One of the ongoing challenges of using Music Teacher’s Helper is getting students and parents to regularly login to their teacher’s site and make use of the student-only features. The solution: create a regularly updated stream of cool content so that they’ll get hooked. Just below the Upcoming Events section is a list of Announcements, which can be created and tweaked using the Studio Announcements feature.
Once you’re clicked through to the News & Announcements creation page (using the following sequence of drop-down menus: Home –> My Studio Website –> Studio Announcements), click “Add Announcement” and then click on the radio button marked “On students’ and parents’ home page after login”. Sending announcements to the login-only area of your teaching site limits the audience of your posts only to parents and students in your studio, but ensures that they will be in the front door and might also be tempted to utilize some of the other resources in the login-only area, such as checking monies owing or tracking practice time.
Think of this section as a blog, a steady ongoing stream of useful and interesting information. The regular addition of items on the announcement stream over time can be the bait that gets studio members to login over and over again to check out your newest information.
So what kind of stuff can you put on studio announcements? Here are some posting ideas for regular updates:
- studio events such as recitals
- student accomplishments
- community musical events such as symphony concerts and master classes
- links to festivals and competitions, pointing to urls for syllabi and application forms.
- basic information on examinations if you send students to RCME, NMCP, or ABRSM exams (as well as reminders of those all-important deadlines)
- links to useful music education articles and resources
- videos of memorable musical performances, whether or not they are for the instrument or style that you teach (Hint: you can embed a video right in the post by clicking on the “source” field and then pasting the embed code you can copy from most YouTube video pages)
- quotes from famous composers or performers
- photos of studio events or your own musical activities
- short articles walking students and parents through MTH features (ie. changing your password, tracking practice time, requesting a cancellation)
- updates to studio policies
You’re only limited by your imagination. The ultimate goal of a successful announcement stream is to create an engaged and interested studio, so the benefits of your teaching will extend well beyond the time spent in lessons.
What are some interesting items you’ve included in your studio news and announcements?