You Can Take the Girl Out of Science…

…but you can’t take the science out of the girl.

aka: A Better Practice App Review full of cold, hard, facts; and why you might want some solid data on your studio.

Ready for an embarrasing admission?

Better Practice App Review: Data is good for business
All normal people, back away slowly.

I am a HUGE geek.  I love data.  I love crunching said data.  I love averages, percentages, and standard deviations.  I love making sense of excel spreadsheets with over 10,000 rows of data.

I love it so much, it was a large part of my job for a number of years. And yet, in my “new” job of Piano Teacher, there’s precious little data.  It makes sense–how often can we actually get real data? On how much our students practice? On how effective something we do is? On any kind of Return On Investment (ROI)? (Whoa, holy corporate jargon, Batman!)

For the first time since I left my day job, I have data to crunch!

Squeeeee!  My friends over at the Better Practice App pulled a bunch of data from my studio’s practicing, and here’s what I found!

In our first 49 days using Better Practice App:

  • 55 songs = my students’ average repertoire size (we call it a playlist)*
  • 12 songs = Average # of songs played per practice session
  • 81 = Maximum # of songs played in one day
  • 6:17 AM = Earliest practice recorded
  • After Midnight = latest practice recorded (or does that count as early?)
  • 70% of my students are 5-Day-A-Weekers. This means they play at least 5 days a week (this allows for some technical issues as we were getting used to the app.)
  • 42% are habitual 32-Day-Challengers.  This is basically the percentage of students who have not missed a day of practice in the last 2 months.
  • Only 1.6% of practice sessions were One-and-Dones . That’s when students play only one song, and nothing more.  I don’t have the hard data, but I’m positive that this percentage was higher before we started using the Better Practice App.
  • 26%  of practice sessions earn 20+ badges.  If it’s possible for a student to earn a 20+ badge (i.e. they have 20+ songs on their playlist), they do it at least 1 out of every 4 practice sessions.
  • On average, students play 26% of their playlist each day.  This means that on average, they get through their entire playlists roughly twice a week.
  • Students with smaller playlists (less than 20 songs) get through a much higher percentage of their playlists each day – more like 46% each day on average.
Do I sound like I’m bragging?

Okay, I admit it, I’m bragging a little.

But I would never have been able to brag without the data.  I can put these stats in my studio newsletter, or on my website, or just talk about them when I talk to future students!

Data like this is good for business.

It makes me sound like I’m on the cutting edge, and I sound mega-professional when I can spout a few stats like this.  If a future student is wondering, “Hmm, I wonder how good of a music teacher she is?”, I can quantify it.

I know what I’m doing as a teacher and I have the numbers to prove it. 

If you’re interested in trying it out, here is a Better Practice App discount code for you: 2caa88.  This code will give you 25% off the teacher rate for the first 6 months.  (Full disclosure: I also get a discount for referring you, but I’d never recommend something I didn’t believe in.) Also – it’s always free if you have 2 students or less, so you can try it out with a couple students and see how it works for you!

*I teach Simply Music Piano, which places a strong emphasis on building a large repertoire of pop, blues, classical, and accompaniments before students learn to read standard musical notation – so don’t freak out if your students don’t have 55-song repertoires.

2 thoughts on “You Can Take the Girl Out of Science…”

    1. Hi Neil – It took me several hours of setup, plus about 2 weeks to get everyone using it (some people were gone the week I rolled it out). I presented it as non-optional, but promised that if we all hated it by the end of July, we’d scrap it. I raised my rates by $5/month to pay for it and I was totally clear on why I was raising the rates. I’d say it took us about a month to really get solid on students using it properly and consistently–of course the kids were much easier than the adults. I hope that helps!

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