You have to read this book! (or not…)

music library

Actually…this is a short list of the books that I have read this summer.  I can’t say that I read every single word…but the chapters I read were really good, extremely helpful in planning for the new semester even if it was just for me to realize that I wasted my money on buying the book…

  • The Savvy Musician – I’ve owned this book for a year or two.  It is full of information that I don’t necessarily need but chapter #7 made me realize I need more gigs. Gigs? really, Dorla?  Well, in my world that translates to saying yes to church performances.  Most of them are volunteer- however I had underestimated the positive reaction of the families enrolled in my Studio each time they actually hear me perform.
  • Teaching Piano in Groups – Kindle version. I am listing it because I actually read more than 3 chapters.  But it is geared toward college professors – not dynamic independent studios who need to be at the cutting edge of piano teaching.  It reads like a textbook. Well…it is definitely a textbook!
  • Piano Lessons: A memoir – Kindle version. Such a good book to read by the pool. You can hear the piano teacher’s voice as she rants and raves – but there is also drama. Real drama that even included a few words about my school TCU! A great read about the life of a pianist.
  • How I Made $100,00 My First Year As A Piano Teacher – I am sure I have mentioned Kristin Yost before.  Her book is VERY easy to read – and that is a good thing.  She gets to the point and makes you think hard about how you will set up your first studio or how you are running your 20 year old studio.  Kristin’s book made me re-think recitals (p. 14), her idea of hiring musicians for a “Keyboard Jam” was just that. An idea.  But a few weeks after reading her book I was privileged to attend her “Keyboard Jam” and loved it!  It made me take the final step in deciding to change my studio recitals.  We now play at the local Nursing Home once a month and  I am working on a few other musical opportunities!
  • Steal Like An Artist – Thanks to Leila I now have a new favorite book! The author of this little book says: “Be Boring. (It’s the only way to get work done.) This is one of those books that you read over and over  again. Simply awesome.
  • Studio Makeover: Technology “Addition” – eBook. Can you believe Leila also recommended this one? She is a treasure trove! Anyway…a decade or more ago I had a computer lab in my studio for the students to work on music theory, composition, ear training, etc. I don’t remember if there was a specific reason for closing it down, but I just could not keep up any longer. Nowadays it is a piece of cake – provided your computer is not a dinosaur…this ebook took me step by step and showed me what to do and how to do it with today’s technology. I did not even purchase any new software – everything is online – just the way I like it.  Next year I might invest in new software, however it was exciting to be able to have this technology addition without a big expense.
  • The Dynamic Studio – Kindle version. When you read any of Johnston’s books it feels like your body is being pumped with adrenaline. His voice is so fast paced! I wonder if he speaks as fast as I read him! Granted, I did not read every single word. I can always come back and research or review.  His ideas are always good.  Some a little extreme. But it validated the changes I have made in my studio.  If you are stuck in a rut – strive for a dynamic studio!
  • Piano Hands Should Not Flip Burgers – eBook. Another fast paced book – but full of gems! There are many things that I have wanted to add to my student’s lessons but was not really sure how to go about it.  Composition, improvisation, games, things I would do once in a while without a good plan.  Well, Dow & Dow (the authors) put it on paper for me and I had my aha! moment. A favorite to re-read.

So…what have you been reading?