Supporting Online Music Lessons - My Music Staff » My Music Staff

Supporting Online Music Lessons in My Music Staff

13
Mar

Looking to transition into online music lessons temporarily or as a long-term addition to your studio offerings? With My Music Staff, all aspects of your business can be managed remotely – from any device connected to the internet. The platform has a number of features that will support your students’ learning, and offer studio owners and music teachers an all-in-one solution to online music lessons.

Here’s how you can get your studio ready to teach online music lessons:

Live Video Lessons

MMS has introduced video integration with Skype, Zoom, and FaceTime to help with the transition to online lessons. See below for instructions on how to get started or view the instructional videos here.

Skype

Once you have entered your students’ Skype usernames in their Student Details, here is what you need to do to get set up with MMS and Skype:

  • Go to Calendar and select “Categories” from the toolbar
  • Select the Locations tab and click “Add Location”
  • Name your new location (Ex. Online Lesson), select “Online Skype Lesson” from the address list and click save
  • When you schedule a lesson with the new location for online Skype lessons the location name will be clickable
  • Clicking on it will open Skype and automatically call that student

This feature works with group lessons too! Maximum of 9 students, but a maximum of 5 students is recommended. We chose to integrate with Skype because it’s free and works with nearly every platform (desktop, laptop, Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, etc.). This makes it simple for all of you and your students to be able to continue your lessons online without hassle.

Zoom

First you’ll need to sign up with Zoom if you don’t already have an account. Then, add your Personal Meeting ID to My Music Staff. Click here for single teacher studio instructions and here for multi-teacher studio instructions.

Next, you’ll need to add lessons to your Calendar:

  • Navigate to the “Calendar” from the main menu on the left
  • Click the “Categories” button above the calendar
  • Select the “Locations” tab and click the “Add Location” button
  • Give your new location a name and choose an icon to represent this location
  • Choose the “Zoom Meeting” option
  • When scheduling a lesson, choose the appropriate location from the “Location” drop-down menu

You can begin your Zoom meeting by clicking the location from the event details or from your Home Agenda by clicking the Zoom Meeting button. Students can join the Zoom meeting by clicking the link in the Student Portal Calendar, or the link in their email reminder.

FaceTime

To get started, you need to add the student’s FaceTime ID to their profile. Once you’ve recorded this, you can schedule your FaceTime lessons:

  • Navigate to the “Calendar” from the main menu on the left
  • Click the “Categories” button above the calendar
  • Select the “Locations” tab and click the “Add Location” button
  • Give your new location a name and choose an icon to represent this location
  • Choose the “FaceTime Lesson” option
  • When scheduling a lesson, choose the appropriate location from the “Location” drop-down menu

To begin your FaceTime lesson, call by clicking the location from the event details on the Calendar or from your Home Agenda.


Online Resources

The Online Resources section can be used to upload any files your students will need to access. Each file can be assigned to students so they can access them directly through the Student Portal. This allows you to upload a file just once, and share them instantly with multiple students. There is no limit to how many files you can upload, but an individual file is limited to 2GB. You can read about file upload speed here.

Some ideas for files to upload to Online Resources are:

You can use folders in different ways to organize your Online Resources. You may want to create a folder for each student and upload new files during their lesson time. Or you could keep different types of content in different folders – one for sheet music PDFs, one for audio files, one for video warm-ups, etc. Some My Music Staff members even use folders to organize their Online Resources into an online course!


Repertoire

Adding repertoire is another great way to manage lesson content with My Music Staff. Like Online Resources, you just need to add a piece of repertoire once, and can then assign it to multiple students as needed.

When you add repertoire, there will be an option to add notes. These notes will be available to any student that is assigned to that repertoire. This is a great place to include video/audio links, instructions, tips, etc. Switch to Plain HTML Mode to embed a YouTube video directly in the notes!


Lesson Notes

When taking attendance for a lesson, there’s a place for you to record lesson notes. This is where you can write out specific instructions for what your student should be working on. You can even leave separate notes for the parent, and private notes for yourself all from the same spot! Many teachers will use these lesson notes to provide details about technique, repertoire, progress, and what to practice leading up to the next lesson. This is a great spot to share links to external content as well, like YouTube videos or online theory games.

Tip: To better organize your lesson notes, use the formatting options and enable the option to copy previous notes.


Student Portal

Now that you’ve uploaded files, prepared content, and tested video conferencing, you’re ready for your families to access it.

If you’ve never used the Student Portal, you’ll first need to provide your families a place where they can log in, then send out their login information. You’ll also want to enable the beta Student Portal for a more modern layout and faster loading times. We recommend encouraging students & parents to add My Music Staff to their mobile/tablet home screen for direct, one-click access.

You can download a free set of Student Portal Cheat Sheets to share with your families. These contain simple instructions and screenshots for some of the most common Portal questions.

The Student Portal is a great place to share studio news & announcements. When transitioning to online music lessons, you may want to write a news post for the Portal explaining the transition, technical requirements, and any other details about what families need to know to make the switch.

Students can use the Student Portal Practice Log to track their at-home practice. Our recently released Practice Timer gives students the ability to simply click Start, practice, navigate to different areas of MMS, and add their time to the Practice Log once complete. They can also communicate more details with you by leaving notes in their Practice Log entry, or share a link to a video they recorded of their practice. If you enable the option to allow students to email you from the Practice Log, you’ll be notified right away when a new entry is added.


Online Payments

With all of these changes being made to your lesson offerings, you can’t forget about billing and invoicing. My Music Staff integrates with Stripe and PayPal Pro for online payments. By completely automating this process with auto-invoicing and Auto Pay, you’ll no longer need to chase down late or missing payments at in-person lessons.

Introducing online music lessons can feel like an overwhelming task, but My Music Staff is here to help! If you require technical assistance please contact our support team at support@mymusicstaff.com

 

Comments

  • March 13, 2020

    THANK YOU for making the setup of online lessons so easy! This is seriously helpful at a stressful time. My Music Staff is the BEST!

  • March 13, 2020

    THANK YOU FOR THIS!! I am so glad to know I don’t have to stop teaching altogether during this crazy time!

  • March 13, 2020

    This is awesome! Thanks so much MMS for taking the stress out of creating online lessons!

  • March 13, 2020

    Ya’ll are so on top of things! Thank you for your timely work!

  • March 13, 2020

    Amazing & so helpful as I am in the middle of this right now. Parents are requesting online lessons, so a huge thank you!!

  • March 14, 2020

    This is wonderful! Thanks to the team at My Music Staff for responding quickly to make our job as teachers easier and safer during this strange time.

  • March 14, 2020

    I’m new to Skype. How do you get a students username?

  • March 14, 2020

    Thank you MMS for all your up to date and timely changes during this difficult time. I am always so amazed at the wonderful work you consistantly do for your members! Brilliant!

  • March 14, 2020

    Imagine my excitement and joy over your launching this on the day our school announced a two-week closure – I teach at and through a local school. This is exactly what I needed. Hoping Skype can handle all the thousands, even millions, of users over the next 2-3 weeks. 🙂
    The ease of getting from lesson to lesson through your software makes the monthly cost worth it, even if there were no other features!

  • March 14, 2020

    Bravo!

  • March 14, 2020

    wow you guys are amazing – thank you so much

  • March 15, 2020

    Great timing! So glad you added this just in time. I’d love it if there was an option to click for Facetime connections. I’ll still make that one of my locations so I can keep track of which students are using which platform. And I did see that their phone numbers are clickable on my student list, which I hadn’t noticed before.

  • March 16, 2020

    Thank you!! You guys are awesome! A very timely addition – and a great feature to enable offering ongoing online lessons in the future! Excited (and relieved). 🙂

  • March 16, 2020

    Woot Woot! Thank you for quickly responding to what teachers need! Bravo!

  • March 17, 2020

    Are students and staff able to use their .edu email address for skype? we are having some trouble setting this up through skype?

    • My Music Staff
      March 18, 2020

      Hi Kelly. Unfortunately, this is something we cannot help with. I would contact Skype regarding this. We have no control over creating Skype accounts.

  • March 19, 2020

    Thanks, MMS team, for always doing so much to improve and move the platform forward. We appreciate it!!

  • March 20, 2020

    Fabulous – thank you for continuously updating and supporting your software. I just discovered the Zoom id on my own just before you sent this email out.

  • March 20, 2020

    You guys are legends! Thank You!. I’m loving my music staff and the parents love getting lesson notes after every lesson.

  • March 20, 2020

    I was literally just thinking about how to go about setting up an online teaching service to my studio, you guys bet me to it! Amazing!! Thank you!!

  • March 21, 2020

    So, so helpful! I sure appreciate all the extra hours you’ve spent in such a short time to make these features available. You guys think of everything! Bless you all during this time.

  • March 23, 2020

    I’m not sure if I speak for a lot of others, but I’m becoming more and more aware that I am SERIOUSLY underutilizing what My Music Staff has to offer. 🙂 Amazing stuff!

    For the online payments, is there a percentage that My Music Staff takes? The only reason I’ve hesitated with going online is the number of third-party cuts that are taken out of a payment. Square, WePay, PayPal, plus credit cards, those percentages have a tendency to add up.

    Thanks for all you’re doing! Keep it up!

    • My Music Staff
      March 23, 2020

      Hi Adam. We integrate with PayPal, PayPal Pro and Stripe for online payments and they have their own transaction fees, this has nothing to do with My Music Staff. Many of our users have said that these transaction fees are a small price to pay to ensure they get paid on time, every time. If you have any questions about getting set up with online payments, our support team would be more than happy to help! 🙂 They can be reached at support@mymusicstaff.com

  • March 23, 2020

    Thanks so much! I’m starting online lessons tomorrow! I’m a little apprehensive but I’m going to give it a shot!

  • March 23, 2020

    Thank you, MMS, for keeping current! Would you consider doing a survey to ask teachers what other online software they are incorporating into their teaching, please?

    Also, I have families that are self-employed or run small businesses. They currently have NO income. Can you survey how teachers are maintaining a balance between keeping students, creative billing/payment schedules, and making enough $ to pay their own bills, please?

    Thank you!!!!!