Part of my goal using Music Teacher’s Helper has been to organize the many parts of my musical life, including teaching, performing, and administrating. In the previous article in this series, I talked about ways to build your student list in order to accomodate a lot more than just students. In this article, I’ll be looking at ways of tailoring event listings to communicate a wealth of information to both teacher and student.
What many MTH users aren’t aware of is that when creating events, after you’ve selected a student for a particular event, the student name that automatically appears in the Event Title box can be altered. Instead of just listing the name of a student for a specific event, you can add more information specific to the event. For example, instead of having merely John Doe on an event listing, you could add:
- John Doe make-up lesson
- John Doe rehearsal in hall
- John Doe festival class
- John Doe technique lesson
This information can then act as a reminder for the student, since it will also appear in their MTH account (and their parents’ account if they are a child student).
Here’s a useful MTH hack for performers and freelancers: you may remember in Part One I mentioned adding a “Freelance” category to your student list. Adding event listings is where this category really becomes useful. If you’re a collaborative pianist working with a performer for only a handful of engagements and you don’t want to add them as a student, simply select “Freelance” when selecting a student for an event and replace “Freelance” in the Event Title with the name of the person whom you are working for that engagement.
Right underneath the Event Listing field is the Description field, which shows up not only on your own calendar and agenda, but that of the student/parent. This field can be invaluable for goal-setting for future lessons, as well as setting the activity agenda for the future lessons. Here’s a list of just some of the things you could add in the description field:
- learning progress goals (ie. “Musette memorized”, “exposition learned”)
- activity agendas for future lessons
- addresses for festivals and examinations (much more secure than sticky notes)
- directions to event locations
- Google Maps url’s for event locations (important if you’re examining or adjudicating on the road)
- repertoire lists for rehearsals or auditions
- pre-lesson notes for parents or students (ie. Bring all books to lesson!)
Remember, the event’s description field can be viewed by both teacher and student/parent, so don’t put anything in that field you don’t want your students knowing about. For example, “Give Johnny practice ultimatum in order to continue in studio” might not be something you’ll want his parents to view the night before his lesson. Or then again it might be exactly what they need to know…
In the next article in the series, I’ll be looking at more ways of customizing events using the Category and Location fields.
Previously in this series: