Robin Steinweg

Prepare for Fall

July 28th, 2015 by

By Robin Steinweg

How do you prepare for fall? A vacation from lessons or a lighter teaching load can offer opportunities to create a master list.

Prepare for Fall

Prepare for Fall

Here are some of my to-dos:

  • Determine available teaching times
    • Will I offer 30, 45 or 60-minute lessons?
    • How many weeks will I teach?
    • Will I give myself weeks off?
  • Send my policy, schedule, and registration forms to students
    • Let students sign up on MTH!
    • Will I get a raise?
    • Does my policy need tweaking or firming up (See other teachers’ policies for ideas)?
    • Will I require parents to initial sections and sign an agreement?
  • Weed my files
    • What haven’t I used in a year?
    • Are files titled for easiest retrieval?
    • Shall I divide by grade level or genre? What works best for me?
    • Might I use a retrieval system—such as Paper Tiger online?
    • Will I donate or sell what I don’t keep?
  • Clean/organize my studio
  • Attend workshops
    • Plan so I don’t purchase duplicates or binge
  • Check instruments for needed maintenance
  • Consider a theme for the year or season
    • Will group classes, recitals and special pieces reflect this theme?
    • Will I decorate according to the theme?
      • (a bulletin board labeled “Prepare for Fall” could contain notes/symbols to identify, or a picture with hidden music symbols. A football field with lesson “yard lines” might make for a prepare for fall practice push)
    • Choose new activities or games
      • A studio-wide motivation chart to record goals met
      • New game for group lessons
    • Contact waiting list if there are timeslots to fill
    • Look for décor, incentives and teaching aids at garage sales, thrift stores or a dollar store
      • Laser pointer
      • Stick with pointing hand
      • Shaped erasers
      • Stickers
      • Prizes for goals met or to add to the studio “store”
    • Waiting area materials
      for the waiting room

      for the waiting room

      • Puzzles
      • Books
      • Music magazines
      • Coloring books and crayons or colored pencils
      • Water bubbler or bottles
      • Swap out materials monthly or quarterly?
    • Add technology—for the techno-challenged, push yourself to try just one!

What would you add? Or do you prepare for fall in a totally different way?

In my August 28th post I’ll have ideas for creating teacher binders. See you then!

 

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Posted in Financial Business, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

image

It’s summer and time for teachers to have coffee and pastries! I hope your cakes are delicious! It’s nice to have a break, but many teach full or part time in the summer.

USE MTH TO EASILY SCHEDULE MISCELLANEOUS SUMMER LESSONS!

COFFEE & PASTRY + EAT!

COPY & PASTE + EDIT! Read more…

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Posted in Studio Management, Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

DRAG yourself to the beach and DROP onto that lawn chair!

Despite how much I love teaching, I genuinely look forward to my time off. After a long January through March with no breaks, I can hardly wait for Spring Break! beach

Do you ever hold lessons for part of a day before a vacation starts, or occasionally cancel some, but not all, lessons on a given day?

Read more…

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Posted in Studio Management, Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Andrew

File Area Improved!

March 14th, 2015 by

We’re excited to announce that the file area has been improved and the updated version is now available in your account. Here are the three changes:

1. Drag files from your desktop into the browser window to upload – in addition to clicking the upload button, you can now save time if you have files readily available on your desktop by clicking and moving with your mouse to upload.

Music teaching files

 

2. You can now drag and drop to change sort order of the files – adjust the order of your files in seconds by selecting the file you want to move with your mouse and drag it to your desired order.

Drag order of music files

 

3. Expand and collapse folder – allows you to only view uploaded files for individual folders instead of all uploaded files. That way, you can choose to have a better visual of just the files you want to see at that moment.

Collapsed music teaching files

If you have any questions or have any feedback for us, please reach out to support at support@musicteachershelper.com. Happy teaching!

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

Do you agree with the old saying, “Change is good”?

When it comes to your music schedule do you feel the opposite? 58d462fe35a78acd03ccabe1265f0a3d

Do you often find yourself making schedule changes and fearing the worst:

That the student (and you) will forget the change?

SOLUTION – NO MORE STRESS!

GONE ARE THE CAVE MAN DAYS with MTH! Read more…

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Posted in Using Music Teacher's Helper

EXPIRED

I remember it well. Waking up with coffee in hand, I hurried to my laptop to open the Music Teachers Helper tab. Yes, I could have read the Daily Summary email that appears in my inbox which lists all the students arriving for lessons that day, but I wanted to access my calendar to double check the lessons scheduled for the entire week.

You can imagine my surprise when I logged in and I received a message that my account had expired. I logged in again assuming that in my haste, I had incorrectly entered my password.

Uggh…again the message: your account has expired.

You know that feeling when your stomach drops right after the roller coaster has crested the top of the ramp and begins its descent? Suddenly my coffee wasn’t sitting so well with me any more.

My anxiety grew as I had a list of items to complete on my Music Teachers Helper site before students arrived. I was planning to

  • Update a wait-listed registrant to active so I could create and send an invoice to the new student
  • Edit a lesson as a student needed to switch a time from Monday to Tuesday morning
  • Begin a draft of next month’s newsletter
  • Ensure that parents would receive the correct lesson day and time in their notification email by checking the week’s schedule
  • Email a new student family and inform them about the convenience of paying online with a credit card. I worried—would this handy feature be available to my new clients because of my expired account?
  • And more…

Insecurities crept in. Were my blog posts no longer appreciated? Perhaps I posted one too late which triggered the shut-off valve of my MTH account?

I figured there was a reason behind the MTH lockout and I knew Ronnie Curry and his timely MTH support team would have the answer.

Ronnie to the rescue! He promptly responded to my email plea and reopened my account that had been closed due to a small glitch. Breathing became easier and I brewed myself a fresh cup of Keuirg coffee.

Music Teachers Helper is the on-demand assistant that I’ve come to value even more than I knew.  With my current student load, the $49 a month, unlimited Music Teachers Helper account averages out to 92 cents a month per student. The peace of mind this system has offered me through the years is worth EVERY penny.

NOTE: Some of you may know that I also have my own blog at 88PianoKeys.me. Results from a recent MusicTeachersHelper survey revealed 88pianokeys.me is appreciated by MTH readers. I’m honored and thankful for your readership! Keep this list handy as it includes many relevant and helpful resources you’ll visit (as I will) on a regular basis.  Resources Music Teachers Love

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Posted in MTH 101, Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Screenshot 2014-11-29 14.01.03

A screenshot of the top of my Thumbtack profile page.

One day I saw an ad on my Facebook page from Thumbtack.  Have you seen it?  It said something to the effect, “Thumbtack needs guitar teachers!”  Curiosity got the best of me one day so I clicked on it.

Turns out they do!  Thumbtack connects people that have project goals with professionals that can help them accomplish those goals.  As a private guitar teacher, I can post a profile on Thumbtack that allows people searching for a guitar teacher to send me a request for a lesson quote.  If they like the quote, Thumbtack puts us in touch and voilá, I’ve got a new student!

Thumbtack made it pretty easy to get started.  The sign-up process was guided and surprisingly easy.  When finished, your profile will have a clean and professional look.  Here’s a link to my profile.  (I’ve included some screenshots of the edit view of my profile page in this post.)  You can include a bio, studio logo, details about the kinds of services you offer as well as professional credentials and that’s just for starters.  You can included links to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, too, not to mention your Music Teacher’s Helper Website!  When you’re ready to reply to customer requests you purchase credits, which are currency on Thumbtack, you use to pay when you send a quote to a customer.  (Quotes cost between 2 and 9 credits depending on the type of project.)  For guitar lessons it costs 2 credits or about $3 to send a prospective customer a quote.  Would you be willing to pay someone $3 to find you a new student?  That should be a no-brainer! Read more…

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Posted in Promoting Your Studio, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Music Teacher Android App

We are excited to introduce the Music Teacher’s Helper Android app, now available in the Google Play Store. Free to download and use, this brand new app compliments the Music Teacher’s Helper web app. If you do not have an active Music Teacher’s Helper account, you can sign up for a no-risk trial here.

How to download the Music Teacher’s Helper Android App:

  1. Select the Google Play Store icon from your Android device.
  2. Click the “Search” function from the bottom menu.
  3. Type in “Music Teacher’s Helper”.
  4. Then click the download icon.

Also, you can set your Android device to receive automatic app updates. That will be the quickest and easiest way to get the newest features and any fixes implemented for your apps.

Why use the Music Teacher’s Helper app?

The Android app allows you to do many of the same functions as the web app version of the software. Here are some examples where the app could come in handy:

  • Easily add, view, or edit student information and call, text, or email them from your phone.
  • View your schedule when not in front of your computer or laptop.
  • Add mileage right from your phone before stepping out of your car (make sure to park first!).

There are many more reasons to use the app. Different teachers use it for different reasons. Your students can also use it to record practice sessions (with a built-in timer) and check their lesson schedule and payments.

What is a Public Beta?

Initial launches of an app can be tricky. There are thousands of Android devices with different screen sizes. We are excited to get the app into your hands, yet we understand it may not be perfect immediately. We would appreciate it if you let us know of any bugs, or anything we could create in the app to help you manage your studio better, and save you time every day.

We also want to know what features from the site you want to see in the app next, so reach out with your vote. You can send feedback from within the app or get in touch by emailing us at support@musicteachershelper.com.

To check out the Music Teacher’s Helper Google Play page, click here.

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

In a series of blogs called ‘Getting Innovative with MTH’, I am sharing some of my favourite workarounds.  My previous two posts were: creating a To Do List and keeping track of my Inventory.  These workarounds help me be even more efficient within Music Teacher’s Helper with a ‘One Stop’ approach for all my studio needs.

Weekly Calendar

Monthly Calendar View: Week 3

Innovative Calendar of Events (combining all events in your life)

I really do love the flexibility of MTH and the powerful features within the Calendar for scheduling all my students.

I have now also created a way which works well for me to combine most, if not all, of the events in my life! Within the MTH Calendar for my student schedule, I am able to remember much more as I combine several calendar schedules together:

(1) for my personal appointments,

(2) for another teacher using my studio and

(3) my own piano/violin students both at my studio and offsite at students’ homes. Some of this logic might also help YOU if you have two teachers sharing the same studio space.   Read more…

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Posted in MTH 101, Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Using MTH Creatively VII – The Ever Changing Schedule

Creating the yearly schedule seem like a daunting task – can become your worst enemy!screaming teacher

Luckily for those instructors putting together their yearly calendar; once you have your MTH calendar complete you may sit back and relax! Getting to that point is the challenge many instructors dread. Read more…

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Posted in Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper