I am really excited to introduce this new studio management app for the iPad to everyone. When I came across Moosic Studio, the first thing that came to my mind is, will this ultimately do everything that Music Teachers Helper does? The answers to that will be in my review as I’m sure you are wondering the same thing. I had the opportunity to meet Carlos Fontiveros in person at the 2013 MTNA Conference last week. He was so nice as expected. Carlos developed this app for his wife, Margaret, who teaches piano and voice in her studio. He noticed a need and wanted to help (how lucky is she?!). So her benefit ended up being our benefit as well.
The first thing I noticed about this app was how clean the layout was. It was a basic layout that proved to be easy to navigate. On the center of the dashboard you will find options for: Projected Income for this month; Lessons Remain this Week; Active Students and Items in Your Music Library. Here is a screenshot of the dashboard (click to enlarge)…
On the left hand of the dashboard you will find sub-sections: My Students; My Studio; and Billing
The great thing about the My Students section is when you are setting up your student list it gives you an option to sync to your existing contacts in your iPad saving a ton of time! Once inside this setting, you can add notes, status (active student, etc…), skill level, instrument, grade, even school type (private, homeschool, etc…) and more. Then you add their lesson schedule and it even has a place for assignment history. Gone are the writing down the assignment days. Now just type it in- email, print, or share with Evernote, Dropbox, etc… Check out these screenshots (click to enlarge), I just love the layout!
Under the My Studio section you will find the Schedule and Library options. When you click on Schedule you instantly see your schedule for that week. Oh and did I mention that it can sync with your iPad calendar? Love! When you click on library you can add in the books your students are currently using. (Very helpful feature) Eventually there will be an option for book lending. Carlos mentioned that he would like to put in a barcode feature for book lending. (I would love to see a camera feature in this so I can just take a quick picture of the book and log it in that way…) Carlos explained the idea behind the barcode is that when the student shows up for their lesson, the teacher would scan the book barcode and the teacher would just have to enter page numbers and/or goals for that book. (Can’t wait for this feature!)
Next is the Billing section. This is where you will find the Parent/Paying Party List. Now the current version of this app does not have an invoicing feature, however the next update coming up in a few weeks will. This is HUGE!
Here are a couple mock up screen shots (click to enlarge) of what is coming in the next update. One for invoicing and the other for studio expenses to wet your appetite… You can see a lot more mock up screen shots at the the Moosic Studio Facebook page. (Highly recommend checking them out!)
Under the Settings you have the option of enabling a passcode (smart!). In addition you can turn on or off to show inactive or students on your waiting list. Under Scheduling you can set a default lesson length (30, 45, 60 and 90) Under library you can choose to order books by Title or Author. Also under the settings you will find a “Moosic Studio Walkthrough” which is tips to help you get started.
As I mentioned earlier, in a few weeks an invoicing and studio expense feature will be added to the app on the next update (remember updates are FREE!)
After the Invoicing update comes out, next on the list will be:
1. Répertoire Tracker
2. Studio Notes to attach notes to specific student, lesson or just add general notes
3. Ability to import your music library via a CSV file
Remember when I asked the question how does this compare to Music Teachers Helper or other similar programs? Well, aside from what you have read and seen in my review, Carlos answered that question with a comparison chart. This will give you side by side comparison of what it can and cannot do so you can see what is important to you or not.
My only wish is that it was also compatible for the iPhone as well only because when I’m out and about and I get an email saying a parent has paid me online (I use PayPal) I like to log in the payment right then and there. So I asked Carlos about this and he said that yes, the plan is to have an iPhone version probably within 6 months. When it does come out, existing iPad users will be able to download to their iPhones for free and they will make it easy for users using iPhone and iPad to sync with one another. The goal is to support the iPhone as soon as he can, because he will use that same foundation for another very cool app on the roadmap that will work with Moosic Studio: a student companion app. (Sounds great!) Which brings me to the other question that Carlos quickly answered for me. Will the invoices allow for a link for parents to pay via PayPal? The answer: “we can provide a way to allow the teacher to place an actual link in the invoice so when the user gets the invoice they can tap the link and pay their invoice online via paypal.com.” (Yay!)
All in all I am VERY impressed with Moosic Studio and am looking forward to the updates to come. I think Carlos did a great job and I know teachers will enjoy using this app in their studio to simplify the business side of things. I would highly recommend to stay updated by visiting Moosic Studio’s website, liking their Facebook page and/or following them on Twitter- @MoosicStudio. Be sure to check out their app in the iTunes store.
The beauty of Moosic Studio is because it is an app it is more affordable. (One time purchase versus a subscription) Normally the app is just $39.99! But Carlos just dropped it down to $34.99 (this was the MTNA conference special) for a limited time. Carlos gave me an important tip, you will not want to hold off on purchasing this app because when it updates in a few weeks (and includes the new invoice and studio expenses feature) the price will go up between $49.99-$59.99. (Still a good deal but might as well get even a better deal, right?!)
More great news is Carlos has graciously offered to giveaway the Moosic Studio app to one lucky reader from my blog. Whoohoo!!! To enter, like FPS Resources on Facebook and leave a comment on why you would like to win this app. (If you already liked FPSResources then just let me know along with your comment).
Deadline to enter is by 10:00pm MST this Friday, March 22nd. (*Winner MUST respond within 72 hours of announcement or another winner will be chosen*)
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this app in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own.
*Post updated at 7:54am