Giveaway & Review: Music Studio App – Moosic Studio

Music Studio Management App Giveaway via Artiden

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.

First Impression

MoosicStudio Review

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’!

Dashboard

MoosicStudio Review

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

MoosicStudio Review

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.)

Schedule

MoosicStudio Review

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).

Lesson Details

MoosicStudio Review

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.)

Lesson Notes

There’s a lot of typing to do in taking lesson notes. It would be good to get a keyboard for this.

Recordings
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.

Library

Click 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.

Design

MoosicStudio Review

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.)

Brand Crisis

MoosicStudio Review

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.

Website

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).

The website is selling two things at the same time: the iPad and the app. That’s hard. Even Apple only pushes one thing at a time on their website.

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.

Pricing

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.

Want to try the app? Moosic Studio is giving away one FREE app to a lucky Artiden reader!

To Enter:

Leave a comment below with one studio management tip for new teachers! What keeps your studio together?

Please use a valid email address for notification purposes.

It’s a random draw, so up your chances of winning with bonus entries…

Get Bonus Entries:

Giveaway ends on June 14th 2013, midnight PST, and the winner will be announced here shortly afterwards.

Giveaway Rules

The winner is Christie (#25)! Congratulations!

37 Comments

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  • Kelly June 12, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Make an attendance schedule for each teaching day for the whole year.

  • Cherisse Miller June 12, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I shared on Facebook and Pinterest and already on mailing list. Thanks for entering my name for the giveaway.

    • Grace Miles June 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Good luck. Do you want to share a studio management tip too?

  • Anna June 12, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Your Studio Policy is your “business plan in a nutshell” for your clients. Spend careful time plotting this out, and review policies of other teachers to get some great ideas!

  • Kate Hofherr June 12, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Wanted to enter this contest this app sounds so good!! Love your blog!!!

    • Grace Miles June 12, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks, Kate! Do you want to share a studio management tip?

  • Anna June 12, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Shared on Facebook,Twitter,Pinterest … “liked” your Facebook page … following you on Twitter …joined e-mail list.

  • Deborah June 12, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Thank you for this review. I have been using a web based management took but this looks really interesting. I’d like to win it.

    My tip: consider yourself a small business owner and have a professional presence. That means having a clear policy. Consider tuition paid at eithe the beginning of the month of by the semester, no make up lessons, and high standards and expectations for your students.

  • Patti June 12, 2013 at 10:33 am

    I keep track of everything on my iPad – attendance, schedule, lesson notes, etc. It saves lots of time (and paper). This app looks very interesting since it’s designed specifically with the music studio in mind. Thanks for a chance to win.

  • Hannah June 12, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I agree about the policy!! That is SO important and saves tons of stress later.

    I know this sounds obvious, but I have learned to always always write it down when I receive a payment because I am not going to remember it later no matter how hard I try.

  • Hannah June 12, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Also I follow your blog :)

  • Merri Williams June 12, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Set your annual calendar *before* the beginning of the new studio year. For example, I have mine already set before August 1 when we begin our new year. I have all recital dates, festival dates, group lesson dates, planned off weeks, etc. included, and I give a copy of this to the student in their yearbook folder as well as emailing one to the parents. That way, no one can come back to me later in the year, complaining, “We didn’t know this was when the Federation Festival was happening!” I always point them back to the calendar and reinforce it by forwarding a copy of the previous email that I sent.

  • John June 12, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Whenever I have a new piano student, I have a premade questionnaire I give them with questions such as “Why do you want to take lessons” and “What do you want to be able to accomplish after a few lessons (or taking for a year)?” As well as their personal interests, “Are there any specific pieces you really want to learn?” and “What kind of music do you listen to? Any favorite bands, singers, or groups you like?” et. al. At the very top, I have my contact information, as well as blanks for the parents to fill out their best method they can be reached at. After the informal interview with parent(s) and student, I give them a copy of the page and I keep the original for my files. Although it’s paper/pencil method (and almost like going to the Dr.!) it’s a one time thing and as a teacher, It gives me all the necessary contact info, I can track what the student’s personal end goal(s) are and plan ahead in regards to repertoire that would interest them.

    • Grace Miles June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      The doctor analogy is actually really good! Sometimes when you critique, you’re seen as ‘judge’, when you’re more of a doctor, helping to fix and heal. It’s a good one to mention once in a while.

  • Emily June 12, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Keep notes of your students progress. This allows you to show them how far they have come when they get frustrated. It also allows you to show their parents what progress has been made.

  • Emily June 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    Keep notes of your students progress. This allows you to show them how far they have come when they get frustrated. It also allows you to show their parents what progress has been made. I also keep a portfolio for each student so that I can keep all of their theory and other creative assignments in one place.

  • Jacqui Graham June 12, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    The best way to prosper your music studio: just be the best music teacher you can be, and love your students to bits. Give them your best, and they will do the same! I have found that this creates loyal students and passionate parents. Also, the most effective advertising is word of mouth, and the best billboard is you. Always be prepared with your business card and a smile!

  • Amanda June 12, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Always have your families sign a “contract” at the beginning of each school year. It should include the number of lessons they will receive along with your fee and cancellation policy clearly worded.

  • Leia June 12, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve already bought the app, so no need to enter me (pretty sure I follow you and Moosic Studio in all the right places too :D) but I just wanted to enter my $0.02 and say that this is really a great app. As it’s very new, some improvements can be made as you suggested, but I know they are working towards making it the best studio manager app there is.

  • Jody Brickman June 13, 2013 at 3:51 am

    During the first interview I give the parent my studio policy and we read it together so I’m sure they know upfront what my studio is about. I ask them to sign a contract with a registration fee in order to reserve a space in my studio. I spend a lot of time in that interview getting to know the perspective student and parent so that I can advise them about what piano study involves. I try to find out how many other afterschool activities they do so i can help the parent plan practice time. After a few days I send them an email thanking them for their visit.

  • Betsy June 13, 2013 at 5:05 am

    My best tip to new teachers is to set an annual tuition and then divide that into equal monthly payments over the term. Then collect those monthly payments at the BEGINNING of the month – or better yet – in semester installments. Life is easier for everyone this way!

  • Christie June 13, 2013 at 7:06 am

    Take the time to get to know your students and have as much fun with them in the lessons as possible. At the beginning of each lesson I always ask how their week was and what’s new in their lives. It connects you to them more and the parents get to see that you care.

  • Christie June 13, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I shared on Facebook, liked on Facebook and joined the email list.

  • Karine LeBaron June 13, 2013 at 8:48 am

    I am currently using MusicTeacherHelper and very much open to switch to Moosic Studio. Monthly fees of MTH are very high. I believe they both very similar with the difference of saving a lot of money.

  • Becky June 13, 2013 at 11:19 am

    If you have a studio policy (and you should), make sure you stand by it!

  • Robyn R June 14, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Share a policy handbook (or handout) at the start of the year. Then stick to it and remind others if they get lax in areas.

  • Robyn R June 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Follow on FB

  • Robyn R June 14, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Follow on twitter @coolestmommy

  • Richard June 14, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Keep records of everything. I do mean EVERYTHING!

  • Natalia Sweeps June 14, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Make sure you record everything; payments, tuition, contact information, and keep it in one place where you can flip through quickly.

  • Natalia Sweeps June 14, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Followed on Fb.

  • Diane Densmore June 14, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I have an area just inside the door to my studio where parents know they are supposed to check each week. There is a bulletin board with the yearly calendar and the currents month’s calendar posted and a whiteboard with announcements and reminders for upcoming group classes, recitals, and other events. There is a table where I leave any paperwork they need to pick up such as studio updates, registration forms for workshops and festivals, and monthly practice calendars. This is also where I put out their tuition envelopes each quarter when tuition is due. Anytime I have paperwork for parents to pick up, I label everything with the parents’ names. That way if someone forgets to pick theirs up, I can tell who forgot because their name is on the paper!

  • Moosic Studio June 16, 2013 at 7:01 am

    Congrats Christie on winning the giveaway!

    Thank you all for your interest in Moosic Studio!

    To celebrate Father’s Day, we’ve lowered the price for Moosic Studio to $34.99 in the US and it has been lowered an equal amount in your country as well.

    Here is the link to Moosic Studio on the AppStore.
    https://itunes.apple.com/app/moosic-studio-student-music/id594717206

  • Cathy November 8, 2013 at 6:20 am

    Your studio policy is your most important tool and have parents sign it.

  • jody October 23, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    Clearly communicate with the students your encouragement and expectations. Help them meet their goals and explore different musical styles. Encourage curiosity and questions!

  • Joanna November 4, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Invoicing every month! Saves having to deal with multiple payment reminders, emails, phone calls, etc., and also adds to the professionalism of the studio.