Re-igniting Enthusiasm – Strategize and Systematize

Most of us teach because we love playing music, we love working with students, and/or we just love teaching. Few of us run studios because we just love doing recordkeeping, filing taxes, and handling other aspects on the business-side of things. I will confess, however, that I love the challenge of strategizing and coming up with good systems to set in place to streamline business operations. If you have a good system in place, staying organized is easy! Here are a few organizational systems that help me maintain some semblance of sanity. 🙂

1. Music Teacher’s Helper – If you’ve been reading here for any length of time at all, you know that I am a HUGE fan of Music Teacher’s Helper! Even though I haven’t even tapped into every feature that it offers, this has streamlined my bookkeeping and makes it a breeze. I love the way it keeps my finances organized and presents a professional image for my families since each of them have an account to receive automatic invoices, check records, pay on-line, and more. I’m in the highest cost bracket at $24.95/month, but it is so worth it for me!

2. Managing Receipts – This is a very simple binder system, but it’s essential for record-keeping and tax time! I have one binder for each of my businesses that serves to collect the receipts for the whole year according to the month in which the purchase was made. And then I archive the receipts for three years, so I have two other binders (again, one for each business) that each contain the monthly sheet protectors filled with receipts from the previous three years.

3. Student Worksheets – There are so many great resources on-line, but I needed a way to have just the right worksheet available at the tip of my fingers when I ascertained that it would be beneficial to a particular student. This binder system is what I developed for that purpose and it has served me well for several years now. I have a similar, but separate, binder set-up just for the sight-reading drills that we’re using this year.

4. Printed Music – When it comes to music books and sheet music, we’re all familiar with the Overflowing Piano Bench Syndrome and the impossible-to-keep-organized bookshelves, right? 🙂 These file cabinets have been incredible for keeping music organized! Plus, with items like this that students will be accessing, it’s important to have a system in place that makes sense to them and is easy for them to utilize as well.

Those are some of the key areas that I’ve worked on over the past several years. This year, I’m hoping to come up with a better system for listing music books that I need to purchase for students and a way to keep track of what books/pieces students have used/learned. Any suggestions?

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