Monday, March 3, 2014

Review: My Music Staff

As a teacher with a studio that has grown in leaps and bounds in the past year, I knew that manually typing my schedules and invoices by hand each month was no longer practical.  Even once I finished typing the dates manually, adding the amount owed for each student, and making sure each detail was correct, it would still take me hours to email 39 schedules to different families.  Then, I found out about My Music Staff, and I knew that this was my time-saving answer!  I now can keep track of my schedule, invoices, student accounts, expenses, mileage, student repertoire, practice charts, attendance, make-up lessons, and payments all in one place!

Student Accounts- Once logging in to My Music Staff, I put the information in for each of my students.  Since this program is web-based, I can access my information from anywhere.  I teach in two different locations, and I have love having access to my student information on my mobile device and tablet.  I can now easily take attendance at each lesson which automatically generates a charge to the students' individual account.  I can view all account balances at a glance, or I can access each student account in detail.  In addition, I have sent login information to all of my parents and older students, and now they can see their account detail, balances, schedule, repertoire, and practice charts in one place.  

My Music Staff helps you keep track of student payments and amounts owing.
Calendar- The thing that first impressed me about my My Music Staff calendar is that it is completely visible from my Apple and google calendars on my mobile device and tablet.  Plus, as I put an event in the calendar, it automatically shows up as a charge on the family's invoice.  I was worried about some of my more complicated schedule items, but with this program it was not a problem at all!  I was even able to schedule my once a month duet/ensemble lessons with no hassle.  There are options to repeat events once a month, every other week, and even every few weeks.  The details are extremely well thought out, and they make even the most difficult to schedule events simple.  

Invoices- This easy to use invoice feature literally saved hours of work for me this month.  I simply had to select the date range for the month of March, and my students were able to see charges for each student.  I was even able to add fees for books, Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association T-Shirts, and Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association STAR Evaluation program which my studio participates in each year.  By adding a note with the time for each lesson on the calendar even, the time for the lesson even comes up on the invoice so that I don't have to send a separate schedule.  By clicking on a link at the bottom of the invoices, families can even choose to pay online (if your studio accepts Paypal).  

Expenses and Mileage- Tax season next year will be so easy!  I can now create a report for my accountant of all categories of expenses rather than adding each month's categories by hand.  Plus, I can create reports for myself throughout the year for any date range and any categories of income and expenses.  Mileage is automatically calculated if I make a repeating trip, and the expense is included in my reports.  

Keep track of your studio expenses throughout the year.
More Features- Now that I have my financial and scheduling information all set up in My Music Staff, I am excited to explore several of the other features.  I plan on adding repertoire to each student so that families can see which music we are working on for recitals and evaluations.  In addition, my students and parents can choose to participate in the practice chart portion of the program instead of their paper practice charts.  I can add books and sheet music to the lending library section so that I can easily keep track of borrowed materials, and I may even create a website where students can sign up for lessons, and it will automatically create an account for them.  I can even put students on a waiting list through this feature.

Support- I can say from firsthand experience that the support on My Music Staff is amazing. The technical support staff helped me through some issues, and they even corrected a glitch that I was experiencing.  I thought that my complicated schedule would make this program impossible for me to use, but it was just the opposite.  With the help of the support staff, this program has made my complicated schedule much more manageable.  

My Music Staff is here to stay in my studio, and I can say that at only $12.95 per month, this program is worth every penny. No studio is too small or large- the same fee applies for an unlimited studio size.  Logon to today for a 30 day free trial.  You don't even have to put a credit card in to try!  You will not regret it!

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with My Music Staff.  I was offered a free membership in exchange for an honest review of the program.  The review is completely positive because I am completely impressed with every aspect of My Music Staff.