Win a Free Copy of Music Ace Maestro (worth $127.95!)

For years I’ve heard people – both parents and teachers – sing the praises of Music Ace. But I just discovered that they’ve combined the original Music Ace and Music Ace 2 into one software program with Music Maestro, a special program for music educators. The result is one software package called Music Ace Maestro!

I’ve been perusing the 48 Lesson outline, looking at the screen shots, and reading the game descriptions. It looks like a fun addition to any music studio or classroom. What’s even more exciting, though, is that one special music studio or classroom is actually going to win their own copy of Music Ace Maestro, thanks to the generosity of Harmonic Vision!

To enter the drawing for this $127.95 prize, just leave a comment on this post. And…since this is such a great prize, if you’d like to earn double entry, just post about this giveaway on your blog/Facebook/Twitter with a link back to this post, then leave a separate comment letting me know you did so. The contest will end on Thursday, August 19, at 12:00 noon CST. Then I’ll use a random number generator to determine the winner!

Also, if you haven’t already done so, you can click here to subscribe to the Harmonic Vision Piano News newsletter. Archived issues may be viewed on the Piano Teacher page of their website.

Pre-Piano Camp Program Now Available!

Our first six-week Pre-Piano Camp session just ended last week and I’m excited to report that it was a success! I learned a lot in the process and the students and I had a fabulous time. We launched into the session with specific objectives and a ton of activity ideas to help communicate and reinforce those objectives. I definitely had to do some tweaking as we went, but now I’m thrilled to have a curriculum and student workbook that I can use over and over again to offer a class like this any time of year!

The curriculum is designed to run for six days (I did one morning per week for six weeks) and works best with students 4-5 years old. I scheduled the class to run for one hour each week, but would highly recommend doing an hour and fifteen minutes or an hour and a half instead because we were always running out of time. Each week is structured in 10-minute segments, focusing on rhythm and pulse, keyboard skills, memory work and choir (including hymn history stories), written theory, and music appreciation (including listening to music and stories about the lives of the great composers).

The Pre-Piano Camp package includes an overview of the class, including student prerequisites, objectives, a general weekly outline; plus a week-by-week guide for each class, complete with supplementary resource recommendations and links. Plus, when you order the package, you’ll also receive a free 31-page student workbook that correlates with the lesson plans and provides each student with a fun keepsake from their musical adventure!

Monday Mailbag – Studio Bookkeeping Software

I’m currently in a class called Group Piano and Technology, for my masters program.  We’re reviewing everything technology-related to teaching piano.  I know that you use Music Teacher’s Helper and I was wondering if there are any other similar programs out there that compare.  That was the only program of its kind that we discussed in the class and it would be nice to know if there’s something else out there just to “compare.”

Even before Music Teacher’s Helper was developed, I did some checking around to find a good bookkeeping software that would meet my needs. I downloaded a trial version of a software called Time Signature, but found that it didn’t fit the criteria of what I was looking for. So I continued for several years to battle the bookkeeping headache. My Dad, who is in the financial industry, even developed a custom Excel-based program that I used for a while. One of the main frustrations, though, with both of these approaches is that regardless of how meticulous I am in recording payments, handling scheduling, etc. there is no way for the studio families to access and view their records. That’s why I really love the online-based platform! in addition to the studio-wide accessibility, this also allows for constant updates and improvements without having to download and install new software.

All that said, I have been so pleased with Music Teacher’s Helper that I haven’t had any occasion to search around to see if there is anything comparable on the market. Has anyone else found another similar program for your studio bookkeeping? Feel free to leave any links or suggestions in the comments!

Remember, if you have a question you’d like to contribute to next week’s Monday Mailbag, leave it in the comments below or send me an e-mail sometime this week with Monday Mailbag in the subject line!