If you teach music, stick around because this one’s just for you!
I’m excited to tell you about a giveaway and review that’s happening right here!
I’m talking about Moosic Studio— it’s an app that helps you manage your music studio.
When Carlos, the creator, asked me to try the app– that replaces all my studio papers— I was intrigued… and I gave it the nod for trying it out because it looked high-quality (not to mention, fancy).
Here’s the story behind the app, as Carlos tells it…
I started creating Moosic Studio because my wife, Margaret, needed it– a solution that manages her business and keeps track of her students and lessons.
I found a couple of solutions out there, but most were clunky and confusing to use, and cost a few hundred dollars.
Since I have a background in mobile games and applications, I started to sketch out what we wanted in an app.
Working from the house, I was able to listen in on Margaret’s music lessons, and bounce ideas off her.
The hard part was funding the app. It took most of the year to save enough for development. It was done by a local developer in here Raleigh, NC; he really streamlined my designs into what you see today.
Let’s see if the app lives up to it, shall we?
If you want some free studio management, don’t forget to enter the giveaway to win your own!
What does MoosicStudio do?
The app helps you manage your studio; it keeps a record of your students, payments, and books. It’s an iPad app, so you’ll need an iPad to use it.
I get started right away, there’s no long-winded tutorial. Everything looks clean and organized.
It has the classic iOS style, so the learning curve isn’t bad.
Note: It’s okay if you turn the iPad sideways; I just decided to hold it vertical the first time I opened the app. When it’s sideways, a sidebar shows up (see below).
I like the dashboard and the sidebar; everything is right there. Super convenient and simple.
Let’s get crackin’!
Click here for details
I like this. All the icons are useful, except for the number of books in my library. It’s not going to change everyday, and I have much more music than I care to enter into the app. This number doesn’t mean anything.
Instead, I’d like to see some analytics. Maybe an icon linking to a graph that shows my income compared to last quarter or some other data that’s useful.
Reminders that pop up once you open the app would be great, e.g. “Remember to collect payments for new cycle.” (I’m pretty forgetful.)
Contacts & Students
To start using the app, you’ll add students (from your contacts, or make new ones).Click here for student details
I like the student info (for example: age); it works like a registration sheet.
The app’s goal is to replace the studio papers, and it does well here.
It lets you sort students 5 different ways. Cool, but no one needs a big bar right there– we don’t sort students everyday. A button saying “Sort students by…” that saves your choice, and shows it that way every time, is more useful.
I like how it shows the students’ current lesson times (e.g. Wednesday at 3pm).
But, if your students are in other studio things (like recitals, or more classes), it’ll just say “Multiple Lessons/Events”. Kind of disappointing.
It would be good to sort students by Lesson / Event type, e.g. to see how many students I’ll have at a recital.
I like the student’s status settings: Active, Inactive, or Waitlisted. If you treat your waitlist the right way, you’ll always have some backup. (And you can email all your active students at once… pretty nifty.)
With each student, you’ll need to make a parent/paying party. It can be a hassle to set up, but the payments will be clearer because you can have 2+ students from one family.
I hear that you’ll be able to bill and send invoices from the app soon! (Plus student/studio expenses.)
This shows all the events and lessons for the week.Click here for schedule details
Every time you add a new lesson, you’ll go to Student– you can’t add it in Schedule.
When I’m setting up lessons, I like to look at my calendar and add it right away. Going through 4 actions (I counted) to get one thing done isn’t that fun.
Okay, once you set a series of lessons, you can’t change it. You’ll have to delete it and set a new one. (Not a crippling problem, but it’s annoying.)
But, you can swap lessons with other students or cancel lessons in the same series.
The Schedule is a list of events, and I need more than that to function sanely.
I need to see things at-a-glance (like a monthly/weekly calendar).
To write lesson notes, you’ll go to the Weekly Schedule. It also generates an assignment sheet (great idea!) to print or email.Click here for lesson details
I like how you can assign playing, like the circle of fifths or sight reading, and how easy it is to make an assignment sheet.
The assignment sheet is a great idea, especially for younger students who need to keep track of their playing.
Two issues here: a) you can’t move back and forth between lessons in the app, and b) you can’t see all the lessons in the month to jump around.
I need to see what happened during the last lesson; moving between lesson dates should be easy.
Also, is it really that important to track whether students bring their books? (Can’t it be a custom field that people can add if they want? I’d rather not have that clogging my screen and data.)
I’d like to see an overall view of the data. For example, the student’s overall progress across a period of time.
Or how often students bring their books. (If I really want to track that, then I should be able to use the info somehow.)
There’s a lot of typing to do in taking lesson notes. It would be good to get a keyboard for this.
It lets you record sound and video during lessons– I like this. It’s a great idea, and wins over the pen/paper thing.
But, I still need a way to see all the recordings. I’m not going to press through every lesson looking for one recording.
LibraryClick here for library details
I hear that you’ll be able to track book lending soon. Right now, it’s not meant to house your entire collection.
This can be useful; many teachers lose their books because they don’t track their lending. Having a barcode-scan and automatically entering the information (author, edition, etc.) would be great.
Overall it looks good– it’s well-designed and balanced.Click here for design details
The logo is clean; the curved lines and the cowboy style makes the app look “fun”, like a game. (Which can be a good thing.)
Here’s what I call brand crisis: The logo and website look so fun and exciting, but the actual app is calm and sophisticated.
The app’s icons have strong, straight lines, and it’s all in black & white, sharp corners– the complete opposite of everything before it. Fun yellow cowbell? Nope.
People aren’t going to say, “Oh no, brand crisis!” But they’ll feel that something is off and they’ll be distanced from the brand.
It’s like stepping into an new world; the icon looks so fun and inviting, but once I press it, there’s suddenly a serious, no-nonsense world. Either style is fine, but Moosic Studio just needs to stick with one to get out of the brand crisis. Especially if Moosic Studio wants to come out with other apps in the future.
It looks nice overall. It piqued my curiosity– why pay so much for the other tools out there when you can have this for a 1-time fee– how does this compare?
The website assumes that I don’t have an iPad, so its ‘low price’ means I can buy the iPad ‘without feeling guilty’.
But I have an iPad… even if I don’t, I’m not going to buy an iPad just because a site says so– it’s a huge 1-time investment, aka risk, and Moosic Studio isn’t a trusted brand yet (branding above).
I’d try people who have iPads already, e.g. how well the app organizes studios (vs pen and paper). There are tons of them out there; just look at iPad sales.
Compared to the other management apps & websites out there, $39.99 is a great one-time price.
I don’t like paying monthly fees, especially if it means that I lose my data if I cancel. Buying this means I’m in total control.
Is Moosic Studio Good?
Moosic Studio is a great alternative to traditional pen & paper management or other apps out there in terms of price versus function.
I see lots of potential; it can be very helpful to any music teacher. (Did I mention it has “guitar lessons”, “camps”, and more?) It’s easy to enter info and it’s not hard to start using.
There are lots of great functions but it needs to be more streamlined, and work as one. (For example, why can’t I schedule events at the Schedule? Why is it in Student Info?)
I’d like to run back ups or export data. And I’d like to see some analytics; I’ve entered tons of data and I want to use the data easily. Show me graphs. Anything.
Although Moosic Studio can be more intuitive, it helps you get organized– that’s worth paying for, especially if your studio is chaos.
Carlos and his team has done a great job so far and I can see this going to great places. They’re sharing something unique with the world.
Leave a comment below with one studio management tip for new teachers! What keeps your studio together?
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Giveaway ends on June 14th 2013, midnight PST, and the winner will be announced here shortly afterwards.
The winner is Christie (#25)! Congratulations!