If you have a sizable teaching studio, you’re probably spending a lot of time e-mailing, phoning and invoicing students each month. Not to mention wasting time chasing up late payments, lesson cancellations, keeping track of your expenses and dealing with lesson time changes.
If only we could get paid for dealing with such things 🙂
Fortunately, there is some online music teaching software which can provide us with more time for teaching (or practicing/performing) and spend less time feeling frustrated with admin.
I’ll compare two products in this article. Both of them can help your situation and they both offer free trials, which has given me the opportunity to try them out and see which one is best.
1) Music Teacher’s Helper (MTH)
This online software has a lot of useful features to help your music teaching business.
After signing up, you receive a free website and your students can login and access a whole range of useful tools. Here are some of the features available to you and your pupils…
a) Online calendar
You can create your own teaching timetable which all your students can access. As the teacher, you can repeat events as often as you like and show students when you have a free slot for moving lessons around.
Select a date range and your students can see how much they owe you for that period. You can invoice your pupils for extra costs as well, such as for books and sheet music. A very useful tool!
This is great for making things easier at the end of the tax year. You can create a report which includes various categories for expenses, such as parking, office supplies, sheet music and petrol costs. Simply hand it over to your accountant and job done!
d) Student accounts
Each student has his or her own account which they can access through your website. You can tick off their attendance and your students are charged for the lesson automatically. You students can see their balance, timetable, practice information and what repertoire they’re working on
e) Lending library feature
You also have a lending library section where you can keep a record of which student has borrowed material from you.
Prvio also contains an easy to use interface, but less features than Music Teacher’s Helper
It contains an online payment option, which means you can automatically bill students and get paid using Paypal.
You can also create a calendar, which syncs with Google and Apple calendars. Privio will also e-mail lesson reminders to your students.
Parents and older pupils login using a username and password and they can see how much they owe you, when their lesson is, and any other upcoming events.
In terms of support, both are very helpful and happy to help if you don’t understand a particular feature.
But overall, Privio is not as feature rich as MTH. For the actual music teaching aspects, it does the job, but lacks any real business features, such as tracking expenses and helping you with taxes.
The only real advantage of this software is the 45 day free trial (compared to 30 days for MTH)
In my opinion, MTH also has a clearer layout. The free website is better, and although it’s a subdomain e.g.johnsmith.musicteachershelper.com, you can embed the login form on your main website.
This is a useful workaround as it means students can visit your main site e.g. www.johnsmith.com, enter their details into the login form and then redirect to your Music Teacher’s Helpers site