Hi, Everyone. Welcome to March. Our programming team is working on improvements to the billing and lending library features and we’ll have announcements here as they become available. If you’re attending the Music Teacher National Association conference later this month in Baltimore, come say hi to us at Booth 312 in the exhibit hall!

Here are a few fixes made this week in the new version:

  • Invoices were not saving in the invoice history for some members.
  • ”Automatic lesson fees’ appeared even if a member was charging each student per lesson.
  • When creating invoices, the Bill To information; name, address, phone number, and email address of the family were showing blank fields for some members. Also, some invoices were showing incorrect contact information and is now fixed.
  • If you experienced an issue trying logging in, that has now been resolved.

Did you know that you can copy and paste an event?

Quickly duplicating an event is useful if there’s a non-recurring event you want to happen again. Or, if you want to duplicate an event and make a slight tweak, it might be quicker to copy and paste and existing event instead of creating a new event from scratch.

Just click on an existing event and select the copy icon. Select the date you would like your copied event to take place, and click Paste Event(s). You’re done! Change details by clicking on the event and then the Pencil icon, which allows you to edit your event details.

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

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Reuben Vincent

Teaching Adults

March 6th, 2017 by

Teaching adults music is both rewarding and challenging!

Rewards

I enjoy teaching adults. During the course of their lesson, our conversations together are very stimulating. The stories they relate from their own life experiences are a great source of enrichment and entertainment. Over the weeks and months, we form good friendships together. From a practical point of view, teaching adults can also help to strengthen our teaching businesses. Adults can often come later in the evening when it’s too late for younger pupils, or if they are retired or work shifts, they might be able to come in the daytime.

One thing I like about adults is their high level of motivation. They seem to fall into either one of two categories. Those who started having lessons as children but stopped for one reason or another. And those who simply never had the chance earlier in life. Either way, they have probably wanted to take up lessons for quite a considerable time and are therefore incredibly determined.

Challenges

Adults often tell me that they don’t think they can make very quick progress because they are Read more…

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Posted in Composing & Arranging, Professional Development, Teaching Tips

The six practice strategies listed below come directly from the cognitive psychological scientists at LearningScientists.org. Megan Smith and Yana Weinstein hold doctorate degrees and have systematically applied current research on the brain and how it learns to the classroom setting.

I’ve taken their learning strategies one step further and applied them specifically to practicing an instrument. A good portion of the following paragraphs closely resemble their findings and I greatly appreciate their inspiration for this post!

The main point of their research is how the brain remembers best. It’s not through repetition nearly as much as through retrieval of information.

“Every time you leave a little space, you forget a bit of the information, and then you kind of relearn it. That forgetting actually helps you to strengthen the memory. It’s kind of counterintuitive, but you need to forget a little bit in order to then help yourself learn it by remembering again.”

-Weinstein from TheCultofPedagogy.com

You may find the list below validating like it was for me. I’ve encouraged most of these tactics for years and am thrilled that they are now scientifically proven to work thanks to Dr. Smith and Dr. Weinstein! Perhaps you’ll feel the same? Each strategy is first defined in the clinical terms found at TheLearningScientists.org. Next, you’ll read how I relate them to practice. I’ve also connected visuals to each strategy to help practicers understand and recall each one. Read more…

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Posted in Performing, Practicing, Studio Management, Teaching Tips

Hi, Everyone. We hope your February has been going great! We recently added a feature that will save you from having to log in each session. If you select the checkbox, you can automatically access your account when entering that Tab’s URL. For instance, if you bookmark the Calendar Page URL, https://www.musicteachershelper.com/teacher/calendar.php, you will not be required to log in to go directly to that page.

Bypassing the login will last for two weeks before needing to re-check the box.  It’s device specific so you will need to select the checkbox on all devices you want to stay logged in. And make sure not to use this feature on devices you share with others that you don’t want to have access to your account.

Here are a few fixes made this week in the new version:

  • The list of names that come up for “Use Subscription For Payment” was showing the entire list of student names and not just the ones who have entered their credit card info to be auto billed.
  • The secondary billing contact was not showing on the generated invoice for some teachers.
  • Charges in transaction logs of each student were missing momentarily in the new version but have since been restored.
  • Some event reminders were sent out a day earlier than scheduled in the new version and have since been corrected.
  • If you received a PayPal integration error message related to an integration update, that has been resolved by the programming team and everything now works smoothly between your account and Paypal.
  • If you were having issues changing the default time format in Settings, specifically when clicking from am to pm, this has been corrected.
  • For some teachers, the Transaction Log was not showing changes but the invoice was.
  • When some teachers were creating available times on their calendar, students were not able to click available time slots to sign up for a lesson. If any of your students were experiencing this, they can now sign up for time slots you make available.

Did you know that you can choose multiple instruments in the settings page?

If you teach multiple instruments, select all that apply so you can assign which instrument(s) your students are taking lessons with. Head over to Settings (top right drop down) and scroll to the bottom of the Studio Tab to select which instrument(s) you teach. Make sure to click Save Studio Settings when finished. Instrument icons will also show next to the students’ names and scheduled lessons as a reminder for you.

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

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

We hope you’re having a great week. We’re excited to announce this week that the new features we’ve added to Music Teacher’s Helper have now moved out of Beta and are part of the new version. If you see a green bar near the top of your dashboard, you are able to switch between the two versions. If you’re new to Music Teacher’s Helper within the past four weeks, you’re already using New version.

Here are a few fixes made this week:

  • When exporting the fees and credits, the details were not being included for some teachers.
  • We fixed some issues with editing the lesson history.
  • Lesson dates were not changing for recurring series when you change the date of the lesson to another and Apply changes only to this lesson the date was not changing.
  • When rescheduling from the calendar and changing the time, the window was disappearing once you choose a different time and preventing the schedule change from taking place.  
  • Creating an event in Chrome or Firefox web browsers was not working for some members.

We’re continuing to work on new updates to the Billing & Invoicing system to make it simpler and easier to use. We’re also working on a new website and blog that will include a more updated look and layout.

Did you know that you can view sent email history in Manage Students?

If you’d like to see a list of emails you sent students and parents, including the automatic email reminders, you can do so in Manage Students by hovering over the Email Students Tab and selecting Sent Email. The System Email History tab will show a list of all the automatic emails sent out along with the date and time, what type of email reminder, and who received the email. This is helpful if you need to recall when past conversations took place or confirm that your automatic emails are working as you intended.

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

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Reuben Vincent

Music Arranging

February 16th, 2017 by

What is music arranging?

Arranging music simply means taking existing music and making it playable on your instrument or for your ensemble. Good reasons to arrange might be to make a piece easier to play. Or convert music originally written for an ensemble so as to be played on a solo instrument, possibly with accompaniment. Although arranging can be a highly complex skill, it is also realistically within the grasp of every music teacher and most music students. Also, it’s great fun!

Why arrange?

I have personally found that arranging pieces especially for my students has given me a USP (unique selling point) to help me market my music teaching business. The idea that a prospective student can learn any song they want at the skill level they are at, is an extremely appealing reason to start having lessons. I also enjoy arranging as it is often very creative without the pressure to compose something from scratch. Encouraging students to try their hand at arranging is a practical way for them to develop their Read more…

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Posted in Composing & Arranging, Music & Technology, Music Theory, Professional Development, Teaching Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day! Be sure to check out our Robin’s blog post about an Easy Holiday Composing Activity you can implement in your studio.

If you’re using the New version (formally referred to as Beta), you will notice the hourglass was replaced with a metronome icon when pages load. And here are a few fixes made this week:

  • Former students’ birthdays were not showing on the Calendar for some teachers.
  • Icons weren’t showing as faded (complete) for reconciled events on some calendars.
  • Event information in the mobile browser was out of order when the screen size was narrowed.  
  • On the Android and iOS app, when changing a student’s status, the parents status was not changing.

Let us know if you have any questions by reaching out to support@musicteachershelper.com. Happy teaching!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Encore: when performers return to the stage to give an additional performance!

“Encore” is also a great title for a new series of four music books bursting with favourite exam pieces for piano (and violin). Hold on! Did you just say exam pieces? Boring!

Not so. Over the Christmas holidays, I’ve had great pleasure in playing through these books for not only myself but also with the purpose of testing them out as possible material for my pupils. I have to say that the choices of repertoire are excellent. There is a real mix of styles and although not ever song “floated my boat,” the vast majority were very usable, a handful getting me really excited! Read more…

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Posted in Music News, Product Reviews, Teaching Tips

Hi everyone. This week several updates were done in the background by our development team to keep the software running smoothly. In addition, there have been minor updates and fixes to the Android app with ones to the iOS app coming shortly.  

  • New Feature: Make Private Calendar Events – A small but big change! You can create a private event from the Add New event button in the calendar tab. That way, you can prevent a student from requesting a lesson during a time you are busy like a dentist appointment in the middle of the day or if you’re meeting with a prospective student that isn’t added to your Student List yet.
  • Updated: Studio Sites to use HTTPS – Information is now more securely sent when a registration form and other data is submitted on studio your site using SSL certificates. SSL (that extra “s” on HTTP) is used to better encrypt the transmitted information over websites.

Google also prefers more secure sites, therefore Google gives a ranking advantage in search engines to secure HTTPS websites. This helps your website show up when someone types in your studio, or music lessons and your geographic location.

You won’t need to change the way you type your studio address into web browsers. Any proper typing of your website will automatically direct to the more secure HTTPS.

  • Fixed: When using bulk email, it now only sends to the student list shown. For some teachers it was previously sending to all students, including Former students.

Let us know if you have any questions by reaching out to support@musicteachershelper.com. Happy teaching!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

How many times do you explain what an interval is in a year? How often do you introduce and review chords and their inversions? Wouldn’t it be nice to offer a resource for your students that suits your curriculum that can be viewed repeatedly and accessed any time? Ideally, this approach—called a flipped classroom—leads to less lesson time spent introducing a concept and more time reinforcing it.

A flipped classroom is defined as

“a pedagogical model in which the typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects, or discussions.”

With today’s tech tools, you can produce your own material or borrow resources from others for your flipped classroom approach….

E-Books

An app called Book Creator makes it easy for teachers to design customized “lectures” for students to watch at home or during off-bench time at lessons. The app provides a user-friendly platform for creating interactive e-books that feature text, narration, graphics and videos. It’s available for the iPad as well as Android and Windows tablets. Read more…

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Posted in Music & Technology, Music Theory, Product Reviews, Studio Management, Teaching Tips