Why I Use Music Teachers Helper

Guitar Group Class

Pat teaching a beginning guitar group class at church.

I’m in my 3rd year of using Music Teachers Helper to schedule all my guitar students.  I started with a 5 student basic account (which is free!) and have grown to 20 students. (You can have up to 20 students for only $14 per month.)

3 years ago, I was searching for a way to present a professional image to prospective lesson clients.  One reason I chose MTH is because every account includes a super-easy way to design your own studio website!  Check out my studio website.  It’s definitely helped me attract new students.  Another reason I signed up with MTH is because of the lesson notes feature – I can easily keep a log of each lesson so I can monitor every student’s progress.  It helps me remember what I taught them last week!  MTH keeps track of all the administrative stuff, too: scheduling, automatic lesson reminders, makeup lessons, mileage, income, expenses, invoicing, etc.  My MTH calendar syncs with my google calendar and there’s even an iOS app!  (BTW, I hear there’s a major iOS app update and a new Android app coming soon!) Tech support has been great, too!

MTH isn’t all about the teacher, though.  Parents and students get their own login.  Students can check their calendars and log their practice time.  Parents (and adult students) can keep tabs on their account balance and they can even book lessons online!  MTH supports online payment via PayPal, too!

This is my honest, shoot-from-the-hip testimony of what I think of Music Teacher’s Helper and how it’s helped me grow my lesson studio business. For the music teacher, I can’t recommend their service enough!  Feel free to contact me as a resource to find out more about how I use Music Teacher’s Helper.  CLICK HERE to get a 20% discount on your first month with Music Teacher’s Helper for reading this post!

Learning the Celtic Strum

I have several students that are in various stages of learning how to play the so-called Celtic Strum.  If you’ve been around modern worship music at all in the last 20 years, you’ve heard this strumming pattern in hundreds of songs.  I’ve heard it called all kinds of things – the worship groove or energy groove – or even “that strummy thing.”

I was first introduced to the celtic strum via Paul Baloche’s original recording of Open The Eyes Of My Heart (Worship Leader’s Song Discovery Issue No. 5).  After that, it seemed like it was in every worship song – there have been countless others: Trading My Sorrows, Sweetly Broken to name a couple more songs that use this strum.

The Celtic Strum is a must-have for the strumming tool box for every guitarist.  Here’s how I break it down for the student:

The pattern is 2 measures long.  Starting with a down-strum, you’re strumming hand will move in a steady down-up motion for the entire pattern.  Every down-strum is an 8th note and every up-strum is an 8th note.  Here’s a PDF of the pattern in rhythmic notation:

Celtic Strum

The arrows show the direction of your strumming hand movement.  The numbers under the notes show you how to count out the rhythm.  Notice there are 4 groups of 3 and 2 groups of 2.  Counting this way will help you focus on the accents which will always fall on 1.  The key to the groove is getting those accents louder than everything else.

Get your strumming hand moving in that steady down-up motion while simultaneously counting out loud (making “one” louder than everything else): “One-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two, one-two.”  Start out slow and as you gain confidence, speed things up.  You’ll notice that your strumming hand will be moving in the opposite direction for the first 4 accents or ones and then down for the next two accents.  When you get to the end, loop it around again and again.  One of my students used my phone to make a simple video demo of the accents this morning:

I’ll add more to this post in the future.  Click like to let me know if you found this helpful.  I welcome your comments below!  Happy strumming!