Music Teacher - Progress Update
Six months on from launching the national database of music teachers, known as MusicTeacher.co.uk, I thought I would be a good time to give a progress update on the development of the platform, both from a business and design point of view.
It has been an exciting first half a year of fast paced development: the teaching community has grown rapidly, with 208 music teachers, across a wide range of different instruments, joining the website during those first six months. We have had student enquiries coming through as well, the first ones coming in as early as the 26th March, with consistent enquiries coming through Drum Lessons Leicester and Guitar Lessons Manchester, far more than I could have hoped for in what remains an incredibly early stage of development.
The website too is able to interact with users from social media in a way that is entirely new for me, both as it is able to service users located anywhere in the UK, as well as music teachers wanting to use their profile pages to promote themselves via their own social media streams. This inadvertently helps to promote the websites as a whole, generating more enquiries for the wider teacher community every time a profile or article is shared. The MusicTeacher.co.uk blog has been a real creative outlet for myself, enabling me to promote some of the more interested items of news that pass across my desk to the teacher community - from competitions at Marshall Amps HQ in Milton Keynes to local festivals, music teacher job opportunities and educational resources.
Nonetheless, there have been setbacks too - from decisions to sandbox other projects like HomeGyms.co.uk and WeddingBand.co.uk to focus on this project, as I believe it has real potential - one greater than those previous two ideas, to implementing upgrades on the website that are not supported on legacy browsers (alienating some of the teacher's with older PCs who are unable to access the website - something that will be resolved in the next few months). I always feel launching a new project is a little like being at an airport, you wait around for ages for your flight, constantly checking your passport and tickets, finally board the plane and slowly start taxiing on the runway, the plane then stops, with the engines gearing up for full throttle before you start a very bumpy acceleration down the runway - we are certainly at this stage now, accelerating down the runway and believe me it is bumpy and uncomfortable, yet filled with the hope that we will get up into the air and the project will take off.
As soon as I feel that we have left ground, continuing the metaphor(!), I am incredibly keen to develop a teacher community area on the website similar to the one that have developed and cultivated on the MGR Music Tuition platform with 150 teachers I work with directly. This community area could be ten times bigger, and therefore ten times more useful, for the teachers within the community - providing peer support, ideas around best practise as well as a space to network and engage with one another in what can be quite an isolating job. This would see the database become somewhat of a dedicated social network for music teachers, where they can interact both with students and other teachers on a national level. My plan over the next six months is to take it to a place were the website has a micro-community of engaged active teachers using the platform, with around 500 teachers in the broader community. I will keep you updated how it goes!