Running a business is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It can also be difficult and very time consuming! Using online software to help cut down your admin hours will save you time and make your life easier. I have trialed various software over the past five years of running my teaching business. Here are the ones that I think are the best online software for piano teachers to use to run their teaching business.
My Music Staff
I have been using My Music Staff since the very beginning of my teaching business. I absolutely LOVE it! And I definitely could never go without it now! It dramatically cuts down on admin time, and the developers are continually upgrading and improving it!
I use this to manage my teaching timetable, and automatically send parents reminders about upcoming lessons! It can also send invoices automatically to the parents email, as well as send receipts to the parent email when you input the payment. (Though the payment can also be recorded automatically depending on how payment is taken). You can add lesson notes when you take attendance – these can be emailed to the parents each week as well as serving as a record of lessons for you. There is also the feature to track expenses and track your bookkeeping ready for those dreaded taxes each year! There are many more features too, but theses are the ones that I have used the most and find cut down so much of my admin time, and make my life a lot easier.
My Music Staff is basically register and attendance software, bookkeeping software and teaching software all combined into one!
The price depends on how many teachers you need to sign up, but it starts at £9.95/$12.95 USD per month.
Alternatives: Teacher Zone (https://teacherzone.com/); JackRabbit Class (https://www.jackrabbitclass.com/music/) [note: I don’t have any personal experience using either of these!]
I started using Lessson Mate about 18 months ago, and WOW I wish I had known about it sooner! Like many teachers I had a no makeup policy for my Piano lessons. And while I know a no makeup policy makes the most business sense (and I had been taken advantage of before I instated it) I couldn’t help but feel guilty for being paid for a lesson I wasn’t teaching!
Enter Lesson Mate!
Lesson Mate allows you to set up a profile for each of your students (linked to whatever email address you input – I have it emailed to the parents). Then, whenever a student misses a lesson you can make an online lesson for them. This involves recording video/audio and uploading/attaching any sheet music or other resources you would like them to use. You can also type in as many notes and instructions as you need to to create the lesson.
Your student can then look at the video and other materials after you have uploaded it. It isn’t a live lesson like you could do over video conferencing software, but it is better than no lesson at all and helps to keep some progress happening during the week they miss! (Two weeks is a long time to go with no lesson, isn’t it!) This also helps you still offer value to the parents of your students, whilst also having a consistent income.
The price depends on the number of students and teachers you have, but it starts at $19 per month for a solo teacher account.
Alternatives: None that I know of! Let me know in the comments if you do though!
One of the things I struggled with when I first began my business was marketing! With social media being so visual now, you need to either take photos while teaching (not easy to remember to do in the middle of a lesson!) or create graphics to post. Before I found Canva it was taking me a lot of hours to manually create designs in Photoshop. But with Canva’s huge template library and stock photos it just takes a few clicks to create something that looks attractive to help advertise your business!
There is a free option for Canva! This might be enough for your needs, and it gives you the option of trying it out to see if you like it. There is also a paid option called Canva Pro which costs £10.99 per month and there is also an annual plan.
Alternatives: Adobe Spark (https://spark.adobe.com/); Easil (https://about.easil.com/) [note: I don’t have any personal experience using either of these!]
Other online software
Some other software worth looking into includes
- Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/) – useful to store things in the cloud that you want to use on both your phone/tablet and computer.
- Spotify (https://www.spotify.com/) – useful to listen to music that students are learning, or for you to play music to your students
- SmarterQueue (SmarterQueue) and Later (Later.com) – both used to schedule Social Media posts
What is your favourite online software to use?
These are just some of the online software that I use every week, if not every day, to run my Piano teaching business. There are other great apps out there too though!
Do you use software to help you run your teaching business?
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