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

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…

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Posted in Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Yiyi Ku

National Piano Month

September 22nd, 2014 by

Did you know September is National Piano Month?!

Alfred Music has teamed up with Making Music Magazine – Engaging and Inspiring Musicians to give away Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Piano Complete Starter Pack.

One lucky winner will receive the Teach Yourself to Play Piano Complete Starter Pack courtesy of Alfred Music.

This prize package includes:

  • high-quality Firebrand™ electric keyboard—full-size keys, 136 preset sounds and 128 rhythms, an illuminated LED keyboard display, built-in speakers, recording functionality, and sheet music stand.
  • Alfred’s Teach Yourself to Play Piano book
  • Audio CD with demo and performance tracks
  • DVD instructional video and software (Mac & PC compatible)

Read more…

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Posted in Music & Technology, Music News, Press

We are pleased to announce the following updates on the iOS and Android apps :

We’ve sent an update to Apple with iOS8 updates, bug fixes, and improvements including the time format update. Applying payments to student accounts will be coming in the 2.2 iOS app release soon.

We know you are busy teaching eager music students, but if you haven’t already, please leave the app a review. This is done by clicking the App Store icon, searching Music Teacher’s Helper, clicking our green logo, then Reviews, and Write a Review. This helps with our rankings and allows more teachers to find out about our great community. Thank you!

The Android beta testing has begun and we look forward to a public beta within the next two weeks.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Site Announcements, Using Music Teacher's Helper

 

Maximize your Welcome Email!

Music Teacher Helper comes with one of my favorite features, the Welcome Email

which you have the option to send to new students.

This is a wonderful way to professionally welcome your new students. See second picture.

Using the Welcome Email Template creatively can help get your new student set for success at the first meeting and lesson.

Read more…

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Posted in Promoting Your Studio, Studio Management, Uncategorized, Using Music Teacher's Helper

We are pleased to announce the new features and fixes last week.

New Features: 

  • The new and improved iOS app has been released. Click Here for more information.
  • We  will be releasing a new Android app within the next few weeks.

Fixes: 

  • Former student events are now being removed from the calendar.
  • Files on the resource page can now be opened.
  • The letterhead for the Overdue Invoice was scrambled. This has been fixed.
  • The Menu Error when using Safari on the iPhone has been fixed.
  • The Due Date was incorrect on saved invoices in the invoice history (1.0). This has been fixed.
  • The Edit page is now showing the same format on the homepage website.
  • Payments not entered into parent account has been fixed.
  • Invoicing 1.0 and 2.0: Flat fees were not reflecting on scheduled invoices being sent out. This has been fixed.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Site Announcements, Using Music Teacher's Helper

We are proud to announce that the newest update for the Music Teacher’s Helper iPhone app is now available in the iTunes App Store. A lot of thought, resources, and testing from current users went into this completely redesigned app that compliments the Music Teacher’s Helper web app. We’re confident you are going to love it. And it’s free to download.

 

How to download the Music Teacher’s Helper iPhone App:

  1. Select the App Store icon from your iPhone.
  2. Click the “Search” function from the bottom menu.
  3. Type in “Music Teacher’s Helper”.
  4. Then click the cloud icon with a downward facing arrow.

App Store icon.

If you already have the app downloaded, you will see an update available in the App Store. Go ahead and click update to view the new version.

Why use the Music Teacher’s Helper app?

The iPhone app allows you to do and view most functions as the web app version of the software. Here are some examples where the app could come in handy:

  • Easily add, view, or edit student information and call or email them with one click from your phone.
  • View your schedule when not in front of your computer or laptop.
  • Add mileage right from your iPhone before stepping out of your car (make sure to park first!).

There are many more reasons to use the app. Different teachers use it for different reasons.

We haven’t forgotten about Android! 

We are finishing testing for the initial Google Play Store release to support Android devices. We will make an announcement once it’s available.

We’re committed to releasing future updates, and ensure the app runs smoothly. If you have any specific feedback about using the app or encounter any issues, please email support@musicteachershelper.com. That will help us make the app better.

Also, please take a minute and leave a review at the App Store.

To check out the Music Teacher’s Helper iTunes page, click here.

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Posted in Music & Technology, New Features and Fixes, Using Music Teacher's Helper

In my series of blogs called ‘Getting Innovative with MTH’, I am sharing some of my favourite workarounds that help me in Music Teacher’s Helper for a ‘One Stop’ approach for all my studio needs.

 

Inventory

Creating an ‘Inventory of Items for Sale’ 

I offer books/accessories to my students when teaching my lessons. This helps to ensure there is no delay in starting them with suitable material.

So I have created a way which works for me to keep a track of inventory purchases for sale within MTH.

Read more…

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Posted in Studio Management, Using Music Teacher's Helper

Founder and CEO of Music Teacher’s Helper, Brandon Pearce, started teaching piano when he was sixteen years old. He soon realized he needed a better way to keep track of the finances, lesson progress, and schedules for his studio. Shortly after entering college to study computer programming, Brandon created a tool to help him do just this, with no intention of turning it into a business.

Other private music teachers saw the benefits of using the software Brandon had created for himself and asked to use it too. So Brandon made it available to other teachers. But he did not stop there. Using feedback from early adopters, improvements were added. The response was overwhelmingly positive and as a result, Music Teacher’s Helper was born.

One of our first website layouts!

From its humble beginnings in 2004, Music Teacher’s Helper has grown into a comprehensive studio management tool, spreading to over 14,000 teachers in 40 countries. We hear every week from users how the software has saved them time, money, reduced their stress, and increased the professionalism and organization in their studios.

Today, the company has over 25 team members, eagerly serving current users and working hard to play a part in the success of each and every person that uses Music Teacher’s Helper.

Current dashboard.

 

The Next 10 Years

Music Teacher’s Helper is dedicated to continue listening to our users, improving products and services based on that feedback, and helping them achieve their goals.

In the coming years, expect some exciting announcements. For example:

  • A complete redesign of the software taking into account everything we’ve learned in the past ten years, including feedback from teachers and their students with several upcoming surveys.
  • Further improvements to our website experience from mobile devices. Like a completely redesigned iPhone app launching this month & Android app coming shortly after!
  • More products and services to help teachers grow and manage their studios.

Music Teacher’s Helper will become more than software and is nowhere near finished making our products and community the best it can be.

A glimpse at what’s to come.

 

Thank You

To celebrate Music Teacher’s Helper 10 year anniversary, we want to thank the people that have supported us and helped create the amazing community we have today. From September 8th to October 10th, we will be holding two special online events:

1) Helping music classrooms across the United States: Please consider joining us in giving and sharing the music projects listed on our Donors Choose giving page: http://www.donorschoose.org/MTH.

2) A Facebook and Blog contest with BIG prizes: Details to come on October 1st.

Thank you to our loyal customers and we look forward to serving you the next 10+ years!

Please check out our Donor Choose giving page. 

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Posted in Site Announcements

We are pleased to announce the new features and fixes last week:

  • The new and improved iOS app is being released in a few days. Watch for our email when the new app is released.
  • We  will be releasing a new Android app within the next few weeks.
  • Invoicing ver 1.0- Due date set was behind one day. This has been fixed.
  • Invoicing Ver 2.0- Automatic Invoices: Invoices weren’t created. This has been fixed.
  • Duplicate parent records can now be deleted.
  • Teacher’s Website was limited to showing six posts. The number of posts showing are now unlimited.
  • The cell showing minutes is now larger.

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Posted in New Features and Fixes, Site Announcements