An Interview With A Teacher
So you’re the festival chair for your local music teacher’s committee and you’ve just found out this year, everything will be online. All music festivals, all music competitions, and even the theory test needs to be done online… But how?! With Simplissimo, transitioning to online music festivals and competitions is simple. Yes, we have several blog posts now about how easy it is for the teacher, the adjudicators and even the students.
Today we wanted to share an interview with an actual teacher who has used our program for two years now. If you don’t believe us that it’s easy to use, we hope you will believe her! We’re honored to share an interview with our friend and colleague, Sarah Alexander. Sarah is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music (NCTM) and very active in her local music teacher associations. She has used Simplissimo for two years so here are her experiences & thoughts about it. Hope you enjoy hearing how a fellow teacher has used this online music festival system!
What have you used Simplissimo for?
Sarah: I currently use Simplissimo to run two festivals per year for my local association. One festival is for multiple solo instruments as well as chamber ensembles. Simplissimo works seamlessly through all of the various components of each festival.
When Covid-19 hit our area, we were able to hold our festivals virtually through the Simplissimo platform. The judges appreciated how easy it was to navigate through the scores and performances as well as the fact that it didn’t require any storage of Google Drive, Dropbox, or other online platforms.
What are your favorite parts of Simplissimo?
Sarah: Everything is online! It is so convenient to have every aspect of the festival in one place. I can coordinate registration, payment, scheduling, festival information, teacher communication, and now even virtual judging all on the site. Axel is available with quick answers and solutions to the unique requests and situations that come up with each festival.
How did you convince your association to switch to using Simplissimo?
Sarah: With registration numbers reaching over 300 participants, our festivals were getting hard to manage with all the paperwork, emails, checks, etc.
SimFor our association, we chose to build it into the student fee. We were able to cover the cost of Simplissimo by slightly raising the student fee. We were anxious that we would have less participation because of the raise in fees, but instead our numbers keep growing!
How easy was it to use for you and for the other teachers?
Sarah: The design of Simplissimo is very intuitive and user friendly. As the chair of festivals, I was initially anxious about “building” it all online. But, with preset fillable templates available and the drag and drop feature of scheduling, it was very “simple!” Also, I am no longer worried about losing a registration, not scheduling a student, or having a payment lost in the mail.
For the teachers, from the newer to the more seasoned teachers, everyone is able to manage the online registration as it just requires the same information as the former paper version. The virtual festival was also easy to navigate by just uploading links in the teacher portal.
Would you recommend it to other associations?
Sarah: I highly recommend Simplissimo to any association, large or small, for festivals and competitions of various genres. It cuts down hours of work for me as the chair and helps teachers manage their festival registration and virtual submissions. My association will never switch back to our former way of running festivals and contests!
Thanks Sarah for sharing your thoughts today!
Interested in simplifying your music festivals or competitions? Read more about Simplissimo, the festival organizer you’ve been dreaming of here.
This interview is also shared on Whitney’s piano teaching blog, 4dpianoteaching.com.