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#2032639 - 02/13/13 07:02 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
Kevin, FWIW, +1. When ever I'm at a store/service agency, etc., and they start bad-mouthing the competition, I politely make my exit. I'm interested in what positive you can do for me, not what your competitor cannot do. FWIW.


Thank you John, I'll think about what you said.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2032654 - 02/13/13 07:23 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Irvine, CA
Kevin:
I really like your energetic and vision about your FreshStart Piano Studio that gives Irvine community a fresh stream through your website. You put in so much work, as I said before, your blog is very informative and I especially like your interview with Dr. Kolar.
As you see, I am in Irvine too but I do not see you as a competitor. I wasn't so sure what to think about when I see your blog about Conrad Tao, that is why I posted it here to ask other people for opinions.
I am totally agree with you that there are too many mega piano school around, they are mass producing "McDonald-Type-Like" students. We need piano teachers who can nurture each student personally in this community.
Please keep up your good work, we need piano teacher like you.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2032764 - 02/13/13 10:51 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
edhamgtr Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/12/13
Posts: 3
Kevin,

Please reconsider the suggestion of deleting the critical blog posts about your former employer.

There are no winners in that type of situation and it can taint all your efforts moving forward.
Stay positive.

Your website should only contain the positive attributes of your philosophy and your passion for your students. Zero negativity. In your attempt to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is easy to sound critical of them and this is always a losing strategy.

Re-work your site with the branding clarity others have suggested and remove all thing critical or negative. You are more likely to succeed by only speaking/writing positively.

just a thought.
But I was in this business a long time and probably made these exact mistakes.

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#2032846 - 02/14/13 03:26 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Kevin:
I really like your energetic and vision about your FreshStart Piano Studio that gives Irvine community a fresh stream through your website. You put in so much work, as I said before, your blog is very informative and I especially like your interview with Dr. Kolar.
As you see, I am in Irvine too but I do not see you as a competitor. I wasn't so sure what to think about when I see your blog about Conrad Tao, that is why I posted it here to ask other people for opinions.
I am totally agree with you that there are too many mega piano school around, they are mass producing "McDonald-Type-Like" students. We need piano teachers who can nurture each student personally in this community.
Please keep up your good work, we need piano teacher like you.

Thanks Sue(I got your name from your website), I really appreciate that, honestly I thought nobody read my blog...now I have the whole piano world criticizing it, LOL. The articles were mostly for my own reference. I already have 2 other interviewees who've agreed to be interviewed and another one that I'll call tomorrow smile

I don't see you or other piano teachers as competitors either! And I think that's the problem, I see it as me warning others about a specific person, but some people see it as me bashing a "rival" or a "competitor". To be honest I find the whole "rival" view as comedic, because I don't feel that way at all.

Oh, and I'm talking about Cameron Tong, not Conrad Tao, LOL. Conrad Tao is a concert pianist, Cameron Tong is the ISM director.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2032848 - 02/14/13 03:41 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: catpiano]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: catpiano
Quote:
Finally, I found this sentence in particular rather offensive, "Lastly, my Christian background and upbringing gives me a level of integrity that's not always guaranteed with others."

Hope that helps.
wink


Extremely offensive.

I didn't look through the whole website, but I do wholeheartedly agree with his stance on lessons at music centers.


I'm actually okay with some dissension over the Christian bit because that is who I am and I think websites for piano teachers shouldn't just serve as a lead generator but also a lead qualifier.

While it wasn't meant to be offensive, it does serve as a qualifier. The people who read that and are put off by it wouldn't be a good match for my studio anyway because that is who I am. I'm saving their time and my own time by being upfront about that on my website. Now the people who read that and are drawn by it? Well, those are the prospects I actually want to spend the time to set up an interview for.

With all that said...I do think finding this to be “extremely offensive” is a bit….extreme.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2032857 - 02/14/13 04:19 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Hey AZNpiano, I'm glad you find the information on my site useful, I appreciate it. Like my reply to ezpiano, I didn't think anybody actually read it.

I agree with you, there definitely are good teachers at commercial music studios. Some of the teachers were great at Irvine School of Music too and we've become really good friends-part of the reason I decided against posting the review at a bigger site even though I urge potential students to seek the teachers out privately. Ultimately that is what every piano teacher at commercial music studios would want if they could. You just can't make a decent living teaching at commercial music studios, getting paid 40% of the lesson fee. It's the music studio owners here that tend to operate on the shady side, but even there I know a couple of great music studio owners.

You hit several good points over the head for sure.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2032860 - 02/14/13 04:27 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: edhamgtr]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: edhamgtr
Kevin,

Please reconsider the suggestion of deleting the critical blog posts about your former employer.

There are no winners in that type of situation and it can taint all your efforts moving forward.
Stay positive.

Your website should only contain the positive attributes of your philosophy and your passion for your students. Zero negativity. In your attempt to differentiate yourself from your competitors it is easy to sound critical of them and this is always a losing strategy.

Re-work your site with the branding clarity others have suggested and remove all thing critical or negative. You are more likely to succeed by only speaking/writing positively.

just a thought.
But I was in this business a long time and probably made these exact mistakes.


Hi edhamgtr, I see what you mean, thanks for the advice. I will definitely consider it.

I'm starting to think I should have just posted the review on google and be done with it ha Just kidding. It's okay, everything happens for a reason and I definitely appreciate all the feedback I've gotten smile
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2032901 - 02/14/13 09:02 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2199
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Google or Angie's list or this forum are better places for a critical review. It's even ok on a blog, but the blog should be separate from your studio site.

As for the quality of the writing, my suggestion is to contact the University and hire an editor; a graduate student in the writing program could be perfect. Although if your audience is exclusively non-native speakers of English there may be no need to clean up the writing on the site.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2032906 - 02/14/13 09:12 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Aren't all studios "commercial music studios?"

If a studio isn't commercial, then it's non-profit.

Also, there are a lot of different business models for commercial studios. I've worked for two. One was as an employee, and they offered retirement and health benefits. The other was as an independent contractor. The first was a community music school that rented facilities from a church. The second is inside a music store.

I'm sure this thread makes sense to people living in Irvine, but to me, I honestly have no idea what is meant by the phrase "commercial music studio" in this context. (It's sounding more and more like we're talking about a specific studio - Mr. Tao's, but then why not just name that particular one?)
_________________________
"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)

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www.youtube.com/user/UIPianoPed

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#2032917 - 02/14/13 09:42 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
There has been an incredible growth in music studios located in places like strip malls. They may have one credentialed teacher, but the rest are independent contractors that may or may not be qualified and try to ride on the coattails of the owner, who may or may not have scruples.

Here in California, this has become a real problem, especially in southern California. They are undercharging and pulling the business out from under the feet of the private teachers. The owner teacher is entering students in events under his or her name, but the teachers actually teaching the students aren't members. Eventually, parents might realize what's wrong, but more often than not, the child simply drops piano because they aren't making progress.

The other thing these studios do is steal students. Really. I've seen it in progress. I was in the lobby before a concert when one of these teachers went up to some middle school students and their parents and tried to solicit their business. I couldn't believe the claims they were making. I saw it happening and informed their teacher when she arrived.
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B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2032930 - 02/14/13 10:13 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Minniemay]
TimR Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 2999
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Minniemay
There has been an incredible growth in music studios located in places like strip malls. They may have one credentialed teacher, but the rest are independent contractors that may or may not be qualified and try to ride on the coattails of the owner, who may or may not have scruples.

Here in California, this has become a real problem, especially in southern California. .


This sounds quite evil. But. The private teacher field, while containing credentialed, highly skilled professional teachers also contains a large number of the opposite.

It might actually be safer to go to the strip mall studio and be assured of mediocre rather than bad teaching? The studio teacher is probably more exposed to fellow musicians than a private individual who has never been observed teaching other than by his students.

If the business model works, eventually at least some of the strip mall studios might be able to recruit the top teachers.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2033022 - 02/14/13 12:29 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Kevin, I read your site with interest. I did NOT go to the sections first that were pointed out, because that was out of context --- "who's the writer" comes first.

The first thing I wanted to see is what you represent as a teacher. I am learning about teaching, and I have experiences both as a parent of a now-adult child who went on into a top music program after being a late starter, and as an adult student some time after that. I have some definite thoughts because of those experiences.

What you write about teaching reveals someone who wants to give students the tools of musicianship. You are not promising instant success, and you're not pushing the "music study will help your kids get good grades in school" angle. So as someone who would take music lessons in order to play music well, that attracts me. In fact, when my child asked for music lessons, he expressed it as "I want to learn to do this well."

The name "Fresh Start" reflects very well what happens if someone has had careless teaching for several years, is in a rut, and has to start from scratch so that they finally have a leg to stand on. It's a really good name.

Your ideas are comprehensible to people who know about music studies, and one gets that you know what you are talking about and have a lot to offer. But it is rambly. Well, how does a private teacher teach? He is in the presence of the student and what the student does, carrying his own knowledge, and the lesson unfolds from that. This mindset does not transfer well to paper, where a specific picture gets locked into words. This part may need some fleshing out.

No problem with italics at my end.

About "talent" - I believe that talent is potential, some innate thing, which requires (good) guidance and (good) study, to realize its potential. It also has its own advantages AND disadvantages. Tiger Woods may have shown "something special" but then he was also guided, and worked at it. Didn't he respond similar to some musician who said, "Madam, you too can become great like me. All you have to do is sit down at the piano and work diligently 8 hours a day for the next 20 years." (Beethoven?)

The type of institution that caters to a mentality and is in visible places: many of us have encountered them. It's a difficult, diplomacy-ridden thing to address.

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#2033035 - 02/14/13 12:47 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR

This sounds quite evil. But. The private teacher field, while containing credentialed, highly skilled professional teachers also contains a large number of the opposite.

It might actually be safer to go to the strip mall studio and be assured of mediocre rather than bad teaching? The studio teacher is probably more exposed to fellow musicians than a private individual who has never been observed teaching other than by his students.

If the business model works, eventually at least some of the strip mall studios might be able to recruit the top teachers.


There is a flaw in logic, or in assumptions somewhere in there.

You seem to be thinking that the fact of an institution will prevent poor teaching from being quite as poor, because of some influence the institution has on the teacher. I don't think that teachers observe other teachers, and I don't think that all owners of these ventures know about music - it's a business venture. If there is any kind of pressure on teachers, then it's from a business angle, such as:

- sell the place's books, and use only those books, regardless of what is best suited for the student
- compete on the basis of going through grades as fast as possible because that is what impresses the unwashed masses

I'm sure there are others. Both my/my child's first teacher and our accompanist began as refugees beginning in such a place, and both managed to found their own studios after a couple of years. The "school" had these cutesy monthly newsletters, sounding "educational" with some bit of wisdom, like to bow to the audience before performing. The recital we attended clearly showed the agenda. The students were playing impressive fireworks kinds of pieces, did not show that they had any kind of good grounding. The general impression was that they were zipping through the grades to impress parents with how "fast" they could go, and the fireworks gave more bragging rights. In contrast, our teacher and the accompanist who was also a piano teacher, had more simple pieces that were played well, and were well prepared. As I got to know these teachers better, I learned that the pressure was to go fast, impress, and teach as many students as possible back to back.

Conclusion from that experience: not only did this institution NOT cause mediocre teachers to teach better, it also undermined attempts to teach well.

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#2033065 - 02/14/13 02:06 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 2999
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR

This sounds quite evil. But. The private teacher field, while containing credentialed, highly skilled professional teachers also contains a large number of the opposite.

It might actually be safer to go to the strip mall studio and be assured of mediocre rather than bad teaching? The studio teacher is probably more exposed to fellow musicians than a private individual who has never been observed teaching other than by his students.

If the business model works, eventually at least some of the strip mall studios might be able to recruit the top teachers.


There is a flaw in logic, or in assumptions somewhere in there.

You seem to be thinking that the fact of an institution will prevent poor teaching from being quite as poor, because of some influence the institution has on the teacher.


Thinking is too strong a word. Hoping is probably closer! And the hope is that teaching more publicly might (but only might) result in more accountability than the highly individualistic completely private teaching that is more common.

Quote:
Conclusion from that experience: not only did this institution NOT cause mediocre teachers to teach better, it also undermined attempts to teach well.


In this case perhaps your logic is wrong. Didn't those teachers produce exactly what their employer desired? You and I would make different choices for what should be taught. We wouldn't focus on flashy fireworks. But in the example you gave, the requirement was flashy fireworks, and the teachers succeeded. They were skillful at producing the wrong things, and if led by a different boss might be skillful at producing the right things.

Contrast that to a poor private teacher, who can produce neither flashy fireworks nor sound fundamentals. They wouldn't last in the commercial studio.

But again, it's just a hope; not claiming it actually works that way anywhere.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2033070 - 02/14/13 02:19 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5271
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
It might actually be safer to go to the strip mall studio and be assured of mediocre rather than bad teaching?

You serious? eek
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2033077 - 02/14/13 02:38 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5271
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'm sure this thread makes sense to people living in Irvine, but to me, I honestly have no idea what is meant by the phrase "commercial music studio" in this context.

This is not just an Irvine problem. It's a problem in other parts of the world as well. As far as I know, similar things are going on in China.

You basically have an owner, maybe an investor, with some money and opens up a "music school." Then, he hires a bunch of contractors as "teachers." He then goes on to recruit clients, however aggressively or menacingly, with little or no regards to ethics.

In order to stay in business, the owner has to take a cut of the tuition. This cut can be as small as 33% and as high as 75%. Meanwhile, most of the studios in the location are tiny, with horrible sound leak and poorly-maintained instruments. Other tactics (such as hiring teachers in need of a work visa, various non-compete clauses) can be used to stay in business.

It is a business, after all, and not an institution of learning. I'm just describing a vague tip of the iceberg, but suffice it to say that the livelihood of many private teachers is at stake here.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2033081 - 02/14/13 02:49 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Google or Angie's list or this forum are better places for a critical review. It's even ok on a blog, but the blog should be separate from your studio site.


I am with Malkin thumb
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2033084 - 02/14/13 02:54 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
It is a business, after all, and not an institution of learning.


Good ANZ thumb

As my students are growing, my landlord ask me why not to expand? He wanted me to branch out and rent more rooms from him. I simply tell him that I can't afford the rent of another room. He said: Just hire another teacher to teach for you! (You are right, this is the businessman talking here, my landlord) I tell him that I am sure I am a good teacher, but I am not sure I am a good businessman.

I am just simply do not have time to supervise another teacher making sure that he is providing the same quality of service as I am.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2033086 - 02/14/13 02:58 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR
Didn't those teachers produce exactly what their employer desired? You and I would make different choices for what should be taught. We wouldn't focus on flashy fireworks. But in the example you gave, the requirement was flashy fireworks, and the teachers succeeded. They were skillful at producing the wrong things, and if led by a different boss might be skillful at producing the right things.

The purpose of lessons is to TEACH SKILLS in doing MUSIC. No, they did NOT succeed. At that time I had never had lessons and my child had only ad lessons for 3 months so I didn't know anything yet. Nonetheless, I could hear clearly that the playing was "fast and sloppy and uncontrolled" in many of the cases. Their foundations were ruined and some future teacher would have to fix a mess! Which, btw, is what Kevin's article was about.

You're also forgetting your own point, which I was addressing, namely that the influence of the schools would cause poor teachers to improve their teaching. But this pressures good teachers to lower their standards, and it misleads beginner teachers in regards to what teaching and priorities actually are - worsening the situation all round.

They were also not "skilful". They were muddling through.


Edited by keystring (02/14/13 02:58 PM)

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#2033111 - 02/14/13 03:53 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 2999
Loc: Virginia, USA
[quote=keystring
You're also forgetting your own point, which I was addressing, namely that the influence of the schools would cause poor teachers to improve their teaching. [/quote]

Or be weeded out, which is more likely.

But for new teachers to learn their craft faster and more thoroughly, by being in a group setting with access to fellow professionals, and observation by the boss, whose long term profit depended on hiring and keeping talent.

You've convinced me your example was a failure. And I know of others. My brother signed a contract to teach at a similar music school, without reading the fine print, then couldn't get disentangled when it turned out bad. He was at the time a professional working jazz musician and could have been an asset to a real school, but it turned out to be a quick bucks scheme.

Don't you think there's a potential for these academies to work, if done right? Must piano teaching be a solitary profession, hidden away in basements in our neighborhoods?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2033143 - 02/14/13 04:39 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
No, but the person in charge must have good ethics. That has been the greater problem.


Edited by Minniemay (02/14/13 04:40 PM)
_________________________
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

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#2033145 - 02/14/13 04:41 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: malkin]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: malkin
Google or Angie's list or this forum are better places for a critical review. It's even ok on a blog, but the blog should be separate from your studio site.

As for the quality of the writing, my suggestion is to contact the University and hire an editor; a graduate student in the writing program could be perfect. Although if your audience is exclusively non-native speakers of English there may be no need to clean up the writing on the site.

yes...I'm starting to see that the problem is the fact that it is on my own studio website, making it easy for people to conclude that I'm just trying to trash a competing business. It also doesn't help that people here don't know me personally.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2033169 - 02/14/13 05:00 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Kreisler]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Aren't all studios "commercial music studios?"

If a studio isn't commercial, then it's non-profit.

Also, there are a lot of different business models for commercial studios. I've worked for two. One was as an employee, and they offered retirement and health benefits. The other was as an independent contractor. The first was a community music school that rented facilities from a church. The second is inside a music store.

I'm sure this thread makes sense to people living in Irvine, but to me, I honestly have no idea what is meant by the phrase "commercial music studio" in this context. (It's sounding more and more like we're talking about a specific studio - Mr. Tao's, but then why not just name that particular one?)

Let's see if I can try and clear this up. You're thinking of one definition of the word "commercial", for profit. I think in this case commercial is more for the commercialization of music instruction, where the main focus turns away from education and focuses on profit. Not only that, but also the focus on getting a large number of students, for better or worse.

I think these three definitions of commercial is what's implied here:

1. Of, relating to, or being goods, often unrefined, produced and distributed in large quantities for use by industry
2. being of an average or inferior quality <show-quality versus commercial cattle>
3. producing artistic work of low standards for quick market success

Cameron Tong runs a studio much like the second business model you worked for, in fact I'd say all the commercial music studios in Irvine are run as such. It's not named specifically because there's also another discussion here about commercial music studios in general, not just his.

Also, my review of Cameron Tong wasn't for his commercial music studio overall, there are decent teachers there for sure, it was for his personal lack of integrity as a business owner.

Hope this helps!
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2033172 - 02/14/13 05:04 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 957
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Also, my review of Cameron Tong wasn't for his commercial music studio overall, there are decent teachers there for sure, it was for his personal lack of integrity as a business owner.


Now I understand. I thought you just trash him because he is your competitor, and I am afraid too, that is why I mentioned in the previous post that, hey, I am in Irvine too, but I do not view you as competitor.
_________________________
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#2033173 - 02/14/13 05:06 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11157
Loc: Canada
..


Edited by keystring (02/14/13 07:51 PM)

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#2033199 - 02/14/13 05:46 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Let's give this little Irvine, California teacher feud a rest. It's unseemly, and not in keeping with the goals of PW. Or else let's encourage Cameron Tong - whom we only know through the lens of his rival and former employee - to describe the merits of his school, which I read now has some 200 students.

A third choice is to broaden this discussion to embrace the structures of all small multi-teacher piano schools.

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#2033235 - 02/14/13 06:47 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
Let's give this little Irvine, California teacher feud a rest. It's unseemly, and not in keeping with the goals of PW. Or else let's encourage Cameron Tong - whom we only know through the lens of his rival and former employee - to describe the merits of his school, which I read now has some 200 students.

A third choice is to broaden this discussion to embrace the structures of all small multi-teacher piano schools.



You seem to have missed quite a bit of content on this topic since your last post.

First, if you read the other responses here you would know that there is nothing "little" about this topic and that it's not just about a "feud" between two teachers but a whole discussion about commercial music studios in general.

Secondly, about Cameron Tong, it wasn't about the merits of his school; as I've pointed out already, there are great teachers there, it's about his dishonest business practices. Also, I would take the 200 students statement with a grain of salt having worked there myself and knowing that other "facts" in the article contain lies that another reviewer-not myself-pointed out on google reviews. Plus, if you read the other posts here about how commercial music studios around here lobby for students you would know that having some 200 hundred students merits nothing if only the marketing and lobbying tactics used.

I think the discussion on commercial music studios is a very real and worthwhile topic on piano world as it affects many private piano teachers.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2033242 - 02/14/13 06:59 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13706
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I'm getting curious - what are these "dishonest business practices" people keep talking about?
_________________________
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#2033259 - 02/14/13 07:35 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Kreisler]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5271
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
I'm getting curious - what are these "dishonest business practices" people keep talking about?

Here are some quick examples:

1) Stealing students who are currently studying with another teacher or at another "music school"; this could be done in the form of offering sibling discounts and referral fees, even if the new client is already studying with another teacher!

2) Brainwashing parents by providing false information, including incorrect information on how to play piano

3) Bad-mouthing other teachers and music schools

4) Exploiting teachers who need work visas to stay in the US; exploiting younger teachers who don't have their own studio and/or teachers who can't teach out of their apartments

5) Signing up students for exams and competitions under a different teacher's name (In California, this is a serious problem, because administering CM test relies on teacher volunteers and hundreds of hours of manpower; some schools pay the MTAC teachers money to do the extra volunteer work, and then pass on the fees to the parents!!); also, the teachers can cheat on membership fees and/or bypass the requirement of proper qualifications, such as not having a college degree in music

6) Switching the students' teachers often, without prior notice to the parents, and sometimes without notifying the current teacher; this happens to both the worst students and the most talented ones

7) Making false and exaggerated promises, such as skipping exam levels and winning competitions
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2033267 - 02/14/13 07:46 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1241
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Kevin tried working for a commercial music school, and it didn't suit him. Now he is teaching in his own studio, at a higher hourly wage but of course with many other hidden costs.

Either way it's tough trying to support oneself teaching piano. I wish him good fortune. (I, too, like the name Fresh Start.)

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