Author: admin

Preparing for Holiday BreakThe holidays are my favorite time of year, especially in the studio. I love working on festive pieces with my students and recording holiday songs for them to give as gifts. And of course, the break is refreshing not only for students, but for me as a teacher.

However, as a business owner, the holidays can be a financially tough time. In the past, I’ve closed my studio for two full weeks (in coordination with most school calendars) — which results in two full weeks of lost income. There are ways to make up for some, if not all of it, though.

parents_and_teachers-einstein Communicating with parents can be scary and intimidating. After all, they are our bread and butter and we certainly want to keep them happy. However, they deserve to know exactly how their children are proceeding at all times in their musical studies. There are many ways to handle sharing your evaluation of a student with their parents. Phone calls, emails, letters, conferences, and weekly progress reports can be done. This year I have vowed to do an even better job of connecting with parents.

Reconciling Lessons

Music Teachers Helper has been an invaluable resource in following through with my goal. Reconciling lessons after each day of teaching helps me to reinforce assignments that were given at the lesson (Music Teachers Helper can automatically email these notes to both parent and student). I always include something positive that the student did during the lesson or as a result of good practice during the week, and constructive comments for improvement. I use the private notes to help me prepare for the next week’s lesson and to remember to follow up about something that the student told me during the lesson (like an upcoming music concert, sporting event, or special occasion). Since this takes some time, I hope that the parents read it! I think most of them do and I was especially surprised when one parent emailed me asking where the notes were (I had been a little late in getting them out)!

image00136I am not a lawyer, or an experienced business person – and I have absolutely no idea how to handle payroll, but I am a teacher who has been filling the role of teacher, bookkeeper, human relations, events coordinator, etc – so what I will address today is related only to the fact that I am feeling overwhelmed and overstretched.

How does a teacher in a private lesson situation do it all?  When we teach at our homes, we live at work… we breathe work, sleep at work, eat at work, spend time with family at work.  Separating the daily workspace and homespace is easy enough, but nearly impossible when our minds are constantly working on our next “to do” list.  Sometimes, we simply need help.

This month, we've added a number of new features to Studio Helper, and fixed several bugs that have been reported. One of the most oft-requested features is the option to sync your Studio Helper calendar with Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, and other popular calendar programs. In turn, through these programs, you can also sync your calendar with your iPhone or other mobile device to take...

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Books That Helped Me Be a Better Teacher and Studio OwnerWhen I first opened my studio several years ago, I knew I was going to need a lot of help. Teaching would be the easy part; it was running a business that overwhelmed me.

Having never taken a business course in my life, I dove into blogs and books that could help fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle.

Many of the books I’ve read have had a profound influence on the way I run my business, but there are a few that have positively affected not only my studio operation, but also my teaching. Here are three that I’d recommend to any teacher and studio owner.