I have never been good at keeping track of student records. I have realized that I am very right-brained, and anyone who knows me well knows that organization (not to mention laundry...) is not one of my strong points! (Who's with me?)
But when you run a piano studio, it's not all about the music and the creative aspects of the piano...(darn)...you also actually need to run a business and keep track of things. Today I want to share my system I have finally come up with that works so well for me. Not only does this help me keep track of when students pay me and such, but has turned into a super simple and effective way to lesson plan!
I have learned that by doing at least a small amount of lesson planning for each lesson, lessons go smoother and are more effective, I stay more organized and on top of what my students are learning and what they need to learn next, and I save lots of time trying to remember what happened at a student's previous lesson.
Here's what I do:
I have a spreadsheet for my studio with a page for each student. I keep mine on the computer in Excel, but you could just as easily print it out and keep it in a binder (in fact I have included a free printable for you to use! You're welcome.)
On this spreadsheet I keep track of:
- Student name
- Lesson day/time
- How many lessons they have had so far during the semester
- Which lessons they attended, or the dates of missed or cancelled lessons
- Tuition paid (how much, when and which lessons they have paid for)
- Lesson notes (this is my super simple lesson planning method. Each day after a student leaves or after I am done teaching for the evening, I sit down at the computer for about ten minutes and jot down notes from the lesson - what we went over, how they did on their practicing, things they struggled with, things they excelled at, things I want to remember, etc. This only takes a few minutes but is such an easy thing to refer back to the next week before they come to lessons again.)
- Materials needed (Here I keep track of materials they need soon - new books, flashcards, etc. I also jot down things I want to print out for them or teaching materials needed the next week. I can glance quickly at this column and see what I need to prepare or order for each student for their next lesson.)
Here is an example of things I write on my student records sheet. I usually highlight the weeks they have already paid for. If I make a cancellation, or if they don't show up to lessons, I note it in the Attended Lesson column so I know if I need to make up any lessons (when I cancelled) or if they forfeited one of their lessons for the semester (by being a no-show).
So here you go...a free printable for use in your studio if you, like me, have been on the search for a quick and easy way to keep track of things and to plan for lessons. You can also find this on the Printables & Downloads page.
Student Notes and Records
How do you lesson plan in your studio? How do you keep track of student records?