Have you resolved to get organised this year? To sort out proper invoices, get your schedule under control or finally keep proper records about your student’s birthdays?
My Music Staff could be a great solution for you.
I’ve been using this studio management software for a few months and in this post I want to walk you through some of the features (from an outside perspective) so that you can gauge if it’s right for you.
Student Information in My Music Staff
You can add, view and edit student information in the “Students” section.
When you click through to a particular student you can see basic information about them and their family. I like the way the families are organised as I have a lot of siblings in my studio so this system makes sense to me.
I also like that you this view shows how long they’ve been a student with you as well as the age. It’s a simple thing, but it makes a difference when I’m organising and planning my lessons.
Calendar in My Music Staff
The calendar is where you can schedule lessons. The lessons can be recurring or not and they can be group or individual.
This system works pretty well, however, there are a couple of things I would love to see done differently.
Firstly (and this is probably only just me), I would love an easier way to input my buddy lessons. At the moment I simply schedule each student for their time and let the lessons overlap in the middle. An automatic option I could set up would be easier, but I’m not too fussed about this.
The other small issue I have is with the way the lessons show when they’re back-to-back.
Counterintuitively, when you have a lesson at 15:15 – 16:00 and another from 16:00-16:45 they will show with a gap in between. But some lessons which do have a break between them show without the gap.
This isn’t a problem as I use my Google Cal to check my schedule rather than this view. And I love that it automatically syncs with my Google Cal.
Schedule Breaks/Holidays First
This isn’t a problem or glitch, just a note. If you do decide to try out My Music Staff, schedule your teaching breaks first. That way when you schedule recurring lessons it will automatically skip over those days.
Waiting List Forms
Now to my favourite feature, the sign-up widget.
I’ve called this the waiting list form as that’s what I use it for. I set the default student status on this form to “Waiting” and set up a thank you email to go out to them.
This makes a huge difference for me because my studio is full. Very full.
And no matter how much I warn people about the waiting times on my contact page, I still had to reply to them once they emailed to remind them that it’s likely to be quite a while before I get in touch, and that they should absolutely look for another teacher in the meantime.
Having this process automated is wonderful because not only do I not have to write the reply emails, I don’t have to read the applications until I’m ready. Which means I don’t have to waste time feeling guilty about not having room for people, even though there’s nothing I can do about it.
Emails through My Music Staff
You can access the email feature in the “Students” view in My Music Staff.
This is a simple, but very handy tool. What I like about the email in MMS is:
- You can quickly select the students you want to email. Much easier than having lists in your regular email inbox because you can sort the view by age, student since, name, etc. to find the people you need.
- You can use a shortcode to add the name of the recipient or other key details. This means you can address the email to each person individually without copy-pasting and changing details.
What I would love is some way to also have a shortcode for the student. However, I do understand that this is pretty much impossible because of pronouns!
“Make sure Susie brings along her books to the group workshop today.”
Has too many variables for shortcodes like this. I just wish it were doable, that’s all. 😉
Other Features in My Music Staff
I’ve barely scratched the surface of what My Music Staff has to offer here. These are just the features that I find the most useful for my studio.
Here are some others that might be even more important to you:
- Teachers & Admins – with a multi-teacher account you can have different staff or contractors each with their own schedule and students. I have played around with this and it works very well.
- Repertoire – If you’re using MMS to organise student practise and assignments this is where you would input it. I’m old-school in this way and I like things on real paper, but if you want to go digital this could be for you.
- Online Resources – You can store things for students to download. Great for backing tracks or perhaps digital sheet music.
- Invoices, Expenses & Mileage – Very important to keep track of! The only reason I’m not using this in MMS is that I have a lot more going on in my business besides teaching (like the Vibrant Music Teaching site). But this system would be great for simple invoice and expense tracking.
- Website – If you don’t have one already this is a super simple solution. No excuses, get that website up and running!
Any questions about My Music Staff?
I’d be happy to answer them and help you decide if it’s right for you. Leave your thoughts and queries in the comments below.