If you’re anything like us, you’ll have had the realisation that a huge amount of your time as a music teacher is taken up scheduling music lessons. Somehow, scheduling music lessons has taken over your life.
You have three or four diaries, each with half attempts at beautifying your pupil lists and scheduling restrictions. But youuntil you’ve realised that there is no page big enough to map out the complications.
You have several accounts for teacher management apps that you’ve attempted to use, but realised they failed at the last hurdle.
So why is scheduling music lessons so complicated?
Let’s see if a few of these reasons ring true:
- One of your schools wants you to hand in a paper copy of your timetable every week
- Another one does the scheduling for you but keeps forgetting what days you are in and what time slots work for you
- Neither of them has given you access to any restrictions calendar for your pupils, so you don’t know when you can and can’t teach
- Your private pupils’ parents communicate with you in so many different ways, you’ve lost track of all the rescheduling requests that have been made
- The pandemic has moved a number of your students online, and you’re navigating several online lesson software platforms
We understand your frustrations – but we also know that there is a way to put everything in one place, automate your scheduling and hugely reduce your admin time.
The platform you’re looking for exists – you just have to be clear about what it is you’re looking for. Don’t commit to something that takes you 60% of the way.
What to look for in music lesson scheduling software
1. The ability to have your pupil list in one place
You might teach purely private students, or you might be in half a dozen music schools during the day and have a rotating door of more students in the evenings.
Whatever your setup, you need to have somewhere to put all your pupils. You could have different lesson planner spreadsheets or books. But if you’re doing all your lesson planning, emailing and billing in one evening, how much easier would it be if you could just use one list?
When looking for a platform to host your pupil list, you need to make sure that it allows you to write notes, track attendance and see availability. Additionally, it should also be able to sort and filter both your school and music students when booking lessons.
This way you can keep track of not just how many pupils you have, but also be able to focus on their progress.
Practice Pal’s instrumental teacher planner provides you with a pupil list to build a comprehensive pupil profile, adding their school, class, grade, and lesson day.
You can then add public notes for your student, and private notes for your own benefit. When you use Practice Pal, there’s nowhere else you need to go and no other tab you need to keep open to keep track of your pupils’ development.
2. The option to link your scheduler to your pupil list
Once you have all your pupil information, you will want to start scheduling lessons.
You may be able to add column after column of information about your pupil in a spreadsheet, or colour code in a diary, but what you really want is to take all the information and easily add it to a calendar.
This means that it will alert you if you try to add a lesson over a student restriction. For example, if their profile that they have a sports club meeting every Wednesday lunchtime, the software won’t let you schedule a lesson for that time.
Make sure that you use music scheduling software that reduces your scheduling time and workload, instead of just finding a new way to give you more hard work.
3. The ability to schedule music lessons quickly and easily
There are “solutions” to scheduling out there that, in reality, end up being the same Google calendar on a different website. You want to find software that will not only allow you to schedule your lessons, but also reduces the time it takes to do so.
Find a platform that learns as you plan, and has tools and automations to do the heavy lifting work.For example, at Practice Pal we’ve reduced lesson scheduling to a few clicks: once you’ve scheduled one week’s lessons, you can just copy them into your next week.
If you need to rotate lessons, we have a button that rotates your lesson down one time slot. If you have some students who have their lesson at the same time every week, just lock them in before hitting rotate and your other lessons will move around them.
When choosing an online instrumental teacher planner, make sure that you are picking something that reduces your time, instead of complicating it!
4. A way to notify guardians automatically
Another hugely time-consuming process is emailing, texting, whatsapping or calling parents to let them know when lessons are.
If you don’t have one single way of communicating with your students and their parents, you’ll find you’re spending whole evenings with your phone and laptop out, checking you’ve let everyone know what’s going on in the next week.
And if changes have to be made you have to go through the manual process again.
With Practice Pal, once you’ve scheduled your lessons and hit publish, students and their parents will receive an automated email letting them know when their lesson will be.
No more copying and pasting emails. An automated email allows you to professionalise your process and build trust in your music teaching business.
5. The ability to show you care about your students
Music scheduling software is an investment. You’re not just investing your money, but also your time as you upload your music teaching life onto one platform.
When choosing a music lesson scheduling software, you want to find something that goes beyond admin to also enhance the music lesson experience for your student.
This may be via lesson notes, online teaching tools, or practice support.
Practice Pal is built to enhance the music education experience for both teachers and students. Once we’ve got your lesson scheduling out the way, we tools for teachers to help their students learn and practice.
In addition to lesson notes (that will automatically be sent to students and their guardians), teachers can also record demo clips to help students with trickier pieces when they practice during the week.
We also give students their own accounts, where they can see their upcoming lessons, access resources you have sent them, and sign up for supervised practice sessions between lessons. These practice sessions are mentored online by professional musicians who help your students bed in what you have taught them.
Music scheduling software built for music teachers, by music teachers
The search for software that works for music teachers can be hard when you are trying to augment general scheduling software for your purposes. We know that teachers deserve better – that’s why we built Practice Pal. We want teachers to spend less time on administration and more time doing what they love – teaching music!
Start using our music lesson scheduling software for free and see how much time is saved when you use a platform built just for you.
Practice Pal in 2 minutes
Watch as we hurtle through the main features of Practice Pal. Like what you see? Book in a full demo and see how we can start transforming music lessons in your school.