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#2037762 - 02/22/13 10:43 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: ezpiano.org]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Hey Tim,

You seem like a cool guy and judging from your profession, very educated. Also, I think you've definitely answered the ethical question regarding yourself.

Quick statement about what you said about me. I didn't just make up a story about everything that happened. I've since taken the review off my blog as I've realized some people just can't wrap their heads around the fact that it's on a "competitor's" website, therefore I'm just a bitter, lying, former employee, whatever my real intentions are.

Piggybacking off Minniemay's response to you. CM exams are popular here because it's a quantifiable way for students to demonstrate their work and ability on the piano when it comes to college applications.

Anyway, in some of your previous posts, I can still see where you are coming from--assuming some miscommunication--but I think quite a few things you mentioned in your most recent post is pretty much way off base simply because you don't know what you are talking about. And I'm saying that in the nicest way possible. Like I said, I think you are a good person--I took the time to look at some of your other posts.

I think as far as MTAC is concerned, you should have just left it alone when you realized you didn't know anything about it. These are teachers that have been members through the years and are actually in the midst of it; it's hard for you to fully comprehend it from where you are.

Also, to fully answer your questions, we need to dissect them even further. In terms of ethics, it wasn't about the teachers, but what the DIRECTORS make the teachers do. The skills part of your question does apply to specific teachers. With that distinction, here's my take on it from a previous post:

"In terms of the QUALITY of teachers(as far as having degrees in performance go). You are more likely to get above average quality at commercial music studios than privately--percentage-wise. Obviously, the best teachers will not be working at a place for less than 40% of what they are worth, but then the worst teachers won't get hired either. Which is necessary I think because of the public nature of a commercial studio as opposed to an independent studio that mostly relies on word-of-mouth.

Now to summarize the ethics part of this equation. You are A LOT more likely to be giving money to an unethical owner/director of a commercial music studio who then takes a large chunk of that money to continue their marketing efforts--ethical or otherwise--pay rent, pay front desk personnel, all with an eye on maximizing profit."

Hope this helps. Just my two cents, and of course you are free to disagree with it.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2037787 - 02/23/13 01:00 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5418
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
I knew nothing about MTAC or CM when we started this journey, when you first attacked me. The more I learn the more I think CM itself is unethical. But that's a rabbit hole.

Tim:

I think the safest thing for you to do--since you freely admit you knew nothing about CM or MTAC--is to reserve judgment.

When you are in knee-deep (or neck-deep) as some of the teachers here are, you can't help but make your opinions heard. Sure, some of the claims are outrageous, but outrageous things do happen.

My most recent transfer student came to me after being courted by the owner of a "music school." This owner promised things like skipping CM levels, learning difficult pieces in short periods of time, winning piano competitions, etc. The mother is enlightened enough to know that all that testing amounts to a piece of paper, and not a life-long love for music. She saw plenty of kids quit piano after Level 10, never to touch piano again. She also knew kids who spent an entire year learning 3 or 4 pieces for the test.

Unfortunately, few parents are as enlightened as this one. Most parents are absolutely, spectacularly clueless about CM, MTAC, or the entire testing process. Lies, half-truths, and misinformation get passed in these circles of parents.

Two of my former students' mothers questioned me about CM Policy, and I had to print a page off the MTAC website to prove that whatever misinformation they heard from "music schools" is WRONG. Dead wrong. And after I PROVED the "music schools" are wrong, the parents still kept enrolling their kids at the "music schools." Some people apparently enjoy being duped and brainwashed. When you repeat lies enough times, lies become the truth.

I was a victim of poaching. A lot of private teachers were. I asked a member on CM Council what to do about it, and the response I got was "These things are hard to prove." Stupendous. I guess the honest teachers will just have to wallow in our own honesty.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2037793 - 02/23/13 01:19 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Nikolas Online   content
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5219
Loc: Europe
I'm trying to read this whole thread, but I'm having a hard time following, since it doesn't interest me practically in any way, but it's filled with acronyms that I've just recently met...

Still, I'd like to say that, while I'm ultra educated (PhD, blah blah), I still find that while some times I get annoyed by the credential of others, I do still understand that one cannot be judged "by a piece of paper".

I have felt very unsupported of Greece over the past few years and actually haven't been able to find a regular job in a music school ANYWHERE! reason for that is the economic crisis, the fact that each music school here has a couple of piano teachers which are enough for them and nobody cares to provide better service to their students (if we are to assume that I'd provide a better service).

I have decided, though, for better or worst on the following ideas (and based on my experience of course):

1. Even people (composers) who don't read or write music can come up with some AMAZING music (true).
2. Credentials don't mean a thing in real life, apart from perhaps showing some dedication in the field they've studied.
3. I'm slowing gaining reputation as a private teacher and this is fine by me, even if I can't enter the normal music schools system. No grudges there. in fact I have been considering that perhaps I'm lacking something (skills, networking, appearance, talent, certainly not credentials :P), so... it could be that.
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2037815 - 02/23/13 03:57 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: Plowboy]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Plowboy
As for the quality of instruction, I don't know since I've only had one teacher. But I do notice that one of the private Irvine teachers on this thread is teaching kids to use pedal with Bach. Even I know that's wrong.


....I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not. If you are then that was a really good one.

But if you aren't then I think that reveals a little something about the quality of instruction you are getting--if only in terms of pedaling.

Anyway, it seems your passive aggressive statement about "one of the private Irvine teachers on this thread" kind of backfired already judging from the other responses so I won't add any more to it.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2037896 - 02/23/13 10:45 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: Kevin K]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Kevin K
Quick statement about what you said about me. I didn't just make up a story about everything that happened. I've since taken the review off my blog as I've realized some people just can't wrap their heads around the fact that it's on a "competitor's" website, therefore I'm just a bitter, lying, former employee, whatever my real intentions are.


From what I recall, the problem was that your story of everything that happened was incredibly vague. There were no specifics. Had you mentioned a specific incident and given details, then the story would've had a lot more credibility.

Plus, one of the criticisms that has been levied against these commercial music schools is that they poach students and, in the process, often say bad things about the teachers they're poaching from. In a way, that seemed to be what you were doing - the blog post seemed to be a marketing tactic, aimed at convincing parents that commercial music schools provide low-quality instruction and have shady business practices.

In looking at a variety of websites in the Orange County area, I've noticed something. It's very difficult to find the names of teachers and a list of student accomplishments. I'm surprised at how few of the teachers in the area run a website that clearly indicates who they are, what their credentials are, lists recent student accomplishments, and clearly state their policies. At a minimum, websites should at least have the *names of the teachers*.

If I were a parent in Irvine, I'd be incredibly confused. Only one teacher in the area shows up as being MTNA certified, and the MTAC Irvine branch website lists teachers but doesn't give websites for more information, making it very difficult to research teachers.
_________________________
"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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#2037997 - 02/23/13 01:58 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: Kreisler]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
Originally Posted By: Kevin K
Quick statement about what you said about me. I didn't just make up a story about everything that happened. I've since taken the review off my blog as I've realized some people just can't wrap their heads around the fact that it's on a "competitor's" website, therefore I'm just a bitter, lying, former employee, whatever my real intentions are.


From what I recall, the problem was that your story of everything that happened was incredibly vague. There were no specifics. Had you mentioned a specific incident and given details, then the story would've had a lot more credibility.

Plus, one of the criticisms that has been levied against these commercial music schools is that they poach students and, in the process, often say bad things about the teachers they're poaching from. In a way, that seemed to be what you were doing - the blog post seemed to be a marketing tactic, aimed at convincing parents that commercial music schools provide low-quality instruction and have shady business practices.

In looking at a variety of websites in the Orange County area, I've noticed something. It's very difficult to find the names of teachers and a list of student accomplishments. I'm surprised at how few of the teachers in the area run a website that clearly indicates who they are, what their credentials are, lists recent student accomplishments, and clearly state their policies. At a minimum, websites should at least have the *names of the teachers*.

If I were a parent in Irvine, I'd be incredibly confused. Only one teacher in the area shows up as being MTNA certified, and the MTAC Irvine branch website lists teachers but doesn't give websites for more information, making it very difficult to research teachers.

Interesting, I'll keep that in mind. I was talking about a very specific incident, but I guess I didn't give too many details about it.

Actually, in my review, I very specifically mention that the teachers there are great and I urge parents to seek them out privately, not seek ME out personally, I think that would be me poaching students from the teachers there. Nowhere in the review was it ever about come study with me or don't study with the teachers at ISM; it was about not supporting a dishonest owner of the commercial music studio. In fact I even say that Cameron might be a decent piano teacher himself, but he's a dishonest one and if a parent has a problem with that then please be aware, if they don't care, then that's fine with me also.

I realize now that posting it on my own website is a mistake as the review was originally intended to be posted on google; I changed my mind BECAUSE I cared about the teachers/friends I've made there. It was never about poaching students from the teachers there.

As far as the website is concerned, I don't know how I can put more about myself on there, I'm guessing you're not talking about my website. Although the student accomplishments/lists thing isn't done yet because I feel like I should ask for the parent's permission first and haven't gotten around to it yet. I've only listed the schools my students are from.

As for commercial music studio websites who don't list their teachers, my guess is it's simply not practical for them considering the turnover rate of the teachers there and probably partly because they don't want parents to have their teachers' full names in case they seek them out privately. At Irvine School of Music, Cameron made it very clear in the contract and personally that we are not allowed to give out any personal information.

I'm not a MTNA member, that's different from MTAC which I am a part of. As for the websites for the list of teachers, the truth is....most of them DON'T have a website. Speaking for my mom only, she doesn't even know how to download attachments from an email let alone create a website. One member in the branch doesn't even use computers.

Anyway! Hope this sheds some light on your concerns.
_________________________
http://www.irvinepianostudio.com

Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2038087 - 02/23/13 05:05 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: Kevin K]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13759
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Originally Posted By: Kevin K
As far as the website is concerned, I don't know how I can put more about myself on there, I'm guessing you're not talking about my website.


I wasn't. I did a search for Irvine piano teachers on google and checked the MTAC and MTNA websites to see what I could come up with.

Here are a few websites from where I live:

http://www.preucil.org/index.html

Very clear - names of the administrators and faculty easy to find, website looks professional, and everything is spelled and punctuated correctly. Pricing and scheduling information is easy to find.

http://www.jakobpianostudio.com/index.html

An independent teacher who works at the same store I do. A simpler website, but clearly says who he is, gives credentials, policies, and registration information.

http://www.nancycree.com/

A group of five teachers in our area who are very active in the community. Site includes bios of all teachers, contact information, a schedule of events, and a monthly newsletter.

So...three very different teaching situations with very different websites, but they all have clarity in common. I know all of them personally, and they all have good relationships with their clients, provide a quality education with a professional level of service. I would have no trouble referring students to them, and I'm pretty sure they'd all refer students to me as well.
_________________________
"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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