Hi Everyone. It’s almost here! Soon, you’ll be able to access all the features we’ve been announcing the past few weeks. And we’ll announce just a few more below. Of course, this is just one set of new features we’ll be releasing this year.

We’re working hard to get them ready for you, and update our software code so we can release features much faster moving forward. We’re excited about all the ways we’re continuing to make Music Teacher’s Helper even better for you so that you can run your studio more easily and effectively and connect better with your students. Thank you for your patience.

As a reminder, we’re first releasing these features as a beta version and instructions will follow for access.

software for music teachers

Improved calendar filtering and searching, and option to show student birthdays automatically on calendar

Filtering options are moving to above your calendar, and we’ve made it easier to see what’s filtered and to change it. You also have the option to show student birthdays and blocked dates automatically on the calendar.

Option to charge a per-person fee for an event

Special events or group lessons that require different pricing can be accommodated with per-person fees. With group lessons, you can track attendance and charges separately.

Set custom attendance statuses, and whether or not they’re billable

Create your own attendance statuses in your Studio Settings, and set whether or not they’re billable. Some example statuses could be: Teacher Absent (not billable) or Student Late (billable).

We’ll be sending an email as well as an in-software announcement when the Beta option is available. Keep an eye out for the announcement and if you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact support. Have a great week!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Robin Steinweg

Utterly Unique

September 9th, 2016 by

Other teachers said these things to me recently: “I’m just a small-town music teacher.” “It’s all been taught before.” “I don’t say anything new. It’s all been said before.” But not by you. You and your teaching are utterly unique.

Teachers with wonderfully creative ideas write online. Some of them compose songs we purchase for our students. Others create teaching strategies and games. Those aren’t your gifts? Don’t let that discourage you!

You leave a fingerprint on each student’s life…

Think about this. You leave a fingerprint on each student’s life. Utterly unique. Yes, many others have taught the same pieces. They’ve used the same materials. The same words will have been said. But not by you.

I recall the impact of various musicians on my own life. My mother left me a legacy to love music; to make music; to live and laugh music. My first private music teacher impressed me with her pretty voice. But I also picked up her touch on the piano, which I see passed on to my own students. A musician I met only once spoke two sentences that shaped my musical destiny. Other teachers plucked weeds, watered, fed and shone on me as I grew. A professor provided my first playing gig. Each of them impacted my life: utterly unique. Even a negative experience with a teacher helped shape me into a better person.

I’ve had students who no way in this world were going to sing or compose their own songs. But I nudged them. Now they’re making money at it.

Each student comes to you at a particular time of vulnerability. No one else will see him or her exactly the way you do. No one else will relate the way you do. The encouragement you speak at this time can change the course of a life. A word dropped by you might nourish words spoken by others. Your influence might inspire a student to drop a harmful thought pattern. You might provide an oasis. What if you’re the only one who really listens? You are undoubtedly providing a mode of expression that can last a lifetime.

So be encouraged, music teacher. Leave your utterly unique fingerprint on that life.

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Posted in Professional Development, Teaching Tips

Hi everyone! I know we’re emailing you a lot lately, but there are so many new features and improvements we’re excited about that we know you’re going to love. In addition to the dozens we’ve already announced, here are several more you’ll get to start using soon.



New Lesson Swapping Feature

If you have a full roster or keep a tight schedule, you may encounter multiple requests for schedule changes each month. This can be time-consuming with all the emailing and calling students to switch. This feature allows parents/students to opt-in to lesson swapping, where they can submit a request to other students to swap lesson times. Students will feel guilt-free requesting a swap without having to “bug the teacher”. And for you – no more mediating or wasting time on swapping lessons for your students. Let this highly requested feature handle it for you!


Simpler Process for Creating and Editing Lessons and Events Right from Calendar Screen

Click and create an event within seconds by selecting a student’s name and time. Add details such as location, duration, and rate or allow it to default on your most common answers to save even more time. Clicking an existing event allows you to see important lesson information at once without having to jump to different screens. You can also easily edit event information right from the calendar pop-up.

Easier Online Booking for Students (Instant Booking)

Students can choose from your available time without you having to create specific lessons slots on the calendar. Mark your availability and unavailability and receive a notification once a new lesson is booked.

New Location View on Calendar

In addition to month, week, and day view, sort a day’s events on your calendar by location as a column for comparison. This can be helpful if you have a mix of lessons in your home studio, students’ homes, or additional places.

New Agenda View on Calendar

See all events listed out without empty space in between. This will be convenient to scan many events at once.

Set Default Category and Location

If you primarily teach one instrument and from one place, such as a home studio, setting a default category will save time when creating a new lesson event. If you teach multiple instruments and/or locations, selecting which is easy but setting the most common as default saves time.

Thank you for using Music Teacher’s Helper. These new features will make a big difference in how you run your studio and we’re so excited to make them available shortly!

Please don’t hesitate to contact support with any questions. Have a great weekend!

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

The dozens of Beta options launching shortly will be made available by opting in from your Settings page. We’ll provide instructions when that becomes available. If you haven’t seen the prior feature announcements, please reference the blog posts from August published here. We’ll have two more announcements this week rounding out the list.

Below are a few more features that will be available right away when the Beta becomes available:

Track Leads

Tracking leads will allow you to separate students who’ve expressed interest, from those who you’ve agreed to teach but who are simply waiting for an opening in your schedule (“Waiting List”). You’ll be able to select and email individual leads or select all and send a mass email out to your potential students. Once a potential student signs up for lessons, changing their status to “Active” is easy and all their existing information carries over.

See a Student’s Details, Lesson History, Payment History, and Practice Info All Within the Student’s Profile in the Student Management Area

No more clicking through different parts of the program to get a full picture of what’s going on with a student. See everything related to the student in one place, including an unlimited number of contacts for parents or grandparents who want to receive lesson or payment notifications.

Simpler Process for Creating Students

Quickly add a student with just their name and rate, or fill in more details as needed. (Or just a name if they’re a lead or on your Waiting list). In the near future, we’ll be adding a student import feature. More to come on that!

Customize Columns That Show on the Student List

Choose which columns you want to see on the student list. With 18 fields to choose from, you can decide which information is most important for you to see at a glance, whether a student’s default rate, their parent’s email address, skill level, and more. You’ll also have the ability to set whether you want the student’s first or last name to appear first throughout the site.

Update information for multiple students at once

Select one, some, or all students to quickly update the student(s) status, change their rates, reset their make-up lesson credits, and send login info all at once from the Student List. This will save time if you decide to raise your lesson rates, stop teaching for the summer, or when a student or parent forgets their login.

Customize cancellation policy settings

Choose whether to allow an automatic lesson cancellation and customize the amount of time leading up to a lesson such as one day or six hours. Set rules for canceling prior to or after the lesson time. For instance, if cancelled before your set deadline, a student can automatically be marked absent and allowed to schedule a make-up. Inversely, if a student cancels after the deadline, you may choose to automatically charge for the lesson if that is part of your studio policy.

Customize make-up policy settings

If you allow students to schedule make-up lessons, you can set the expiration for their make-up credit along with a reminder email, again with a custom set advanced notice, so they don’t forget to use the credit.

Thanks for using Music Teacher’s Helper and we look forward to hearing your feedback for the Beta option once it becomes available. Look out for a few more announcements this week describing additional features.

Thank you!

-Andrew & the entire Music Teacher’s Helper Team

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Posted in New Features and Fixes

Teaching Tempo

One fundamental question that lurks in the mind of students is:  “How am I ever going to play this music up to tempo?”

Many teachers have standard methods for speeding up a student’s playing, but there are several interesting ideas to consider on this subject, and they reflect different priorities about how to play music.

Perhaps the most common method for learning to play at tempo is to first learn the notes solidly at a comfortable tempo.  Then practice the music at slowly increasing metronome settings so as to arrive eventually at the correct tempo.

While I think this approach is valid, its weakness is that it sets the highest priority on getting all the notes right.

Tempo is not about the notes but about the beat.  One way to learn to play up to tempo might be to understand the beat first, and then fill in the beats with the correct notes.

Placing a high priority on understanding the beat means physically moving to the beat, which could involve the knee, the foot, swaying, breathing, and for string players requires a strong focus on good and consistent bowing.
Instead of reading the music as if every note was as important as every other, the student who focuses on beat notes would single out those beat notes for awareness and emphasis.

A good exercise for the student to try is to learn the beat notes for a passage of music, and then to invent ways of arriving at those beat notes on time.  If the student has heard the piece a number of times, the chances are good that their ears will guide them to actually play the correct notes.  But even if they are unsure, they can learn a great deal from finding their own pathways from one beat note to the next.

At heart, this is improvising, but it doesn’t really matter what we call it.  The learning process is that after inventing their own ways to get from one beat note to the other, they will appreciate better the choices the composer made, and will remember the music better because they will understand it from the inside, instead of merely memorizing what the music tells them to play.

Of course, the problem of playing the correct notes up to tempo still requires learning the notes.  But learning them in the context of arriving at the next beat note, and within the structure of a phrase, makes it far easier to learn the notes.

A good comparison can be made with speech.  It is far easier, quicker and longer-lasting to learn to say the phrase, “I like this music up to tempo,” than to learn the sequence, “i-l-i-k-e-t-h-i-s-m-u-s-i-c-u-p-t-o-t-e-m-p-o.”  Placing the notes within the beats, right from the start and engages the ears and the muscle memory of the fingers.

Special note:  A corollary to this discussion is that as much as we may want to get every note right, some notes are more important than others.  The beat notes are clearly the top priority for hearing music correctly.  This means we can relax a little about non-beat notes and trust students and ourselves to nail them down during the learning process, rather than panic about mistakes.  This too has a correlation to speech.  Our brains understand sentences that are misspelled if the first and last letters, and length of the word, are correct.  For example, we can understand, “I lkie tihs misuc up to tmepo” much more easily than if the initial letters were wrong:  “I klie to aply umsci up to etmpo.”

Cognitive studies have shown that drilling the same thing over and over fatigues the brain and yields diminishing returns.  Practicing something in different ways, trying new ideas, and playing games with learning, have been shown to allow for endless attention from the brain.

Learning notes as written and then drilling a passage at increasing speeds can be quite tiring and may have to be repeated many times to get lasting results.

But thinking a little bigger, placing the priority on learning the beat notes, improvising pathways between beats, then finding out the composer’s choices and learning them, noticing patterns within beats such as scales and arpeggios that lead to the next beat note, or even learning manageable bits of the music, such as phrases or half-phrases, up to tempo immediately rather than gradually — these are all intriguing games that allow a student to play up to tempo while gaining a greater understanding and appreciation for the construction of the music.  They’ll build in more musicality while arriving more quickly at their goal of playing up to tempo.

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Posted in Practicing, Teaching Tips


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

music lessons in today's busy attention economy

The Information Economy?

People sometimes say that we are living in the “information economy.”  I think that is only partially true.  Instead, I believe we are living in the attention economy.  Think about it.  There is nothing more precious than our attention — not time, money, or material possessions –and everyone wants a piece of it!


There has recently been a lot of talk about mindfulness in the media,and I believe it’s exactly because of information overload.  We as a society need to stop and learn to filter out the signal from all the noise.

Fully Present

I specialize in teaching music to children.  One thing that I have done from the beginning is made it a point to be truly present while teaching or interacting with my students and their families.  At recitals, I give my unwavering focus to each child on the stage, to the point where I feel both emotionally and physically exhausted by the end of the performance.  It is as if I am willing their success through my 100% attention.  

I didn’t realize that I was doing this until my wife mentioned it to me.  She said,

“I love to watch you at your recitals because you are completely there for your students.”

I believe that this total focus on each student in front of me is a big part of why I have such a strong rapport with them.  

It is unfortunately so rare for a child to have that complete and total attention from any adult these days. Many parents are so distracted.  Not only is there the normal work/life balance, but now there is also the ubiquitous smartphone constantly beeping in the background.  Many children seem to never have full attention, and “act out,”  because negative attention is better than no attention at all.

An Audience of One

Each lesson is also a performance.  You have an audience of one, and you are fully engaged in listening, responding, and leading the student to new heights of understanding and ability.  

What happens when you give a child your complete presence is remarkable.  You have complete trust;  you have a safe space where you can encourage, coax, or even cajole your student to move far beyond their previous internally-constructed obstacles.  When the student says, “I can’t do it”  you can say, “…yet!”  and they believe you.

I was so humbled to receive this comment from a parent:

“You have a unique capability to communicate, share and nurture enthusiasm for music…  you teach to the individual child.  You find a way to access each student where he/she is, and to find the music that touches him/her.  I have noticed with Mary* that (while she never wants to disappoint you) she does not fear judgment from you…you have created a safe place for the journey of learning.  While you gently push your kids, you are an incredibly patient and kind teacher. 

Be Present

So the lesson is this: Stop trying to multi-task.  Be completely present, and it will enable you to move mountains and maybe even change the world.

*Student’s name has been changed

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Posted in Teaching Tips

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 past month I gave a piano masterclass in Jakarta, Indonesia. How? Read below – this post will hopefully inspire you with ideas to help your students (and bring more students to you).

Back in May, I had a dilemma that many teachers face: our piano students leave town for the summer. I could teach my remaining students until the fall rolled around, but what if I mixed in a little adventure?

I brushed with the travel bug last year, but I had never been to Asia. I started thinking, how cool would it be to visit and teach music somewhere out there?

It never hurts to check. I was enticed by Bali, so I chose to look into the city of Jakarta, a short plane ride away.

Steps to Teach Music Overseas

  1. Created a spreadsheet and Googled Indonesian music schools.
  2. Made a list of ~20, with links and contact info.
  3. Crafted a short email, stating that I wanted to teach a masterclass and/or teach lessons while I was visiting.
  4. Cut down my already short email by half, to be clearer and to-the-point.
  5. Sent this to each school.

Within the week, two had enthusiastically responded. I chose to work with Rosa Mistyca, the super sharp and talented owner of Ensiklomusika, based in Jakarta. We Skyped once to confirm that, yes, we’re both real people. Rosa agreed to promote my visit to Jakarta residents (a ton of work on her part). The deal was – I’d give one presentation for teachers looking for tips on teaching, and one masterclass where I teach individual students for ~25 minutes each, with their families and other students in the audience. Over the next month, we coordinated dates and suddenly I realized: Oh this is really happening. Can’t back out now.

No Longer Just a Fantasy: I’m Really Going to Asia

I booked my ticket, got my shots, and started to prepare. I had never done any of this before. But after a decade of teaching and making music in NYC, I felt ready to share what I’ve learned, to challenge myself, and to embrace a little chaos and uncertainty.

I sat down, nervously started to write…and realized I knew a lot more than I thought.

Until you write down or present what you know in a codified way, it’s tough to know how much you truly know. This is why blogging and writing lesson notes to families are so crucial (Music Teacher’ s Helper lets you do this easily, by the way). It doesn’t just help them but gives your teaching clarity. Weak habits get broken. You start to see how to approach the problems students face but also why, at a deeper level, an approach is good or needs to change. Very powerful.

Still, I was intimidated. Ensiklomusika was counting on me, paying me, to prepare something clear and useful, in an unfamiliar context, in a foreign country. It would be nice if they all loved it, and loved me, but maybe they’ll think I’m a fraud. Then what?

A wise man once wrote: “the future is indeed terrifyingly unknowable when you can’t even focus on the present.”

So I focused on what I could control: my own effort, in that moment.

Weeks later, I arrived in Jakarta and spent some time wandering around the city.

After a few stimulating days dodging Southeast Asia traffic, I hunkered down in my hotel to work on my presentation.

The Presentation

I arrived, sat down at the piano, and relaxed for a few minutes. Oh wait, I know how to do this.

Soon, a dozen teachers from Jakarta filed in, with pens and paper, and sat down, waiting for me to begin.

So I took a deep breath, and began. I talked about rhythmic approaches, how to sight-read, and common problems students have. I shared stories about my students to show why rapport matters so much – students often stay or leave because of this alone.

Finally, I brought in a unique approach to helping kids, as young as four, read and play music from their first lesson. I’ve used Andrew Ingkavet’s Musicolor Method for close to a year and watched as referrals flew in, my roster almost double, and my confidence as a teacher grow like crazy. Andrew’s approach not only works, but kids (and even one of my adult students!) really love it. What an opportunity to show a room full of Jakarta residents something new, from the other side of the world!


After two hours, the conference ended. The masterclass began soon after.

Again, this was new for me. I was to give each of seven students a private lesson…with their families, friends, and students watching. To take the searing spotlight off the student, I planned to address the audience at times, to include them in the learning process.

This means I had to:

  • immediately identify the problems that particular student (a student I had just met!) was facing
  • help her feel comfortable enough to listen to me and try my suggestions (with a watching audience)
  • throughout each lesson, I had to observe, frame, and simplify those problems to the audience in a way that 1) didn’t alienate the student herself, and 2) helped the audience understand some technicals without alienating them


By the end, I was totally wiped out.

And who headlines the entire masterclass? A wildly talented student, Elnino, six years old, sits down and crushes a tricky Sonatina. This boy used every part of his body gracefully and played it passionately. Not like a robot at all. It was easy for him.

Elnino’s physical instincts were top-notch. I nudged the audience to observe what he does so effortlessly with his arms and body overall, to open their minds to how he’s intuitively solved his own physical problems, the same problems that plague other students.

What a reward, to present material that I love to new faces, and they were thrilled!

We finished, grabbed a beer, and Rosa forced me to eat a durian (a fruit that smells so bad it offends cockroaches). Then I hopped on a plane to Bali the next morning. What a trip.


Takeaways: What I Learned by Teaching Teachers and Giving a Piano Masterclass

It challenged me to condense all my knowledge in a simple, actionable way, and to do this publicly, on the spot.

I learned to repeat myself, helpfully. For instance, unclear rhythms cause most problems for students. During the masterclass, I saw five students struggle with this. So I approached them with a similar solution, five times, and noted the common thread to the student and the audience. Everyone wins.

The experience gave me more confidence as a teacher. It gave my work visibility, legitimacy, and a bridge to a whole new set of relationships on a different continent. As a busy teacher in NYC, I know that relationships, and ultimately businesses, are built and sustained on trust. I managed to create a pocket of that within an entirely new part of the world.


Want to try something like this? You never know, all it takes is a quick email. Plan ahead now before next summer comes – Ensiklomusika continuously accepts foreign teachers during their visits.


Brett Crudgington runs a private piano studio in Brooklyn, NY for over 20 students. He studied jazz as a teenager and spent formative years in college working with John Kamitsuka on classical music. It was here that he learned Abby Whiteside’s physical approach to the piano, how to make music that emanates from the core rather than the fingers. He actively brings a wide range of pedagogical tools to his lessons, including Andrew Ingkavet’s Musicolor Method.

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Posted in Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio


Summer is coming to and end and students will be going back to school. You’re just about through it! All the canceling, rescheduling, and vacations are just about over. You’re headed back to the normal weekly lessons with your students. This is a great time to consider how you’re doing both as a teacher and a business person. Is there anything you could be doing better that will help both your wallet and your students’ progress?

Look into New Teaching Methods

I’m a piano teacher, so there are quite a few method books out there. For just about any instrument there will be a few methods that just about everyone uses. For piano, the go-to method books are Bastien, Alfred, and Faber. Although those are probably the most used methods, they definitely aren’t the only ones.

For me, there seems to be something missing from these method books generally. I’ve never been overly excited about any of them, so I’ve started looking into alternatives. Right now I’ve been using Piano Safari with my daughter, and I’m impressed with how they incorporate learning by rote into the method.

I haven’t been using it long enough to give a great review about it, but the point of me bringing it up is it’s helped me think about teaching in a different way. Before the Fall begins, take this time to analyze how you teach. Could you be more effective? Would changing methods help?

Raise Your Prices

September, or January as well, are good months to raise your prices. You probably won’t be able to raise your prices significantly, but every little bit helps. A 5% increase usually doesn’t ruffle anyone’s feathers too much, but it can be really helpful for you and your family.

As an example, let’s say you’re charging $50/hour, and you’re teaching 20 hours a week of private lessons. With a 5% increase, you’ll be making an extra $50/week or $200/month. That’s a nice chunk of change!

If you’re worried about raising prices on your students, think about it this way. Inflation averages around 3% a year. If you’re not raising your prices at all, you’ll be losing 3% in spending power every year. That’s not a good way to run a business and make a living. You’re also becoming a better teacher every year. You deserve a pay raise. 5% helps you keep up with inflation, and then gives you a small raise as well.

It’s a good practice to write it into your policies, so students expect it every year.

Review and Adjust Your Studio Policies

Hopefully, you have some pretty amazing studio policies. It’s important to define how rescheduled and canceled lessons will work up front. Most parents and students don’t have much of a problem as long as they are told up front what your policies are. Take some time and look over what you have. Can you add some more policies that will make your life easier? Can you collect more payment up front? Maybe you decide to use Music Teacher’s Helper’s great new feature to collect payments automatically every month. Are you going to make that your only option?

With current students, sometimes a change in policies can come as a shock, but most people don’t have a problem for you sticking up for yourself.

Cut Off Problem Students

If you’ve been teaching for a while, you’ve definitely encountered one or two difficult students. Maybe the parents are always harping on you, or are hard to deal with, or maybe the student is just rude. Whatever the reason, your student is causing you stress. You may dread that half hour every week. Life is short. Don’t let people stress you out like that.

If you’re a new teacher, and you need to build your studio, you may have no other options. It may be best to stick it out. Hey, you’ll get some experience, you’ll get paid, and maybe you’ll learn something. But if you are more experienced, don’t let these problem students take over your life.

You teach because you love it. You aren’t making millions, and you don’t plan on it. So why let someone suck the joy out of teaching? Be professional, be kind, but let the parents know that you will no longer be able to teach them anymore.

Create New Marketing Campaigns

If you are still looking for new students to build your studio, spend some time and think about how you can market to them. Marketing can be difficult, but there are plenty of students out there that would love you as their teacher. It’s your job to find them and let them know.

For free advertising, try Craigslist or local Facebook buy and sell groups. Don’t stop advertising yourself just because the first or second ad didn’t net any results. With advertising, you’ll find that a small subset of a small subset of the people who see your ads will sign up for lessons. That’s OK. You don’t need hundreds of students to make a living. Just keep advertising and you’ll see results.


If you’re a full-time teacher, perhaps you’re not practicing like you used to. You know, life gets in the way, and practice can sometimes take a back seat. But this Fall is a great time to recommit yourself to practice every day. Practicing will release stress and it will even make you a better teacher. The skill I teach to my students more than anything is how to practice.

Sometimes I feel like I learn more from teaching than my students learn from me. Since I emphasize practicing so much, I apply what I learn by teaching my students how to practice while I practice at home. My personal practice solidifies what I teach and helps me explain myself better.

Start Preparing Recitals

Performing is one the most important part of music education. I’m sure you already have a recital once or twice a year. Start preparing for them now. But even better, what if you had more this year? I know I know, it sounds like a lot of work. Recitals are hard.

You can make it worth your while, though, by charging a small recital fee for each student. If you already charge one, raise it if you can. Most teachers use the recital fee just to pay for the cost of the recital. It’s not wrong to make a little profit as well! Don’t forget you are spending time getting it all setup. Get paid for that time.

See if it’s possible to hold a quarterly recital this year. Yup, that’s one every three months. Soccer players have games pretty much every week, yet somehow musicians only perform once or twice a year. Parents will appreciate it, students will learn how to overcome performance anxiety, and you may actually make a little extra income.


Don’t let this school year be the same as last year. Happiness in anything is all about progression. If you’re being stagnant in your profession, you’ll be more stressed and less happy. What do you think? Is there anything else you’ll be focusing on before school starts in the Fall? Let us know in the comments!

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