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Another month has passed, and I’m here to roundup my favorite things. For November, that includes candles, DIY earbud holders, and the book that I’ll never forget. Let’s get right to it.

LIFESTYLE

Unscented Candles
I love candles, but the scent can become overpowering in my small office. So instead, I’ve been burning unscented candles at my desk during the day. It gives me the same sense of calm and relaxation as sitting next to a bonfire, but without the smores and hotdogs, which is truly a shame.

I got the unscented candles in the picture above at Meijer, but I’m sure that almost any large department store will have them. I’m hoping to shop for my next batch at a local candle store.

If you’re a fan of the desktop wallpaper, you can download it for free HERE at candidlykeri.com. She shares free wallpapers every month, and I always love her new designs.

I haven’t given up scented candle completely however. My favorite for this time of year is Marshmallow Fireside from Bath and Body Works. If you have any favorites, please share them in the comments section. I’d love to try something new!

TECH

DIY Earbud Holders
Take two laundry pins, face them in opposite directions, and glue them together. Voila! Earbud holders that keep the the cords from getting tangled up. This is an added benefit for those of us who will use any excuse at all not to go to the gym…

My sister-in-law painted the laundry pin you see in the picture. She did a great job, and they’ve come in handy so often!

Tagging Groups in Facebook
I’m in a lot of private Facebook groups for music teachers and small business owners. I also have a specific roles in those groups, which means that I often need to get pertinent information out to everybody in the group. In the past, I’ve always just posted on the page and hoped that everybody bothered to read the message.

This was dumb for two reasons:
1. There is a better way.
2. Nobody reads anything. Ever.

If you doubt this, just ask a fellow music teacher how often they’ve received questions about concert details that were explicitly written in an email that was sent out repeatedly. The struggle isn’t just real…it’s painfully unaware.

I discovered recently that you can tag an entire group in your Facebook post. You tag groups in the same way you would an individual, except where you would type the person’s name, you instead type the name of the group. Here are the instructions in detail.

I’ve lived too many years to not have known about this, and I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

ENTERTAINMENT

Logical Song and Cecilia
I’ve been listening to some of my older CD collections, and it’s reignited a passion for some oldies but goodies. The Logical Song would be a fun topic for lyric analysis in a high school music class. And Cecilia just makes me happy. Is it even possible to listen to that song and not be inspired to dance?



Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of LeningradI haven’t made it all the way through this book yet, but I already know that it’ll have a lasting impact on me. The title says it all. It’s a painful, yet fascinating read. Not only have I learned more about Shostakovich as a person, but I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the sacrifices he made for his music and his people. This should be on everyone’s required reading list.

FOOD

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
I’m sad that I don’t have a picture of my own to show you, but that just proves how amazing these bars were! Personally, I’m not a fan of pumpkin pie, so I made these as an alternative. They were pretty simple to make, and they’ve already reached traditional Thanksgiving food status for my husband and me.

I got my recipe online from Cook’s Illustrated. However, I know that not all of you will have a subscription for that, so I’ve pinned the recipe below as a good alternative.

 

 

MUSIC EDUCATION

Classical Period in Music Quick Guide
Like most artists, I tend to think of my creations as my children. I love them all. So, it’s especially  hard to choose a favorite each month. However, one of my customer’s comments helped me to make my choice this time around. Here’s what she said…

I think we can all relate to this. And considering all the old composer myths that continue to be passed around, it’s nice to find material that is both trusted and reliable. My Music History Quick Guides are just as the title implies, succinct overviews of each period in music history.
Click the image to learn more
I love you can provide context for students to better understand why music was written the way it was in each period. They learn about the groundbreaking achievements of composers that led to new styles of music.
I also love that you can break it apart, and only show what’s needed for a particular lesson. For example, you can quickly reference a composer’s birth year, important compositions, or samples of music as needed throughout any lesson.
That’s it for November’s monthly favorites. What were your favorites this month? Let me know in the comments, and you just might see it on next month’s list of favorites!