Supercharge Your Piano Studio Organisation with Google Gadgetry

Supercharge Your Piano Studio Organisation with Google Gadgetry

When it comes to piano studio organisation, there are many great options.

You might be a pencil and paper type of person, you may be using Microsoft applications, or even something specifically designed for music teachers such as My Music Staff.

But what if I told you there was a whole suite of free tools that could help you do things like assignment notes, studio scheduling, and communicating better with piano parents?

That’s what’s available at your fingertips right now, for free. The Google tools are so versatile. I’ve been exploring these resources a lot more recently and I’m ready to report back so that you can put them to work in your studio.

You may not know where to start with all this stuff – but that’s where I come in. Let me walk you through some of the possibilities for great studio organisation using Google. 

Calendar for Scheduling

The calendar possibly has the most obvious use of all the Google tools; lesson scheduling. This is currently my favourite scheduling tool for several reasons…

  • I love how easy it is to set up a recurring lesson time,
  • You can colour co-ordinate for different types of lessons or different locations,
  • And it’s also super simple to reschedule these lessons, either just for one week, or permanently.

But my favourite thing about Google Calendar, is its integration with This has been the perfect solution for my summer scheduling this year.

Families can jump into my calendar and schedule their lessons quickly and easily. Then those lesson times automatically import into my Google Calendar which I can see on my phone, my iPad, or my desktop. I can also share my calendar with anyone that needs to see my schedule.

This is what it looks like…

Piano lesson calendar

Of course, there are all sorts of calendar apps and tools out there for studio organisation, but if you’re in the market I think this is a great one for music teachers. Plus it’s free – what’s not to love about that?

Drive for Sharing

One of the simplest ways to keep in touch and share things with your piano parents is to give each family a dedicated Google Drive folder. This means each of your students and their families will have their own folder where they can find all the resources they need in one place.

What might you be sharing?

  • Audio recordings
  • Short videos
  • Digital sheet music
  • Backing track mp3s
  • Studio information
  • Newsletters

Having a dedicated shared folder like this helps to minimise the back and forth of email after email. It means that piano families always know where to look to find a resource you shared with them.

Email notifications

So each time you welcome a new family into your studio from now on, immediately open a new folder in your Google Drive and tell them this will be their one stop shop for all the things you need to share.

Over time, if you keep pointing towards this folder whenever they ask for something – they’ll learn to look there first, which could reduce your annual email count considerably.

Google Docs for Reporting

Google Docs is probably my favourite of all the Google tools. And my favourite way to use it?

Student progress reports.

I just started this system recently in my studio, and it has worked like a dream. This is still a work in progress, but here’s how I’m implementing these so far.

I have a ‘doc’ for each one of my students. At the top, I’ve listed the overarching goals for the year, and then a few secondary or complementary goals.

Next, I leave a space for links to videos, websites, or articles that parents or students might need. For example, I might include my flipped Thinking Theory videos, exam information or a great blog post about setting up a practice routine.

Underneath this, I write short progress reports every six weeks or so. These progress reports are simply three to four bullet points about how their child is going, and what might need improvement.

This is a very simple system but it’s such a neat way to stay in touch with piano parents and make sure they’re in the loop.

Too often, I see teachers having trouble with parents suddenly pulling their kids out of lessons, or pushy parents insisting that their kids do exams, competitions, or something else that wasn’t in the plan. A lot of the time, I think this happens because of a lack of clear communication.

Since parents aren’t in the lesson, they don’t witness the work that’s taking place, and the progress that’s being made. Learning a musical instrument is hard work. It takes a long time.

The more effectively we communicate the progress as it’s happening to the parents of our piano students, the more likely they are to bring up questions and concerns before the train is completely derailed.

I’ve had great feedback from parents so far about this Google Docs system. I think what they love is that it’s so simple. 

They keep the same doc for the whole year, and they know they can always jump in there to see where the child is up to. If you’re using the Google Drive system you can even just leave it in there with all the other stuff you need to share.

These reports take some of the mystery out of piano studies.

Of course, you don’t have to follow my format. This system of sharing a Google Doc with piano parents could be used to communicate whatever information is important to you in your studio.

Try it out for a while, and see if it helps you as much as it has helped me.

(Quick side note: did you know that Google Docs has a speech to text feature so you can write with your voice? It’s pretty nifty! In fact, I used it to write a draft of this post.)

Studio Organisation Supercharging Time

So you’ve heard how I’m using Google gadgetry to help me supercharge my studio organisation, how do you think they could help you?

Explore the Google tools that we have freely available to us and let me know what ideas you have to use them in your studio in the comments below.

Nicola Cantan

Nicola Cantan is a piano teacher, author, blogger and creator of imaginative and engaging teaching resources. Nicola's Vibrant Music Teaching Library is helping teachers all over the world to include more games and off-bench activities in their lessons, so that their students giggle their way through music theory and make faster progress. She also runs a popular blog, Colourful Keys, where she shares creative ideas and teaching strategies.

 feeling inspired? 

studio organisation google gadgetry
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  1. Hi! Thanks for all the info! I have never used Google Drive or Docs. If I set up a folder for each student as you suggest, how does the parent see their own folder? I don’t understand how it works.

    • You use the “share” button in Google Drive and it will send them an email to give them access.

  2. I can’t find link to your progress report.

    • You have to enter your details in the box in the post Heather, then it will be sent to you.

  3. Hi Nicola,
    Just a question about the whole google drive thing and sharing….I have a gmail account and google drive. Do I just create a folder for each student and then share that folder with the family? I just want to make sure they can’t see everything else in my drive (tech not savvy!)

  4. Tim,
    Where can I find the download that went with Philosophy & Goals Worksheet 2017?
    It gave the students opportunity to share their various interests.

    • Hi Sharon, thanks for commenting! 🙂 If you send me your email address I can provide you with the worksheet. 🙂

  5. Thanks so much for recommending YCBM, Nicola – happy to hear it’s working well for you 🙂

    YCBM Team

    • Does YCBM work in the US?

    • Thanks Mukesh! It’s an awesome tool! 🙂

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