Music Teacher's Helper Blog

First, thanks to Stephane, Betty, James, and Lynda for new comments this week on Playing with Students at Lessons, and thanks to Betty and Jan for comments, some of them pretty detailed, on Collecting the Benjamins (about collecting lesson payments from students). Feel free to comment on any blog articles, however old, in the archive; I will call your attention to new comments made on any article, so they won’t be buried.

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About 6 weeks ago, I wrote “Finding Students For You” about one website that helps students find music teachers. This time, I’ve looked at a number of them, and even conducted a little search-engine survey to help you consider which sites to try.

In thinking about these teacher-student matchmaking sites, it occurred to me that teacher needs are quite different from student needs. Students will want to look for teachers at sites that host the most teachers, so as to get the broadest selections. But as a teacher, you will do better with a site that has fewer teachers from your area, so that when a student looks for a teacher in your area, you show up in as short a list as possible.

There are a few other factors, of course. Some sites are free; others are not. Some have additional services you might find useful. Some are easy to use; others are inconsistent in their search results. Some search results are alphabetized, others randomized, others put premium customers at the top or give them first rights to answer inquiries.

Maybe most important, though, is whether students will actually find the website in order to use it and then find you. To address this question, I offer you my little survey, below.  [···]

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I’ve heard that many people take a beta-blocker or other drugs to fix stagefright (see the blog article about stagefright for some more musically based ideas), and I know there are gadgets out there to keep a bow on track, play the next note of a tune every time you tap on a drum, show a piano student which keys to press remotely from an online connection, practically play a guitar for you, and so on.

I think it’s time for some more advanced products to help people learn to play musical instruments:

Magnetic Tune Teacher–electromagnets on the playing surface of the instrument are activated based on a programmed piece of music, and magnets in the student’s fingers are drawn to the right place at the right time for the right amount of time, thus teaching their fingers to play the music. Slight drawback is the minor surgery required to insert the finger magnets.

Tune Pills–building on advanced memory research pinpointing the sites and structures in the brain which retain musical patterns, these pills make it a snap for the victim, I mean the student, to learn musical patterns overnight. Just take the proper pill (e.g. “broken thirds going up for three steps, then proceeding down 6 major scale notes”, or “minor scale up 4 steps, dropping a sixth and then back to original note”) and the student will find it simple to learn that particular passage the next morning. Alternatives to these pills are also available but are much more expensive, including hypnosis, and practicing.

Musical Tuneup Juice–no, this isn’t about tuning the instrument, it’s about  [···]

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After several requests, we have created a Repertoire Tracker for you keep track of pieces your students have mastered and are ready to perform. It lets you enter information about each piece such as title, composer, difficulty, length, and comments. Teachers who do frequent recitals or have their students enter competitions will probably find this most useful.

You can access the Repertoire Tracker from the “Students” Menu after logging into your account.

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