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#1807987 - 12/18/11 09:07 AM just making conversation
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Since Gary mentioned the dearth of comments lately on PW, I decided to start a thread about whatever you want to say. Just a thread to keep conversation going.

So I'll start. Here's what students gave me:

One family gave me a tall container of truffles and a $20 gift card to Joseph Beth Booksellers. So I really feel appreciated!

A new student gave me an unwrapped Coach box. Inside was a Coach coin purse with a price tag attached (had been marked down to $69). It's a silver colored leather with a cloth lining. The gift paper was extra crinkled which made me certain this is a re-gift. I have a feeling the 7 year old said he wants to give his teacher a present, so the mother pulled this out of a storage closet. But still, I was delighted! This is the one parent who I get the feeling doesn't really like me. (She thought I spent to long on pre-reading skills with her son, but I think it was necessary work.) So this may indicate that our relationship is improving.

A 7 year old brought me an ornament she had made in school. The kind where the child has white paint on their hand and imprints it on the glass ornament. Then paints snowmen faces on each finger. She did a very careful job, making nice faces. And again, I feel appreciated!

And lastly another 7 year old gave me a bag of Dove dark chocolates which she had obviously wrapped herself, and a hand written message on a card. She wanted me to guess what was in the wrapping. I said "Something to eat?" She said "yes". I said "Chocolates?" She said "Yes. You can stop guessing now".

Most students do not give me a present, and that really is fine. But still, I am happy when a few do give me something.

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#1808020 - 12/18/11 10:57 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5360
Loc: Europe
Today is Sunday... For the past few months I've been working non stop throughout the weekends to make it in time... I've been extremely busy and was working even up to 03:00 in the morning, in my studio (which is NOT in my home). Most deadlines have been met and everything is out of my hands (almost) now and thus any delays are coming from other people.

Last night I e-mailed by web designer and very dear friend Matt, who is a Canadian (I work with people all around the world), complaining about his delays and stuff... Didn't get a reply... But it felt good getting it out of my head.

So today, for the first time in months I slept from 02:00 last night until 09:00 this morning! (This is special for me, because I usually wake up at 06:00 with 4 hours of sleep, so I crash wherever and whenever I can throughout the day to make it...).

It seems that my mind and my body decided, without consulting me, that I need rest and that I actually need the Sunday for my family self, not my workaholic self... And it feels good...

If everything goes according to plan I should:
a. Have a lot to show the coming week (or the next).
b. Be done with anything very urgent and impossible to avoid.
c. Attempt to cycle every day... I love cycling!
d. Have friends visiting and visit friends.
e. Have the occasional lesson here and there (I told my students that they should carry on working and if they want they should carry on with one more lesson in the XMas period (which is two weeks of no classes in Greece).
and finally
f. Be composing again. I haven't composed anything that for the past 3-4 months... Other gigs have kept me extremely busy (and computer game music doesn't count exactly as 'composing what you totally adore and would die without... Not that I don't like it...).

Pfff...

Thanks for the thread Ann. Not entirely sure if this was it's purpose but even if I did derail it it felt extremely good!

_________________

And some comments for you:

The student who brought the present from the parent who don't like you: Oh well... at least the kid likes you and this is what counts!

Having student thinking of you is SO AMAZING, so it really means you're doing the right job and you're doing it right! (And I love SO MUCH chocolate... brrr...)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808117 - 12/18/11 02:22 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
nice thread idea..

because of many issues i am quitting my awesome accompanist job to go solo and tried to quit well before Christmas but as they say... oh well.

I have been fortunate.. all of my students' parents have been giving me raises. I have the time for longer lessons and supposedly am somewhat magical.. that makes me feel good.

off to practice for Christmas.. bye bye.. I have a killer organ piece to completely learn.. it is sooooooooooooo hard and it is just a 'Gloria' if you are familiar with the Catholic Mass... lots and lots of footwork, volume and stop changes.. it has to be simpler than the way it is written.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1808118 - 12/18/11 02:24 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
apple* Offline


Registered: 01/01/03
Posts: 19862
Loc: Kansas
Now that I am quitting my demanding job, i am thinking of taking piano or organ lessons..

Kogi Attwood lives in my town.. I wonder if he teaches at all...? tho i really should focus on the organ.
_________________________
accompanist/organist.. a non-MTNA teacher to a few

love and peace, Õun (apple in Estonian)

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#1808190 - 12/18/11 04:24 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Maxtor Offline

Bronze Supporter until Jan 01 2013


Registered: 08/14/11
Posts: 182
Nikolas,
Computer game music can be great, so I would certainly consider it worthy of a skilled composer. But I suppose it usually avoids nuance and may have requirements that composers may dislike.
One of my favorite pieces is Build Theme #6 from The Sims (the original game, not one of the sequels). It sounds pretty, it is easy on my hands, and no one else knows it and therefore I always play it perfectly wink
There is something pleasant about unpretentious little songs that can blend into background music if the player prefers. It just seems nicer than a piano shouting "Hey everyone, I'm playing La Campanella over here! It's LA CAMPANELLA, so you better gather around and listen!"

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#1808206 - 12/18/11 04:35 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
It's 4:20pm. I just finished teaching the last lesson for the day, and now off for 2 weeks.

The last student is new. It was his 2nd lesson. He's a 12 year old beginner. Since we only had 2 Sunday lessons before break I had suggested to the parent that he take 2 lessons an hour long each to get started (instead of my customary 30 minute lessons).

Today the dad asked his son how hour long lessons were going, and the boy said he liked it. So dad asked if son can keep hour long lessons. I said yes, but that it would double the monthly fee. Dad said it was no problem.

So this is my first hour long student EVER. I ended the conversation by suggesting we try hour long lessons for January and then re-evaluate to decide whether to go with 45 minute lessons or hour long. Especially at the primer level I think it will be helpful. Yea!

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#1808209 - 12/18/11 04:37 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5360
Loc: Europe
Maxtor,

Don't get me wrong I love computer games (being a gamer since the age of 7 or so), and I love composing for them. But there is a difference between composing for someone else (who has the upper hand on what happens, how something sounds eventually, and why a track exists), and composing for yourself, or for a commission at least where things appear to be much more self controlled (still controlled, but at least applied from ones self)! smile
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808227 - 12/18/11 05:01 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
pianoeagle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
So far this year, I've received a Vera Bradley jewelry box, a Maggiano's Italy gift card, and a huge Starbucks gift basket. A couple of other students accidentally mentioned that their parents had bought gifts for me. These students will have another lesson next week, so maybe I'll have a couple more gifts! smile

I don't really care as much about the gift itself as I do the thoughtfulness that went into it. It makes me feel really appreciated and that my teaching is well received!
_________________________
Children's piano instructor
Member NGPT, MTNA/TMTA/PMTA, NFMC/SJFMC

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#1808259 - 12/18/11 05:57 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
Since Gary mentioned the dearth of comments lately on PW, I decided to start a thread about whatever you want to say. Just a thread to keep conversation going.

Nice idea, Ann. smile

I love cash, and two of my students brought in very nice cards with money inside. laugh

I suppose over time out students get to know us. I'm impossible to buy for (even for family members and close friends), and although I appreciate "the thought" even when I get something I could not possibly use, it's so nice to have a bit of extra money to just use on anything that comes up.

The worst present I ever got: "365 places to see before you die." It actually said, "A bucket list".

Then there are presents that are obvious "re-gifts". I don't agree that it is better to give *something* than *nothing* when that *something* shows an utter lack of sincere appreciation. frown

I love it when small kids bring me self-made cards. There is real caring in that, and it always makes me smile.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808260 - 12/18/11 05:59 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Nikolas]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Maxtor,

Don't get me wrong I love computer games (being a gamer since the age of 7 or so), and I love composing for them. But there is a difference between composing for someone else (who has the upper hand on what happens, how something sounds eventually, and why a track exists), and composing for yourself, or for a commission at least where things appear to be much more self controlled (still controlled, but at least applied from ones self)! smile

Nikolas,

If you think about it, there is not SO much difference between what you are going through, as a "game composer", and what Mozart had to contend with when he was paid to compose composition X and then was told, "Too many notes!"
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808285 - 12/18/11 06:47 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/18/11 06:49 PM)

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#1808299 - 12/18/11 07:39 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.


Ann, I don't think you can share such cards. The link requires me to give a password and so on...
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808327 - 12/18/11 08:34 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
trublues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 73
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I had suggested to the parent that he take 2 lessons an hour long each to get started (instead of my customary 30 minute lessons).

Today the dad asked his son how hour long lessons were going, and the boy said he liked it. So dad asked if son can keep hour long lessons. I said yes, but that it would double the monthly fee. Dad said it was no problem.

So this is my first hour long student EVER. I ended the conversation by suggesting we try hour long lessons for January and then re-evaluate to decide whether to go with 45 minute lessons or hour long. Especially at the primer level I think it will be helpful. Yea!


Congratulations, Ann! What a great way to start having hour long lessons! And having a month to see how it goes and change it if you need to - very professional. I like that you had those first two hour long lessons to help him get started.

I'm teaching this week because I forgot that it's easier on everyone if we have the week before Christmas off. When Christmas falls on a weekday it's an easier call.

We just had studio classes this weekend and had some fun with GarageBand. They'll enjoy using it again this week during their computer time now that I've taught them a few new things.

I'll use this week to update everyone's Repertoire sheet that students keep in their notebooks. We write down all their completed pieces and important notes about the piece. And we'll play Christmas music and lots of duets. I love playing duets with my students.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher
Member MTNA, NHMTA

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#1808370 - 12/18/11 10:04 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.
_________________________
Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.

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#1808409 - 12/18/11 11:33 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.

Hey Jerry. smile

It's a good feeling, isn't it? Of course the money helps, but I think for me the signs of appreciation are just as important.

People have been very good to me this year too. :-)
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808451 - 12/19/11 01:15 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5548
Loc: Orange County, CA
I think for one of my New Year's Resolutions I'm going to audition students one month before they can play at studio recitals--one of my colleagues does that for festivals and her kids all play beautifully. The older kids in my studio have stopped taking recitals seriously, or they have suddenly developed the "I'm a precious teenager with a fragile ego" syndrome.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#1808462 - 12/19/11 01:37 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5360
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Nikolas,

If you think about it, there is not SO much difference between what you are going through, as a "game composer", and what Mozart had to contend with when he was paid to compose composition X and then was told, "Too many notes!"
I know and this is what I tell people who are not composers or musicians...

But it remains that nowadays there's more freedom in composing concert hall music, rather than media music.

I can very well describe how I composed an 1 minute track 4 times in order for the ad company to accept it finally (and making the poorest choice actually grin). The same does not happen for commissions at all! At least not to me. Not that there isn't a need to compose NOW and act like it's a real job (cause it is), but in a different sense than media composing...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1808518 - 12/19/11 08:46 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Gary D.]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
https://acrobat.com/app.html#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

This is a Christmas card I received today. Thought I'd share the artwork.


Ann, I don't think you can share such cards. The link requires me to give a password and so on...

https://acrobat.com/#d=FStsqe5f7owF8Dtk-qTUfQ

OK. Try this link. I went to acrobat.com and had to click on "publish". This is my first scan using my new printer/scanner and for some reason I was not able to upload the scan to the web host I usually use, but it would upload to acrobat.

I especially like the words "fortea" and "pino"...chuckling over all the correct letters there, but the "a" jumped over to "forte". smile


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/19/11 08:48 AM)

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#1808522 - 12/19/11 08:50 AM Re: just making conversation [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
I received a $100 tip from a customer this Christmas on top of my regular tuning charge along with a nice card telling me how much she appreciates me. Very nice lady! I was very pleasantly surprised! She almost always tips me but never this much before. Very nice of her.


I read that you received a $100 tip, and immediately assumed you meant you received advice...maybe a sale somewhere etc. Read further to find out what the tip was and see it was money you received. laugh

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#1808612 - 12/19/11 12:39 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSTQ945m7ew

Here's Aaron Neville singing "Let it snow". I heard this on the way home today (from bookstore, using gift card). His voice thrills me to the marrow.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (12/19/11 01:59 PM)

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#1808676 - 12/19/11 02:28 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile

Spending most of the break in my studio, despite it being... my break! But I get the piano all to myself, so there. :P laugh

Okay -- here is one of my ideas just in general. House concerts are getting to be so popular again (they really never went out of style, I suppose, just getting more media perhaps?). So I'd like to find a way to organize them in my city. Find a bunch of hosts and find interested musicians -- soloists and chamber groups, various instrumentation... I'd have to stick with "classical" for now, since those are the performers I know who might be interested.

Anyone here either host or perform house concerts? I played one for my parents in 2008... wish I had had more time to prepare for it, but the audience had a lot of fun. It was a birthday gift for my dad, who turned 60 that year. smile
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808678 - 12/19/11 02:30 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky

OK. Try this link. I went to acrobat.com and had to click on "publish". This is my first scan using my new printer/scanner and for some reason I was not able to upload the scan to the web host I usually use, but it would upload to acrobat.

I especially like the words "fortea" and "pino"...chuckling over all the correct letters there, but the "a" jumped over to "forte". smile

Priceless. smile That has to make you feel good!
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#1808696 - 12/19/11 02:44 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
D4v3 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/07/09
Posts: 501
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile

Spending most of the break in my studio, despite it being... my break! But I get the piano all to myself, so there. :P laugh

Okay -- here is one of my ideas just in general. House concerts are getting to be so popular again (they really never went out of style, I suppose, just getting more media perhaps?). So I'd like to find a way to organize them in my city. Find a bunch of hosts and find interested musicians -- soloists and chamber groups, various instrumentation... I'd have to stick with "classical" for now, since those are the performers I know who might be interested.

Anyone here either host or perform house concerts? I played one for my parents in 2008... wish I had had more time to prepare for it, but the audience had a lot of fun. It was a birthday gift for my dad, who turned 60 that year. smile


That's called A.D.D.


Edited by D4v3 (12/19/11 02:45 PM)
_________________________
Currently learning composition:

Some of my compositions

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#1808700 - 12/19/11 02:48 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: D4v3]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Originally Posted By: D4v3
That's called A.D.D.


No, I do eventually get things done, and am not completely paralyzed. It is perfectionism, which is also not so good. But, um, thanks. I think.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808769 - 12/19/11 04:11 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
MsAdrienne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/06
Posts: 283
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Sorry about that, Ann. Didn't mean to kill your thread! smile

Presently, I am refereeing my kids and this neighbor child while they play upstairs. Ready to send the neighbor home now.
_________________________
Private piano teacher in Lexington, Kentucky
Member MTNA, NGPT Board of Adjudicators
http://www.pianolex.com
http://www.facebook.com/pianolex

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#1808828 - 12/19/11 05:45 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Sorry about that, Ann. Didn't mean to kill your thread! smile

Presently, I am refereeing my kids and this neighbor child while they play upstairs. Ready to send the neighbor home now.


No problems Adrienne! This thread is for ANYTHING you want to say. I'm glad to still see it going.

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#1808887 - 12/19/11 07:53 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I dream about the day a student gives me a coach bag! Regift or not!
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1808907 - 12/19/11 09:15 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: MsAdrienne]
trublues Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/05/10
Posts: 73
Loc: New Hampshire
Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne
Do you ever feel like you have about a dozen projects you want to get started on at once... and can't seem to start any of them? LOL.


Yes, all the time!

Originally Posted By: MsAdrienne

I guess I ought to be working on my NCTM profile project this week. It is due in September (I needed an extension -- how sad is that?) and every time I sit down to work on it, I get all these other teaching ideas and can't sit still! smile


I'm working on my NCTM projects this year, too. I also needed an extension - it took me the first year just to print out the project information and buy my Flip camera and figure out how to record my playing and lessons. Mine is due in May! If they offered another extension I'd probably ask for one again.
_________________________
Independent Piano Teacher
Member MTNA, NHMTA

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#1808913 - 12/19/11 09:27 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Overexposed]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I anyone teaching this week? Our public schools run until Wednesday, but everyone is coming in unprepared (if they come at all!)
_________________________
~Stanny~

Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#1808920 - 12/19/11 09:49 PM Re: just making conversation [Re: Stanny]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Originally Posted By: Stanny
I dream about the day a student gives me a coach bag! Regift or not!


laugh It's a coin purse, but still. I'm using it!

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