Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Returning Student Scheduling Made Easier with MTH!!

Returning Student Registration and Fall Scheduling Made Easier with MTH!

Many music studio schedules follow the local school schedules. The end of the year fast approaches with extra work often necessary for recitals and registration for the next fall.

One may use MTH website to eliminate the hassle of tracking changes to fall schedules.

Spring registration

In contrast to music teachers who request registration during the late summer months; at my studio registration is due in April. This accomplishes several goals: I am able to determine how many lesson slots I have available and advertize accordingly, I do not have to work with customers during the busy summer months when they are often traveling, and it may be a lot more difficult to tell an instructor you are not returning when you have lessons for another month (perhaps a good marketing strategy). This also allows time to discuss reasons for discontinuing lessons and possibly the opportunity to suggest changes to keep a student playing.

Use MTH to make yearly registration and scheduling much easier!

Every year when I set up the yearly schedule I include an extra week of lessons on the web calendar. Example: Lessons end May 19th but my web calendar shows lessons running through May 26th. I let customers know that lessons will not actually be held on these days but are only there for administrative purposes. It is easy to add a fake event for all students stating there are no lessons during this week and that the extra lesson showing on the calendar is only for fall scheduling purposes. When a parent/student logs onto the website they will see this note on the calendar (See picture 1).

How to use this if registration is turned in before lessons are over in the spring.

In April I request that all registration is turned in by May 1. Parents/students let me know if their students are returning in the fall and tell me if they wish to keep the same lesson slot (but must also include 3 other options that may work for them). Registration fees are added to the May invoices.

As the registration come in I use the extra week of lessons to help with fall schedules by doing the following.

A.If a student is not returning in the fall I simply delete the “extra lesson”.

B.  If a student is returning in the fall I do the following:

  1. Click edit on the extra lesson for that student.
  1. Change the date to the first lesson date of the next fall. (Ex. 05/20/2013 is edited to 09/23/2013).
  1. If the student has requested a day change that you know is possible you may move the lesson to that new day and time. Note that you have made a permanent change in the notes section. Additionally I use a category named PENDING CHANGE to color code my calendar and easily see lessons for which a change is requested. You may even go as far as adding descriptive words in the “Event Title”. (See picture 2)
  1. Change the lesson fee if the rate has changed.
  1. Add notes in the “Description” section about the needs of that student. This allows you to have the scheduling notes right on the calendar and on the actual event!
  1. Use categories to “highlight” lessons that need changes. Category example: PENDING CHANGE (color special blue). This makes it easy to see which lessons may need adjusting.
  1. Change the end date of the repeated event by one year or it will not move properly.
  1. Select “Save Event” and “All Following” to have the event show in all weeks of the entire new lesson year or “Only this instance” to have the event showing in only one week of the new year.

By using the extra week of lessons I am able to determine from which students I need registration, as their extra lesson still exits. When I go to September of the next lesson year, I am easily able to see who is coming back in the fall and because of the color coded lessons (by using categories), I am easily able determine what I need to do.

Finally, in August I request any changes since May be sent via email. These notes are copied and pasted into the “Description” section of the event and I begin the process of creating a schedule.

Remember to delete your notes from the “description” if you send reminders or your customers may be confused if their reminder contains multiple notes about scheduling.

You may also use this system if you request registration in the summer

At any time during the year; follow the previous instructions to move the extra week of spring lessons to your first week of fall lessons.

As you receive your fall registration, use the lessons that are showing in the fall of the upcoming year to create your new schedule.

Summer lessons

Summer lesson protocol varies by studio. You may be able to use some of the ideas presented to schedule summer lessons. At my studio, summer lessons are scheduled separately from lessons held during the school year.

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I hope this helps many of you use the MTH calendar to help with the scheduling process.

If you have specific questions on how to use the features listed above, feel free to contact MTH support staff.

May the rest of your day be filled with beautiful music!

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