REVIEW: Music Teacher’s Helper

Music Teacher's HelperFull Name: Music Teacher’s Helper

Product/Service: Complete Teaching Studio Management System

Price: FREE for the first 30 days – then $14, $29 or $49 per month depending on studio size

Summary: Music Teacher’s Helper is a complete online system that allows you to fully organize your teaching studio. When you sign up for the online monthly service (the first 30 days are free), you get access to powerful tools to track your current/past/waiting list students, send invoices to students, accept online payments, maintain an interactive online calendar and communicate with your students via email and uploaded documents. When you sign up you also get a fully functioning website that not only gives your studio an online presence but it also gives your students a fully functioning control panel to interact with you and the site. You can accept online payments (which requires a merchant account with PayPal), track expenses like mileage and supplies, and even track library items that you lend out to your students. Your students can track their practice and repertoire and you can make notes about those things that the student can see and use as ongoing assignments and encouragement.

The Pros: The creators of Music Teacher’s Helper have literally thought of everything that a private studio teacher needs to be as efficient as possible. The control panel is very easy to navigate.

Music Teacher's Helper Teacher Homepage

Music Teacher’s Helper Teacher Homepage

The record keeping components are invaluable. The program automatically send invoices to the students and leads them to pay online (if you have signed up for a merchant account). Then you can see who has paid and who stills owes you. You can view and download reports of all the lessons you have taught in a certain period of time making tax-preparation very easy.

The interactive calendar is an excellent tool because you can indicate not only the time slots that are filled but also include time slots that are open so that when a student is checking your calendar, they can see when you are available and request to have a lesson in that slot right from their computer. It also works the same way for cancellations – they can request to reschedule or cancel their lesson from your calendar and your cancellation policy is posted there for them to see. You can also post studio events and schedule automatic reminder emails to be sent to your students before their lessons and events.

I think one of the greatest attributes of this system is the ability for your students to register on your website and have access to their own control panel. This allows you to set up real accountability assisgnments for them. You can instruct them to log their practice time, give them notes regarding their assignments for the week and give them access to worksheets, manuals or any other documents or files you want them to be able to view. All of this happens online. If you have young students who do not have access to the online services, you give access to the parents and they can know what the assignments are, pay online and communicate with you.

The people of Music Teacher’s Helper have also created a community on their site. They have an extensive blog that has various contributors who cover many relevant topics about teaching. They also have a forum where teachers can interact with each other. And last but not least, they have excellent video tutorials on how to use the system.

The Cons: Music Teacher’s Helper offers free websites and while there are 18 different backgrounds to choose from and you can add pages to the 8 pages that are already put in place (Home, Registration, Contact Me, Photos, Links, etc.), you don’t have much opportunity to customize the layout.  Also, while you can choose a portion of your domain name, the full URL of your site will be something like, mystudiosnewwebsite.musicteachershelper.com, which is a little cumbersome. However, if you are not tech savvy at all, the free website is a huge bonus.

Recommendation: I think this is a truly excellent system to organize all aspects of running a studio. It promotes productivity, accountability and makes record keeping a breeze. The free website is invaluable for today’s studio teacher and the price points are highly manageable. If you are a studio teacher, try it out for 30 days and see how much it can change the way you think about organization!

Rating:

Music Teacher's Helper

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9 Responses to REVIEW: Music Teacher’s Helper

  1. Pingback: For Teachers: Running a Music Teaching Studio – the New Must-Have List - Music Lessons Resource - Music Lessons Resource

  2. Pingback: For Teachers: Teaching Music Lessons Online with Skype - Music Lessons Resource - Music Lessons Resource

  3. Hi Regina – I noticed as I was digging into this and other similar studio management softwares that the invoicing and accounting functions are really inferior. For instance, the fact that they don’t integrate with your bank account and download all the transactions would be a deal breaker for me–any accounting program worth it’s salt will do this, even the free ones! There are so many private music teachers out there that don’t have ANY accounting software, or even a business bank account that I think it’s important to acknowledge it.
    I realize that the scheduling, notekeeping, and website components are probably what is most important to a lot of teachers, and those parts do work pretty well. But nobody should expect MTH or any similar program to be the ONLY thing they need to track finances.

  4. Sandra says:

    Hi Regina,
    thanks so much for this post. I read it before signing up for Music Teacher’s Helper. However, I concluded it isn’t quite fantastic for me, and I wrote all about it in this blog post – http://www.inspiredmusicteacher.com/blog/2014/11/22/my-take-on-music-teachers-helper-after-the-free-trial – thought you might like to have a read. 🙂
    Sandra

  5. Heidi Lueck says:

    I used MTH for maybe 6 years beginning around 2008. I had created a website on Weebly prior, and migrated all my webpages over to the MTH website, recreating my entire site (same content). This was a big decision for me, as everything was running fine. I will never, ever use MTH again.
    Google Analytics was integrated into my Weebly website and tracking data for me very well. MTH’s website never did this, and even though I tried to get Google Analytics to work for me on my MTH, the two never synced correctly. I had a website and software developer who works with Google Analytics see what the issue is and he couldn’t get the two to work. I lost all ability to track traffic to my MTH site.

    MTH’s billing failed for me 3 December’s in a row. For music teachers, this is significant. When everyone is paying their credit cards off for their Christmas shopping, it is important to have reliable billing so I can get paid too. I can understand one glitch. I emailed the MTH help desk and was never given a decent explanation for why this happened. They did apologize, of course, but obviously I did not trust they would fix this by the third occurrence. I had the automatic billing feature set up too, so the mistake was not on my end (confirmed by them).

    I had other problems with students getting strange invoices. I emailed MTH support when this would happen. Initially, their customer service was stellar: fast response (within hours), timely resolution, good communication. When they started expanding their client base, they either didn’t hire enough staffing or hired staff who just didn’t care. It would be several days before I’d receive a response, the communication was poor. Their people did not understand how to communicate effectively to resolve a problem or how to acknowledge a problem and correct it. Also, they would not resolve issues. They didn’t know how to identify what was causing technical issues. It was very off-putting that they set up what was supposed to be a great service and let the service fall off the deep end of the pool, especially since at one time they did understand the elements of great service.

    There were other technical issues with the site that I had communicated with MTH about over the years. Eventually I took my business elsewhere, which was sad for me. I literally took 2 years to make the decision as I felt very loyal to MTH. I used to rave to every music teacher I knew and actually presented to my entire piano teacher’s professional group about MTH.

  6. Heidi Lueck says:

    Additionally, I am back with Weebly and using a different service for my billing, which I like less than the billing with MTH but it is reliable.

    Also, I consistently had issues with the Google calendar syncing. Initially, I loved the fact that my Google calendars would all work together. MTH had so many sync issues and Google calendar issues over the years and eventually just stopped using Google calendar. So much for the calendar feature of MTH!

    I can’t believe how much money I invested into this service over the years! I was at the highest subscription level due to the size of my studio, and was grandfathered in at the old rate as I was one of the original subscribers to their service. I gave that perk up because I couldn’t stomach telling my entire studio again that the billing failed (three years in a row) which only reflected badly on me.

  7. Victor says:

    Well, MTH is good enough but far from being perfect…
    (especially their latest interface touch–device-style-facelifting is disappointing)
    I have seen a better alternative scheduling online service:
    Music Teacher Studio Software
    Most of MTH shortcomings are solved in this system!

  8. Amy says:

    Wow! Amazing and fun ideas all ready to go. I can imagine how the kids would love those. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’m looking to supply some recommendations to my readers for similar software. Does anyone have any alternatives that I could research and compare to Music Teacher’s Helper? I want to review and compare a few of the best solutions. Thanks in advance.

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