Using Music Teacher’s Helper

Useful tips for how to get the most out of your Music Teacher’s Helper subscription, and save time managing your music studio.

Hi, Everyone! Over the next several months, we will continue launching many updates to existing features, and some very exciting new features. Some of these updates will be ones you’ve been requesting, but others will be completely new features that we think will dramatically enhance the way you run your studio and connect with students.

Stripe Autopay Subscriptions for Families

First, an important new feature that is live! You can now bill and charge your families automatically each month for whatever amount they owe. Once you enable this feature, and the student/parent has entered their credit card information, you can set up the recurring billing option for that student, and never have to chase after money again! Your students will also save time in making payments to you, as it will be automated each month. A big thanks to those of you who helped us out as beta testers and offered input.

146991563053588

(Students can upload a credit card in their login for you to bill them automatically)

 

For full instructions on how to setup and use autopay, please refer to this knowledge base article.

We also have two improvements to the student management area that will be available by August 31st. (Note: This is just a small part of everything we’re releasing by August 31, to whet your appetite. We’ll be announcing more as the month rolls on.)

Allow Separate Parent Records in a Family

Entering contact information for a child student can be difficult if their parents have different last names or addresses, or if someone other than the parents is paying for the lesson. Soon you’ll be able to accommodate this by including separate contact records for a child student. This can also include grandparents or others who should be receiving student notifications. For instance, if someone other than the parent(s) or guardian is paying for lessons, you can add that person as a contact and invoice them directly. You’ll be able to add an unlimited number of contacts per student so you can stay in communication with everyone necessary.

Switch a Child Student to an Adult Student

Sometimes students taking lessons grow into adults students and begin paying on their own. Now, you have the option of switching that student from child to adult without having to re-enter any information.

Additionally, sometimes the parent of a student decides to start taking lessons and you will have the ability to switch them to a student while maintain their status as the primary contact for their child. 

Thank you to our members that provide feature suggestions and feedback. That communication allows us to make the product better and teachers’ studios’ run more efficiently!

Read More

shutterstock_160904723

Losing Students

I read somewhere that 85% of music students will quit lessons within two years!

This astounds me. It is so rare for my students to quit and yet so many music teachers are having this problem: How to retain your students?

A Personal Story

When my son was around 8 years old, he began to express an interest in going to sleep-away camp. We were surprised as he has usually been a bit shy and slow to meet new friends. But this was good! Maybe he was breaking out of his shell.  

The thing about sleep-away camp, it’s probably more stressful for the parents than the kids. Parents have separation anxiety!  

The YMCA has rules for no electronic devices, no phone calls, no text messages, not even email because they know it will only promote homesickness and stress. But as parents, that was hard!

What got us through the stress were the daily postings to a camp website where they would post pictures and summaries of the day. It gave us a sense of confidence that our son was being cared for and we could see for ourselves when he was engaged and happy. It was providing information to their clients.

So why not do something similar for music lessons?   

Music Instruction As A Service

Music instruction is a service business. By framing it as this, you can start to ask questions like, what else can I do to offer a richer level of service to my clients?  

I send home a weekly email that details what we worked on, what they should be practicing and even links to videos I’ve created in the lesson or YouTube videos of the pieces being performed. I’ve been told that this is one of the best parts of my service.

I started using Music Teacher’s Helper a little over six years ago. Before that, I was cobbling together a bunch of other services like Google Sheets, Gmail, PayPal and an assortment of databases on my local hard drive. It worked, but the upkeep was a real pain. Initially, I figured the Music Teacher’s Helper (MTH) billing management and automatic email reminders would be all I would be using. But over the years, I’ve discovered the real power is the lesson notes. This is how I send home the aforementioned emails. By using the MTH system, both I and the client gets a copy and they also can log in and review the entire history at any time.

Process

My process is like this. Each teaching day, I check my MTH automated “Daily Summary” email, which arrives at 5:15am, to see my schedule and what was taught in the last lesson. I do a lesson prep on a paper template of my own design noting what I am going to work on this day for each student.

When the student arrives, I am mentally prepared to pick up right where we left off in the previous lesson. I don’t know what I would do without my lesson notes! During the lesson, I write down what was actually done and what I have assigned for the next week. What I planned to do and what actually happens differ often!  

Later that evening, glass of wine in hand, I sit and type up the day’s lesson notes and send them out to the parents. It has become a very efficient workflow.

So what are the results?

I just went through my student logs on Music Teacher’s Helper and I have several students with lesson notes going back over six years! My average student seems to have been with me for 4-5 years. It is rare to have an opening on my roster and when I do get one, I have usually filled it within hours.

Is my success all because of this weekly email? No, but it’s a part of it. I encourage you to start thinking of your lessons as a true service business. Think of ways to offer that extra bit that keeps your students and clients happy, coming back and referring all their friends and family.

What other ideas do you have for serving your clients? I look forward to your comments below.

Read More

MTH has the wonderful option to send Lesson Notes after each lesson. Although designed to simply let parents know what’s assigned or happening at lessons, this is an opportunity to save yourself time and keep your customers informed!

Answering ten unnecessary emails = wasted time!

How many emails do you get asking  questions about schedules or upcoming events, even though you previously sent emails or other correspondence with that exact information?  [···]

Read More