Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Would you say playing (or singing) music is more mental or more physical? Student (and teacher) perceptions of this can color how we practice and play an instrument (including the vocal chords).

Do we mentally make fingers do what they need to do, or physically drill them so they do the work for us? How we balance the ebb and flow between mental and physical tells a lot about how we and our students practice and learn.

[Before we discuss this, I want to invite you to review teacher comments by Sherie, Chris, and an extensive response from Toby, all on Payments & Cancellation Policies; from Betty on How to Get Connected; and a controversy presented by Jeff commenting on Finding Students For You, with explanations by two online companies represented by Brian and Steve.]

Below are some student examples, and maybe a surprise conclusion, which I hope provide food for thought. I don’t have scientific answers about the balance of mental and physical in playing music, but by thinking about this, we certainly can benefit in terms of practical ideas for learning and teaching.

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Hello everyone! I’m going to be attending the Texas Music Teacher’s Association Conference this weekend. I know we have a lot of teachers from Texas who use Music Teacher’s Helper, but that teachers from all over come to this conference. So if you’re planning on being there, please stop by the booth and say “Hi”. I’d love to meet you!

Normally we have at least two people helping at our exhibit, but this time I’ll be going alone. So to keep me from being lonely, and to give me a chance to talk to more teachers, I’d like to give three free months of Music Teacher’s Helper and lots of free chocolate to anyone willing to help out at the booth for an hour or two. If you could help me tell other teachers about Music Teacher’s Helper, answer their questions, and give them a brochure, I’d really appreciate it. I think it would be fun to get to know some of you better as well.

If you’re interested, just send me an email some time before the conference to let me know when to look for you. We’ll be at booth #38.

Thanks!

Brandon Pearce

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I’m pleased to announce that it only took 10 minutes to upgrade to the Invoicing System, so we weren’t down for long at all.

As I mentioned in the last post, Music Teacher’s Helper will now let you create invoices that you can go back and review any time on your Invoice History page, accessible by clicking Billing -> Invoicing -> Invoice History. From there, you can print, email, or delete the invoice. There is also a page for Invoices by Student that lets you see a chronological list of all invoices you’ve created for a particular student. When that student (adult student or parent) logs in to their account, they will see their invoices as well and can make payments from that screen.

One big change that this brings deals with when items are charged. For those of you who charge a flat fee, before when you created an invoice, the fee showed up on the invoice, but it didn’t actually charge the student by adding the fee. Music Teacher’s Helper will now automatically create any scheduled fees that fall within the date range of the invoice, and add them to the students account as charges. This makes it easy to see exactly how much the student really owes right now by looking at the transaction history.

If you charge per lesson, then any future scheduled lessons that appear on an invoice will now be treated as charges on the student’s account, whether or not they have been reconciled. And deleting an invoice will remove the charges. Since you are actually billing the student at that time, it makes much more sense to charge the student’s account at that time as well, rather than waiting until the lesson is reconciled. This also means that lessons do not really ever have to be reconciled anymore, although you still may want to so you can send lesson notes to the parent and mark attendance. As before, if a lesson needs to be cancelled or rescheduled, the system will take the amounts into account on the next invoice.

We hope you like these new changes. We’ve had more requests to improve this part of the program than any other, so hopefully this will make a lot of people happy. Please let us know if you have questions or if you find any potential bugs, so we can fix them asap.

There are several other small changes and improvements we made to various parts of the program along with this upgrade, which are too small and numerous to mention here. The next feature we’ll be releasing is a file upload area, allowing you to share documents, music, and other files with your students! So stay tuned for that!

Thanks and have a great day!

Brandon Pearce

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