Brandon Pearce

Brandon Pearce

Brandon Pearce is the founder and CEO of Music Teacher's Helper, a web-based software program to help music teachers manage the business aspects of teaching music lessons. A piano teacher and computer programmer himself, he created Music Teacher's Helper as a side project to manage his own students, and in 2004, made it available for music teachers worldwide. Since then, it has grown to support thousands of music teachers around the world to become more organized, save time, and communicate more effectively with their students. And it is cared for by a team of over 20 talented individuals, all of whom work from home. Brandon currently spends his time directing and improving Music Teacher's Helper, traveling with his family, and writing and performing music. You can find more about him on his personal blog at PearceOnEarth.com.

As a music teacher, how often do you think about the difference you’re making in your students’ lives? I believe that the influence a teacher can have on a student is profound, not just in the content or skills being taught, but in the way we connect and interact with each other as human beings.

Sometimes lessons can be challenging. If a student didn’t practice – or even worse, doesn’t want to be there – it can be difficult to see beyond their corresponding behavior or attitudes to the valuable and beautiful person in front of us. But when we do see this – what a difference it can make! Not only can it affect the flow of the lesson, but also the life of the student. And this applies to motivated and positive students, too.

An Inspiring Teacher

I have three daughters, ages 12, 10, and 4. Recently, we all started taking harp lessons as a family. It’s a beautiful instrument – one that makes a lovely sound even for beginners. At today’s lesson, we received a lot more than harp instruction. Our sweet teacher, Annemieke, chatted with us about life, positive thinking, and encouraged us to enjoy the pace and practice level we’re comfortable with. As we departed, she gave each of us a warm and tender hug that helped us feel like beloved friends.

Now, hugs may not be your style, and that’s okay. You have your own ways of bringing a little more happiness into the world through your studio. These are the things Annemieke did that left us feeling uplifted, and more endeared not only to her, but to the instrument we’re studying.

How Are YOU Making a Difference?

Have you identified the things you do that make a positive difference (whether big or small) in the lives of your students? Not only in their musical skill, but in how they feel about themselves, and how they enjoy their lives as a whole? Is there a particular student you’ve seen blossom under your eyes? Or a connection you’ve made with a student that warmed your heart? Have you ever received a student’s gratitude for the difference you’ve made in their life?

If so, I’d love to hear about it! I think it’s important to remind ourselves and each other in the music teaching community of the influence we do have in the lives of the people we call our students. This awareness naturally inspires us to become better teachers. Taking time to write about it can also help you become more clear about why you’re teaching, and the ways you’d like to make a difference moving forward.

Share Your Story

I invite you to share your story now with the Music Teacher’s Helper community here in the blog comments, or on our Facebook page. Or if you prefer, share how your teacher made a difference in your life. I look forward to hearing about the ways our members are connecting with and inspiring students in both big and little ways.

Thank you for the great work that you do.

Warm wishes and happy teaching!

Brandon Pearce, CEO
Music Teacher’s Helper

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We’ve taken your feedback to heart and are excited to announce some major improvements to the Music Teacher’s Helper Calendar we just released. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 100x Faster. Everything from cycling between days or weeks to turning filters on and off is now incredibly faster.
  • Drag & Drop. You can now drag & drop events to change their dates and times in all views.
  • Change Time Slot Duration. Time slots have always been shown in 30 minute increments. But if your lessons end at the quarter hour or in 10 minute intervals, you can now change the time slot interval to make it more clear.
  • Hide days and times. Don’t teach lessons before 6am or on weekends? You can now make the calendar show only the days and times you teach.
  • Easier Access to Student Info. When you click an event, the info bubble that appears will now let you click any student in the participant list to be taken to their profile. Or if you click “View” you can see the email and phone number for each participant in the event.
  • Change Start Day. You can now have the week and month view start on Monday or another day rather than just Sunday.
  • Improved Appearance. We’ve improved the look & feel of the calendar, and made a few interface improvements such as easier access to edit categories and locations within the filter area, and no need to refresh after selecting filters.

Here are some other more minor changes we made in May, 2012. We appreciate your votes on our Feedback page letting us know which features are important to you, and we continue to listen to your ideas and suggestions.

  • On the registration page of the Music Staff template, studio names with an apostrophe were not showing properly. This is now fixed.
  • The font size of the quote in the sidebar of the Music Staff template was too large. This is now fixed.
  • The Payment Category drop down list in the mobile app now shows all of the payment categories you’ve created.
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I’m sure most music teachers have taught students how to read music using rhymes at some stage. You know, Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit, FACE, Good Boys Deserve Fudge Always, All Cows Eat Grass – or whatever rhymes you have used.

 


This abstract way of thinking about notes is not only the slowest way to get to know musical notation, it is also highly unmusical, with the rhymes having no bearing on musical direction, pitch, or how each note relates to the next. When I first started teaching piano 10 years ago, I too taught note names in this way. I was rather naive and new back then…

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