Did you know that Music Teacher’s Helper has several team members whose job is to use the software and find issues with the current and future updates? We call them our Quality & Assurance Team and we love having them around. For instance, 27 minor bugs and improvements were made to the software this past week that they found.
They’ll keep working hard to improve Music Teacher’s Helper and make sure future versions of it are just as great. If you every experience an issue using the software, please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make it a priority to fix.
Several cool features for both the iOS and Android app planned to release mid-May.
We are also hard at work modernizing and securing the underlying technologies that power Music Teacher’s Helper. That helps our members by making the site will run more smoothly and allow us to respond to your feedback more quickly.
Last month I attended the Music Teachers National Association National Conferences in Las Vegas. I had the honor and pleasure of being a conference presenter this year, and would like to share my presentation with MTH blog readers.
My presentation was titled “Combining Method Books – Accelerated Approach to Teaching Beginning and Intermediate Piano Students.”
To demonstrate my approach, I brought six talented students from my studio, and discussed various method books and supplementary materials I have used during their course of study. All of those six sudents started piano lessons with me from scratch, without any prior knowledge. Each student then performed a piece by a contemporary composer, which is a main focus in my studio.
The presentation was very well received. The room was packed, and by the time we started, there were people standing and sitting on the floor. Many people asked questions in the end, and many people requested my presentation slides.
I am very happy to share the slides, and have put them online for easy viewing and accesss. If you are interested, please visit this link:
Thank you for using Music Teacher’s Helper. This week’s implemented updates can be found on the list below. Please contact one of our support reps if you are experiencing an issue and we’ll get on it right away. If you have an idea for a new feature, please submit it here. Many of the current features were ideas submitted by members!
This week’s feature updates & fixes:
Multiple files can be selected in file area with control-click on Windows or command-click on Mac.
Files can be deleted by dragging them to the trash can icon.
The default behavior for file sharing with students has been updated to not select all students as requested.
Fixed 17 small bugs reported by our Quality & Assurance Team.
Made minor updates released for 3rd party dependencies.
“I didn’t practice as much as I’d like” is a pretty common refrain at music lessons. But “I didn’t touch it since last time” is not so easy to confess to.
There are many reasons why a student didn’t practice. I think it’s important not to lump them all together, but to take care to understand what happened in each individual case, in order to have an effective response.
Perhaps the foremost excuse for not practicing is Read more…
This week, many small changes to our error messages and notifications were made.
The next releases to the iOS and Android apps were tested and verified. The biggest change you’ll see with this update is that the apps will have the ability to create and send invoices! Thank you to everyone that has provided feedback on their experience with the apps. We look forward to adding more features to the app in the future.
“The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat…”
And so begins the portrayal of the romancing, marriage and honeymoon of the Owl and Pussy-cat by the nineteenth century writer Edward Lear.
“And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon”
After a few years of private music teaching, I began to notice that each new pupil goes through a “honeymoon” period. They start with such enthusiasm; it’s as if nothing else but their music matters to them. This is often even more noticeable in adult students.
Now some student’s “honeymoon” period will last for considerable months while others, barely weeks! And then the inevitable happens… Read more…
It’s amazing how much can change in a year. I just returned home from the 2015 Music Teachers National Association conference in Las Vegas. When I asked a roomful of teachers to raise their hands if they owned an iPad (yes, I’m partial to Apple products), there was a forest of proud hands. I’m not sure that would have been the case last year. It seems more and more music teachers are favoring the user-friendly device and realizing that apps can truly enhance their teaching. As the app world can be overwhelming, it’s good to start with those that are recommended by others. That’s how I developed this list below. These are just a few of the many that I integrate regularly into my teaching. I’ve listed only two or three per category and omitted some favorites to keep the list reasonable. To view a more thorough directory of apps for your digital tool box, click here. Links are included but prices are not as they fluctuate frequently. I’ve included a brief sentence on how I use each one or links to posts with further explanation. If the app is available for other operating systems, I’ve indicated that with an asterik.* Read more…
These smaller feature tweaks and fixes announced each week is just a portion of what our programming team spends their time on. The majority of their time is spent working to bring you a much-improved user experience that include new and overhauled features based mostly on member input. We will continue to release these larger feature upgrades gradually and be sure to let you know with in-software announcements and emails. Great changes are coming that we know you will be so pleased with.
This week’s feature updates & fixes:
Added the ability to upload multiple files at once to the File Upload area.
Fixed a bug that occurred when copying and pasting events on the calendar.
Fixed some bugs in the display of blocked dates on the calendar.
Corrected a Google Calendar sync issue that occurred for teachers with a high number of events.
Increased the allowed size of the text box for lesson notes on the multiple lesson reconciliation screen.
Fixed a handful of technical bugs.
Corrected and optimized several issues reported by our internal Quality Assurance team.
How can I impress on my students that music is for life? Few sports can be played into later years. But music is for life. A job might be fulfilling until retirement. Music is for life.
I’ve started a master class series in which I’ll invite elderly musicians to share their music and their stories.
Martha Nelson shares why music is for life
The first was Martha Nelson, a drummer/singer/pianist/accordion player who entertained in all-girl bands in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.
Martha practicing accordion
Martha sang weekly on the Jerry Blake Show for Madison, Wisconsin’s WKOW TV its first year on the air.
Martha Nelson about to sing on WKOW-TV Madison, WI in the 1950s
She passed her music on to her daughters, who are both working musicians (and one of whom is yours truly). She drummed for our family’s dance band through the 1980s.
Martha played several pieces for my students (including the Glenn Miller hit “In the Mood”), and shared the story of how she got her start. She went all the way back to her mother. Grandma planned to travel to the U.S. from Sweden to join her husband. She was booked to sail on the Titanic. But her first-born, my Aunt Vicky, got sick, and they had to wait. Mom told my students their teacher wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for that.
She taught herself piano. One of ten children, her dad brought a drum home one day, handed it to her, and told her that would be her instrument.
Now at 89, she still plays piano and sings. And one can often see her foot going or hear her fingers tapping in true drummer fashion.A year ago she joined me singing in a coffee shop—and I gotta tell you, she’s still got it! Her voice hasn’t really aged. Music helps keep her young.
Yeah, play it!
After Martha’s presentation, my students entertained her. The final song, by Chris, was—“My Heart Will Go On”—the theme from the movie Titanic!
Dane & Chris
Ava, Sam & Sara, seated
Music is good for many things: for background, for relaxing, for accompaniment to shopping or working,
for inspiration, entertainment, making a living,
passing on to another generation,
Passing the gift of music on to the next generation and the next…
and enjoying—from the womb till one’s final breath and into eternal life.