Have a fun and safe Halloween this weekend! The following improvements were made this past week:
- Updated the days of the week in the calendar settings “First Day” setting to start with capital letter.
- Made the Link Title and Link URL fields required on the “Add or Edit a link” page.
- Added a page title on the Account Summary report page so that it shows in the browser tab.
- Solved an issue that caused an error for some users when downloading a file.
- Removed the announcement date from the announcement template as it is not used anymore.
- Updated the message that appears after deleting a file from the file area for clarity.
- Corrected the sort order of the fees page so that it sorts from newest to oldest.
- Corrected a student contact list printing bug.
- Clarified the the message that appears after deleting a credit record on the “Edit Credit” page to reduce confusion.
- Solved an issue with the resources area file links on studio sites that had an error when downloading files.
- Corrected a bug with the student lists check boxes when uploading a file and selecting permission.
Have you or will you be doing anything special in your studio with your students for Halloween? Candy, spooky music, or something else? Let us know in the comments.
Posted in New Features and Fixes
We hope you had an excellent week of teaching! Last week, we introduced Stripe as a newly available payment method. Let us know in the comments if you’ve created a Stripe account yet. This week, the following improvements and fixes were made:
- Corrected an issue that synced iCal and Google calendars 1 hour off from the correct time in some cases.
- Updated the website preferences to make it easier to input correct URL format.
- Modified the mileage tracker repeat options so that the repeat options are available when editing a mileage record (before they were available only when creating a record).
- Updated the ordering of columns in the csv export of the Fees Charged list to match the table that appears on the site.
- Corrected an issue with manually generated invoices so that they have the correct time stamp according to user’s preferences.
- Updated the behavior of the Parent’s “Back to Reports List” link on the “Account Summary” page so that the parent is linked to the expected page “Reports List”, instead of home or login.
- Made improvements to the calendar syncing function so that it is faster, and will reflect changes more quickly.
Also, Music Teacher’s Helper is getting a new, enhanced look that will make you even more organized and productive. No date announced yet, but we’re working hard and can’t wait to show you.
Posted in New Features and Fixes
The Savvy Music Teacher is a new book just out this month, offering a comprehensive look at what goes into making a decent living as a music teacher. The goal of the book is to provide a strategy for making a positive impact on your community and translating that into a good income for yourself. The book includes detailed discussions about music teaching options, a variety of income streams, financial explanations and strategies, and stories about successful experiences from over 150 savvy music teachers.
Author David Cutler, the Director of Music Entrepreneurship at the University of South Carolina, starts by asking the readers to become aware of their own teaching formulas and priorities, while highlighting numerous ways to freshen or rethink methods and content. For many teachers, this discussion might inspire some new ideas about how to match teaching approaches and formats with their personal interests and style.
A review of Cutler’s previous book, The Savvy Musician, can be found in an earlier Music Teachers’ Helper blog post at this link.
Read on, and enjoy an overview of the book, as well as a look at the book’s companion website…
Posted in Financial Business, Music & Technology, Product Reviews, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips
Stripe is an additional way you can receive credit card payments from parents and students. Don’t worry, the ability to accept payments from Paypal and Authorize.net will not change. We’ve just added Stripe because it’s simple to use and easier for us to build additional features on top of so you can do more with accepting payments within your Music Teacher’s Helper account.
Posted in New Features and Fixes
Competition for a good piano teacher is fierce these days. How do you make yourself stand out? Somehow I’ve managed to make a business for myself in the musically congested city of Los Angeles. Here are some of the tricks in my bag:
Use your phone’s video camera.
Most of the time, parents are not around to watch their kid’s piano lessons. Sometimes, they aren’t even home (nannies are there instead). If you have a studio where students come to you, it’s likely the parents don’t sit in the room with you. This means that the very people who hired you never get to see your actual work. You need to show them what you are doing for 2 very important reasons. Read more…
Posted in Professional Development, Studio Management, Teaching Tips, Using Music Teacher's Helper
For this week’s updates we:
- Updated the Student Account summary page so that the “From Date” is populated with today’s date by default.
- Updated the Student Contact list report page so that the “Select All” checkbox works correctly after unselecting student(s).
- Added a “Select All” option to Push Notification Announcement sending screen.
- Updated the student list table layout on Push Notification Announcement sending screen.
- Made a handful of small layout and text cleanups to the Push notifications sending page.
- Corrected account specific issues reported by Teachers.
Have you been using the recently added Push Notifications and Audio/Video Recording features on the Music Teacher’s Helper App? If so, let us know in the comments section below what you think of them so far. Happy teaching!
Posted in New Features and Fixes
I didn’t understand my teacher!
Each piano lesson was the same. Half an hour of scales followed by half an hour of Bach! I hated it!!!
Needless to say, I didn’t want to practise scales between lessons. What was the point? He certainly never told me if there was one. It just seemed like a pointless half hour of boredom each week.
Fast forward on. Now I am the teacher trying to encourage my students to practise scales!!! How ironic!
Sell the Benefits
As humans, we are much more motivated to do something if we think it will benefit us.
So what are the benefits of scales? Have we discussed them with our students? What do they think the benefits are? Here’s a few to get started: Read more…
Posted in Music & Technology, Practicing, Professional Development, Teaching Tips
In 2012, a UK survey commissioned by Disney uncovered that 75% of parents who owned ‘app-capable’ devices shared them with their children, and that, “…37% considered apps to be an ‘integral’ part of their family life.”
It’s no secret that introducing children to music at a young age offers numerous benefits. Many studies carried out over the past decade conclude that children who learn to play an instrument benefit from improved language-related skills, along with increased emotional and cognitive processing skills.
With the prominent rise of mobile devices being used in schools and the household, not to mention the hundreds (if not thousands) of children’s apps on the market, how can parents and teachers fully take advantage of this unique approach to learning?
One of the biggest challenges with musical education among children is that parents may not have the prior music knowledge required to introduce the basic elements to them. This means that many children don’t begin their musical training until the ages of five or six, after they’ve started school.
What Can Music Teachers Do?
Teachers can start developing educational programs based around these apps, which will allow them to take on more students at a younger age. This makes individual music lessons a much more viable option for kids, even as young as three, since it provides an easy entry point to kick-start their musical education; which is a huge plus for everyone.
With an increasing number of children being introduced to mobile technology each year, music-based apps have made the learning experience for kids more accessible than ever.
At a minimum, suggesting app-based learning into their playtime schedule of students’ younger siblings, they can begin to grasp key concepts that will encourage further musical development later on in life and potentially make them ready for music lessons sooner.
About the author: Ernst Renner is the founder of www.LittleComposers.com, which make apps designed for children to learn on their own. Their apps are made by music teachers with 20+ years of teaching experience. Little Composers apps are available on all touch-screen devices (including iOS9), laptops, and desktop computers. Learn more about their educational music apps by clicking here.
Posted in Professional Development, Teaching Tips
There are four secrets of a successful studio. I realize it’s a bold claim to narrow it down to just four and you may be asking, what does successful mean? Keep reading.
Like any other human being, your bottom line comes down to:
- food on the table
- a roof over your head
- decent clothes on your back.
These three essentials require an income and as a music teacher that means you’ll need students and preferably, lots of them. The trick is figuring out how to attract and retain them. When you have met and exceeded your bottom line and enjoy a waiting list, I believe you have made a success of your studio.
After extensive research, David Cutler discovered that music teachers who generated substantial (successful) incomes were more likely to integrate these three elements (OK, they are not really secrets but it caught your attention, right?) into their instruction compared to other teachers who did not. They include: Read more…
Posted in Financial Business, Product Reviews, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management
New to the Music Teacher’s Helper Mobile Apps, you can now access the file area, record audio and video, upload, and create new folders with the app. Select the Files tab on the sidebar menu and click the + symbol on the top right to use these new functions.
Your students can also now record practice sessions in audio and video, save, and it automatically uploads to your file area in a sub-folder with the correct permissions. Students can also access other files shared with them by you. Read more…
Posted in New Features and Fixes, Using Music Teacher's Helper