Andrew

More New Features on the Way

August 23rd, 2016 by

We hope your week is off to great start. We’re working hard on the new features and wanted to give you a description of a bunch more you’ll get to start using soon. We are continuously testing the features and hope to have the Beta option available at the end of August or first days of September. We promise to keep you updated. Thank you for your patience. Check out the other posts from this month to learn about additional new features.

Easily Add Multiple Phones Numbers on an Account

In addition to creating separate contacts for a student alone, each with their own email address and phone number, you’ll also be able to add multiple phone numbers for a single contact.

Email Students Directly from Student List with Improved Advanced Search Options

You won’t need to go to a separate page to email your students anymore. You’ll be able to do it right from the Student List, filtering the ones you want with our powerful new Advanced Search options. Also, you’ll love the faster searching and sorting of the student list.

Emailing music students

Email Templates Moved to Settings & Enable Sorting for “My E-mail Templates.”

Email templates will now be with notification settings. This simplifies the menus and reduces the amount of navigation needed. Additionally, to search your email templates more easily, they will be sortable by alphabetical order. This will be most helpful for studios with many email templates.

Auto-save Draft of Email Messages While Writing

Never worry about losing an unfinished email to a student or parent again. Your email messages will auto-save every few seconds. If you close out your window, you’ll find your email under drafts right where you left off!

Send SMS Notifications to Student/Parent

Some families receive too much email, and text messaging can be a preferred choice to receive communication. We’ve added five SMS notifications to give you more options. The new notifications are:

  • Late payment reminders

  • Lesson reminders

  • Payment Receipt

  • Invoice Notification

  • Reset Password

  • Practice Reminder

Under the Messages tab within Settings, choose which notifications you want to send via text as well as unselect any contacts that don’t want text messages. We’ll provide pre-drafted message templates to get you started. You can customize each template to fit your personal style.

Student/Parent Opt-out of Automatic Notification and Text Messaging (SMS) 

If not all of your families want to receive lesson notes, you no longer need to keep track of which families enjoy lesson notes and which families prefer not to receive them.

The new notification options allow you to edit the templates for 15 notification types and choose which ones to send or not.

Login as a Student Directly From the Student List

Quickly login to a student’s account so you can show your student or parent how to log practice time or add their payment information. This will be more convenient and not require you to know a student’s login information.  Thank you for using Music Teacher’s Helper, and for your input. We’ve been listening to your requests and our team has been working hard to bring these new updates to you. We’re very excited to get them up, and we’d love to hear what you think, and any other ideas you have for how we can serve you better.

Thank you for using Music Teacher’s Helper, and for your input. We’ve been listening to your requests and our team has been working hard to bring these new updates to you. We’re very excited to get them up, and we’d love to hear what you think, and any other ideas you have for how we can serve you better.

Please don’t hesitate to contact support with any questions. Have a great rest of the week!

Thank you!

-Andrew & the entire Music Teacher’s Helper Team

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Big news! Next week you will be able to access dozens of new features through a Beta option. These features include many that our members suggested such as lesson swapping, text message notifications, custom rate packages, and more.

We’ll provide instructions to opt-in (hint: it’s as easy as clicking a button) so you can experience the many new features and contribute feedback prior to each feature moving live. With the beta option, we’ll make the features available right away for those who are excited to use them, and then make them live for everyone as soon as they’re ready.

You’ll be able to easily switch out of the beta features if you’d like, but we hope you love how they work so much you won’t want to! You’ll have detailed instructions for using each feature.

Look out for instructions next week for how to take advantage of the new features.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

This week, we’re announcing three more exciting upcoming feature improvements that will be ready later this month.

Set Attendance Separately for Each Student in a Group Lesson 

You will soon have the option to set individual attendance for group lessons. Sometimes it’s helpful to provide individual lesson notes for a student in a group lesson and setting their attendance individually will allow this. You’ll still have the efficient option to set attendance collectively and send off notes to the entire group. This highly requested improvement provides an additional option with more flexibility.

Student Profile Photos

One of the upcoming improvements to the student area will be the option to add a student profile photo. For larger studios, it’s nice to put a face to a name, especially for those new students. And your students will have a more personalized experience when using Music Teacher’s Helper.  

More Customizable Rate Options

 

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Last but not least, rates will be updated so you can have greater flexibility and customization in how you charge your students and update your rates for multiple students at once. Rather than only being able to charge per lesson or a flat fee, under the new rates feature you will be able to set up rate packages to:

  • Bill hourly, weekly, monthly, or by  semester
  • Charge for a series of lessons (a set amount for a certain number of lessons that you specify)
  • Bill up front in a lump sum or pro-rate the amount over the rate package
  • Choose to receive a reminder to reschedule a student when they are nearing the end of the lessons they paid for

All of this will be managed from one easy place in your Settings so you can create, edit and remove rate packages as needed and then assign each student a particular rate package that meets both their needs and schedule as well as yours.

Have questions about these upcoming features? Email us anytime at support@musicteachershelper.com.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Hi, Everyone! Over the next several months, we will continue launching many updates to existing features, and some very exciting new features. Some of these updates will be ones you’ve been requesting, but others will be completely new features that we think will dramatically enhance the way you run your studio and connect with students.

Stripe Autopay Subscriptions for Families

First, an important new feature that is live! You can now bill and charge your families automatically each month for whatever amount they owe. Once you enable this feature, and the student/parent has entered their credit card information, you can set up the recurring billing option for that student, and never have to chase after money again! Your students will also save time in making payments to you, as it will be automated each month. A big thanks to those of you who helped us out as beta testers and offered input.

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(Students can upload a credit card in their login for you to bill them automatically)

 

For full instructions on how to setup and use autopay, please refer to this knowledge base article.

We also have two improvements to the student management area that will be available by August 31st. (Note: This is just a small part of everything we’re releasing by August 31, to whet your appetite. We’ll be announcing more as the month rolls on.)

Allow Separate Parent Records in a Family

Entering contact information for a child student can be difficult if their parents have different last names or addresses, or if someone other than the parents is paying for the lesson. Soon you’ll be able to accommodate this by including separate contact records for a child student. This can also include grandparents or others who should be receiving student notifications. For instance, if someone other than the parent(s) or guardian is paying for lessons, you can add that person as a contact and invoice them directly. You’ll be able to add an unlimited number of contacts per student so you can stay in communication with everyone necessary.

Switch a Child Student to an Adult Student

Sometimes students taking lessons grow into adults students and begin paying on their own. Now, you have the option of switching that student from child to adult without having to re-enter any information.

Additionally, sometimes the parent of a student decides to start taking lessons and you will have the ability to switch them to a student while maintain their status as the primary contact for their child. 

Thank you to our members that provide feature suggestions and feedback. That communication allows us to make the product better and teachers’ studios’ run more efficiently!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Create Make-up Credits & Set Make-up Credit Expiration

Sometimes students can’t attend a lesson. With Music Teacher’s Helper, you can choose whether to offer a make-up lesson, issue a cash credit, or continue charging for the lesson. If you offer make-up lessons, here’s how you issue, track and now set make-up lesson credits that expire. 

Instructions:

  1. Set the Make-up Lesson Credit expiration in the Settings page. Click the Drop down arrow in the upper right hand corner, and go to “Settings”.

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  1. Click on the Studio Settings tab.

studio_settings_tab

 

  1. You can set a time limit for which a make-up lesson credit is valid. If a student doesn’t use the make-up lesson by then, it will expire. Choose the number of days you would like make-up credits to be valid for. If you don’t want the make-up lesson to expire, you can leave this field blank, or enter 0. Click “Submit” on the bottom right to save your changes.        
  2. Click on an event on the calendar that needs a make-up.
  3. Click “Set Attendance”  & check “Issue Credit for this lesson (refund or make-up)”.

set_attendance

 

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  1. Check either Issue Make-up Credit or Issue Cash Credit(Refund).
  2. Enter any notes about why you’re issuing this credit.
  3. Click Submit to save your changes.

make_up_credits_2

Manage Your Existing Make-up Credits

  1. To see a list of all your make-up credits, in the main menu, click “Calendar”, then “Make-up Lesson Credits. The expiration date (if there is one) is shown in the results.
  2. You should see an expiry date when you view the make-up lesson credit in the Make-up Lesson Credits page. If you do not see an expiry date, then you have your settings at no expiration.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Google Analytics gives you insights on how visitors find and use your site. It shows which pages of your site are the most popular, how long people are staying there, how people are finding your site, and other statistics.

If you have a Google Account you can activate the service for Analytics using these instructions. If you do not have a Google Account, it’s easy and free to sign up by clicking here.

When you sign up for Google Analytics, you’re given a unique tracking ID called a UA-Number. To use Google Analytics with your Music Teacher’s Helper Studio Website, simply enter this number into your Music Teacher’s Helper Settings page.

Find Your Analytics UA-Number

To find the tracking code, tracking ID, or property number in your Analytics account:

  1. Sign in to your Analytics Account.  http://www.google.com/analytics
  2. Select the Admin tab.
  3. Select an account from the dropdown list in the ACCOUNT column.
  4. Select a property from the dropdown list in the PROPERTY column.
  5. Under PROPERTY, click Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

Google Analytics for music teachers

You’ll now see the complete Google Analytics code for your site near the top of the page. Select the tracking ID (#3 below), starting with “UA”, and add it to your Music Teacher’s Helper Website Settings page.

In Music Teacher’s Helper, click the profile icon in the upper right hand corner, then click “Settings”. Select the “Website Preferences” tab and scroll down until you see “Add Your Google Analytics Code”. Paste in the UA-Number code (#3). Once saved, all pages of your studio website will now be linked with your Google Analytics account.

 

Now you have successfully linked your Google Analytics account to your Music Teacher’s Helper account. Once Google begins collecting data about your site (which can take up to 24-48 hours), you’ll be able to view your traffic statistics from your Google Analytics page.

If you have any questions, please contact us at support@musicteachershelper.com.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the act of helping your website rank well in search engines for specifics words or phrases, called “keywords”.

You’ll place these keywords in the content of your website or blog to help people find you. For example, you might title one of your web pages, “violin lessons in San Diego” or “advanced harp teacher”. You could then use those keywords periodically throughout the page.

Overloading a page with keywords is not looked upon highly by search engines, but if you write content that a person would find useful, then search engines will likely rank it higher, too.

Another way to increase your search engine rankings is by having your website or pages shared on social media, or getting other relevant websites to link to yours.

Under each page of your Music Teacher’s Helper studio website, you can also enter meta keywords and a page description. These can help search engines know what keywords you intend to be found under, and can help the search engines know how to describe your page to visitors.

To Enter Keywords and Descriptions:

First, click on the Profile dropdown arrow in the upper right corner.

Next click on Settings.

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Then click the Website Preferences tab.

 

Add Keywords into the Box below Website Meta Keywords. This will be one word followed by a comma for each word you want to use. Typically it’s better to use 5-10 words, such as the instrument(s) you teach with the word “lessons” and your location such as city and neighborhood. 

Lastly, enter Descriptions for Website Meta Description. Descriptions will be for each page of your website such as blog, website, policy, etc.

You’re all set! If you have any questions about this feature or anything else, please contact support@musicteachershelper.com.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Promoting Your Studio, Using Music Teacher's Helper

This week we are excited to announce updates to the Android and iPhone apps!

Under the left sidebar, you will find a new Metronome tab available to Teachers and Students! A great tool for students during their at home practice sessions. 

metronome app for music teaching

The Lending library functionality is now available in the app. As well as the Report section. There is also new interactive 24 hour Today bar with color codes.

scheduling music students music lesson calendar

Other changes made to the apps:

  • API improvements for today’s events, schedule, calendar > events by day, student details
  • The side menu now has a collapsible Billing menu
  • Duration is displayed on the event detail screen
  • Better contact import for iOS 9
  • Adaptive screens: hiding non active fields like hour in case of an all day event
  • Bug fixes

And here are the changes made to the regular software version of Music Teacher’s Helper:

  • Updated Batch Attendance to allow editing of multiple parameters as it was before.
  • Fixed a bug with invoice v1 default due date if none selected.
  • Fixed a condition that gave a “We could not parse the calendar at the url requested” error when attempting to sync to Google Calendar.
  • Fixed a bug that caused some email invoices to be blank PDFs.
  • Fixed a bug that caused a blank subject line on invoice notification email.
  • Updated calendar filter design.
  • Allowed input of Google Analytics UA code in website settings.
  • Allowed input of SEO info in website settings.
  • Corrected a couple dozen minor issues reported by customers and QC.

Let us know if you have any questions by contacting support. Have a great weekend!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Site Announcements, Studio Management

Here’s a list of what’s changed with Music Teacher’s Helper in the past week:

  • Updated the create invoices form so that it does not clear fields after a failed save attempt.
  • Added the end date in the blocked dates list.
  • Solved a Safari specific bug that prevented categories from being edited or added.
  • Fixed an issue with the Repertoire tracker’s input fields display.
  • Made an update to the blog margins display in the Mocha theme’s blog page.
  • Cleaned up the Mileage tracker report’s background and graph lines.
  • Adjusted the layout of the Lessons Taught report’s background and graph lines.
  • Updated Invoice notification email to match template.
  • Solved a bug that occurred when deleting multiple files in the field area.
  • Updated the sidebar and filters on the calendar page.
  • Updated the Mocha and Jazz Elite themes so that they display better on mobile.

Have a great weekend. And let us know if you have any questions by emailing support@musicteachershelper.com

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

We hope you had a great week. Here are some recent fixes and improvements:

  • Added the ability for teachers to receive payments from students in their local currency (Stripe only).
  • Fixed a bug that caused former students to appear in the transaction log.
  • Added various subtle designs improvements such as a drop shadow on the header when scrolled, hover to open sub-items on the menu, toggling drop down on click.
  • Modified web based calendar view on for iPhone and tablets.
  • Corrected several issues with Overdue invoice email notification settings.
  • Corrected date formatting issues on invoices and custom templates.
  • Modified the daily summary font size to use less paper when printing.
  • Added search for category and location drop down selectors.
  • Corrected a bug with the transaction log not displaying all attendance logs.
  • Updated locations to sort alphabetically.
  • Updated tabs so that they re-size to fit screen in a more aesthetically pleasing manner.
  • Updating lesson time entry so that it is easier to directly input instead of clicking and scrolling.

If you have any questions, please reach out to support@musicteachershelper.com. Look out later this month for some exciting new features being added to the iPhone and Android apps!

 

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Posted in New Features and Fixes