I have been using Music Teacher’s Helper for probably 8 years now, and I only started using the Lesson Notes feature a little over a year ago. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before… I guess I was just so busy teaching and creating fun lesson plans, I didn’t want to spend anymore time on admin tasks.
But one day I was sitting at my desk trying to think of ways to make myself stand out more as a private teacher. I had recently made my invoices and was logging my payments in MTH and I noticed the Lesson Notes option. I decided to give it a try for 1 month. I tried to keep each note short and to the point (otherwise I would never ever do this again). A standard note read like this:
“We had a productive lesson today! We started with an Improv, reviewed the practice songs, started a new one, did some Theory and played a game.” Depending on the student, I might add something like “Mike really enjoyed SKIP TO MY LOU and wanted to play it 5 times in a row!” Or on a rough day: “Mike was pretty tired today and didn’t feel like playing a new tune. I encouraged him to play it once and then we took a Theory break and did a worksheet before jumping back on the keyboard.”
I got quite a few responses back from parents after the second week. All were very positive. The lesson notes made me look very professional, they said. Moms and Dads liked knowing what the lessons were like, since they were not there in the room with us most of the time. It also seems comforting to them to know that I spend a little time outside of the lesson thinking about their kids and willing to communicate about their lessons.
The Lesson Notes are ESPECIALLY impressive to new families. Most parents expect their newly hired piano teacher to be a busy musician who doesn’t have time for administrative duties. I find that overall, they are fine with this idea. But when they get an email with Lesson Notes the next day, they are very impressed and surprised to see that they have hired a professional teacher who takes her business seriously. And since you appear to take your business seriously, they will take YOU seriously.
So how have Lesson notes worked out for you? Do you write them? Have you held back? If so, why? I would love to know your thoughts.