If there’s one thing we’ve learned since building My Music Staff, it’s that private music teachers and instructors each have their own unique way of running their business.
- Some do single lessons and are paid in cash after the lesson
- Others are paid in advance for a month or even a full semester at a time
- Still other teachers are post-paid, invoicing and cashing checks only after a month or two of teaching has concluded
What’s the best way to charge your students for lessons?
The truth is, only you can be the best judge on which is right for your music studio. That’s why we designed My Music Staff to be able to handle any of these flexible invoicing options (and more!) so you can take the approach that you’re most comfortable with.
Let’s tackle each one and show you how to set it up to work with My Music Staff in no time at all.
The rest of this post is going to operate under the assumption that you’ve already setup your account with My Music Staff and have entered your current students into the system. If you need more details on how to do those steps, check out this link here.
Getting Paid in Cash at Time of Lesson
Many teachers and tutors just want to keep things simple by getting paid in cash at the time of the lesson. How does My Music Staff help without needlessly complicating things?
First of all – as great as it is to get paid in cash – you need to keep track of when a student has and hasn’t paid. It’s all too easy to collect the payment, slip it into your pocket and promptly forget to mark it down somewhere.
That’s why we encourage you to use My Music Staff to take attendance in real time; add a My Music Staff bookmark to your iPad, iPhone or Android device and use it in your studio.
Trust us – it’s the easiest way to keep from having to play catch-up later. Even if you are paid in cash and don’t have a lot of students to manage, this single step will keep your studio running smoothly when it grows.
Login to My Music Staff, from there you can easily take attendance inside the home screen. As soon as your student arrives (or at the very end of the lesson – which ever works best for you) simply collect your money and then select the “Present ($)” option from the drop down menu. A little checkbox will appear labeled “Paid at Lesson”. Tick that box and My Music Staff will record this payment automatically.
You now have a record of the lesson for your records, and you can print it off at any time should your student or their parents request it.
If a student over or under pays (because you didn’t have change, or they came up short), My Music Staff can track that too. When you select the “Paid at Lesson” option, you have the chance to enter in the amount that the student actually paid you. This amount will be credited to their account, so you can always see who owes what.
Post-Paid Invoicing for Music Lessons
Some find that it’s much easier for them to invoice students at the end of each month. This makes it simpler to manage when the amount owed by each student varies month to month.
Again, in order to make this work you only need to schedule the lesson in the Calendar, and take the attendance for My Music Staff to keep track of how much you’re owed. When you mark a student “Present ($)”, the lesson amount is automatically added to the student account.
If a lesson is cancelled, you can choose one of the “Absent” attendance options. If the attendance option you choose has a dollar sign beside it “($)” it means the lesson will be added to the student’s account. If there’s no dollar sign ($), there will be no charge for the student.
At the end of your last lesson for the month, you can then quickly generate an invoice for the month and print or email it.
Pre-Paid Invoicing for Music Lessons
In terms of cash flow, pre-paid invoicing is about as good as it gets. If you’re in the position to be able to do this at your music studio, more power to you!
It’s very easy to do pre-paid invoicing with My Music Staff.
- Schedule in all the lessons for your student along with the price per lesson
- Click over to the “Families & Invoices” section
- Click the invoices tab, enter the date range and click the green “Create” button
You can now either print off the invoice and hand it to the student, or press a button to send to the family via email. You should still take attendance in My Music Staff, so that if a student misses a lesson you can credit them a make-up lesson (or carry the cost of the lesson forward to the next month).
Attendance and Make-Ups
When you take attendance, look for the “($)” on the attendance status. If you see it, then it means the cost of that lesson will be added to the student’s account.
My Music Staff can also track make-up lesson credits for you. When you mark a student “Absent, Make-Up ($)”, the cost of the lesson is added to the student’s account and a make-up credit is also added to their profile. The next time you see the attendance for this student, a new option labeled “Present, Make-Up” will appear. This option does not bill the student and will deduct the make-up credit from their profile.
What if I bill the same amount each month?
Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about you! When you create your student profiles, set the student’s Billing Type to “Student pays the same amount each month”. When you take attendance, the student’s monthly charge will be automatically generated. (In months where the student doesn’t take lessons, like in the summer, no monthly charge is generated.)
You’ll create invoices the same way other music teachers do.
Manage your music studio your way
So as you can see, My Music Staff will work with you no matter which way you choose to run your music studio.
There are other great reasons to use My Music Staff, even if you have only a few students. You can take advantage of all the professional features that the larger music studios have, like invoicing, scheduling and smart-phone compatibility even if you’re not quite at that level yet – without paying the hefty price tag.
You can use My Music Staff to email your students, manage your lessons with the built in calendar, keep track of items you lend out and upload files that only your students can access.
Plus, our free website makes it easy to promote your music lessons online, even if it is in your spare time. Now you have an easy way to setup a professional page to promote your music studio for nothing. You’ll also like how professional you’ll feel when you tell parents and students that they can even login to their own area on your website – how can you beat that?