Music Teacher Scheduling Software for Private Studios

Do you feel like you need scheduling software for your music teaching studio? If you’re teaching private lessons, there are some cool things you could do with the right scheduling tool. You might want to let students cancel and perhaps trade slots with another student for a week.  Or, if you offer a couple of first-come, first-served make up lesson slots each week (or month), you would want a way for students to sign up for them easily.  You can probably think of more examples–please comment and tell me!

FULL DISCLOSURE ALERT: because of the way I run my studio I don’t need calendar software other than my iPhone. I have a regular weekly lesson schedule, and I don’t allow make up lessons.  I keep my lesson schedule on a paper calendar on my wall, and if a student doesn’t come, I still get paid. For me, a scheduling tool would complicate my life.

BUT – If I did want scheduling tool for my music studio, here’s what I would want:

I think a perfect scheduling tool should

  • Allow students to sign up for lesson slots on their own
  • Allow students to cancel and reschedule lesson times (if you allow this—I don’t, and I don’t really recommend it)
  • Control which time slots students can and cannot sign up for
  • Email notifications and reminders
  • Integrate with google calendar, outlook calendar and/or icloud calendar

So here goes….

Calendly.com  – FREE to $8/month

Calendly is simple, elegant, and a basic version is free. People sign up for their own slot (in timeframes designated by you), and then it sends both of you an email and adds it to your Google calendar!

What it does:

  • Allows group slots with attendance limits – such as for recital sign up or other group events.
  • Students can cancel and reschedule all your available slots at will.
  • Confirmation and cancellation emails
  • Integrates with Google Calendar (but not reminders)
  • It is easy to use and it works.

What it doesn’t:

  • It will not create repeating appointments, so it’s not really practical for keeping your regular lesson schedule.
  • If you want to have more than one type of event, you have to have a paid subscription—this could be a problem if you want to separate recitals vs. lessons, 30-minute lessons vs. 60-minute lessons, etc.
  • In my testing, I didn’t get email reminders of appointments, and google calendar didn’t automatically remind me either. But, if you don’t need reminders of your own appointments, $8 a month isn’t much if it works for you!

Youcanbook.me – FREE to$16 – $48/month

You Can Book Me has a lot more bells and whistles than Calendly. The paid version could be an option for a larger studio with multiple teachers. The free version does nearly everything that Free Calendly does—and some cool things it doesn’t do.

What it does:

  • Students can cancel and reschedule at will
  • Recurring appointments
  • Different length appointments (equivalent to different kinds of appointments that Calendly charges you for)
  • Group slots with attendance limits
  • Confirmation and cancellation emails
  • Integrates to Google calendar—INCLUDING setting up reminders!
  • Accept payments for appointments via Stripe (for an additional 1% commission on top of Stripe’s fee)
  • Upload your logo for consistent branding
  • Text message reminders (you must purchase additional SMS credits to use this feature)
  • And more…

What is doesn’t: (in the free version)

  • Send email reminders (but if you have google calendar and text reminders, do you need them?)
  • A bit less user friendly – I had to dig deep into the feedback pages to figure out some of the features

There are a lot of extra bells and whitles you can get if you pay for the premium version – including multiple team members (i.e. teachers), email reminders, and waiver of some of those extra 1% commissions.    If you’re looking for function, you want You Can Book Me, if you’re looking for simplicity, you want Calendly.

There are a couple others out there which you may have seen as well:

Codafish.com – FREE to 30% of fees

Codafish is an online teacher registry where students can search for teachers, book lessons, and pay for your online content. They are trying to be competitors with Music Teachers Helper and My Music Staff, but I think they are really offering something fundamentally different.

The calendaring features are pretty basic, and the student data management is almost non-existent. This software seems to expect you to be a freelance teacher who teaches one-off lessons on a week-by-week basis to anyone who signs up with you.  I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I want to run my studio.  I want a solid student body who comes at their designated lesson times, week after week for years at a time. I don’t think this application supports that kind of studio paradigm.

That said, you COULD use it for certain things, such as scheduling one-off make up lessons on a first-come, first-served basis.  It’s free to sign up, and you only pay if somebody pays you for something, so you can check it out and see if it works for you!

What it does:

  • Allows students to book your available slots (if they have a Codafish account and are logged in)
  • Allows you or student to cancel (no email)
  • Accept payment via Codafish (Via Stripe for an extra fee)
  • Allows you to have video content behind a pay wall – but they charge your student an additional 30% over and above where you set the price.

What it doesn’t:

  • Codafish does not allow you to schedule recurring lessons, or to schedule group events.
  • In order to add students yourself, you have to log out, and pretend to be the student logging in.
  • In my testing, I received no email when a lesson gets canceled – if you’re depending on this for your daily schedule it could be a problem.

Scheduleonce.com $5-49/month

It’s not free – but if does everything!

Scheduleonce is more geared towards the more traditional business person than the independent music teacher.  The $5/month version is extremely basic, and you’d probably be better off with Calendly or Youcanbook.me’s free version.  In order to get the bells and whistles, such as group meeting (i.e. lesson) slots, you have to pay at least $19/month.  It integrates with webinar applications (at an additional cost), but unless you are teaching group lessons online using a webinar service, that wouldn’t apply to you.  This is probably not the best option for private music teachers. However, if you’re running a larger music studio with multiple teachers, or if you need some of those bells and whistles, you might check it out!

Up next week: Creating an e-Newsletter for your studio!

2 thoughts on “Music Teacher Scheduling Software for Private Studios”

  1. I used YouCanBookMe for all of my summer lessons, which was really convenient. ALL students took 45 minute lessons and they were sent reminders about their lesson times. It worked really well, and was definitely worth the money since it was almost totally hands off for me.

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