Last July I did a review of Music Teacher’s Helper after setting up a free limited account with them. In January of this year I decided to take the plunge and pay for a full subscription – this would allow me to use the record-keeping system with an unlimited number of students. If you are looking for a way to eliminate some of the record-keeping headaches all of us music teachers experience, Music Teacher’s Helper (MTH) is definitely the way to go! There is so much to love about this program and it is well worth the [tax-deductible] $24.95 I pay for it each month. Here are some features I love:
* Every parent and every student receives their own secure page with a login and password so that they can access their account at any time and view schedule information, payment information, make on-line payments via a PayPal account, credit card or bank account, request lesson cancellations, view items on loan from the lending library, etc. There’s a handy script provided by MTH that I was able to place on my website so that students can login from there: http://nataliespianostudio.com/lessoninfo.htm
* Lending Library – When I lend a student a book or CD at their lesson I quickly enter it on the Lending Library page. This way I can keep track of who has what and the students can see on their account information what books they are borrowing. Now I’m not losing nearly as many books and CDs as a result of not remembering which student borrowed them!
* I can e-mail invoices to students at any time. Now, when I buy new materials for a student or there is a fee for participation in an event, I just add it to their account and send them an invoice. Checks come in with the students the next week and everything is paid for. And to think I used to cover a lot of these costs for my students just because I couldn’t get my act together enough to bill them for the books or felt bad about doing so!
* In my Year-End Evaluations this year I asked on the Parent Questionnaire if it was offered if they would be interested in paying for lessons on-line via a credit card or PayPal account. Over half of my studio responded in the affirmative, so I just finished the incredibly simple process of setting it up on my site. I can’t wait to see how this works! According to the instructions provided by MTH, when payment is made the information is automatically sent from PayPal to my MTH account and the payment for that family is recorded. This has the potential to cut out almost all of my manual entry work! Woohoo!
* Even the free MTH accounts include an attractive, professionally designed website that can be customized for your studio. You can view mine here. Since I have another website I don’t use this one much, but the more you can spread your name on the web, the better!
* Since MTH is all web-based, it allows for constant upgrades and improvements without any installation on your computer (which is what you would have to do if you purchased a stand-alone software program). Of course, this also allows parents and students to access their own information at their convenience. Brandon Pearce, the developer of the site, is constantly looking for ways to improve the system and is very open and responsive to suggestions. He’s developed a great product – one that can benefit every music teacher.
There are plenty of other features that I haven’t even tapped into yet, but hope to in the near future – such as the Repertoire Tracker, Automatic Invoicing, Expense Records… If you haven’t already, click on over to Music Teacher’s Helper today and try it out for yourself! Summer is the perfect time to make the transition and to convey a more professional image to your students and community when you pull back the curtains on your new studio perk this fall!