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#1780088 - 10/30/11 07:11 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Morodiene]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Dustin and Morodiene,

Let me make it clear that the teachers (in Baltimore) that I am talking about are nothing like either of you, or anyone else on PW. These teachers would not have the slightest inclination to do anything like this. Absolutely no comparison was meant at all!
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#1780093 - 10/30/11 07:17 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Morodiene]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Yes, but what I have to offer is directly connected to what others do not. So if other teachers are awful teachers and should not be teaching, why should one not be able to use that as a reason to choose my studio?

My statements are provocative cause I'm a provocative person - It's my personality. My students like me for my personality and it just so happens I can at least play in books a wee bit past level 2. smile

I do think that teachers who make it a rule to stop their students mid flight are not doing them justice. Sure, do it sometimes, but it's important that the student get's to have fun.

But I admit, it is one sided. I stop my students mid flight as well, but I vary it up. I know some other teacher styles where they stop immediately the student makes a mistake. This is what I was referring too. It makes the student feel tense and they can't relax because they will become very conscious and afraid of trying.

Do you like my teaching philosophy at least? Many parents compliment me on that page and say that's the reason they chose my studio. Not because of other 'provocative' things I may say because I'm 24 and brash. smile


I've had some students who will keep playing no matter what the mistakes, and so each time they play a song it's different. One boy in particular had started doing this at some point and I asked him why he wouldn't try fixing his mistake when he made it and he said he was trying to play it like a performance. I commended him on this as it should be done, but *after* you've worked a piece to the point where you reduce the amount of mistakes. After this conversation, I had to stop him at each mistake so he would listen to his playing and become more aware of how it sounded vs. how it should sound. This took quite some time and I would probably stop him after the first note sometimes.

Was that bad teaching? I don't feel it was, and it was for a specific purpose. But you wouldn't know that if you asked my student, "How did you previous teacher go through your pieces with you?" and he answered about me stopping him all the time to fix mistakes. It's that sort of thing. There are always two sides (at least), and you can certainly address concerns a parent might have while not ragging on the previous teacher.

In my previous town I knew of many of the teachers and I would withhold judgment on those transfers from teachers I didn't know until I saw what the student was doing. Even if it later was proven that the previous teacher didn't really know what they were doing, I would let the student arrive at that conclusion in comparison to what they were learning with me. There ARE charlatans out there, but my qualifications more than speak out against them, and my results do as well.


This is a perfect example of what I am talking about. It will be the exceptional student (maybe someone with certain limitations, for example), who may turn to another teacher and place blame on the previous teacher.

Of course, it's a good idea to allow students to play through their pieces. There are specific goals that must be achieved, too, and that sometimes means playing in sections, and repeating certain areas in a piece. Students may balk at what they don't have patience for, but that doesn't mean the teacher is wrong.
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#1780123 - 10/30/11 08:03 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5962
Loc: Down Under
Dustin, some of what you say is just not adding up for me, nor is it fitting with what you've said in other threads elsewhere on PW.
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
So I only need about 2500 to live on my own with my own studio , all bills paid for by myself.
("by myself" - haha - Who else would be likely to pay them for you?)

But do you mean $2500 a month? And this includes rent, business expenses, taxation, educational expenses, household expenses, transport, maintenance of your piano??
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#1780124 - 10/30/11 08:06 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
I wondered about the tax portion, too. Taxes are a huge part -- somewhere between 15%-25% of income.
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#1780159 - 10/30/11 09:18 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: currawong]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: currawong
Dustin, some of what you say is just not adding up for me, nor is it fitting with what you've said in other threads elsewhere on PW.
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
So I only need about 2500 to live on my own with my own studio , all bills paid for by myself.
("by myself" - haha - Who else would be likely to pay them for you?)

But do you mean $2500 a month? And this includes rent, business expenses, taxation, educational expenses, household expenses, transport, maintenance of your piano??


$2,500 a month, yes. And why would it be so funny that I included the 'by myself' part? Some people have significant others that help pay the bills. Or they might have inherited a lot of money that helps them. Or if they are young like me, one of their parents could be continuing to agree to pay part of some bills. I know a few people my age that still have their parents helping them.

Also, in regards to the other comments, it is a different story when you make the agreement ahead of time to stop the student at every pause / wrong note / wrong rhythm / wrong styling, etc. If THAT is the case, then the student is prepared for it and if the teacher / student relationship is comfortable , then it shouldn't be any problem.

I suppose what I am referring to are the teachers who do this beginner students and don't make it a point to explain what they are doing or who ALSO don't let the student simply play and enjoy themselves once in a while.

I see how my comment can be confused as bashing more teachers than I originally wanted. I'll think to revise it. Thanks for the comments.
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#1780165 - 10/30/11 09:23 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Minniemay]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
I wondered about the tax portion, too. Taxes are a huge part -- somewhere between 15%-25% of income.


Oh, so it's only ok for churches and big dog corporations and millionaires to evade taxes? laugh

Anyway, 20% tax of 5,000 is 1,000. 5,000 - 1,000 is 4,000. 4,000 - 2,500 is 1,500. 1,500 profit before I raise my rates and before I add an additional 5 hours of students into my open slots.

I don't know about others, but I am comfortable with that when other people are losing their houses and becoming homeless in this economy.
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#1780186 - 10/30/11 09:51 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Very mature of you.
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#1780194 - 10/30/11 10:04 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: LeaC]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Very mature of you.


Wait a second, is this sarcasm or sincerity? My detector is in in the 'confused' zone!
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#1780224 - 10/30/11 10:47 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Sincere! I can see where you might wonder as I can be that way at times.
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#1780247 - 10/30/11 11:30 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

Oh, so it's only ok for churches and big dog corporations and millionaires to evade taxes? laugh


Churches do not "evade taxes". The tax law is written so they are not taxed. They are following the tax law as written.


Edited by rocket88 (10/31/11 12:20 AM)
Edit Reason: clarity
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#1780281 - 10/31/11 01:26 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: LeaC]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Anyway, why don't you take a look at the front page of the MSMTA web site and read their code of ethics. It is wise, I think, to remain within that code, whether or not you are in the group.

Dustin was referring to my previous post (in another thread) that certain teachers--even ones in my MTA--who keep their rates so low, that it's impossible for other piano teachers in the area from attaining full studios. These teachers "hog up" all the students and have waiting lists longer than the Great Wall of China. What's worse? These teachers are long past retirement age--they are older than my grandparents!! And piano teachers live forever, you know? They just keep teaching until they drop dead in their studio one day.

So, what can I say about these teachers? Nothing. If I complain to MTAC heads of state, they'll just brush it off. What really bothers me is that these teachers also let their students take our state test, CM. You can just imagine how poorly their students do. But what I don't understand is how they manage to KEEP so many freakin' students, despite such poor performances!?

Meanwhile, responsible teachers are losing students left and right. This makes no sense.
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#1780438 - 10/31/11 11:25 AM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Luke in ChiTown Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/07/11
Posts: 96
Loc: Chicago, Illinois, USA
It's amazing how LOW the expectation level is of many (maybe most) parents regarding their child's music instruction.

Now there are plenty of exceptions to the statements I am about to make, but I've learned from many years of teaching that...

• Many (most) parents, deep down, really don't believe that their child is going to succeed at the piano. This is confirmed by their sincere expressions of shock when the child actually begins to. And this is because that, on the whole, most children don't.

• Many (most) parents have no concept of the training and experience that goes into becoming a really great teacher. It always cracks me up when parents say something to me in the middle of a lesson like, "Wow, you really do know a lot about music." And they are completely genuine about it! Or, when I sit down to the keyboard to demonstrate a little bit myself and they are so impressed! Almost like they are surprised that their child's piano teacher can actually play the instrument. And this is because there are many who practically can't.

I've come to accept that what I do and the professionalism that I bring to it will always be something that is valued by a minority of the population. When I lived in a small suburb outside of a small midwestern city with a failing economy, this was a problem. I had to keep rates fairly low and take whatever I could get.

Here in Chicago, the situation is a bit different. Out of a city of 2.9 million people and a metropolitan area of nearly 10 million, I need to find forty or fifty families who really get what I'm about as a teacher, who appreciate what I have to offer, and are willing to pay accordingly for it. Those are the kind of students I want. It takes a while for you to find each other, but it is much better in the long run.

Now, back to the topic of the original post, I think one of the biggest mistakes that new teachers make starting out is to price themselves too low. Once you enter the market at a certain rate, you are limited to incremental increases unless you want to pretty much start over. Families who had grown accustomed to paying $45 for your services are not going to be happy about now having to pay $60 an hour, even if it turns out they were getting a deal before and are now paying you more appropriately.

It takes more time to build up a studio in the beginning if your rate is on the higher side, but you will attract a more dedicated calibre of student. You will also be in a position to offer partial scholarships to those students who value your services but can legitimately not afford them. Also, if you command a higher rate, you will not feel as obligated to fill every waking hour of your schedule with students to get by, and are therefore more likely to greet each teaching day with patience, nurturing, and a smile on your face. You and your students both benefit.
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#1780464 - 10/31/11 12:04 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: rocket88]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

Oh, so it's only ok for churches and big dog corporations and millionaires to evade taxes? laugh


Churches do not "evade taxes". The tax law is written so they are not taxed. They are following the tax law as written.


Ok, so private jets and multi million dollar homes that are untaxed from the filthy rich mega church Pastors is quite moral.

Or is simply breaking the law immoral and anything you do outside of that is moral?

Also, using my tax money for many things that are quite absurd such as the United States desperate need to police the world and go on trillion dollar wars might make some people not feel their tax money is being used properly.

Not really important anyway, I don't want to go on a rant about this lol - But There are many things in the US lawbooks that I would consider to be immoral.
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#1780465 - 10/31/11 12:07 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: AZNpiano]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: LeaC
Anyway, why don't you take a look at the front page of the MSMTA web site and read their code of ethics. It is wise, I think, to remain within that code, whether or not you are in the group.

Dustin was referring to my previous post (in another thread) that certain teachers--even ones in my MTA--who keep their rates so low, that it's impossible for other piano teachers in the area from attaining full studios. These teachers "hog up" all the students and have waiting lists longer than the Great Wall of China. What's worse? These teachers are long past retirement age--they are older than my grandparents!! And piano teachers live forever, you know? They just keep teaching until they drop dead in their studio one day.

So, what can I say about these teachers? Nothing. If I complain to MTAC heads of state, they'll just brush it off. What really bothers me is that these teachers also let their students take our state test, CM. You can just imagine how poorly their students do. But what I don't understand is how they manage to KEEP so many freakin' students, despite such poor performances!?

Meanwhile, responsible teachers are losing students left and right. This makes no sense.


Do you have concrete numbers? Are the teachers still charging what they were charging from the 1950's? Or is it only a 10$ an hour difference?
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#1780471 - 10/31/11 12:19 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

Oh, so it's only ok for churches and big dog corporations and millionaires to evade taxes? laugh


Churches do not "evade taxes". The tax law is written so they are not taxed. They are following the tax law as written.


Ok, so private jets and multi million dollar homes that are untaxed from the filthy rich mega church Pastors is quite moral.



We are not talking about morality...you began this with an allegation that churches "evade" taxes. They do not, so your point is based on a legal issue, not a moral one. Don't mix terms.

But I agree with you...filthy rich pastors are odious, and in my view, immoral.

But what you need to know is that they are abberations, a tiny minority of church people, and an embarrassment indeed to the majority of churches and pastors who are anything but rich.

Why would you use them as your example, rather than the majority who are not rich, do not have private jets or multi million dollar homes?

I was the church pianist for a while in a small church, and the pastor worked a full-time job in a hardware store. I never got a chance to see his jet plane! laugh

BTW, the same not-for-profit tax-exempt laws that religious organizations operate under also apply to many other organizations, such as Symphonies and music colleges.

Quote:
Not really important anyway, I don't want to go on a rant about this lol - But There are many things in the US lawbooks that I would consider to be immoral.


I certainly agree with you there!


Edited by rocket88 (10/31/11 12:37 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
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#1780485 - 10/31/11 12:48 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
pianomommy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Florida
I have been holding my tongue on this topic but I can't seem to do that anymore. I own a music school and I must say ... I didn't even KNOW that you could have comments put up on the "place page" on Google until today. "Google Status" does not a studio make! With that said, we have NO comments (either positive or negative) about our school on that page. Does that make ME or my teachers "bad" teachers? No -- maybe it means that I don't "ask" my parents to go to that site and comment.... maybe it means that my parents are too busy to "worry" about commenting on that site. To make a "blanket" statement about the ability/personality/etc about a teacher/school based on "comments" alone, is a bit bold.

I have been teaching for 30+ years and I have never "advertised" until a few years ago -- only to see what would happen. When you are good, it doesn't take long for word of mouth to fill up your studio. I had a full studio when I decided to advertise so it really "was" just to see what would happen. What happened? I had to find more time. Then a bigger space. Then hired teachers ... because I was/am good and my personality is calming and vivacious (yes -- it can be both). I do NOT spend $400 per month on advertising. That (in my opinion) is insane!

My own children are your age and they have discovered that they they will earn more money without being "brash" and "provocative". They are loved by their students because they are demanding but gentle. That is the way it is with ALL my teachers. My teachers have upper level degrees but that DOES NOT MEAN that they are not good with children, etc. All of our teachers have degrees and are still learning because we can never learn it all. They still study with others, they still have round-table discussions.

I would just ask you to be careful in your remarks. You ARE only 24 and you have no degree. Yes, real life experience counts for something but please know that there are MANY on here and "out there" who have much more life experience and more knowledge and more business sense and more training and more time on their side, than you. Please ... be careful about making general statements that can not be proven.

Personally -- if I was in need of a teacher, I would not be going to someone who was "bashing" others on their website. Let your own abilities speak for themselves. Maybe I am a fuddy-duddy, and old-fashioned, but where is the respect for others? I make sure my teachers respect the student and family and I expect my teachers to NEVER bash another teacher. There is NO need for that. (with or without knowing names of teachers)

I agree with many other posters here -- don't disrespect another teacher (no matter how bad you think they are) because you don't know the underlying circumstances and situations.

Ok -- I am done here -- I know I might be banned for some of my remarks and if so... so be it... but I do implore you to be respectful of others -- either in person or on your website -- it will go a LONG way later in life.

To answer your original question -- when you raise your rates more than the market can bear, you will price yourself OUT of a job. Don't worry about the money end so much. If you teach because you love it, then it will show and you will have a full studio and you won't be "worried" so much about raising your rates. You can "expect" to have a waiting list, but be advised, that some on a waiting list don't STAY on a waiting list -- they go elsewhere. Just chill and keep your prices acceptable for your experience, ability and knowledge.
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#1780510 - 10/31/11 01:20 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Do you have concrete numbers? Are the teachers still charging what they were charging from the 1950's? Or is it only a 10$ an hour difference?


I have no idea when these teachers started teaching, but I can tell you the difference between their fees and my fee is anywhere between $15 and $40 per hour. I have had several students transferring from these teachers, and it's obvious to me which ones are solid teachers who just have no business sense and which ones are the charlatans.

I didn't include two music schools several miles away in two different cities. They keep their fees low because of the local demographics. One of these institutions is run by a very capable piano teacher--it's not every day that you get to hear piano students play popular music well. I'm just glad they found their niche and can serve their student populations.
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#1780547 - 10/31/11 02:23 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: pianomommy1]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: pianomommy1
I have been holding my tongue on this topic but I can't seem to do that anymore. I own a music school and I must say ... I didn't even KNOW that you could have comments put up on the "place page" on Google until today. "Google Status" does not a studio make! With that said, we have NO comments (either positive or negative) about our school on that page. Does that make ME or my teachers "bad" teachers? No -- maybe it means that I don't "ask" my parents to go to that site and comment.... maybe it means that my parents are too busy to "worry" about commenting on that site. To make a "blanket" statement about the ability/personality/etc about a teacher/school based on "comments" alone, is a bit bold.

I have been teaching for 30+ years and I have never "advertised" until a few years ago -- only to see what would happen. When you are good, it doesn't take long for word of mouth to fill up your studio. I had a full studio when I decided to advertise so it really "was" just to see what would happen. What happened? I had to find more time. Then a bigger space. Then hired teachers ... because I was/am good and my personality is calming and vivacious (yes -- it can be both). I do NOT spend $400 per month on advertising. That (in my opinion) is insane!

My own children are your age and they have discovered that they they will earn more money without being "brash" and "provocative". They are loved by their students because they are demanding but gentle. That is the way it is with ALL my teachers. My teachers have upper level degrees but that DOES NOT MEAN that they are not good with children, etc. All of our teachers have degrees and are still learning because we can never learn it all. They still study with others, they still have round-table discussions.

I would just ask you to be careful in your remarks. You ARE only 24 and you have no degree. Yes, real life experience counts for something but please know that there are MANY on here and "out there" who have much more life experience and more knowledge and more business sense and more training and more time on their side, than you. Please ... be careful about making general statements that can not be proven.

Personally -- if I was in need of a teacher, I would not be going to someone who was "bashing" others on their website. Let your own abilities speak for themselves. Maybe I am a fuddy-duddy, and old-fashioned, but where is the respect for others? I make sure my teachers respect the student and family and I expect my teachers to NEVER bash another teacher. There is NO need for that. (with or without knowing names of teachers)

I agree with many other posters here -- don't disrespect another teacher (no matter how bad you think they are) because you don't know the underlying circumstances and situations.

Ok -- I am done here -- I know I might be banned for some of my remarks and if so... so be it... but I do implore you to be respectful of others -- either in person or on your website -- it will go a LONG way later in life.

To answer your original question -- when you raise your rates more than the market can bear, you will price yourself OUT of a job. Don't worry about the money end so much. If you teach because you love it, then it will show and you will have a full studio and you won't be "worried" so much about raising your rates. You can "expect" to have a waiting list, but be advised, that some on a waiting list don't STAY on a waiting list -- they go elsewhere. Just chill and keep your prices acceptable for your experience, ability and knowledge.


You're definitely not going to get banned for your comments. I take no offense to them.

Click through rate for google places listing is much much higher when you are listed number ESPECIALLY if you have the 5 star rating next to you with positive reviews.

Now, the thing about advertising in my area. I live in the middle of nowhere. It takes me more than 10 minutes to get to anything you could call 'civilization' - gas pump, grocery store, a restaurant.

I wasn't advertising $400 / month for the entire last year. I was doing about $200 / month simply using google adwords. That got me most of my students because my website wasn't listed high at that time. Craigslist brought me some as well. Then within the past 3 months, I've been doing about $400 to push really hard to max out my studio.

This word of mouth you speak of doesn't get you 30 students within a years time during the FIRST year you start teaching. I would find that to be insane if anyone attempted to argue it IS possible. Unless you get lucky and have another teacher send you all their students after they move or they retire.

I had to spend money to get my students. Many of my students travel a big distance to reach me. I had lots of families pass me up because I lived too far away from them.

So , yeah - within a year, advertising between 200 and 400 a month , I have gotten together 30 students within a year.

If anyone could explain to me how spending $400 a month when the advertising costs are quite well paid for with the income of my lessons is a bad idea ...

As for my 'bashing' of other teachers, I have heard horror stories about the two sites I do list on my website as having none or negative reviews. I also listed another studio that I think has exceptional reviews and said I would recommend that studio because of the happy clients.





Edited by Dustin Sanders (10/31/11 02:26 PM)
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#1780554 - 10/31/11 02:39 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: rocket88]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

Oh, so it's only ok for churches and big dog corporations and millionaires to evade taxes? laugh


Churches do not "evade taxes". The tax law is written so they are not taxed. They are following the tax law as written.


Ok, so private jets and multi million dollar homes that are untaxed from the filthy rich mega church Pastors is quite moral.



We are not talking about morality...you began this with an allegation that churches "evade" taxes. They do not, so your point is based on a legal issue, not a moral one. Don't mix terms.

But I agree with you...filthy rich pastors are odious, and in my view, immoral.

But what you need to know is that they are abberations, a tiny minority of church people, and an embarrassment indeed to the majority of churches and pastors who are anything but rich.

Why would you use them as your example, rather than the majority who are not rich, do not have private jets or multi million dollar homes?

I was the church pianist for a while in a small church, and the pastor worked a full-time job in a hardware store. I never got a chance to see his jet plane! laugh

BTW, the same not-for-profit tax-exempt laws that religious organizations operate under also apply to many other organizations, such as Symphonies and music colleges.

Quote:
Not really important anyway, I don't want to go on a rant about this lol - But There are many things in the US lawbooks that I would consider to be immoral.


I certainly agree with you there!


When I see the mega churches and million dollar private jets publically frowned upon by the majority of other churches and pastors or Christians - instead of them preaching hate towards homosexuals and atheists, then I might agree with your point.

I was also under the impression that many small churches have to give a portion of their rakings to their parent churches and organizations who are all part of the entire chain of command - which eventually leads to the megachurches and high profile church leaders who are making quite a lot of money.

I also admit you are correct about the term 'evade' as being the wrong choice.

errrr, and the music colleges and symphonies do not lay guilt trips on their members or hint that you may not be a proper member if you do not donate 10% of your income. An argument could also be made that they actually teach things that are beneficial to society, rather than a church for instance where it isn't an academic institution, but a place for a few to tell the many what they believe is the true interpretation of ONE book, but without actually teaching the mainstream textual criticism of the majority of new testament scholars. So churches are not there to teach, but to preach. I think that's a notable difference.

Symphonies and music schools also do not discriminate based off sexual orientation or belief system.
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#1780561 - 10/31/11 02:48 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3174
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

When I see the mega churches and million dollar private jets publically frowned upon by the majority of other churches and pastors or Christians...


That information exists, but you would have to study the issue to find out that information, because it is not controversial or sensational, and thus the media will not broadcast it.

Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

I was also under the impression that many small churches have to give a portion of their rakings...


Rakings? Nice.

Bye, Dustin...have a nice day!

ps...Do you realize that now all the religious people in your area who google your name for piano lessons will potentially see this thread and read your thoughts about the church. (not just the Christian church...other faiths also collect "rakings")

Is insulting large portions of the population a component of your business plan?


Edited by rocket88 (10/31/11 03:19 PM)
Edit Reason: clarity
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#1780604 - 10/31/11 03:52 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Dustin, I find your general attitude hard to swallow. You have a lot to learn.
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#1780681 - 10/31/11 05:22 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: pianomommy1]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5556
Loc: Orange County, CA
I agree with everything you wrote in your post, except for this statement:
Originally Posted By: pianomommy1
If you teach because you love it, then it will show and you will have a full studio and you won't be "worried" so much about raising your rates.

Plenty of piano teachers truly love their jobs, but their studios are not full, and if they raise their rates at all, they'll end up with fewer and fewer students.

I think THAT is the real "moral dilemma" of being a piano teacher.
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#1780719 - 10/31/11 06:59 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: rocket88]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

When I see the mega churches and million dollar private jets publically frowned upon by the majority of other churches and pastors or Christians...


That information exists, but you would have to study the issue to find out that information, because it is not controversial or sensational, and thus the media will not broadcast it.

Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders

I was also under the impression that many small churches have to give a portion of their rakings...


Rakings? Nice.

Bye, Dustin...have a nice day!

ps...Do you realize that now all the religious people in your area who google your name for piano lessons will potentially see this thread and read your thoughts about the church. (not just the Christian church...other faiths also collect "rakings")

Is insulting large portions of the population a component of your business plan?


Oh, so I am not allowed to voice my opinions on any matters other than what you think is appropriate? If someone wants to pass my studio up because of my personal views on religion, then that is up to them. I'll still have a full studio either way.

And not that is should need to be said, but my name will only come up if someone is searching for my religious affiliation. Google uses contextual searches, not searches primarily based off the name alone. You would need to type in my name + church or + religion ... and you'll probably find an atheist forum that I frequent often. Have at it! I do not hide my name or my views because others may be (gasp!) offended!

If you go searching for public officials in office that speak hate against Atheists you won't have to look hard and they are not publically criticized. You know, George W. Bush senior saying that he doesn't think you are an American if you don't believe in God.
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#1780723 - 10/31/11 07:02 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Minniemay]
Dustin Sanders Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/11/10
Posts: 479
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Dustin, I find your general attitude hard to swallow. You have a lot to learn.


general attitude? Are you referencing my criticism on religion? I'd be happy to provide my real thoughts on it if you so desired.
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#1780739 - 10/31/11 07:25 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
pianomommy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Florida


I was also under the impression that many small churches have to give a portion of their rakings to their parent churches and organizations who are all part of the entire chain of command - which eventually leads to the megachurches and high profile church leaders who are making quite a lot of money.

--

"Most" and /or "many" churches have a personnel committee - or deacon body - which decides what to pay the preacher so most of them do NOT get paid mega bucks. (Granted -- there are some out there who make the decision themselves and that is where the "problem" lies). IF a church is part of a larger organization (ie: Southern Baptist Convention) then they CAN give part of their "rakings" (as you put it) to the organization. They are NOT required to by any stretch of the imagination (well -- I speak for the SBC and a few others but not all religious organizations) This organization does NOT just pay their "high profile leaders" -- this group (I will stick with SBC) pays missionary's, HUGE relief efforts (look into them -- they are some of the first responders with VOLUNTEERS), helping small churches pay their mortgage, etc, etc, etc --
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#1780741 - 10/31/11 07:27 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
pianoeagle Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/16/11
Posts: 218
Loc: Texas
It seems like you have an important business decision to make here.

I am in a very similar situation to yours. I hired a professional graphic designer to design my studio website, and I did a web marketing campaign on Google. Shortly after, I had a full studio and a small but growing wait list (note: I only have 11 students, all of whom take one-hour lessons, since I work full-time).

I don't see an issue with raising your rates incrementally. However, as you say in your original post, you will likely alienate many of your current students.

I don't know of any products or services that raise their fee by 33% at one time. Would you continue using your cell phone, electricity, mortgage payment, etc. if the price went up 33%? To me, 3-5% per year is expected and reasonable.

You put yourself at risk for pricing yourself too high if you do this. Plus, you'll be a less reliable teacher since parents are going to feel extremely susceptible to further heavy rate increases. Part of my corporate job is contract negotiations, and I mandate the inclusion of clauses about capping rate increases at 5% over the term of the contract.

I applaud your business acumen in seeing an opportunity for rate increases, but I feel that such a large raise would reflect more greed than business sense. I value my students' and parents' loyalty, so my loyalty back to them is a reasonable rate increase. My policy protects both my students and me by stating that I can implement a rate increase at any time, but must provide 90 days' written notice. I have stuck to 5% per year (rounded to the nearest dollar) for rate increases, and I haven't lost students for that.

Even though you have a waitlist, you don't know a) if the students are actually going to start piano b) how long they will last. What if their availability doesn't match yours? What if they've already found other teachers? What if they come for an interview and decide that you're not the best fit for them? Or what if they quit 4 months later? The grass looks greener on the other side, but is it?
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#1780742 - 10/31/11 07:29 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: AZNpiano]
pianomommy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
I agree with everything you wrote in your post, except for this statement:
Originally Posted By: pianomommy1
If you teach because you love it, then it will show and you will have a full studio and you won't be "worried" so much about raising your rates.

Plenty of piano teachers truly love their jobs, but their studios are not full, and if they raise their rates at all, they'll end up with fewer and fewer students.

I think THAT is the real "moral dilemma" of being a piano teacher.


ANZ - I think you misunderstood my position and what I was saying === I know that there are many studios which are NOT filled and they love what they do. I have also been in the position where I don't feel like I can raise rates (FL here) and I am STILL in that position (we are priced low in order to provide quality lessons to most anyone who wants lessons). I was speaking more towards Dustin -- if HE taught because he LOVED it (instead of "worrying" over the huge amounts he can make) then his studio would be full and he wouldn't be having this conversation. If HE wants to price himself high - I say "go for it!" -- see what happens.
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#1780748 - 10/31/11 07:36 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
pianomommy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/10/09
Posts: 54
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Dustin Sanders
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
Dustin, I find your general attitude hard to swallow. You have a lot to learn.


general attitude? Are you referencing my criticism on religion? I'd be happy to provide my real thoughts on it if you so desired.




I think Minnie is implying that (as you said) you are only 24 with no degree and you seem to "value" yourself above all other teachers (ok -- most). That said, I agree with Minnie -- you have a lot to learn over the years when you get to be 45, 55, 65, and you have LIFE under you and you have a degree (maybe) and you have a better sense of business, and you have been teaching longer. Please respect those who have been at "this" a lot longer than you and who treat others with the respect they deserve.

In our 20's, most of us thought that we knew better than others too, and then we realized later that we didn't know as much as we thought we did.
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#1780760 - 10/31/11 07:59 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
I am not agreeing or disagreeing with Dustin. But I think that using his age against him, just because he mentioned it, is unfair.

Arguing for OR against his points on the merit of the points seems fair to me. The rest is not.
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#1780762 - 10/31/11 08:02 PM Re: A moral Dilemma of a possibly Real Situation [Re: Dustin Sanders]
LeaC Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/13/11
Posts: 413
Loc: USA
Here's some gossip, and once said, I won't repeat:

Dustin, In a studio near you I shared with another teacher, my partner was reading The Da Vinci Code and happened to leave her book out where it could be seen. One mother saw it and flew into a rage! My friend meekly put her book away, never to be seen again. Yes, there are those types around, for sure.

Now I can say pretty much what I want to because I have retired from the younger students (people like that parent are partly why), however, I still refrain from expressing my very liberal views on religion because I still work with people who may have me in their church sometime. Maybe not right, but, it's work, and those paying may decide to hold it against one. I have hinted at this, and I will say it again. That area you are in has some of the most viscious people I have ever seen anywhere in my life. Hopefully the current group is growing older and will be phased out. These women even gang up on school children they think should not get what they have earned. Want to know more? PM me sometime.

I do like the way you have your policies set, and I think they will evolve as you gain further experience. It's good to be confident, but it's nice to learn from other teachers, too, don't you think?

I have not checked into these studios on your site, however, I will. Also, know this from someone who has seen it all in this area, the teachers that I mentioned earlier who cannot so much as play a sonatina, have wonderful, outgoing personalities. Unfortunately, this is what draws an unsuspecting public to them, not their abilities. They usually do have great testimonials. Some people can be very misguided when seeking lessons, and have no idea what to look for in a teacher. One of these "teachers" gives out huge piles of material gifts after recitals (in which nothing is played!), getting big smiles all around from happy kids and happy parents. Having seen her students play, I was appalled to see that they didn't even know how to lift a finger up and down from a key. All the fingers pressed at once, and this was a student in a later book. I had to listen to this woman stand up to her students parents, who were rapt as she lectured on Robert Schubert, who, she claimed "was a good one" (whatever that means), and that he was very successful and had lots of money and friends. Well, it doesn't take much to find that this is total crap, and Schubert died penniless and very young, only supported by his close friends. But, she's outgoing, so what does it matter? I truly believe this is robbery by deception. I don't mean to throw a wet blanket on those who have testimony from parents/students, only to be careful at what appears to be good because of testimony. I know of two other just like her. One is online and his claim to fame is his testimonies. Same as previously mentioned woman. I know these people quite well, and this man may have taken a few lessons , but he can't play much at all. Looks good with his suit and pointer sticking out of his pocket, though.

Lastly, on the topic of testimony, I also know a number of professors who have told me that they, and all the good, demanding teachers get the complaints. I've had certain mothers (from guess where?) huff off and threaten to boycott me if I didn't keep rescheduling their lessons. They canceled too much, and I refused. One woman who didn't want to use the swap list, but demanded resheduling actually took my swap list and CALLED others on the list to incite them against me. Another mother from this group went to war with me because I insisted that her daughter cut her nails. I know, unbelievable. But, my point is, complaints can be used as a form of vengeance by some, and others may have glowing testimony who don't deserve it. Things are not always what they appear. That's what I've learned from getting older. Try to associate with those who maintain their integrity through honest, hard work.
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