I used to joke that my first cat had sat in on well over 20,000 piano lessons and still she couldn't play like Nora.
Twenty years ago I was excited to have 4 fonts on my little MacSE30 and I could make primitive rhythm flash cards if I combined circles and lines. I had no email contact with family or friends while at university and there was no Pinterest to find inspiration for teaching aids. When you cut and pasted it really meant with scissors and glue.
In my mind, it has been the past ten years that have been truly amazing for piano teachers. Just stop and think about technology in the past decade and how it has impacted our piano studios.
Hope you don't mind letting me indulge in my personal trip through history:
2004I hired someone to build a website for my piano studio. I had to spend about $1000 to have that website built...that's just what it cost 10 years ago! I was also self-publishing Music Discoveries, which is another story altogether. There were no digital downloads and there was no Paypal (or at least people were generally not comfortable with PayPal yet)...imagine!
2008I started uploading movies to YouTube. My students are always speechless when I remind them that YouTube has only been around since 2005 and the quality was pretty weak in the beginning. YouTube has become an exciting way to share student videos with families. Of course, YouTube is the place to go to learn how to do most anything these days. With an endless supply of tutorials and concerts, YouTube has made a huge impact on my day to day teaching (and learning).
2009Piano Discoveries! This was a very creative year and my philosophy was "create and share freely". My new website was a massive project and pushed my limits of creating teaching material with every multimedia tool I knew. This was an exciting time when I really began to connect with a larger community of piano teachers.
2010What they heck is a blog? It was probably in 2010 when I first bumped into sites like Compose Create, Color in My Piano and of course Susan Paradis' Teaching Aids. And I'll admit it, I was so confused. I didn't understand why they were different every time I visited. My experience was with static websites and it hadn't occurred to me that one could present and organize material in a blog. Another game changer!
This is also the year I got my first iPad so it was exciting to be one of the first piano teaching bloggers to start sharing apps and creative resources for making use of the ipad in the piano studio.
2011I decided to start my Pianoanne Blog to share tips, resources and ideas for piano teachers. At the time, I was studying for two piano pedagogy exams so I used my blog to reflect and share my studies. I think my goal was to post everyday for a month. I figured if people are going to follow my blog I'm going to need some content.
I started making use of Dropbox this year. When I was sharing teaching aids on my blog it was easy to store the pdf in Dropbox and just share the link. Likewise, it became easier to deliver studio newsletters. Some families had computers that rejected emailed pdf attachments, so now I just send a link to the newsletter in Dropbox.
And then there's Facebook. I avoided Facebook for as long as I could and finally got a Pianoanne Facebook page in 2011, deleted it, then got it back. Show of hands...how many people have delete their Facebook accounts and then take them back?
2012Pinterest was first launched in 2010 and I started pinning in 2012. From a user's point of view Pinterest is a brilliant way to collect and organize all the bright ideas that are out there. From a blogger's perspective it has made a major impact on how we create images for our sites. Peep if you love Pinterest.
2013This year I brought SoundCloud into my studio. SoundCloud has been a wonderful way to share mp3s with my students. Sometimes these are quick little practice recordings and sometimes it's a best performance, but SoundCloud makes it easy to share. I love that I can group my entire studio into a set and share it on my studio website pages. It's also a great practice tool; when my students were practicing for the Crazy Combo concert I sent them slow practice recordings on SoundCloud so they could play along with their virtual partners at home.
It's amazing isn't it? And the list could go on with ipad apps, notation software and recording tools. Take a minute to think about the impact technology has made in your studio in recent years.
I feel so grateful to have had these past ten years to celebrate technology in the studio and I'm grateful for the ten years before to help me appreciate how far we have come. Thanks to my husband who has always encouraged me to dance around in multimedia and comes to the rescue when there are just too many cables. I wonder what's going to be next?