This indispensable seems like a no-brainer, but how many of us really give our studio lighting proper attention?
#5 – GOOD LIGHTING
I used to think that a “proper” piano lamp should be one of these:
While it does look lovely on a grand piano and illuminates the music rack quite well, I later discovered just how hot these little babies get when I accidentally burned my hand on one. Ouch! I learned fast not to reach up and adjust it while it was on (!).
As I started adding more young students to my studio, I began to worry about their little hands reaching up to adjust it and forgetting about my warning to them about the lamp’s heat, so….. I now use this one instead:
OttLite Battery Task Lamp
I originally purchased this compact Ottlite for my needlework (it’s intended for craft work), but it’s been wonderful sitting on the left side of my music rack shining clean “daylight” on sheet music. I can see all the fine print with ease with hardly any glare and almost no heat. And who needs more heat while teaching during a Texas summer?
I also like that this little lamp is energy-efficient and I just fold it down to turn it off like this:
Mine can run on a rechargeable battery so I can move it around to wherever I need it, but not all styles have that feature. It weighs only 4 lbs with a very stable base and so far it hasn’t fallen over. There are some that weigh less, and besides black or white, Ottlite offers them in some cool nifty colors. I purchased a floor lamp style (for almost 1/2 price!) which I now use for my needlework and sewing. Love it!
BEST PRICE: 23.68 to 49.99 for a desktop version at Amazon HERE, depending on the particular features you desire. Joann Fabric and Craft stores has them on sale this week HERE and in their stores. The store will always honor the online price. If you miss the sale, check for weekly coupons at their site. They come in handy!
So do you have a particular lamp you really favor for your studio or studio piano? Please share if so. Remember….be kind to your eyes! And that of your students as well!
Here’s an oldie, but a goldie tool for studio teaching, especially if you teach in groups once in a while. I recall using these in group theory classes when I was child. How’s that for dating this item? and myself….
#4 – PLASTIC INTERLOCKING KEYBOARD
I didn’t really think I’d have a need for these in my private piano studio since I have 2 pianos in the studio, several flat laminated keyboards, a floor keyboard, and even a fabric keyboard, but this plastic dimensional keyboard has really come in handy.
This interlocking keyboard features full-sized white and raised black keys. Each two-octave keyboard can be interlocked to make a longer keyboard.
Here’s a close-up of how two interlock:
I occasionally take this little keyboard with me to piano teacher workshops especially when I know there won’t be a projected view of the piano keyboard on an overhead screen. I just hold this up in the air for all in the audience to see as I demo a maneuver with my opposite hand. Of course it goes without saying that these are great for any sort of group teaching you might do when there’s just not enough keyboards to go around. They are light and sturdy, and they store easily too.
Here’s a few photos of how I’ve used them:
I.D. of black-key groups
I.D. of Half and Whole Steps using Susan Paradis’ clever Robosteps
The possibilities are endless….
Excellent silent-practice keyboard while at the dining room table waiting for your lesson!
BEST PRICE: $9.95 at Valentine’s House of Music in Houston, TX. Amazon or other online retailers in my Google search couldn’t beat Rick Valentine’s price. I don’t see it listed on Valentine’s website at this writing, but you can call (713) 868-7447 to order. He says he has plenty available. Rick is incredibly helpful and knowledgeable about educational piano music and keeps his shipping affordable for piano teachers (free shipping on all orders over $50). Certainly try your local sheet music retailer first. They may be able to order them for you.
If you’ve used these keyboards in your teaching, please comment and share your ideas!
Welcome to the new weekly series “Indispensables of Piano Teaching.” Like me you probably have several teaching manipulatives, tools, gadgets, or maybe a reference book that you always find yourself reaching for during lessons. I’ll be sharing one of my “can’t do without” items each week here on the blog for the next several weeks (not games or a specific activity, but an actual tool or gadget that I can’t do without). Please comment if you use any of the same tools and don’t hesitate to tell us how you use them in your studio. And maybe later I’ll highlight one of your favorite tools!
#1 – COLORED HIGHLIGHTER TAPE
I have found more uses for this tape than I could have realized! It’s fantastic for highlighting troublesome spots in a student’s music. You can write on it, see through it, remove it when a problem is corrected, and then reuse it! Students love the colors (pink, green, blue, yellow, red or purple) and I find it the MOST useful in guiding their home practice. Read More