Studio Business

Digital Version: Spreadsheet for Payments Received

Numbers-icon

For the past couple of years, I’ve been using a form I created using Microsoft Word to track payments received from piano students each month.  I printed a new sheet each month (that way I could update the student roster list each month as it inevitably evolves), inserted it into my three-ring binder, and then penned in the details about each payment.  Here is what that form looks like:

Record of Payments Received

numbers(Click here for details about downloading that form.)

For the past few months, I’ve been testing out a new digital version of this form using Apple’s Numbers app on my MacBook.  The advantage of this system is that if I save the document in iCloud, I can edit the spreadsheet from my iPad in the Numbers app.  Thanks to iCloud, everything stays synced.  I am loving this system so far!

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Continue reading “Digital Version: Spreadsheet for Payments Received”

Studio Business

Piano Student Gift Ideas for Christmas/Recitals

Need inspiration for music-themed gifts for music students?  Below are photos submitted by piano teachers just like you!

From Liz Hurst from Tooele, Utah:

Here is my little ornament I did this year.  It is made with little wooden stars, vintage sheet music and modge podge.  Glitter glue if you want the initial and hot glued ribbon to make the loop.

christmas ornament

Continue reading “Piano Student Gift Ideas for Christmas/Recitals”

Reviews, Studio Business, Technology

App Review & Giveaway: Bobclass for Studio Management

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Note: As you can tell, this week I’ve been playing catch-up with a few apps I’ve been wanting to share!  Hope you don’t mind all of the reviews/giveaways this week.  :)

Bobclass ($19.99) — iPad only.

I’m so excited to share my review of this studio management app with you today!  Let me begin by sharing Bobclass’ description:

“Bobclass is an all-in-one productivity app for instructors, tutors, trainers, coaches and other independent professionals. It offers appointment scheduling, client tracking, progress monitoring and payment tracking from your iPad so you can get rid of separate agendas, clipboards and spreadsheets. With a fast & friendly user interface and a fully functional offline database you can do your client administration in the gym, class room, studio or park.”

I think Bobclass it is an outstanding studio management option for independent music teachers.  Here’s how it works:

First, visit the settings to set-up your basic information for you and your teaching.

2014-11-19 15.30.57 (1) Continue reading “App Review & Giveaway: Bobclass for Studio Management”

Studio Business

PDF Updated for 2014-15: Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2014-15 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf.  I don’t currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received a couple of requests from teachers who used it last year so I was happy to update it again this year!

In case you haven’t seen this, here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

In case you are curious, the form I currently use for tracking tuition payments each month is this one:

Record of Payments Received

This form works great if you charge a flat monthly rate.  I print one of these sheets every month and put it into my 3-ring binder.  I write the month/year in the blank at the top and then fill in all of my students’ names.  As I receive monthly tuition payments from each student, I record the date, amount, and check number.  Under “reason,” I write “September tuition” or whatever the case may be.  Later, I enter these payments into a separate Excel spreadsheet along with my expenses for the month.

To download, visit the Printables > Studio Business page and scroll down to the R’s for “Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment.”

To read a little bit more about business-related topics, check out last year’s post here.

Announcements, Studio Business

Moving Adventures

My husband and I have been happily renting this house for the past three years:

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This Spring, we decided we were interested in buying our own house.  We were pre-approved for a mortgage and started shopping.

Finding a house with a good space for my studio was a priority.  We found a great house in Perrysburg, Ohio, which is 20 minutes north of where we currently live.  It is not as charming on the outside as the rental house, but we hope to be able to increase the curb appeal.

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Continue reading “Moving Adventures”

Games, Studio Business

Organizing Games

One of the questions that arose during the presentation about music games (see the handout here) that I gave last week for the Summit County OMTA chapter and at the 2014 MusicEdConnect.com conference was…

How do you organize your games?

You may remember some months back when I blogged about finding this little filing cabinet at a second-hand store.  Here is how I decided to use all those wonderful drawers:

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Those drawers contain materials for games that can be played during private lessons with students.  It sits next to me where I teach at the piano.  The six drawers are currently categorized:

  1. Office Supplies — colored pens, Post-It notes, notepads, etc.
  2. Props/Improv [pictured below] — Japanese puzzle erasers, various props for teaching hand shape, Rory’s Story Cubes (thanks goes to a reader who recently sent me the “Action” set from my Amazon wishlist!), and the Flashcards for Composition/Improvisation.
  3. Rhythmrhythm cards, Rhythm Train Game, Rhythmic Value Cards, etc.
  4. Note I.D.musical alphabet word cards, spinners, note-naming flashcards, etc.
  5. Intervals/KeysIce Cream Interval game, keys, key signature flashcards, etc.
  6. Dry Erase Markers — At group classes, we use dry erase markers and mini erasers frequently for our listening sheets.

You’ll notice that these categories align with the concepts listed in the handout.  Games are most effective when we are choosing them in terms of the concepts they teach our students.

Here is the Props/Improv drawer:

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In the little black drawstring bag, I have a set of Scrabble tiles containing only the letters of the musical alphabet.  I bought my Scrabble game used at Goodwill.  I use the tiles as another way for students to randomly choose a letter of the musical alphabet (we sometimes use a spinner instead).  They work great for The Amazing Keyboard Race, for example.  Students can also sort the tiles onto the piano keys.

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In the drawers across the room, I store my floor staff and the games that work only for group classes. 

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Please feel free to share in the comments about your organizational system!

P.S.:  The live sessions may be over, but it’s not too late to register for the 2014 MusicEdConnect.com conference and have the opportunity to watch the session videos on your own time.  Visit their website for more info.

Studio Business

Chair for Piano Teaching

Since moving to my current town, I have been using a hard wooden chair (a $5 find at Goodwill) when I teach piano lessons.

Two-and-a-half-years later, I decided it was high time I bought something more comfortable.  On wheels.  And less creaky.  :)

The space next to the piano is tight, so I knew I needed a compact chair.  A friend who also teaches piano in my town found this great little chair at IKEA and I ended up buying the same one.  But not before trying out all of the other wheeled chairs at IKEA.  :)  This one is a gem:

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Don’t you just love finding just the right things for your everyday use?  This chair is comfortable and perfect for my small space.

Check it out at IKEA:  Gregor swivel chair.

Studio Business, Technology

In Snowy Weather…Teaching Via FaceTime/Skype

This is what it looks like outside our house today:

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Much of the U.S. is currently experiencing a “polar vortex.”  Here in Ohio, there is around 8 inches of snow on the ground and the wind chill has been around -35 degrees Fahrenheit during the daytime.  Local schools and universities have cancelled classes yesterday and today.  Our county has declared a Level 3 Snow Emergency, which means people are not allowed to travel on the roads unless it is an emergency (or else risk a fine or arrest).

What to do about piano lessons?  Continue reading “In Snowy Weather…Teaching Via FaceTime/Skype”

Studio Business

Studio Artwork Notebook update

Remember back in April when I visited Jody and her Piano Cottage?  In her waiting room area, she had a blank notebook lying around for students to draw artwork.

After being inspired by Jody, I ordered a blank, hardcover notebook from Amazon for my own waiting room area. It has been a few months now, and I thought I would share a peek at some of the artwork students have created!

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Yes, even my cat Coda made it into the notebook!  :)

Studio Business

Studio Business — Printables Updated for 2013-14

I have just finished updating two of the studio business forms from the Printables page.

The first one is the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf — I have updated the dates for use for the 2013-2014 school year.  I received a number of requests from teachers to make this form available again this year, and I am happy to do so!

Here is how the form works: Write your students’ names in the first column.  Each week, write the lesson date (in a month / date format) in the column for that week.  This is how you can track attendance.  The small circles in each cell are where you can write checkmarks indicating tuition payments.  Whether you charge by-the-week or by-the-month, you can place a checkmark by each paid lesson date.

Continue reading “Studio Business — Printables Updated for 2013-14”

Announcements, Studio Business

TeachPianoToday.com Podcast

logo (1)Have you heard about the new podcast for piano teachers created by the folks at TeachPianoToday.com? I have enjoyed listening to the first few episodes since they launched their podcast last month (click here to listen to Episode 1 and Episode 2).

So, I was honored when Andrea asked if I would be willing to be a guest for Episode 3, which has been released today!  Click the link to listen to our conversation about the challenges of relocating and starting a piano studio again from scratch.

While you are there, be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss TeachPianoToday’s future podcasts and blog posts!

Studio Business

Fun Little Drawers

For a while now, I’ve been looking for something with more drawers to put in my studio.  I have lots of drawers across the room, but I wanted something small enough for the spot next to my chair when I teach.

I recently found this fun little filing cabinet for $30 at a thrift store:

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I just had to share a photo with some fellow teachers who would understand my excitement!  :)  I can’t wait to fill it up with my games pieces, flashcards, music dice, etc.