or “There’s an App for That!”
Every time I talk to my phone, and it answers me, I think to myself, “I love living in The Future!” Technology is a truly wonderful thing, and makes it possible for you, as an independent music teacher, to run your own business with only a couple outside professionals helping a few times a year.
There are 4 main categories that come to mind when I think about software you may need when you run a music teaching studio.
- Customer (Student) Management
- Email Marketing / Website
Some of them overlap with each other, and some can exist independently. Soon, I’ll be posting lots of detailed reviews of different applications so you can decide what will be the best fit for you. But first, let me explain briefly what I mean by each of these:
You may not think you need this, but trust me—you do. This is the place where you track all your music teaching (and other) income, related expenses, sales, and taxes, where you do your billing and accept payments, and often where you keep a lot of your students’ data. A robust accounting program can cut your administrative time in half or better, AND it protects you in case of an IRS Audit.
This is a place to store, sort, analyze, and report on your student (prospective, current, former, and waitlisted) data. Often student management programs sell themselves by including scheduling and billing.
Basically a glorified calendar for your music studio. They come with many kinds of bells and whistles! Some integrate fully with your google or i-calendar and give you complete control over who can book your time and how.
A website is really a must-have for a music teaching studio in today’s world. Simple websites are sometimes folded in with other functions, but you can often get more precisely what you want for less by doing it independently.
If you’re still trying to send all-studio emails from gmail or outlook, you need email marketing. Keeping a mailing list allows you to do a newsletter for current students and student leads. The same mailing list software allows you to communicate with all your students without broadcasting everyone’s email address – this is very important to safeguard your students’ privacy. Sometimes, email communications can also be part of other functions.
Next up: Before we dig into software, Accounting and Finance 101. Do you know what you don’t know?