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#1924249 - 07/08/12 02:42 PM What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school
AxiomPro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 5
There seem to be a lot of these music schools popping up recently. They're private businesses that teach a few instruments, mainly piano, and they're usually found in strip centers of suburban areas.

They all seem to have the same business model, which is an astonishing one, really. All the teachers are contractors, the school schedules the lessons and finds the students, and the school takes fifty percent (or more!) of the cost per lesson.

Now I don't teach piano so I can't say what my perspective would be if I did, but I'm wondering, from a teacher's perspective, why would anyone agree to such terms?

I mean I understand there's costs and overhead, etc, but still, fifty percent? That REALLY seems high. Why would anyone teach there?

For the business owner on the other hand, it seems like a cash cow. No employee costs, healthcare, liabilities, etc to deal with. And with a percentage profit of every lesson, you get 20-40 teachers and that's quite a lot.

I don't know, the whole thing seems vaguely exploitative and kinda sleazy. Anyone agree, or am I off base here?

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#1924264 - 07/08/12 03:25 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Many service businesses use the same model, with the same percentage take. A friend is in the nail business. He has 11 stations, keeps an average of ten of them full all the time. He gives the "employees" 50%. That seems to be the norm. Of course, he has to provide the equipment, do the maintenance, the book keeping, pay the taxes, license fees, etc., etc. So his net is no where as ample as many think.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1924269 - 07/08/12 04:02 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
They are called studios... They haven't been popping up recently, I think. They have been around for quite a long time.

They pay for the studio space, instrument and its maintenance, advertise and find students, do all of the contract/paperwork/etc, insure that you are paid regardless of whether or not a student shows up, set up and figure out recitals/competitions, and hire primarily music majors or other students to teach.

It's a good place for growing teachers, but a bad place for students. I'd never work there, but there are those who must.

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#1924271 - 07/08/12 04:06 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 824
If the school gives top-notch instruction to its teachers on how to teach, there can be some benefit to a teacher starting out. The teacher gets colleagues to talk to and students.

But, in some cases these places are exploiting teachers and fooling parents into thinking their kids are getting proper instruction.

However, as John says, one could argue that any employee is being exploited in any business. For instance, a cashier and a delivery man may be the two most essential links to creating a good business. But they will get the lowest pay. That's because in this system of capitalism, the person who earns the most is the person who
1) has the most money to start.
2) takes the most risk.
3) takes the most responsibility.
4) has the hardest decisions to make.

Axiom Pro, what is your interest in this matter?

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#1924284 - 07/08/12 04:46 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
AxiomPro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 5
Ok yes you guys have made some good points. I guess I was just surprised that such a business model exists, as I'd never encountered it before. I guess there are other examples, as John said.

So they hire mainly students to teach? Is there typically any over sight as to the quality of teaching that's goin on? The reason I ask is because I'm a little older, took lessons years ago, thought about doing it again, and saw these schools.

Good point Candywoman about employees and business. Hadn't thought of it that way. I guess I'm just wondering why any talented teacher would teach at such a school for a 50 percent cut when they could just teach out of there house for 100 percent.

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#1924285 - 07/08/12 04:48 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: John v.d.Brook]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11201
Loc: Canada
It seems to be a growing trend. I can see it in service industries per se, maybe, but in professions? Teaching is unregulated just like my present profession. There is expertise involved in teaching, and a teacher should be relying on his own professional judgment as he teaches. What we're seeing at our end is middlemen offering services which they have others do, and raking in the profits. The middleman knows nothing about the service, hires inexperienced people, and imposes policies that are good for money but don't necessarily make sense in terms of quality service. I don't know how that works out in teaching, but I would hope that any training that happens is done by qualified people. A bona fide teacher who knows what he or she is doing should be getting more than 50% for his or her work imho.

For me the important thing is that a professional has expertise and must be free to use his judgment, and he should be paid properly for that. It is not the same as someone standing at the cash register ringing in produce.

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#1924314 - 07/08/12 06:10 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: AxiomPro
There seem to be a lot of these music schools popping up recently. They're private businesses that teach a few instruments, mainly piano, and they're usually found in strip centers of suburban areas.

They all seem to have the same business model, which is an astonishing one, really. All the teachers are contractors, the school schedules the lessons and finds the students, and the school takes fifty percent (or more!) of the cost per lesson.


Axiompro, do you have personal factual knowledge that fifty percent (or more!) is truly what the schools charge the teachers?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924321 - 07/08/12 06:16 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: rocket88]
Para Otras Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/12
Posts: 309
Originally Posted By: rocket88
Originally Posted By: AxiomPro
There seem to be a lot of these music schools popping up recently. They're private businesses that teach a few instruments, mainly piano, and they're usually found in strip centers of suburban areas.

They all seem to have the same business model, which is an astonishing one, really. All the teachers are contractors, the school schedules the lessons and finds the students, and the school takes fifty percent (or more!) of the cost per lesson.


Axiompro, do you have personal factual knowledge that fifty percent (or more!) is truly what the schools charge the teachers?
I can't speak for Axiompro, but I know of one music school in the area that charged $29/55 for 30/60 (so $116/220) minute lessons, goes on a monthly basis (meaning some months students only receive three lessons), and pays the teachers 15-20 dollars an hour, depending on how long they have worked for the studio.

Also, this studio only pays the teachers for the lessons they actually teach, so they are not paid on the weeks where they don't have lessons because of holidays/studio being closed.

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#1924326 - 07/08/12 06:28 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1250
Loc: California
If the teachers are being paid by the hour, wouldn't they technically be 'employees' and not independent contractors? If they're employees then the school would have costs associated with them, mainly taxes.

We have a local music store that charges a % of what the teachers collect per student as monthly studio rental fee. Each teacher has his/her rates; they'r not set by the store. The store doesn't collect tuition; the teacher does. That then qualifies them to be independent contractors.
_________________________
Music School Owner
Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#1924329 - 07/08/12 06:48 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7200
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: AxiomPro
Now I don't teach piano so I can't say what my perspective would be if I did, but I'm wondering, from a teacher's perspective, why would anyone agree to such terms?

We haven't actually addressed this particular question. Here are some reasons which come to mind:

- The teacher doesn't want to set up an independent studio. Perhaps because of other commitments, other job, etc.

- The teacher likes the flexibility and/or convenience of this particular arrangement.

There is a secondary implication in the question, and that is a 50% commission is somehow a bad thing. People with little or no business experience often believe that margins of any sort are somehow usurious. Not withstanding the obvious, that no one in the teaching business is becoming wealthy, the old expression, "Put your money where your mouth is," comes to mind. If you believe that 50% commission is too high, set up a studio operation at 25%. See how that works out for you. One thing I'm sure of, your teachers will love you!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#1924330 - 07/08/12 07:01 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
There's something fishy here. If the teachers are truly independent contractors, then the studio can't specify a percentage (because they can't police or control what the independent contractors charge.)

So there are one of two models - either the teacher is a contractor who rents the space, and the rent may well be very high; or the teacher is an employee who takes an hourly wage, in which case $15-20 is probably a small fraction of the total revenue brought in by the school.

As with any business, it succeeds because people are willing to do it. Far too many teachers are in it as a hobby, marking time between college and a salaried job or in addition to a day job that affords them the luxury of teaching for cheap.
_________________________
"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

www.pianoped.com
www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#1924334 - 07/08/12 07:24 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
Yup, I am teaching for two right now. They students are charged $70 per hour, and I take home $26!! More than half! This is normal and terrible..

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#1924339 - 07/08/12 07:38 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: dumdumdiddle]
AxiomPro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: dumdumdiddle
If the teachers are being paid by the hour, wouldn't they technically be 'employees' and not independent contractors? If they're employees then the school would have costs associated with them, mainly taxes.

We have a local music store that charges a % of what the teachers collect per student as monthly studio rental fee. Each teacher has his/her rates; they'r not set by the store. The store doesn't collect tuition; the teacher does. That then qualifies them to be independent contractors.


That's what I was thinking. If the teachers are teaching regular schedules, then they are de facto employees. Yet the owner doesn't have to cover any costs typically associated with employees, no vacation, taxes, healthcare, etc. It's almost like the owners are getting to have their cake and eat it too.

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#1924340 - 07/08/12 07:42 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11201
Loc: Canada
Very simply, people know how to deal with employment but are inexperienced in matters of self-employment. This situation doesn't just happen in teaching. You take someone who is inexperienced, unsure, and grateful for opportunities or "opportunities" and they may accept something that they shouldn't, and don't fully understand.

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#1924342 - 07/08/12 07:43 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: keystring]
AxiomPro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 5
Originally Posted By: keystring
What we're seeing at our end is middlemen offering services which they have others do, and raking in the profits. The middleman knows nothing about the service, hires inexperienced people, and imposes policies that are good for money but don't necessarily make sense in terms of quality service.


That right there is the heart of the matter, i think

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#1924345 - 07/08/12 07:46 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: AxiomPro

That's what I was thinking. If the teachers are teaching regular schedules, then they are de facto employees. Yet the owner doesn't have to cover any costs typically associated with employees, no vacation, taxes, healthcare, etc. It's almost like the owners are getting to have their cake and eat it too.


You assume too much. My neighbor next door has a lawn service that cuts his lawn every week on the same day, usually on the same hour. I know, because he wakes me up. But the the lawn guy is not an employee of the homeowner, though, but rather is a general contractor. The homeowner does not provide health care, vacations, etc, for the lawn guy just because he mows the lawn on some kind of regular schedule.

Nevertheless, what counts is what the law says, not what you or I think. And in most states here in the US just because a service provided by someone (piano teacher, lawn service, barber, etc) is done on a regular basis does NOT make that person a defacto or any other kind of employee.


_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924352 - 07/08/12 08:05 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Originally Posted By: AxiomPro
Originally Posted By: keystring
What we're seeing at our end is middlemen offering services which they have others do, and raking in the profits. The middleman knows nothing about the service, hires inexperienced people, and imposes policies that are good for money but don't necessarily make sense in terms of quality service.


That right there is the heart of the matter, i think


There is so much here that is completely the opposite of what I have experienced that I almost do not know where to start.

But here goes anyways.

First, "The middleman knows nothing about the service,"

Facts please? Here are some:

There are two music stores here in town where I live, a medium size city in the south...I have subcontracted to one of the stores for over twelve years as a teacher.
The owners are musicians who gig and teach on a regular basis. The other store is a small guitar store that specializes in rare and antique instruments, and the owner is a well-known musician who has 2 teachers, both well known local musicans.

Second: "Raking in the profits"

News flash: The economy is struggling. Music lessons are not the essential food, clothing and shelter. No one I know is "raking in the profits", especially with rising taxes and insurance.

Third: hires inexperienced people,

Not where I live. Its the opposite, actually. Where I subcontract there are 4 guitar teachers, 2 piano teachers, one wind instrument teacher, one drum teacher, and one vocal coach. All are full-time or near full-time musicians, many with degrees. For example, our wind instrument teacher is a Berkelee grad. In the years I have been working there, there have been one or two inexperienced teachers slip into the program, but they don't last long.

Bottom line, it is a quality operation. The percentage I make is quite a bit better than 50-50, and it works very well for me and the other teachers, which is why the store has a waiting list of qualified teachers who would love to work there. (sorry, love to SUBCONTRACT there).

I am sure it is different elsewhere, that there are "teaching mills" but to tar with the same brush all places that subcontract their music teachers is inaccurate and wrong.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924354 - 07/08/12 08:11 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
I'll give a more extended answer here. As I mentioned above, I teach at two of them and the rate per hour is $70, and teachers are paid $26. We are not independent contractors, it is an employee job. I think these types of "music schools" are MUCH more popular now than they were about 15 years ago when I was starting out taking lessons myself in a suburban area. Coincidentally, I was thinking just this morning about making a post about them here.

While they do have their merits (a "school" environment, decent facilities with annual recitals, nice waiting area and standard policies, good no-show/cancellation policies for the teachers), they are on the whole pretty rotten establishments because of their exploration of teachers. People here have been mentioning that they pay half to the teachers. I have yet to see this, as the ones I am working at or have interviewed for are more around 1/3rd. And there is no variance in payment proportional to the educaiton of the teacher. (i.e., one of my co-workers has a D.M.A from Eastman, and the other is an undergrad in music ed at a state college, and both get $26 per hour. That PLUS we are required to teach every trial lesson of a new potential student for free - with only about a 60% chance that student will sign up).

Musicians are highly skilled people, and a lot of us have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on education throughout our schooling, not to mention the standard 10,000 hours, and here were are working for a wage that is little more than a desk secretary makes. The most unfair part of it all is that sometimes it is the students (and there are plenty of good students at these places) who suffer. When a teacher is given so little and treated with a lack of seriousness, it can become difficult to care about each and every one of your students as much as they should be cared for, especially if it is the end of a long teaching day. The latter is a perspective I'd like to write an article about, since it's something that might not occur to the parents of these students who are generally naive about this matter. (No fault of their own)

Of course you're wondering why the heck I haven't been long gone from these places (though I soon plan to be) - it's becuase there are absolutely no private students!! I'm convinced that these very schools are starting to eat up the clientele who would normally have - 10 years ago - gone with a private teacher. When I began teaching I advertised like a madman, putting up flyers, talking to elementary school music teachers, spreading word of mouth, joining organizations - nothing. The few calls I got were people who were looking for extreme bargains. Yet as soon as I was hired by these schools (in the very same area), I was flooded with dozens of calls the first week. Unfortunately, with bills to pay, the route to take becomes painfully obvious.

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#1924358 - 07/08/12 08:15 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: rocket88]
Opus_Maximus Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 1458
Originally Posted By: rocket88

Facts please?


Yes...read my post. It seems that your particular area has it going on a lot better. But more often than not, the majority of rates and systems I have observed (in two major U.S cities, seem much more in alignment with what I describe)


Edited by Opus_Maximus (07/08/12 08:16 PM)

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#1924361 - 07/08/12 08:23 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: rocket88]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11201
Loc: Canada
Rocket, I was describing a scenario that does happen, not any one and only scenario. I described it across two professions, my present profession and music teaching. In my own I have worked for organizations that are the equivalent of the music stores like the ones you described - people who are knowledgeable in the field and work well with other professionals. I have also encountered something quite the opposite which is as I described. I have also heard of both scenarios in music teaching. I have no doubt that what you are describing exists, and this is the kind of thing that should flourish. There has been more than one story on PW that suggests the opposite is also out there.

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#1924362 - 07/08/12 08:25 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: Opus_Maximus]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
I don't question that things are different in different areas.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924367 - 07/08/12 08:37 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: keystring]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
Keystring, I understand, and thank you for clarifying that.


BTW, AxiomPro, where are you located?
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924386 - 07/08/12 09:40 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
AxiomPro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/08/12
Posts: 5
So it sounds like these places run the gamut from "teaching mills" run by non-musician owners to actual real schools that care about something other than profit. Interesting. I wonder what the ratio is. And yet the teachers are all contractors, except I guess for Opus Maximus, in this thread anyway. BTW I'm in Houston, Rocket.

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#1924407 - 07/08/12 10:15 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
rocket88 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/04/06
Posts: 3158
I am grateful that where I work the owners are smart business people who care about both quality of service AND profit, because if they did not watch the bottom line, they would soon go out of business.

As a performer and teacher and recording artist, it took me a while to come out of my altruistic style of thinking and understand that the "Music Business" is two words..."Music", and all the wonderfulness that it is, and "Business", which is often not so nice, but can be done with honesty and integrity, and is a necessary part of life, and must be done with sound business practices. Even Chopin had to teach to pay the bills.
_________________________
Music teacher and piano player.

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#1924408 - 07/08/12 10:17 PM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I would NEVER in a million years teach in a music school or music store. Here is my most recent post on why, from my blog:

http://wp.me/ptnC6-gb

And, a much older one:

http://wp.me/ptnC6-R

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#1924503 - 07/09/12 05:18 AM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
ymapazagain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/11
Posts: 65
Loc: Hobart, Australia
I teach in one of these schools, and it's pretty much exactly as you described, AxiomPro.

When I first moved to this city it was a better than nothing situation so I didn't mind the lower pay. As my private student base has grown I have reduced the school back to one day a week and for now, it's still better than nothing for that day, but it does drive me absolutely crazy.

The school charges $32 of which I get $14. I wouldn't mind this split if absolutely everything except for the teaching was taken care of by the school, but we teachers are constantly being asked to handle payments, get contact information, even keep tabs on scheduling. I also wouldn't mind if the school had some decent terms and conditions which they actually enforced. As it stands we teachers never know how many students we're actually going to have when we rock up, thus we never know how much we're going to get paid.

Because of these problems the quality of teachers at the school is rapidly declining. Anyone who values teaching as a profession very quickly moves on, so most of the teachers at the school now are either incredibly inexperienced, don't give a hoot about it, or both.

The piano that I teach on literally fell off the back of a truck. That's how he got it so cheap. Seriously. There are no microphones for singers who join the ensembles. Today there wasn't even toilet paper.

The type of student that a place likes this attracts is generally someone that is only vaguely interested in learning, might come for a lesson or two, then just disappears (without letting anyone know). The student turn over is ludicrous. Since the start of the year I have been through 22 different students at the school (5 of which I am currently teaching). I know it's not my teaching as privately I have only lost 2 students since the start of the year, and both of those were moving interstate.

The most frustrating thing is that I can see so many simple things that could be changed to make the school run in a much more effective and professional way. But the owner is the type of person who has to do things his way (including teaching 60 students a week whilst trying to handle all of the admin himself). If I ever said something I'd be out the door (a point that was proven by a teacher who loved working there and wanted to help improve it but was given the boot the second he spoke up).

The only reason I'm hanging on to my one day a week for the moment is that I managed to get three incredibly promising and motivated young students. I can't take them if I leave and I know that the standard of teaching from whomever fills my place will not do those children justice. So I stick around for them, even though many weeks I feel so incredibly close to quitting all together!
_________________________
Private Piano and Vocal Teacher.

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#1924567 - 07/09/12 09:11 AM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 538
A music school can be so different from another music school. We have interacted with two music schools, both are very reputable community schools, employ highly qualified faculty members, offer a large array of courses from private lessons to master classes in many instruments, theory, aural training, music history, music technology, many orchestras and chamber groups, etc. Students can study music in a very systematic and thorough manner, have many performance opportunities and get to be part of a music community. My impression of the students who go to these two schools is that they are very serious about music. I know of other, privately owned, much smaller music schools that are much more limited in what they offer. But honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with the concept. Teachers who teach there have their own reasons to do so, instead of operating their own studio (there are definitely pros and cons to teach in a school or to teach from home, everyone will just need to decide for him/herself). Parents who send kids to such schools assess teachers the same way if they send kids to a private studio in a teacher’s house. I know parents who send kids to such small schools and they are very happy with the outcome.


Edited by childofparadise2002 (07/09/12 09:12 AM)

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#1924612 - 07/09/12 11:09 AM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: Opus_Maximus]
Jonathan Alford Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/10/11
Posts: 356
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Opus_Maximus
Yup, I am teaching for two right now. They students are charged $70 per hour, and I take home $26!! More than half! This is normal and terrible..


If it is so terrible then why not venture out on your own?

Jonathan

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#1924616 - 07/09/12 11:23 AM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: childofparadise2002]
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11201
Loc: Canada
I think it is important to note that there are many different places that group together teachers and that they are not all the same. These places usually have convenient, accessible locations and are highly visible, while a teacher's home may be out of the way and not obviously a studio from the outside. They will have places for parents or family to wait, and hopefully have decent instruments available - maybe one for the teacher and one for the student. A competent and even fairly experienced teacher may opt to teach at such a place rather than his own home for such practical reasons. I'd think that a good school or store would attract good teachers. In fact, if they're smart they'll know that the good teacher makes the place what it is.

It would be unfair to conclude that all music schools are shoddy and have only inferior or beginning teachers because this is absolutely not true. As with anything it is caveat emptor and choose carefully, including the private teacher with a studio at home.

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#1924625 - 07/09/12 11:41 AM Re: What do you guy's think of these "strip center" music school [Re: AxiomPro]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
We use a school for these reasons:

1. convenient - location, hours, pricing (flat monthly fee)
2. clean, well maintained, free wifi (doesn't sound important but it is nice!)
3. consistency with teacher
4. for lessons missed, easy to reschedule with same or different teacher
5. make ups permitted for times when we are on vacation/teacher is on vacation
6. nice recitals
7. it's really quiet - dd gets the big room with the grand piano, nicely lit big windows
8. free practice rooms - my child warms up for her lesson instead of waiting in the waiting room
9. parents can use kitchenette - in the winter I bring my travel mug and make tea
10. my child's teacher also teaches on her own but I think the school gives her 2 days a week where she doesn't have to travel to student's homes. She can just go in and teach.
11. lessons can be 15, 30, 45, 60 or more minutes. 15 is typically for preschoolers just starting I think.
12. friendly staff

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