I admit it. I want everyone to be happy; even me! This fall I took a few surveys to help me better understand what behaviors and circumstances promote happy students, happy parents and happy teachers.
It is much easier for me to know which behaviors in my clients make me happy as a teacher. Some of these things are important enough to be included in a policy statement—a place where clear communication can set healthy boundaries and solve problems before they happen.
Here is what I included in my registration packets this fall:
Keep Happy Teacher

Students:

  • be willing to try new things, and new ways of doing old things
  • listen to directions and follow them at home
  • read your assignment notes over at home each week
  • enjoy the songs you are learning
  • have a respectful attitude
  • practice faithfully, and record it in your assignment book
  • smile a lot
  • tell the teacher frequently that you love piano lessons
  • always bring all your books to your lesson
  • participate in studio activities
  • take good care of borrowed books and return them on time

Parents:

  • offer your child support, incentives and encouragement at home
  • set aside practice space and time in your child’s schedule
  • say uplifting things about piano lessons in front of your child
  • provide an adequate instrument on which to practice
  • keep your expectations high, but fairly close to reality
  • help your child participate in studio activities and recitals
  • respond to studio emails in a timely manner
  • rarely cancel lessons, and call ahead on those rare occasions
  • drop off and pick children up on time
  • pay your tuition on time each month, without a reminder
  • call me when you have a concern or problem so we can resolve it
  • remember that I thrive on appreciation, and your kids thrive on praise

That covers my side of things, but what about the students’ or parents’ perspectives? For the last few weeks I have been surveying students and parents from my studio, as well as parents with other teachers in my local association, about what makes them happy with a piano teacher. Below is my compilation of the student and parent responses.
I expected certain things to be high on the parents’ list: keep tuition rates low, limit the number of outside activities, high tech studio, make sure we get our perfect time slot, be flexible with sport schedules, vacations and illnesses, have a location close to school or home, have lots of degrees, certifications and professional performance experience.
I was wrong. Not one of these items was mentioned. Read on to find out what was Read more…

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Posted in Customer Support, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Teaching Tips

 

The Music Teacher’s Helper property went offline this afternoon for a little under three hours (about 2:30PM to 5:515PM CST). All users can now login to their accounts. No data was lost.

We’re very sorry for this interruption of service. We continually program updates into the software to make it more valuable to our users. There are rarely issues with this and this is a normal practice for software companies that want their software to stay updated and valuable to their users.

However, this afternoon one of the updates we pushed live did affect the ability for our users to be able to login and access their accounts. Once we learned of the issue, we had to identify where the problem was coming from since we did not realize the update was the cause at first. When we learned what had caused it, we rolled back all merges and then restarted the web and database services and now everything works fine.

You will have zero issues logging into your account now. Login at www.musicteachershelper.com/login

Again, we’re truly sorry for this interruption.

If you have any continued issues, please contact customer service at support@musicteachershelper.com.

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Posted in Customer Support

We appreciate your continued use of Music Teacher’s Helper services, and want to assure you that your satisfaction is our highest priority. Recently, Yahoo.com implemented a policy change on their email servers that immediately affects not only all Yahoo email users, but also third party email servers such as Music Teacher’s Helper.

Yahoo has changed a single setting on their email servers that prevents MTH and similar list servers from sending an email message that says it is from a Yahoo email address, unless the message is sent using Yahoo’s own email servers. What this means to you is that, when MTH sends out emails, such as invoices or lesson reminders, these messages are being rejected if the teacher is using a Yahoo email address.

Other companies are reacting by suggesting that Yahoo email addresses simply be banned from participation in mailing lists, or asking users to change to different email service providers. We at MTH appreciate that this is not an option that everyone will be happy about, and we certainly have no desire to ban users simply because of who they use for email services. But, for the time being, we encourage you to use another email service provider instead of Yahoo.

The fix for this on our end is not particularly difficult, but it is not quick to implement either. The main option we are looking at right now will change how emails from Yahoo users appear when they are received. We will update you with the details as changes are made.

If you are interested in learning more details about the change that Yahoo has made, a good place to start is

 

We appreciate your patience while we address this issue.

Ken Rhodes
Senior Customer Service Rep
Music Teacher’s Helper.com

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Posted in Customer Support, Site Announcements, Using Music Teacher's Helper

 

We have many different training webinars this month, including Settings, Student Management, Calendar and Scheduling, Fees and Invoicing including a look at the new invoice system to be released soon, Website Features (the pages listed on the Website dropdown window), Reports, and Affiliate Basics.

Go to webinars.musicteachershelper.com to register for a webinar, or watch a previously recorded session. Because each webinar holds up to 25 participants, you need to act quickly to register as they fill up quickly.

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Posted in Customer Support, Using Music Teacher's Helper

How often do you find yourself in need of a list of your students?

One can keep a list on your computer, but remembering to update it as you get new students or students discontinue can be inconsistent.

The easiest way to come up with a list of your students is to use the export names option on MTH; such a seemingly simple option that can save you time and help you in emergency situations. Read more…

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Posted in Customer Support, Studio Management, Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

We are excited to announce MTH Webinars are now live. Live sessions will last approximately twenty to thirty minutes, with a Q & A session following each webinar. Each training session is limited to 25 participants, but a recording of the training session will be available at a later date.

Go to webinars.musicteachershelper.com and signup for a training webinar now. Training webinars include Settings, Student Management, Scheduling, and Invoicing.

Check the page frequently for updates on new days and times, as well as listings for other webinars such as Affiliate Training and Marketing Your Studio. We also plan to have advanced webinars such as Designing your Website, etc.

A reminder and link will be emailed to you one day, and again one hour, before the webinar is to begin.

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Posted in Customer Support, Site Announcements, Using Music Teacher's Helper

We are excited to announce the new Blog Feature for your music studio website. Also, your last five blog posts will show up on the dashboard of your parents and students after they log in. To begin using the new blog feature, you will need to first activate the blog.

Activating Your Blog

  1. Hover over “Website”, and click on “Website Pages”.
  2. Scroll down to “Blog”, and click on “Edit”.
  3. Change the page status from “Inactive” to “Active”.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and click “SAVE”.

Creating Your Post

If you select “Create a New Post”, a new page will open, presented with an editor, in which you write up your very first post. After writing your article, you can select “Enable The Post”, or “Disable The Post”. You can also choose to allow comments on posts. Select your choices at the bottom and then select “Save Post”.

To create a post, hover over “Website”, and click on “Blog”. On this page you will see a list of posts you have already created, and two buttons at the top to “Create A New Post” or “Categories”.

Creating Categories

Before you begin creating posts, you will first need to create categories to assign your posts. Click on “Categories” and create a few categories that you know you will be using for your posts. Examples for categories you could use are “Recitals”, “Practice Tips”,  “Announcements”, or “Instrument Care”.

You are now ready to create your first post.

  1. Click on “New Post” in the “Blog” section.
  2. You will be taken to a page where you can give your new post a title, and begin writing your post.
  3. You will also see a text editor for formatting your post.
  4. After completing your article, scroll to the bottom of the screen and set the new post status to “Public” or “Hidden”.
  5. Designate if you want to enable or disable comments from your readers.
  6. When you are finished, select “Preview” or “Save Post”.

Your posts can now be viewed by your parents, students, and anyone else who has been provided with the link to your blog (your_name.musicteachershelper.com/posts).

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Posted in Customer Support, MTH 101, Site Announcements, Using Music Teacher's Helper

This is part three of my series about interesting ways I use Music Teacher Helper in my studio not always per the software itself.

Keeping track of miscellaneous fees = Headaches

If your studio is like mine, you offer to purchase books and materials for your students. Not only is this a nice service to the customer but it assures that students will have the correct supplies when needed.

My October 2013 blog post discussed ways to earn extra income by offering supplies for the students.

Headaches

Keeping track of all theses book and miscellaneous charges is, quite frankly, a pain. First you have to remember to get payment from the student. That job is made easier by adding the fees on MTH, however it is up to you to remember to actually add the fee. How many times do you go through your bookkeeping and realize a charge you paid was not transferred to the student for which the purchase was made? Read more…

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Posted in Customer Support, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Grandfather Clauze said, “HO HO HO!!”

This is part two of my series about interesting ways I use Music Teacher Helper in my studio, not always per the software itself.

Excuse my pun on Grandfather Clauze vs grandfather clause – seemed fitting  this time of the year.  As you know, a Grandfather Clause is when an old rule applies to some existing situations, while a new rule will apply to all future cases for those that are “grandfathered in”.

Studio development = Inevitable change

As studios develop, economy and personal preference generate change.

I find that financial changes are scrutinized so I handle those changes with utmost care. Contrarily, changes that I know will take place each year (such as tuition increases) are clearly defined in my guidelines so there will be no surprise and I have not had issues with this thus far.

Read more…

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Posted in Customer Support, Professional Development, Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

In 2013 we released many new features and updates for you. We want to thank you for your support and great suggestions throughout the year.

Below are a few features and updates now available or expected to be available in the upcoming weeks.

Website Blog: We are in the testing phase of the new Blog feature, and plan to release the feature soon. When the feature is released, we will send you an email, informing you of the release of this feature requested by many of you.

Simplified Invoicing System: Our programmers continue to enhance and simplify our invoicing system.

iOS Update: The latest Ios app release 1.5.7 is now available for download at the Apple Store. You will need to delete the older version before downloading the new release.
Some of the new iOS additions include:

  • Income and earnings report
  • About tab that now easily identifies the version of the app and basic information
  • Terms of Service displaying properly

iOS issues resolved include:

  • The student name missing after changing status
  • Lesson notes not saving
  • App crashing after entering payment

 

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Posted in Customer Support, New Features and Fixes, Press, Site Announcements