Many people have found themselves working remotely throughout the last 7 months, including music therapists and teachers. With very little notice, we had to alter our plans to be conducive to the virtual experience.
As someone who is in their early 20s, you would think that I would have an upper hand with knowledge about technology. I, unfortunately in this case, do not fit that stereotype and had to really teach myself how to make this all work for my clients and students. So, how did I do it?
I’ve found myself primarily using two applications: Zoom and iMovie. I know, it’s pretty basic, but who knew such common programs would open doors for so many virtual learning opportunities? In today’s blog post, we are going to dive a little deeper into Zoom.
Summer officially begins in just a few days, and yes, we are still virtual. As much as I had hoped that the physical doors of my studio and music therapy private practice, Music Therapy Connections, would be open by now, they are not. The safety of our team and families is our #1 priority, and the risk of COVID-19 still remains too high to resume in-person services.
So we will continue teaching lessons and facilitating music therapy sessions virtually, as well as holding our music classes via livestream. After a 10-week virtual spring music class session, I enjoyed a glorious two week break (during which I celebrated both of my children’s birthdays as well as my own!)…but now it’s time to get back into the swing.
First things first: I must preface this post by explaining that I am NOT an expert at live video. I’ve had quite a bit of practice since it rolled out last year, but I’m still awkward and nervous as all get out every single time. As uncomfortable as live video makes me, I keep getting back on the horse because I have seen how far-reaching it can be.
We all know that Facebook has all but killed organic reach for business pages, which is why I put much more time and attention into my Instagram feed these days. However, since Listen & Learn Music has a pretty decent following on Facebook (which doesn’t even touch our Music Therapy Connections reach…#goals) I want to foster those connections. And since Facebook puts a high priority on live video and allows it to reach more people organically than other kinds of posts, it only makes sense to get in front of the camera.
I put a screenshot of a recent live video at the top of this post to illustrate how it shows up in the newsfeed. (If you click on the image, it will take you to the actual video.) I’ll be referring to it in several of my quick tips, which are as follows.
Now there’s an app based on the “Faces and Emotions” DVD for both iPhone and iPad: Autism Emotion, which you can download for free in the iTunes store. It’s a great visual teaching tool for helping children learn about different emotions through photos, text, narration, and music.
The app includes four of the emotions featured in the DVD. Each emotion contains a photo slide show of a child experiencing a specific emotion, and you can play the song I wrote for each emotion as well.
I downloaded this app yesterday, and though I may be a little biased, I think it’s a great resource for enhancing my work on the topic of emotions. It’s free, so check it out for yourself…and if you use other apps to help your kiddos learn about emotions, please share!
There have been many occasions on which I wished I was able to accept credit card payments. Here are just a few: when selling my CDs and songbooks at conferences, peddling demos at gigs, when a parent of a student forgets his or her checkbook and has no cash…the list goes on.
So when my friend and fellow studio owner Lisa Casciola told me about the Square Credit Card Reader, I was intrigued. I went to the website, where I found out that I could order the tiny little device for FREE, start an account for FREE, and immediately begin accepting credit card payments.
The square accepts all types of major credit cards and charges a flat 2.75% rate for every transaction. The best part is that the money is transferred to your bank account the next day. How convenient is that? The Square app can be downloaded to the iPhone, iPad and Android for free, and is super simple to use. Here are a couple screen shots of the app in use:
You simply enter the dollar amount and title of your transaction and then either swipe the card or enter the card number. It seriously couldn’t be any easier, and better yet, each transaction is completely secure.
For each item or service you sell, you can upload a picture that is displayed as an icon next to the item name. You can also personalize your receipts and let customers choose between paper (you can print wirelessly if using the iPad), email, or text. There is also an option for customers to add a tip. You can create reports to track sales and income, and even set up custom rewards programs for certain credit card types.
This device has opened up lots of new possibilities for me! Have you tried it yet, or do you use another method of accepting credit card payments on the fly?
Welcome! I’m Rachel Rambach, board-certified music therapist and creator of Listen & Learn Music — educational songs and musical materials for children. I love sharing my work with you, along with my behind-the-scenes creative process, adventures in business ownership, and life as a mom of two little ones.
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Next month’s music therapy sessions, early childhood groups, or classroom music…planned for you in advance.
Click the image below for this free resource and song collection!