Announcements, Studio Business

2016 Studio T-Shirt

Look at what arrived in the mail recently! I love how our T-shirts turned out this year.

2016 T-shirt selfie w

Since 2012, I’ve ordered studio T-shirts each summer as a gift for my students. It’s a fun way to show appreciation for being a part of my studio and build camaraderie among my students. And it’s good marketing, too.

Just for fun, here’s a peek at the designs from past years.  Continue reading “2016 Studio T-Shirt”

Music Camps, Studio Business

Free: Editable Form for Summer Lesson and Music Camps Selection

Today, I thought I’d share the form I have been handing out to my students for the past couple of years in order to present summertime camp/lesson options.

The top of the handout presents the music camp descriptions and dates/times.

summer camp descriptions

At the bottom, there is a form where students can make their selection regarding the summer camps and lessons. I provide my students with a few package options to choose from, while expecting them to continue making the normal tuition payments each month. This gives us both the flexibility and consistency we need for summertime.

summer option selection

Feel free to download this editable Microsoft Word file: “Summer Lesson and Camp Selection form” via the link at the bottom of this post or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Summer Lesson and Camp Selection form (143.4 KiB, 2,524 hits)

Studio Business

Recommended: Daniel Patterson’s New Blog

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 5.31.38 PM

I recently connected with an Indiana-based piano teacher named Daniel Patterson who is creating a valuable resource for piano teachers: a site called GrowYourMusicStudio.com. Daniel is dedicated to helping teachers attract quality students and make a comfortable living doing what they love.

I’ve read and reviewed Daniel’s first ebook and I consider it highly recommended reading. Click here for the PDF download: The Piano Teacher’s Ultimate Facebook Guide.

Daniel’s first blog post can be found here. You’ll definitely want to subscribe to the email list so you will be notified about new content.

Be sure to check it out!

Announcements, Studio Business

Feature in “The Savvy Music Teacher” by David Cutler

This came in the mail yesterday:

The Savvy Music Teacher

The Savvy Music Teacher a brand new book that has just been released by Oxford University Press from author David Cutler, author of The Savvy Musician. I was excited to see the mention of my story and my blog’s shop on page 158 after being interviewed by the author a year ago! This book is going to be a great resource to help musicians figure out how to make a livable and comfortable living doing what they love.

Find the book on Amazon here.

Printables, Studio Business

Freebie: Lesson Attendance Sheet Updated for 2015-16

I have just finished updating one of the studio business forms from the Printables page for the 2015-16 school year.  It is called the Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment pdf.  I do not currently use this form myself anymore, but I have received quite a few 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.

Screen-shot-2010-06-27-at-9.33.12-PM

Download it here or on the Printables > Studio Business page.

  Record of Lesson Attendance & Payment (2020-21) (212.8 KiB, 32,040 hits)

P.S.: Here is a link to where I explain my current system for tracking payments received.

Performances, Studio Business

Recital Invitation & Program Template

My students and I are currently preparing pieces for our Spring Recital.  I like to schedule my recital early (March or April), to avoid the busy end-of-the-year season.

This year, I decided to design some simple recital invitations for students to share with family and friends.  I printed these myself on cardstock paper.

20150129_115454 NIKON web

I also designed a matching recital program that I will use that day.

Feel free to download the Microsoft Word template for the invitations/program design and use them yourself this year.  All you have to do is edit the text and add your own studio name/logo.  You recommend printing onto nice, heavy paper in the color of your choice.

  Piano Recital Program & Invitation - Template #5 (169.0 KiB, 12,711 hits)

You’ll find this along with other recital program template designs on the Printables > Other Resources page.  Enjoy!

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!

Screen Shot 2014-12-30 at 4.57.26 PM

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

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 2.54.34 PM

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:

DSC_20110617_180408.JPG

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.

DSC_20140409_093535_1

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:

2014-02-10

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:

DSC_20140210_135444_1

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.

DSC_20140210_135315_1

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

DSC_20140210_135724_1

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.