Performance is always the desired outcome of practice and music lessons, and yet music teachers typically spend only a small proportion of their time with students on the practice of performance itself.
We ‘perform’ in a sense whenever we play of course, and in this respect running through your pieces for your teacher, or for family and friends, can help musicians to begin to see the full shape of a piece. But bringing the piece off as a complete idea – an idea that bears your unique interpretive stamp as a musician – is something else entirely.
Few pedagogical avenues exist that can replicate performance sufficiently well to allow for development in this area. In this short blog series, of which this is the second instalment, I’m focusing on one such avenue: the masterclass.
The masterclass, in which a student performs a piece in front of a live audience and is then coached on it in an intensive session with an expert performer, is the best possible environment in which to nurture your students’ ability to imagine their own performance and to deliver it with confidence and heart to their audience. Read more…
Music Teacher’s Helper turns 10 years old this year. You can read more about our company’s journey in this blog post. Over the next two weeks you can win some great giveaways with two different contests. Read more…
Using MTH Creatively VII – The Ever Changing Schedule
Creating the yearly schedule seem like a daunting task – can become your worst enemy!
Luckily for those instructors putting together their yearly calendar; once you have your MTH calendar complete you may sit back and relax! Getting to that point is the challenge many instructors dread. Read more…
Using Various Technologies to Provide Play-Along Recordings to Students
One of the things I feel very strongly about as a music teacher is developing the student’s ear – early, and often. I’m not just referring to the ear training exercises that most of us probably employ, but also using recorded examples at every possible opportunity.
I could write an entire post on why I believe this is so critical to the student’s success, and why I think audio examples and play-along recordings should be used constantly from the very beginning. For now, I’ll assume that most of you are already on board with this idea, and perhaps just need some ideas for HOW to provide recordings to students. Read more…
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.
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…
For many private music teachers/studios, summer brings the end of the school year and regularly scheduled lessons. Although I am certain many instructors, like myself, look forward to the break in what can be grueling teaching schedule we also realize with this break usually comes a huge drop in income. As well, many beginner students forget much of what they learned the previous year without, at minimum, a handful of summer lessons thus some teachers adhere to a minimum of required summer lessons and some offer lessons on an “as available” basis. I offer the later.
Scheduling summer lessons using email and MTH
Before the end of the school year I send information on how summer lessons are offered and acquired. To keep my vacation options open, I do not schedule regular weekly lessons even if requested. Instead, I email available days and times for lessons approximately 1 week prior to the days I wish to teach. This also allows more flexibility in the schedule for the families participating. It has worked well for me for many years.
The following is an article by guest blogger, Fran Beaudry.
Summertime can wreak havoc on many a music studio. While there’s plenty of potential for students to develop their musical skills, many go on hiatus or drop lessons all together. Its tough to compete with marathon hang time with friends and the inevitable video games. What’s a private music teacher to do?
Look to Technology
Technology can be a lifesaver in this situation. Online lessons have grown to become a viable and profitable option for music teachers – especially when coupled with a traditional brick and mortar studio. Most households have the necessary equipment to get started; a mic, a webcam and headphones.
The convenience and time saving make online lessons an attractive option for parents, students and teachers alike. They can be done from any place that has a decent internet connection. Everyone involved can take vacation while still maintaining their musical commitments!
Expand Your Student Roster
Even if you’ve got a handful of students in a traditional studio, you’ve probably got time for more. Removing the location barrier by going online opens up tons of options. Especially when you teach an instrument that is in less demand. There may only be 5 people in your town that want to learn the clarinet (or violin or bassoon), but by opening yourself up to online lessons, you can book students from around the globe. Then, boom, you’ve got a full roster! Even if your numbers drop in the summer, you can always pick up students online.
Additional Online Advantages
Younger students are learning more through technology than ever before. Music teachers need to stay on top of things to stay relevant. Its worth noting that the the difference in the actual lesson experience is negligible. Also know that time zones are an online music teacher’s best friend. Use them to your advantage – everyone has their own idea of a “convenient” time.
Just as with your private studio, you’ll need to put energy into marketing your online lessons. If you’re not up to the challenge, consider joining a community like The ZOEN to get matched up with students. This is a great way to maintain a higher number of students during the summer.
Best of luck to you this summer!
Guest contributor Fran Beaudry has over 30 years of experience as a clarinet player and music educator. For more teacher tips follow Fran on Twitter or visit her on The ZOEN.