chart

If you wish to change the font, color, and size, follow the directions below. You must use Adobe Reader DC which is free to  download from the web .  If you are having trouble opening this file in Adobe Reader, this link might help.

Directions for a PC

  • Download and save the PDF file. Open it in Adobe Reader DC.
  • Select the text you wish to edit.
  • Click Control E and the text properties box will open.
  • In the font box, you will be able to change the font, the color of the font, and the size of the font. You do not need to, however.

Directions for a Mac

  • Download and save the file. Open it in Adobe Reader DC. Do not use Preview.
  • Select the text you wish to edit.
  • Right click on the selected text.  A menu box will open. Select “Hyperlink.”
  • The Form Field Text Properties menu will open. Select Font to change the color and size, but you do not need to.





Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

Piano Camp 2017 with Marvin Blickenstaff

UPDATE: Due to the terrible hurricane and flooding in South Texas, Elizabeth Gutierrez, the director of Piano Camp for Piano Teachers, has extended the sale price to Sept. 4 and also included a way to help teachers in the South Texas area. Teachers have lost their music, their pianos, and who knows when they will be able to teach again.

A Message From Elizabeth:

“It is with such a heavy heart that I write all of you involved with Piano Camp for Piano Teachers or the Piano Teacher Academy. No doubt you have all seen the ongoing loss and devastation occurring in Houston/TX coastal areas with the catastrophic flood. And now, areas east of Austin are affected by river flooding. A few members of my family plus numerous friends and teaching colleagues are trapped in their homes or shelters either having lost everything or in some peril of losing their homes, belongings, livelihoods, etc. I want to do more than send personal donations. I want to try to contribute more substantially, especially to my TexasMTA colleagues who will need help in rebuilding their lives.

Tuesday, August 29 through Monday, Sept. 4 (midnight Central time), 10% of all net course sales at will go to the MTNA Benevolence Fund.” 

Piano Camp 2017

Marvin Blickenstaff is one of the foremost experts in piano pedagogy today. He is such a gifted teacher and speaker, and he inspires others to greater heights in our own teaching. And he is always ready to share his knowledge with other teachers. Unfortunately only a small percentage of piano teachers have the opportunity to study with him or to attend one of his presentations.

He teaches in the most positive, encouraging, beautiful way. He tells a story, shares the history, paints a picture, evokes a feeling… so that by the time the student plays the piece again, it is utterly transformed. And so are we, the listeners. Marvin Blickenstaff is Magical. -Amy Barker, College Station, Tx. 

This year at Piano Camp in San Antonio, a small group of teachers was blessed with his presence. Many teachers want to hear inspiring teachers like Marvin, but do not have the opportunity.  This year the sessions were recorded, so it is as if we can all be there to learn and grow. Teachers from all over the world can experience what it is like to listen to one of our greatest living piano teaching experts. If you are ready to learn from a living legend, consider this course. Here is what a piano teacher said about Marvin Blickenstaff:

Read more on the Piano Camp Page.

This course is on sale until midnight, August. 31, 2017. Sept. 4, 2017. The investment for the Camp’s four sessions is only $127 (you can divide the payments up) and you will receive LIFETIME ACCESS to these sessions and the handouts.

Topics in the Course

Warm-Ups? Who, Me? Technical Routines for All Ages – by Marvin Blickenstaff (90 minutes)

Performance Practice Made Easy: Rules of Thumb for the Student – by Marvin Blickenstaff (82 minutes)

The End is in the Beginning: Coaching a Piece to Performance – by Marvin Blickenstaff (65 minutes)

A Simple Step-by-Step Start to Major Scales, All Without a Book – by Elizabeth Gutierrez (47 minutes)

Video Preview

Scroll down at this link to watch a special preview of Marvin reflecting on his collboration with educational composer, Lynn Freeman Olson. (10 minutes)

VIP Bundle On Sale!

In addition to the 2017 Piano Camp being on sale, for a short time you can also buy this course bundled with Sorting Out the Piano Classics, a very comprehensive course by Elizabeth Gutierrez who teaches how and when to teach piano classics. You can get both courses at an excellent sales price until midnight, August 31. Sept. 4, 2017 Split payments are available.

Hurry! The sale price is good only until August 31, Sept. 4, midnight. 

Get Both Courses On Sale

Marvin Blickenstaff is known among piano teachers throughout the country for his teaching, lecturing, performing, and publishing. Currently he maintains a private studio in the Philadelphia area and teaches at The New School for Music Study in Princeton. In 2007 he was named Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto. He was honored in 2009 with MTNA’s highest award, the MTNA Achievement Award, and was selected in 2013 by the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy for its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Elizabeth Gutierrez has years of experience teaching piano, piano pedagogy, and piano literature to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Texas at San Antonio. She has given numerous workshops and master classes to teachers around the globe and also as a national clinician for Faber Piano Adventures. For her workshops and online courses, she draws on her extensive background as an independent teacher, professor, performer, and composer/editor/author.







Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

2017 Calendar – Personalize in Word!

Editable Calendar 2017_2018

This is a version of my studio calendar that you can personalize in Word. If you have Word for Windows (or Word for Mac), all you need to do is open this file and type in the month, date, and the name of your event in the table that I provided.

The table is fully editable so you can change the font, the size, and the number of columns and rows. The title “Schedule of Events” is editable. You can even change the color of the type. In my example above, I centered the name of the month, but that is your choice. I suggest using a font that does not clash with the rest of the Calendar, such as Times New Roman.

If you’re not too familiar with tables in Word, they are very easy. To move from column to column, use the TAB key. Compared to playing the piano, it’s a piece of cake! The lines of the table are invisible when you print, although you can change that in the settings.

[Edited: When you open this in Word, it is possible the table guidelines will not show up! To make the table guidelines appear, in the  “Home” tab select the drop down menu of the “Border” icon (which looks like a box with a two lines going each way). Open the Borders tab and select “View Guidelines.” Please make sure you are in Word and not Google Docs. To open in Word, you might need to right-click and use the “Save Link As.”]

Please see my last post on some ideas of how to use this calendar!

Thank you for following my Terms of Use and not sharing this file with anyone but your piano students.




Filed under Teaching Aids, Teaching Business

Binder Cover Bundle

Binder Cover Bundle

Binder Cover Bundle free download

I made a set of binder covers because it’s fun to change things around.

The top two covers are for teachers or students. The cover on the top right is not editable, because some teachers want to just print and go. The editable one is on the left.

I made Piano Fun to organize my music resources. You can type in your studio name or use it for students by typing their name.  At the bottom there are 3 spaces to edit the type. If you use it for students, you could type, for example, Music, Assignments, and Theory. The middle text box is long enough to type “assignments.”

On the bottom left, there are two generic covers I made for anyone to use for any subject. The black and white striped cover has a long text field so you can type a name, or maybe “Music Binder.” You can type a subject in the brown one, or a student name.

Here are the instructions on how to type into the three PDF’s that are editable. Not edible! Every time I type the word editable I get hungry! 🙂 The editable file is not edible, although one time my student’s bunny ate half of his sheet music making it hard to turn pages. Fortunately it was memorized!


  • Open the editable file you wish to use in Adobe Reader DC. (It is a free program.)
  • The first cover (Piano Fun) in the file is not editable.
  • Scroll down to the cover you wish to edit.
  • Click on the text you wish to edit and type your new text. The blue boxes will not print.
  • When you have finished typing in your text, select print and print only the page you edited by selecting the correct page in the print dialog box.
  • When you close the file, you will be asked if you wish to save it. If you save the file, you will still be able to edit it later.

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