Whether you are a new piano teacher just getting started, or seasoned piano teacher wanting to up your game, you can find a variety of helpful tools and resources right here. These are the products I use regularly to run a successful multi-pronged music business, and they have made a wonderful impact on my productivity, studio organization, student learning, and more.
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Sheet music, reading aids, & awards
- My First Piano Adventure: This is my favorite series for young beginners ages 4 or 5 through 6 or 7, depending on the child.
- Piano Adventures: One of my favorites for slightly older beginners ages 7 or 8 and up, and the follow-up course to My First Piano Adventure.
- Alfred’s Premier Piano Course: Another favorite for slightly older beginners, or a terrific course to follow My First Piano Adventure.
- Piano Pronto: My students love the accessibility and sequencing of the terrific arrangements and original compositions, and they love playing the familiar tunes in this series.
- Masterwork Classics: This is my favorite series for incorporating classical music into lessons outside of lesson books. The accompanying Practice & Performance guides are excellent.
- Prima Music: One of my favorite websites for ordering sheet music. They also have Instant Print music available for immediate download.
- Sheet Music Plus: My favorite website for purchasing and downloading digital sheet music.
- Sheet Music Direct: Another favorite website for digital and print sheet music.
- Praise Charts: A great place to find praise & worship music.
- Worship Chords: A great source for praise & worship charts.
- Page overlays for students with dyslexia: A college student of mine really loves the green one. She said it made the notes stop dancing around, and she could read the music much better.
- Dribble specs: These work wonders with helping students keep their eyes on the page! Read more about how we use them.
- Crown Awards: My absolute favorite place to order trophies, medals, plaques, and other awards. They ship quickly, the awards are really nice, and my students and their parents love them.
Piano Bench, Pedal Extender, & Piano Maintenance
- Adjustable artist duet piano bench: I absolutely love this bench! I’ve had mine for several years now, and it still looks and feels brand new. I take it with me to recital venues for our duet recitals. It’s a fantastic bench. You can see it in the photo at the top of this page.
- Piano pedal extender/foot rest: I have this glossy black one, and it’s very durable and perfect for kids. They love being able to reach the pedals from the very beginning, and it’s perfect for a foot rest.
- Wiggle seat: I’ve found a terrific way to use this cushion is to put it on the foot rest under my students’ feet. They can wiggle their toes and feel the stimulation of the cushion, and we can continue the piano lesson with minimal interruption.
- Cory super high-gloss piano polish: I use this polish to clean my baby grand and it’s fabulous for removing every last fingerprint. It keeps my piano looking brand new.
- Polishing cloth: I dust my piano with one of these, and also use it with the piano polish to really make my piano sparkle.
- Vinyl floor staff: I purchased this floor staff from TheoryTime.com, and we use it for everything from music note twister, to spelling scales & chords, introducing new notes, and more.
- Music-Go-Rounds Alphadots: You’ll see these in quite a few of my Instagram photos, along with the floor staff above. They’re silicone, sturdy, and very fun! We use them for composing, the music alphabet, learning new notes, and more!
- Jogging trampoline: We use this as a “brain break” when students start to zone out during lessons, or when they start to get tired or overwhelmed, or after they’ve worked really hard and need a quick break.
- Boomwhackers: We love to compose and practice rhythms with them.
- Classroom percussion instruments: Perfect for practicing rhythms, playing tricky rhythms, and more.
- Dry erase music staff lap board: My students love using this board for composing quick pieces, and you can see pictures I’ve shared on Instagram from time to time.
- Dry erase markers: Good quality markers.
- Dry erase cleaning wipes: When you use a dry erase board, you must have good dry erase cleaning wipes!
- Decide Now: We love using this for piano twister, scales, assignments, who goes next in an activity, and so much more! Customize the spinners for whatever you need.
- Note Rush: Definitely a studio favorite for reviewing notes on the staff. Customizable for any number of notes.
- Flash Note Derby: Another favorite. My students love trying to win the race!
- Tenuto: This app is great for note reading, learning chords & intervals, and so much more, without the bells and whistles. Perfect for adults and kids who don’t like “game-y” apps.
- iReal Pro: Terrific for accompanying lead sheets.
- ForScore: Fantastic for storing and organizing music on iOS devices. Carry your music library with you wherever you go!
- AnyTune Pro: Awesome for lead sheet & chord sheet play-alongs, and can change tempo and pitch of songs in your music library. My students and I love this app!
- Website Theme “Refined Theme” by Restored 316: I have used their website themes for the past several years, and I absolutely adore them. Their customer service is beyond compare.
- Westdale offie chair: I absolutely love this chair! You’ll laugh when you see that it’s a “Big & Tall” chair, and I’m only 5’3″ 😁 But I needed a chair that would elevate enough to help me with proper posture and alignment while spending hours at my desk, and this was the chair. Super comfortable, plenty of memory foam, and I can sit here for hours working comfortably.
- HP external monitor: I connect my laptop to this external monitor and now I don’t have any neck pain when working at my desk. It’s been a phenomenal addition to my workspace!
- Computer monitor stand: I love this stand. It raises my external monitor to the exact height that I need and helps me sit with much better posture when I’m working at my desk. Eliminates shoulder slump!
- Apple Magic Trackpad 2: I love using this trackpad. Prior to purchasing this one, I was using the built-in trackpad on my MacBook Pro. However, I was experiencing shoulder pain from using the laptop’s trackpad. The magic trackpad has completely eliminated my shoulder issues! I now use it with my iMac, and it’s perfect.
- Apple Magic Keyboard: I use this with my iPad and it’s great!
- iMac: I recently purchased the 27″, and it has literally been life-changing. My productivity has skyrocketed because of the lightning-speed processor, and my eyes are not fatigued at all, even after being in front of the screen for hours at a time because of the large beautiful display.
- Ring Light: This light has made a world of difference in the overall look of product photos for my store and my Instagram product photos. They are now very brightly-lit and look so much better! Well worth the money, if having awesome photos is part of your business model.
- Backgrounds for photos: I love using contact paper attached to foam board. It makes a pretty background that’s really easy to store. Here are some of my favorites:
- Vera Bradley laptop backpack: I carry my laptop everywhere in my Vera Bradley backpack. It holds my 15″ MacBook Pro, binder, and 2-3 piano books and has room to spare. I love it!
- iPad case: This is my current case, and it’s so beautiful. However, if you allow your students to use the iPad, I would highly recommend protecting it with Otterbox. I’ve used one in the past, and it’s terrific.
- Rain Design mStand laptop stand: I love this laptop stand.
- Astrobrights paper and Astrobrights card stock: I print some of my products on this paper for shop photos. The colors are vibrant and look fantastic!
- HP Instant Ink: This program is absolutely wonderful for teachers! For a low monthly fee, you can print up to 300 pages (depending on which plan you select), in full color if you like, and before you run out of ink, a fresh cartridge is shipped to your door. This has saved me so many headaches, and I highly recommend it! Sign up through my link and get a month free.
- Later: This is a free online social media scheduler that I love! You can schedule up to 30 posts per social profile per month for free. I’m currently using it to schedule my Instagram and Facebook posts. That way, I can batch schedule and save so much time! Sign up through this link and get an additional 10 posts per month free.
Online Lessons & Other Equipment
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920: My favorite webcam for online piano lessons, webinars, interviews, and other video conference appointments.
- Blue Microphones Yeti USB Microphone: My favorite microphone for online piano lessons, webinars, interviews, and other video conference appointments.
- Vankyo Projector: This one is small and affordable, and it’s fantastic for projecting my online students during recitals. Click here to see a photo from our recital. This was a daytime recital and the lights were on, so you can tell the projector does a really good job.
- Portable Bose bluetooth speaker: Perfect for amplifying the sound of my online students during recitals.
- Headphone jack adapters: These are great when you need a student to use headphones with your digital piano.
- Skype Call Recorder for Mac: I use this to record portions of Skype lessons from time to time. Very convenient for sending portions of the lesson to parents & students for review during the week (new concepts, technique, tricky fingering, etc.).
- Ethernet cable: Hardwiring to the internet using an ethernet cable will give you a better connection that Wi-Fi when teaching online lessons.
- Tripod Boom Microphone Stand: I use this all the time in lessons. I have the Scosche smartphone holder that attaches my iPhone to the mic stand so I can video student performances without having to hold the phone, and it works great for recording myself or taking photos of my students and myself.
- iPad mount: I use this very affordable iPad mount to attach my iPad to my mic stand for online lessons when I teach on my iPad, and it’s great.
Payment for Online Lessons
- Square: The credit card reader has been so convenient in my studio! It’s really easy to use with the Square Point of Sale app (iOS) or Square Point of Sale app (Android). The credit card reader is free.
- Square Cash App: This app for iOS devices is very easy to use, and I have a few piano families who really love using it.
- Paypal: Another great payment option for online families.
- My Music Staff: I’ve been using this studio management system for a few years and love the functionality and affordability. It really makes things easy at income tax time!
- Dropbox: I don’t know what I would do without Dropbox. Use this link to sign up for Dropbox and get 500 MB of storage for free.
- Ikea Fjälla magazine file boxes: I use them for piano book storage: They’re so beautiful and functional, and they keep everything tucked away neatly. You can see several of them behind me in the photo above.
- Storage baskets: I love using square and rectangle storage baskets to hold extra piano books and other materials on my bookshelves. You can see one in the photo above. It is storing new piano books I have purchased to have on hand for students. Functional + pretty = perfect.
Worksheets, Decor, & More
- You’ll find a variety of music worksheets, composition activities, piano teacher binders & planners, classroom and studio decor, and more in my shop at Teachers Pay Teachers.
- Type keywords into the search box, or use the custom categories to find exactly what you need.
- Follow my shop to receive news about new products, sales, and more!
- Free Resource Library & Newsletter: The resource library includes a variety of helpful resources for piano teachers. The newsletter offers teaching tips, resources, and more!
Music Notation Software
- Noteflight is my absolute favorite! There’s a free version that is great, and I subscribe to the paid version. It’s affordable and easy to use. Web-based.
- Musescore is another great option that I often use as well. Free download.
Memberships, Subscriptions, Conferences
- Music Teachers National Association (MTNA): There are tons of perks for being a member of this organization, and I joined years ago when I was an undergraduate. There is a conference each year, and you receive a magazine subscription to American Music Teacher Magazine with your membership to MTNA. I am a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music in Piano (NCTM) through MTNA, and I reached permanent professional certification status in 2017.
- National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy (NCKP): I have attended this conference a number of times and always come away refreshed with tons of new ideas to explore, and I presented research poster sessions a few times as well during graduate school and my first few years as a professor. Such a terrific experience!
- The Piano Magazine (formerly Clavier Companion & Keyboard Companion): There’s something for everyone in this publication, including interviews, teaching beginners, teaching adults, technique, composition, business, wellness, and more.
- Intelligent Music Teaching by Robert A. Duke: One of my favorite music education books of all time. I was introduced to this book in one of my graduate music education courses, when the book was still in draft form. It pays to have professors who are friends with one another and are willing to help each other out! I have re-read this book so many times over the years, and I always discover a new treasure.
- Questions and Answers: Practical Advice for Piano Teachers by Frances Clark: Another staple in my library. Includes fabulous advice on a variety of topics, including lesson planning, theory, rhythm, recitals, and so much more. I have found myself reaching for this book over and over again.
- Pianist’s Guide to Standard Teaching & Performance Literature by Jane Magrath: A must-have staple in a piano teacher’s library. I’ve had my copy for over 20 years! It contains a wealth of information on appropriate selection and sequencing of piano repertoire.
- Setting the Table: The Transformative Power of Hospitality in Business by Danny Meyer: Excellent book with tons of information that is fantastic for anyone running a business. A friend and I ate at one of his NYC restaurants, Blue Smoke, and it was very evident that he was operating his business with excellence, hospitality, and delicious food at the forefront.
- Leadership is an Art by Max DePree: This was a gift 20 years ago from two friends I deeply admire. It explores leadership, and how “executives and managers can learn the leadership skills that build a better, more profitable organization.”
- Post-it notes page markers: These eliminate the “I forgot which page to practice” excuse that we sometimes hear. I mark every page with these sticky note page markers!
- 3×3 Post-it notes: We use these for everything you could imagine in piano lessons, but most of all, we use them for writing specific practice instructions. Read more about that here.
- Paper Mate Flair pens: My favorite felt-tip pens!
- Pilot G-2 gel pens: My favorite gel pens. I use them constantly.
- Binders: Every student in my studio receives a binder with the following practice tools inside:
- Bostitch 3-hole punch: The best 3-hole punch I have ever owned!
- Swingline Laminator: Does an excellent job!
- Apache laminating pouches: Work perfectly with the Swingling laminator
- Swingline Binding System: What I use to bind printable books & worksheets for my piano students
- REUSABLE binding spines: These are my favorite! If I need to add pages to a student workbook, it’s really easy to do that.
Comfortable shoes for teaching & recitals
- B.O.C. sandals: These are my go-to shoes for teaching. They’re really comfortable and have great support.
- Chaco women’s Ecotread sandals: These are amazing for supporting my high arches. Super comfortable, and one of my favorite go-to shoes for teaching.
- Arch supports: Dr. Scholl’s are my favorite. They’re in every pair of shoes I own, except for my sandals!
- Protalus insoles: If you have severe plantar fasciitis like I do from time to time and are desperately looking for supportive insoles that relieve the pain, these are the best ones I’ve found, and to me they were worth every penny. I have the T100 in my hiking shoes, and they are fantastic! My feet have improved dramatically since using these insoles. Having pain-free feet is extremely important when teaching, hiking, and living life!
- Clarks Adriel Viola pumps: I have the dusty pink and they are SO comfortable. The color is perfect for a gorgeous nude/neutral shoe.
- Naturalizer Celina pumps: These are so beautiful and another comfortable dress pump. I have them in black.
So now you know all my favorite things!
Enjoy this list of tools? Thanks for pinning!