Why I’m No Longer Selling School Memberships

Student Data and Privacy Requirements

Over the last year, I’ve seen a sharp increase in schools requiring that I sign a Student Data and Privacy contract.  I suspect these legal contracts are due to the increase in remote learning that came with Covid, as schools are making new efforts to keep students safe online.

Let me be clear — I support these efforts.  My intentions are good here on this site, and the site is secure. I don’t market to students, or sell or share student data, but there are bad actors all over the internet and schools should be at the forefront of keeping student information safe online. 

I do collect student names, email addresses and quiz scores, so that’s why I’m being asked to sign these contracts.  All that said — I am not a lawyer, my degree is in music education and I run this site as a labor of love.  I am a sole proprietor and this is a part time venture for me.   These contracts are lengthy, and this has increased my workload and costs in an area where I am not an expert.

Technical Updates

The site runs on WordPress with the help of several add-ons called plugins that power the course structure, gradebook, reports, etc. The internet is always evolving technically and there are frequent updates to improve these systems.  However, these updates often interact with each other and break —  and it can be costly to keep up with the changes to ensure things work smoothly for you.


The site has been a blessing for me financially, and while still profitable, post-Covid revenue is down.  At the same time, the costs to keep it online have increased.

As someone who taught choir for over twenty years, my gut take on this is that if I had to teach choir on zoom for a year and was forced to use remote learning tools to run a choir program, I would have abandoned those tools the second I had my kids back in the classroom.  I suspect there is some remote learning fatigue out there among educators.

It could also be that there are folks out there who have created superior products!  That’s fine — competition is good — that’s the way things are supposed to work.  But with the increased costs, technical challenges and decreasing revenue,  it just doesn’t make sense to continue things as they are right now. 


I am closing in on retirement and I have known for a while that I didn’t want to continue the work involved in maintaining the site when I retired.  Because I sell subscriptions, I can’t just shut things down on a moment’s notice.  I wanted to give you all notice and an opportunity to make other plans.

So what’s next?

I don’t want to sell the site, I’m proud of what I’ve created over the span of my career. So right now, I am pursuing two venues for maintaining the content:  Moving the content to YouTube and maintaining the Individual Subscription, which I would probably rename as “Annual Subscription”.  This subscription would not collect any student information.  There would be no student accounts or student reporting.


I’ve begun the process of moving most of the content over to YouTube in a new video format.  I am aware that some schools block YouTube inside school buildings.  I understand how problematic that can be for you as teachers.  But this is a big issue, and frankly —  not mine to solve.  There is good educational content on YouTube and at some point schools and YouTube are going to need to sort this out.  I wish there was a way to unblock certain channels — maybe some schools have figured it out.  

I like this avenue because the content would be available for free to anyone who wanted to access it.  And while it may be blocked in a school building, students could easily access it from home. What’s really appealing to me is the reach. I could reach a large number of students/singers/teachers who could benefit from the material at no cost.

It will take a long time to move it all over, but you can check out the progress here:  The Practice Room YouTube Channel.  You can help keep me going over there by liking videos, and subscribing to the channel.   You are welcome to share the link to the channel with any colleagues who may be interested.  I would appreciate that.

If there are certain exercises that you use a lot that are important to you, let me know and I’ll prioritize getting them over there.

A Simpler Annual Membership

I am considering maintaining a simpler annual membership, and I would love some honest feedback on this concept. This would provide anyone who subscribes access to the courses that you have now, the searchable exercise library and the downloadable workbooks.  

The price would be $69.95 for one year.  If you want to maintain access to the exercises without having to deal with YouTube, this would provide a way to do that.  You could share your login with students. One login to rule them all!

This way, I’m not collecting any student information — no names, emails, course progress, or grades.  It eliminates the student data and privacy legal issues I’ve been dealing with.

In an effort to be clear, here’s what would be removed:

  • student accounts
  • grades and the gradebook
  • courses and course progress, 
  • student reporting 

If enough people are interested, I would try this for one year.  I would love to hear if this is something you would be interested in.  Please be honest — it would not upset me to hear no.  Your honesty would be really appreciated.

Your Options

Right now as subscribers, you have options: You could login and download the workbooks now, and choose not to renew  — and save your precious budget money for something else.  🙂  I would support you in that, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to let you know now.  

You could also renew one more time, if you haven’t already, for the upcoming school year.

I know many of you have integrated this into how you teach — I am honored by that.  I didn’t want to pull the rug out from under you without some notice.  This will give you a year while you search for something else.

Questions I Anticipate

What happens to my account and my students accounts after October 31st, 2024?

All teacher and student accounts will be permanently deleted from the website and database. There will be no backups, everything will be wiped.

Will you be selling the student data?  (i.e. emails)

No, I would never sell or share student data — or teacher data for that matter — under any condition.

Can I export student data?

Yes, you can export the Gradebook, Course Reports, and Quiz Scores, though the last two will be tedious.  I would think hard about whether or not you really need this data.  The Gradebook export is a single click — perhaps that’s enough for you.

If your account has expired and you’d still like to do this, email me to regain temporary access.

What if I want the new annual membership?

If there’s interest and I move forward with it, beginning November 1st, 2023, you’ll be able to purchase that on the site.  So once your existing account expires, you can rejoin that way to maintain access to the courses, workbooks and exercises via the exercise library.

My account expires in [insert date after Oct 31, 2023 but before June 30, 2024].  I don’t want to lose access mid year — can you do anything for me?

You bet — I can prorate a subscription for you to get you to the end of this upcoming academic year.  Please email me at erin (@) thepracticeroom.net if you’d like to do that. Please note that if a lot of you want to take advantage of this option, it may take me some time to respond to each request. I appreciate your patience.

Please reach out with any questions.

Erin Lowell


The Practice Room