This episode about how to manage your music teaching business was previously featured on the Profitable Musician Show.
In this episode, we talk about My Music Staff. This tool helps music teachers manage their own private students. One of my Academy members uses this tool and loves it.
Erin is the Communication Specialist at My Music Staff. It launched in 2013 and started as a love story between the founder, who was a software developer, and his wife, who was a music teacher. The wife was looking for something to help her manage her students, finances, and schedule. Since she was unable to find something she wanted, she asked her husband, the founder, to build something for her.
My Music Staff is a studio management software that allows you to manage your students, schedule, attendance, and all of your invoicing and billing. Students and parents can access information as well. They also have an online resources section, a basic website builder included with a subscription, and a lot more.
If you are more advance and already have a website built somewhere else, they have widgets that you can add to it. The platform prides itself on its flexibility. You can start with a few features and add other features as you grow.
The company is based in Toronto, Canada but is used by members all over the world. Teaching music and studio policies vary from region to region. The good thing about My Music Staff is that the program settings can be adapted to fit your needs.
As of now, the language used in the tool is English, but they do have translation built into the browser. They hope to offer a full translation product down the line.
Billing and Invoicing
With regard to the financial side, it is also based on region. It integrates with PayPal and Stripe for online payments. Billing models are always changing as well. Some teachers charge per lesson, some a flat monthly rate, and it can get complex.
Billing and invoicing is one of their fan-favorite features, particularly autopay. My Music Staff works via calendar-based billing. You set up your pricing for your students, then you schedule them on your calendar. You can do per lesson rates or hourly rates. You can do flat monthly rates, too, regardless of how many lessons a student has. A lot of music teachers find that if the tool can help them with billing and invoicing, they can focus their time on teaching. Billing varies per region, and from studio to studio. You can choose to charge weekly, monthly, prepaid, or postpaid lessons, and bill them by the end of the month. It even allows you to set up a billing per family.
Scheduling for your music teaching business
There are options to set different lengths of lessons. Students can book their own time. My Music Staff has a default lesson option, which is a shortcut to the main type of lesson, lesson length, and price for that student. You can also add different events on top of the main one. You can do group lessons and set a maximum number of students. You can set up recurring lessons — weekly, biweekly or monthly. This feature can also be used to organize recitals. You can create your own custom categories and locations. Some members add categories based on instruments. Some offer a one-off workshop or monthly make-up lessons.
Your music teaching business – Online Lessons and Resources
The lessons also integrate with Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype. This was not previously in place but when the pandemic happened, we got it going.
You can upload any files (audio, video, PDF worksheet, word document) you want to share with students. You can assign it to specific students so the student does not get confused with files that are not applicable to them. The files can also be connected to the lesson notes, which is another favorite feature their members love to use. You can type everything in there directly and copy the notes from previous lessons. The teacher can also email the notes to students and parents or they can access them through the portal itself. The portal is accessible to whomever the teacher allows to access it.
In a multi-teacher studio, every teacher has their own space within the online resources. Registration and cancellation of lessons are all done through the portal.
Students can also track their progress from the portal. They can also add comments if they need more practice in terms of a skill, or any note they want to leave for their teacher. For teachers, My Music Staff is a one-stop shop to manage all admin that comes with running a studio for your music teaching business. For parents and students, it is a one-stop shop to access what they need outside of lesson time.
Smaller studios may have 2 to 6 teachers while larger studios may have 20 to 30 plus teachers.
My Music Staff has a great community on Facebook. Everyone was quick to adapt during the pandemic. A lot of resources were shared, and a lot of people put stuff together and helped each other. Behind the scenes, they focused on developing online lessons and resources for your music teaching business. They put in student portal cheat sheets to break down a lot of the common features that are used in the student portal, like how to add a credit card or how to register for a lesson.
What’s Coming Up for My Music Staff
Since My Music Staff has been existing since 2013, they have been working on overhauling the entire platform with their development team. They seek to improve load times and update the interface to modernize it. They will also focus on the mobile experience. They are in the initial phase of beta testing.
They take the feedback of their members to heart. They get so many great ideas about things the members would like to see. As they expand more globally, they hear features music teachers may need in other regions that they did not really think of as they were not used to it. They want to make the whole process of billing and invoicing even easier.
My Music Staff has a great support team and they are available by phone and email. They are able to help members. Some members haven’t heard from as they haven’t run into an issue they need assistance with.
They also go to a lot of trade shows to connect with people and meet new teachers and teachers who have already been using their platform for some time.
They have kept their pricing simple. For a single teacher account going in for North American or Canadian and US dollars, it is $14.95/month. If you are a multi-teacher studio, it is $14.95/month plus $4.95/month for any additional teacher. They also have slightly different options for regional pricing, such as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Euro.
Connecting with My Music Staff
If you visit MyMusicStaff.com and go to our Contact page, you will see the contact information. We have got a UK phone number and an international phone number as well as a toll-free number. If you are getting started out, we offer a free one-to-one onboarding session. You will get the link to that if you sign up for a trial. You can also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. A subscribed member will have access to their private Facebook community.
“Thank you so much for having me. I don’t have the link handy. We did create a 60-day Free Trial for readers of your show. Normally, we offer a 30-day free trial, but we did want to put something out there. If you are reading this and you are interested in signing up, we would love to give you a 60-day free trial. You have a bit more time to explore all of the features.”