For several months, I have been searching for a music teacher’s database to organize & run the behind-the-scenes details of my studio. Many options exist, but they are all either too expensive, or have too many unnecessary features. Earlier this week, I was made aware of a great, newer site called… www.MyMusicStaff.com.
In addition to the wonderful features, great price, and free trial you see (in the photos), you will find a wealth of incredibly helpful tools for teachers of any size studio teaching any instrument.
I have already begun the transfer process (it must be done manually) of inputting my students, and though it takes some time, it is easy and clear.
- After logging into your account, the first page you will encounter is called “HOME”, and shows a schedule of students’ lessons that day, as well as a sidebar listing… Active Students, Lessons Left This Week, and Projected Monthly Income.
- Beneath the “Home” tab, is another tab called “Students”. As a summary, it lists on the main “Students” page, the following items… Name, Email, Family, Default Price, Default Lesson Length, Makeup Credits. Clicking on the magnifying glass with the plus sign will open a great, thoroughly & clearly presented series of edit pages, including such things as “Personal”, “Family”, “Attendance”, “Practice Log”, “Repertoire”, “Email History”, and “Options”. Each tab gives several input boxes for keeping track of vital student information.
- Below the “Students” tab is another extremely important item… “Calendar”. In addition to have several input options for ease of use, it is also possible to to Sync to Apple & Sync to Google Calendar directly from this page.
- Next is “Library”. One of the greatest challenges for any teacher lending books, is keeping track of who has what, how long they have had it, and when it should be returned. This feature is easy to use and thorough for my purposes. It is also easy to import a file with listed materials.
- “Families & Invoices” shows the Family involved, Students involved, and the Balance. Each line gives a summary of positive or negative balances for each family. A positive amount means you owe the students lessons, and a negative balance means they owe you. :) Easy! Clicking the plus sign magnifying glass brings up a page for “Adding Payment, Fee, or Credit” and another for “Creating Invoices”. Invoices are customizable to an extent too, in settings. :)
- Have you ever wanted to keep track of business & studio expenses for tax time? It’s easy! In the tab on the left, click on “Expenses & Other Income”. Inside that page, you’ll find, “Expenses”, “Other Income”, “Reports”, each with great options & clear-to-use features.
- Next & last is “Website”. Settings are easy to set, whether using a generic mymusicstaff.com subdomain, or forwarding a pre-existing domain, you can do it all from this page. Backgrounds & Templates are preset, with a few features for using custom backgrounds. :) Two more tabs can be found in this section in addition to “Settings”. They are “Pages” & “Media Library”. Media Library stores your photos & documents, shareable on your website in various capacities. The Pages section is one of my favorites. More on that in the next paragraph…
PAGES (found in “Website” tab on left side bar)…
- I currently have four “Pages” all currently under construction (Home, Request Interview, Season Scheduling, Contact Miss Kristin) on my website, which can be found at…
- It is the best feedback input, registration system, response collecting I have ever seen for a music teacher’s website. :)
A Little Background/History & a Few Comments
- The support staff has been excellent. They are quick to respond to questions, and give very thorough answers and helpful tips.
- The price is very reasonable, currently $12.95/month for UNLIMITED number of students.
- When I asked about the company’s history, they were very upfront & honest. Here is the response, and hopefully it will reassure you as you consider this wonderful site…*About our history: That is a very good question, most people don’t consider that. I’m the owner, and our company is named Inspyder Software Inc. We primarily make desktop software for Windows. My wife is a voice teacher, and she’s been asking for this for years. We finally had an opportunity to bring this to life and My Music Staff launched in early September, 2013. You can rest assured that as long as my wife is teaching, this site will be online :) Inspyder’s been around since 2005, and we have a great track record with our customers. Here’s our customer testimonial page and some reviews on Amazon. http://www.inspyder.com/Testimonials.aspx, http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=inspyder&sprefix=inspy%2Caps&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Ainspyder
I hope that we can bring the same level of quality and commitment to My Music Staff.
- Only a few features exist that may work better differently in my studio, and a few things would be neat if added, but honestly, I don’t believe they will be a deal breaker. MyMusicStaff.com is doing things right, and their willingness to listen to suggestions & potentially add them (they already have been updating their website program regularly) is a huge plus.
I am very pleased, and look forward to transitioning my studio over from my current program to this as we approach the summer or upcoming school year. This is a very exciting endeavor, and I like what I see. I trust you will too. It doesn’t hurt to give it a try – I know you will NOT be disappointed. :)
Just visit the following page to create your free trial account… https://login.mymusicstaff.com/CreateAccount.aspx
Full Disclosure: I am NOT affiliated with MyMusicStaff or the owners, except to be a user of the online & smartphone/tablet program. I was offered a free account for writing a review, but the views expressed here are my honest opinion and experience. I am VERY pleased with what I see in the program, and will be switching from my current site, “MusicTeachersHelper” very soon.
This page will continue to be updated/edited over the next few days, and as new features arise. :) Please bookmark it for future reference, and let me know if you do sign up. Feel free to post your experiences here. The owners of MyMusicStaff.com will be notified. :)
UPDATE from May 2014…
My goal was to have the studio account up and running with the newer program, “MyMusicStaff”, by June 1st. I started transferring info & data from my previous account at a different online program back in February… and it was time-consuming. Entering data was easy enough, but there was just a LOT to input. I love the result!
Back in February, I wrote of my initial impressions… https://musicstudioblog.com/2014/02/01/music-teachers-management-online-program-mymusicstaff-com/
Throughout the entire process of setting up my online records, any questions, concerns, or confusion I had was quickly & thoughtfully addressed by the excellent customer service & creators of MyMusicStaff. They were thorough in their answers, and I often found that a feature request was added by the next day (sometimes even within 15 minutes, depending on the depth of the request & whether we were at our computers at the same time). I am excited to have been given this opportunity to use MyMusicStaff, can officially announce that everything is running smoothly, everything is transferred, and every family has experienced the transition in some way (hopefully smoothly) – and we are good to go ahead of my “personally set” June 1st deadline. I’m excited to be a loyal, long-time user.
A few of the newer additions & features added since I started using the program, helpful in making my bookkeeping job easier can be found at… http://www.mymusicstaff.com/blog/
In exploring the pages on their blog, I’ve discovered there are many features I haven’t even tried. I’m excited!
- Many “behind the scenes” improvements & features for teachers only – including ability to block dates on the calendar, track mileage, streamlining pages & organizing information (it all makes logical sense & info is easily accessible), and quickly & easily add events to the calendar (student defaults come in handy here!). Adding fees is very easy, and emailing/sending invoices is the best I’ve ever seen! We teachers can easily enter notes visible for parents only or students/parents or yourself only, and may find the csv & pdf versions of income/expense reports helpful, especially around tax time. :)
- PayPal Integration (for students to use & teachers to subscribe) – easy to pay online directly from the invoice.
- Ability for Students to Register Online (info automatically is entered into “Waiting”).
- Event/Lesson email reminders & special tab in family account pages for “texts allowed”.
- Ability to have a studio cancellation policy explanation & option for families to make changes to their schedule (I haven’t enabled this feature, on purpose, but I know many teachers may want to have it and I may use it someday). Another option to allow students to schedule their makeup lessons using their makeup lesson credits may prove helpful in the future.
- Without even setting it up specifically (or perhaps I did and the process was extremely seamless), my MyMusicStaff calendar integrated with my google calendar – the one I use often for regular appointments (I still use a physical, paper calendar for the occasional things). It was great to open up my phone calendar, and voila! A recent addition, is that students/parents can sync their lesson calendar to an electronic google calendar as well, and access it using one of the many calendar apps on any smart device (or of course, the computer). Students’ birthdays are also automatically on my calendar, simply pulled from their individual student account entries in my profile! :)
- Also, it’s helpful to have access to a printed list of the daily schedule & attendance records – MyMusicStaff makes it easy.
- One of my favorite recent features is the visual assistance of a line striking through any lessons that have been canceled, so that at a glance, I’ll know who is expected that day and who isn’t.
I have been thoroughly impressed with MyMusicStaff, and can’t wait to see what they come up with in the coming months. The above mentioned features are only a few of, dare I say, scores of changes/improvements/upgrades I’ve seen – and not seen. This team has the teacher in mind – and that says a lot. Their goal truly is to lessen the load on the teacher’s time at the end of the day. I sincerely hope this post leads other teachers to this wonderful program – both for your sakes (the teachers), and for MyMusicStaff – because when someone builds a great product with exceptional service, it should bring them rewards. Thank you for all you do! You’ve made my job sooooo much easier.
I love being able to focus more on teaching, and much LESS on business.
(this photo is property of MyMusicStaff)