Fireworks in the Night

I would like to say congratulations to Paloma Piano member Sherry Miller on the publication of her new book “Fireworks in the Night”. This is a great book that introduces children to music history in a fun and exciting way. I am so honored that she asked me to review her book and thrilled that she wrote this guest post for The Paloma Piano community.
Without further ado Here’s Sherry’s post:


Fireworks in the Night.

Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends series was birthed out of need for more quality books to educated preschool children on the subject of music. Over the past 6 years I have sent teachers to local daycare centers to teach music and movement classes. After purchasing every book I could find for that age group, I decided to write my own books. I live on a farm and all the animals in my book are based on animals on my farm, including Randy, the Raccoon. The funny antics of Randy and the quirky personalities of the horses and cats gave me plenty of material to work with. My farm is also a busy music studio with over 100 students coming and going throughout the week. Watching how much the kids loved the animals gave me the idea for the story.

Book description: An unlikely cast of characters will take you on an adventure into the world and music of George Frideric Handel. Rock a Note Farm, on Harmony Lane, will never be the same now that Randy the Raccoon is there to stay. His stories about the magical woods that surround the farm piqued the animals’ interest to explore. After Farmer Heather tucks everyone in each night the adventures start. Randy leads his new friends through the magical woods that border the farm, back in time to England, where George Frederic Handel lived. Randy didn’t realize how dangerous it would be for him to go back in time. Fireworks and a mistaken identity are all part of the suspense in this Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends book.
Book 2 in the series is scheduled for fall of 2016. An American adventure, “Rodeo” will feature the composers Charles Ives, Stephan Foster and Aaron Copland and of course our farm friends in another exciting adventure. Each book in the series has a free audio download that brings the music and character voices to life. By going to
www.kidzjumpjamlive you can access the audio along with free lesson plans, a craft idea and the bios of the animals in the series.
I am currently working on an elementary level piano study and Master class/party for children ages 6-12 to go along with the book. The piano study will cover finger warm-ups, theory, simple songs in the style of the era being studied and more fun information about the composer. The study will be written as a cartoon dialogue between Handel (the teacher) and Randy the Raccoon (the student). Teachers can use the piano study with their students a month before the scheduled Master class/party, where the students will play games, do a craft, hear “Fireworks in the Night” and perform for each other. I have been holding monthly Master class/parties at my studio this past year and found that the kids love them!! They have learned so much about music history and have also become more comfortable performing in front of each other. As a teacher you could offer these as extra group classes for missed lessons or to generate additional income for your studio.

If you are interested in more information on the piano study and Master class lesson plans please email me at To purchase the first book in the Randy the Raccoon and His Musical Friends series go to
Thanks a million Sherry! And thank you to all of you for reading. If you like this post please share it so that more people can learn about these fantastic music history based stories for children.


Free Online Piano Books and Materials


Paloma Piano offers Free online piano books and materials, What are the advantages of being able to print your piano method books?

I have been teaching piano lessons for over 30 years. I have used many different piano methods and most of them are very good. I love to compose music and it has always been my dream to write my own piano method books and music and have them available on line. Here’s why I decided to create free online printable piano books and materials;


It is less expensive to print free online piano books and materials than it is to buy piano method books and music.


Printable music means it’s easy to replace lost music, or reprint music and have a clean copy. You never have to worry about running out of books or not having what you need for your students.


I wanted to be able to add new music without having to republish books. In my thirty-plus years of teaching I have created many resources and written music for my students this is my chance to share with other piano teachers.


I wanted to create a learning a community where piano teachers would be able to share ideas. When you join the Paloma Piano Community your ideas and suggestions matter. We are all interested in what you are doing with your music career. Paloma teachers are made up of  composers and authors, as well as teachers who organize workshops, and run non-profit piano organizations to serve their communities.

What music Paloma Piano members get with a Free Membership?

Paloma Piano features;

The Petite People’s Primer-music for young students

Method Books-skill based progressive lessons

Music Theory


Reading exercises

Lots of great arrangements of folk songs from throughout the world

Original music for beginning through early advanced students.

These are some features of Paloma Piano’s printable piano music you might like.

All of the PDF music and graphics are black and white, to save you and your students money on printing.

The printable method books are each less than 40 pages making printing fast and easy.

New music is being on a regular basis.

Paloma members are welcome to offer suggestions, about the creation of new content.

Members can download and reprint the music for their own students.

These are just a few of the advantages of a printable piano method.

Don’t want to print?

If you would rather buy than print piano books all of our method books are available for purchase in our online store.

If you would like to try what Paloma Piano has to offer.


How To Get More Piano Students and Grow Your Studio



How to Get More Piano Students

If you are just starting out as a piano teacher and dream of having a large, vibrant studio: here are some ideas on how to get more piano students.

Piano Teaching is a Great Job!

If you’re looking for a job that makes a difference in people’s lives, it’s hard to beat teaching. Especially private piano teaching. We have our students for a long time, and we teach them something that they can enjoy for a lifetime, or even pursue as a career. But what does it take to have a great studio? Is it even possible in today’s tight economy? Can’t students just learn to play online? Does anyone really want to play at all anymore?
Sure times might be tough, but fear not! – piano players have been around for centuries, and that’s not going to change. People love music and the piano is the most popular instrument. Research shows that music study is excellent for the minds of young and old alike, There is less music being offered in schools, yet parents want their children to be exposed to music. People of all ages are discovering that they can experience the joy of playing the piano, and the best most tried and true way of doing it is with a teacher, like you! So you can absolutely get more piano students.

I have been teaching the piano since I graduated from college. I also worked as a classroom teacher. I decided to leave my school teaching position and open my own studio in September of 2001. I placed some ads and waited for the phone to ring but, of course, it did not. It took a couple of months after the shock of the 9/11 tragedy to get back to focusing on my business but I knew I had to get more piano students to stay afloat.

Here is how I grew my studio from 0 to 45 students in 2 years;

1. I decided what kind of studio I wanted to have. I decided to focus on teaching children and teenagers, beginner through advanced classical music. I wanted a formal style studio with bi-yearly recitals.
2. I wanted to teach at my home and have 40-50 students. I drew up a schedule with time slots waiting to be filled in with the names of my new students.
3. I created a mission statement for my business.
4, I created a website (not nearly as nice as this one** ) and I posted my contact numbers, qualifications, fees, and pricing for the lessons. (I priced the classes competitively, I did not want to be the cheapest, or the most expensive.)
5. I made business cards and handed them out to everyone that I could.
6, I sent a note to local music teachers making them aware of my studio and offering my services as an accompanist.
7. I put ads in local papers. (I would also recommend church bulletins if they have advertising.)
8. I offered a free introductory lesson and I gave a free lesson to students for referrals.
9. Don’t forget to choose a great piano teaching method! Of course I hope you will choose Paloma Piano online piano method.
This is what I did to get started. In another post, I will discuss how to build upon the successful studio.
I would love to hear how all of you teachers got started with your studios. why not leave a comment?


If you would like a free online method to use in your studio,