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#2035736 - 02/19/13 09:34 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Compare two worlds: commercial and private. I am not talking about which one has more chances of getting a real non-MTAC member. I am talking about which one has more chances of getting a “FAKE MTAC member”



I'm not sure where you're going with this.

You're saying if a private teacher claims MTAC, I should trust them, but if a commercial school teacher claims the same thing, I should assume it is fake?

I just searched craig's list for my area (central Virginia) and checked the first 20 hits. None claimed MTAC. The majority were private, but some were associated with schools.

So while MTAC may be valuable, it doesn't seem to be a force in the marketplace. I would bet few prospective students have any idea it exists. I certainly didn't until reading this forum, and that was after finding a couple of piano teachers for my kids and myself.
_________________________
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#2035741 - 02/19/13 09:46 AM 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: 11572
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR

I'm not sure where you're going with this.

You're saying if a private teacher claims MTAC, I should trust them, but if a commercial school teacher claims the same thing, I should assume it is fake?

I think the post was very clear, but if you only read the part you quoted, you won't understand what is being said. A post must be read in its entiretly.

Ezpiano talked about an organization that has a number of teachers, some of them registered with MTAC, and the registered member could sign for the non-member. And then that a private teacher cannot do that, because that teacher is alone. It was a specific scenario.

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#2035743 - 02/19/13 09:48 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
So while MTAC may be valuable, it doesn't seem to be a force in the marketplace. I would bet few prospective students have any idea it exists. I certainly didn't until reading this forum, and that was after finding a couple of piano teachers for my kids and myself.

MTAC = Music Teachers' Association of CALIFORNIA

Each state has its own version of MTA, most likely associated with MTNA.

In California, MTAC has cornered the marketplace. The MTNA scene in California (called CAPMT) is rather small in comparison.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2035751 - 02/19/13 10:11 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Peter K. Mose Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1316
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Whatever the initials for an association of piano teachers in a particular region, Tim is right that such organizations are generally not a force in the marketplace. Most prospective students or their parents will never encounter them, or understand them.

But perhaps Orange County, California is different: it certainly sounds like an interesting place to be running a piano studio!

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#2035756 - 02/19/13 10:21 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: TimR
So while MTAC may be valuable, it doesn't seem to be a force in the marketplace. I would bet few prospective students have any idea it exists. I certainly didn't until reading this forum, and that was after finding a couple of piano teachers for my kids and myself.

MTAC = Music Teachers' Association of CALIFORNIA



In California, MTAC has cornered the marketplace. The MTNA scene in California (called CAPMT) is rather small in comparison.


Kind of confusing. I went to the MTNA site, and did a search for Virginia. It came up with a list of piano teachers who are NCTM. Yet another acronym to confuse me. Most were concentrated in the northern Virginia (near DC) area but there are a sprinkling across the state.

I looked at the certification requirements. Seems like a reasonable approach (and I liked their terminology of "independent" teacher rather than private.)

I was obviously unclear about "cornered the market." The question I have is not MTAC vs MTNA vs NGPT or any other organization. It is percentage of independent teachers certified at all. Judging from craig's list and local ads, the common ways a musically naive person would search for a teacher, certification is not a factor at all in my area.

We'd also want to know the percentage certified and working at the commercial locations too.

Any guess as to which would be higher?

I know some of you have a substantial customer base with home schoolers. Do any of the home school organizations put importance on certifications?
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2035761 - 02/19/13 10:27 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: keystring]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Ezpiano talked about an organization that has a number of teachers, some of them registered with MTAC, and the registered member could sign for the non-member. And then that a private teacher cannot do that, because that teacher is alone. It was a specific scenario.

And it is a scenario that continues to be played out, now that CM season has arrived. I'm pretty sure last November a certain percentage of CM students were signed up through another teacher. Registration is done completely on an honors system, which in recent years--with the mushrooming proliferation of "music schools"--has been abused severely and profusely.

And these "music schools" get smart! They first legitimize their existence by offering their "facilities" (of mostly out-of-tune junk pianos) for CM testing, often for free or for a really low fee if enough of their own teachers belong to a certain branch. Then, they disseminate their MTAC teachers over several branches to maximize the suffering of legitimate MTAC teachers and minimize suspicion from colleagues. When a teacher signs up 75 students for CM, obviously something is afoul. And a typical MTAC branch doesn't have enough volunteer jobs or job-hours for a studio that size.

Think about this: In some branches, if you register 1-5 students, you have to work half day for CM. Most branches don't have more than two days of testing, so teachers who sign up 20 students will have to work the two full days. Great. What if a teacher signed up 75 students? All those required volunteer hours get dumped on the shoulders of other teachers.

As a result of this madness, bitterness brews. The teachers who got volunteered to grade the 2,000 theory tests get sloppy and make tons of stupid mistakes. Teachers show up late to their morning shifts (so they don't have to help set up), or leave early from their afternoon shifts (so they don't have to help clean up).

When commercial institutions take advantage of a testing system based on teacher-volunteers, everyone loses, except of course for the music school owners.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2035770 - 02/19/13 10:40 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: Peter K. Mose]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose
But perhaps Orange County, California is different: it certainly sounds like an interesting place to be running a piano studio!

It's a curse and a blessing. On one hand, teachers who don't have close to a full studio can still charge a decent rate and make a very comfortable living. On the other hand, the sheer number of prospective clients makes this place attractive to "music schools" of all ilks, ethical or not.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2035826 - 02/19/13 11:56 AM 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: 11572
Loc: Canada
I think an obvious conclusion is that in some regions, exams are considered important or even essential by the clientele. If the population thinks that learning is important, and exams are not an essential part of learning, then that particular card could not be played. Therefore the fuss may be incomprehensible for people depending on their environment.

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#2035827 - 02/19/13 11:58 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: keystring]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR

I'm not sure where you're going with this.

You're saying if a private teacher claims MTAC, I should trust them, but if a commercial school teacher claims the same thing, I should assume it is fake?

I think the post was very clear, but if you only read the part you quoted, you won't understand what is being said. A post must be read in its entiretly.



I read it again slowly and googled CM. I didn't know what that was, as it is California specific.

So to summarize, a student who for some reason wants to take a CM test has to have a MTAC (again California specific) teacher submit them.

If they go to a school, it doesn't have to be their personal teacher, because somebody else can sign for them.

If they have an independent teacher, they can't take the test unless their teacher is certified.

Sounds like an advantage to the school. You could have a very good independent teacher, but if she isn't certified, or has some other certification, you're out of luck. With the school you could stay with the teacher you like and still take the test.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2036426 - 02/20/13 01:10 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
Sounds like an advantage to the school. You could have a very good independent teacher, but if she isn't certified, or has some other certification, you're out of luck. With the school you could stay with the teacher you like and still take the test.


Thank you Tim. I took one day to think about what you wrote. All I can conclude is that we are very different people. Not only we are different in geography, we are different in our goal of taking piano lesson and our moral value are different too.

Please notice that I do not say my moral value is better than you, all I say here is that our moral value is very different.

Thank you for open my eyes to realize that commercial music school actually catering their business for people like you.

Please take care.
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2036441 - 02/20/13 01:42 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
When commercial institutions take advantage of a testing system based on teacher-volunteers, everyone loses, except of course for the music school owners.


Why on earth should the richest nation on earth be relying on teacher-volunteers to grade official music exams that might make all the difference to those taking the exams?

Does anyone else see what is wrong with this picture?

Perhaps the time has arrived for professional, consistent, well-organized, fair and objective testing organizations, such as the ABRSM, to take on / take over the testing roles in the US, rather than relying on teacher's unions or amateur, local organizations with unmotivated or abused volunteers who are " making careless mistakes."...

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#2036447 - 02/20/13 01:55 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
Sounds like an advantage to the school. You could have a very good independent teacher, but if she isn't certified, or has some other certification, you're out of luck. With the school you could stay with the teacher you like and still take the test.


Thank you Tim. I took one day to think about what you wrote. All I can conclude is that we are very different people. Not only we are different in geography, we are different in our goal of taking piano lesson and our moral value are different too.

Please notice that I do not say my moral value is better than you, all I say here is that our moral value is very different.

Thank you for open my eyes to realize that commercial music school actually catering their business for people like you.

Please take care.


I could be misreading this - hope so - but it would appear you've chosen a polite way to be as deliberately offensive as possible.

That would indeed indicate we have very different moral values - if in fact I've read you correctly - hope not.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2036459 - 02/20/13 02:08 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: TimR]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: TimR
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
Sounds like an advantage to the school. You could have a very good independent teacher, but if she isn't certified, or has some other certification, you're out of luck. With the school you could stay with the teacher you like and still take the test.


Thank you Tim. I took one day to think about what you wrote. All I can conclude is that we are very different people. Not only we are different in geography, we are different in our goal of taking piano lesson and our moral value are different too.

Please notice that I do not say my moral value is better than you, all I say here is that our moral value is very different.

Thank you for open my eyes to realize that commercial music school actually catering their business for people like you.

Please take care.


I could be misreading this - hope so - but it would appear you've chosen a polite way to be as deliberately offensive as possible.

That would indeed indicate we have very different moral values - if in fact I've read you correctly - hope not.


I think you misread me, please go back and read it again. This time, slowly, and do some google if you need.
However, if you want to interpret my post in your own way, I have no right to interfere your freedom.
Your sincerely, please take care.


Edited by ezpiano.org (02/20/13 02:12 PM)
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2036467 - 02/20/13 02:27 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
TimR was certainly not the only one who read it that way. You cannot isolate your own last post from all your other posts on the thread....

Gosh, TimR, how does it feel to be a people like you?

Judging by aznpiano's earlier posts you are gullible and easily deceived, not interested in quality, etc.

How the heck did you manage to get that judgment given that you are someone who is traveling three hours to take lessons with an impeccable, well-researched and tested by yourself, independent teacher with impressive qualifications...?

Sometimes I get the idea that if teachers would spend half the time improving their teaching skills that they spend whinging about how unfair life is on public bulletin boards, there wouldn't be so many poor teachers out there endangering the musical lives of innocent human beings....

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#2036506 - 02/20/13 03:59 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: theJourney]
hippido Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 107
Loc: SoCal

I live in Irvine as seraval of my siblings. My son spent 2 years at a "commercial" piano studio as many of his cousins. One of his cousin passed MTAC Level 10 studying from one of the commercial piano studios. Although my son now studies piano with a private teacher, many of his cousins still go to the commerical piano studios.

My son quit the multi-teacher studio because his teacher at the time, whom he has grown fond of, quit the school due to a business dispute. We decided to hire her as his private teacher following her resignation. Although I'm not a fan of commercial studios and their directors, I wanted to offer a different point of view seen from parents' perspectives.

From my experiences with several bigger commercial piano studios, most of their teachers are credentialed, highly credentialed in fact. I suspect that the studio directors want to hire highly credentialed teachers to attract clients. My son's first teacher has a doctorate degree in piano performance. His two other teachers at the same "commercial" studios have master degrees. My nephews and nieces' teachers at the commercial studios have masters or higher as well.

BTW, before my son started piano studies, I talked to my bros and sis and friends, and heard quite a few "horror" stories re: private piano teachers, hence we decided to sign him up for the multi-teacher studio.

Commercial studios offer many conveniences to the parents (the folks signing the checks) that most private teachers do not:

1. After my son's first teacher left the studio for personal reasons, his 2nd teacher and he never hit it off. After our reflection to the studio's director, he was "assigned" another teacher immediately. No 30-day notice, no explanation given to the teacher (it's not our job).

2. When his teacher needs to take a few weeks off, we did not have to search long and hard for a sub. One was assigned, so he did not miss any lessons. When he studied privately and his teacher took two months off for maternity leave, he was without a teacher for those two months.

3. Every quarter my son was evaluated by the director for progress. Based on my son's progress, the director gave us a plan, we gave him feedback. Together, we determined if the plan suited my son. Tremendous help for parents who are muscially (piano) challenged like us. I doubt if many private teachers offer such regurlar evaluations.

4. His progress was concretely measured. For the parents who know piano or music, perhaps getting past certain exam levels might not be a good indication of progress, but for those who are musically challenged like us, the only way for us to differentiate between good progress or lack of is how well our sons and daugheters are doing at exams and/or competitions. Commercial studios tend to provide concrete, measureable goals.

As mentioned, my son studies with a private teacher now, and I'm not a big fan of the music schools, but they do serve their purposes for some parents, ones like us 4+ years ago.

So, to Kevin Kao, although I live in Irvine, I had not heard of Cameron Tong and his studio until I read this post, for I suspect it's not one of the big, well-known ones in Irvine. Frankly, your review of Cameron Tong does not offer much to the parents. Cameron might be a crook, but your review smacked me as a gripe from a disgruntled former employee. Try to write for the parents, i.e. how the director being a crook affects students' progress, then perhaps it would be more useful.

I don't think there are anything wrong with large commercial studios if it's run with students' interests at heart. There might be others, but I know of at least one such studios (not the one my son attended) in Irvine. Perhaps, EZ, Kevin, AZN can team up and create a multi-teacher studio that provides the conveniences cited above, yet is ethical, and keeps student's interest above all else.

Just a thought.

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#2036509 - 02/20/13 04:05 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
hippido Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/08
Posts: 107
Loc: SoCal
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
[quote=keystring] When commercial institutions take advantage of a testing system based on teacher-volunteers, everyone loses, except of course for the music school owners.


We paid a bit for my son to take the MTAC exams. There are quite a number of students taking exams every year. I thought that the money is used to pay for folks running the exams. Where does the money go if the exams were run by volunteers?

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#2036537 - 02/20/13 04:59 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Levels Prep-2, 10 min. evaluation $ 30.00
Levels 3-5, 15 min. evaluation $ 35.00
Levels 6-7, 20 min. evaluation $ 40.00
Levels 8-9, 25 min. evaluation $ 45.00
Advanced, 30 min. eval. non-Panel $ 50.00
Advanced, 30 min. eval. Panel * $ 65.00

Please see above the CM fee. Teachers might charge “teacher fee” of XX amount depend on teachers on the top of the above fee to cover the “non-involvement fee” stated below.

In ideal world, my wishes would be:
Parents go to MTAC website, register their kids to take CM test themselves instead of teachers doing it. Parents will pay online with credit card to MTAC directly. The online feature will ask them to enter their kid’s name, school grade, CM Level, birthday. The following page will have them select their kid’s teachers name according to the database that MTAC has. This will give transparency towards parents that which one is their kid’s real teacher. Let’s say the kid study with Teacher C in commercial studio, then when register CM test, parents will realize that he cannot find Teacher C’s name in MTAC database and begin to be suspicious. Whatever the money that MTAC collect, they will use it to hire evaluators, pay rent for venues, hire common piano teachers to grade theory test. They will also hire non-teachers to do the side work such as buying lunch, arranging tables, chairs etc work that is not related to music.

Instead of how I describe above, this is what they do:
Teachers will register online to enter student’s name, school grade, CM Level, birthday. Teachers will collect the fee from parents (for example $20 for the test fee) then hand in the fees to local branch CM Chair. Teachers have to do volunteer work base on how many students they register. For example, let say I register 29 students, I should work 6 shifts and that is about 30 hours. If I cannot work, then I have to pay MTAC $650 to cover 6 shifts. They called it “non-involvement fee”

Questions:
Why make it so complicated? Why don’t just charge $70 instead of $20 from parents that pay directly to MTAC and MTAC can use the money to hire whoever piano teachers that is “willing to take the money and work”? Why they have to charge so low and depend on teacher’s volunteering and charge teacher when they cannot volunteer? Right now music teachers are not only expected to correct theory test, they also expected to run errands that could be done by someone who is not a music teacher. Music teachers also expected to be a door monitor!!
I will email this to our local branch CM Chair. I will do something if I want a change. Journey is right, why would a rich country like America (or California) depends their test system on teachers volunteering? Journey is also right that I as a piano teacher should not just complaint in public forum and do nothing at my end. So, I will make a suggestion to my local branch president and CM Chair.

Thank you Journey!
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
@ http://bit.ly/Ready123

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#2036567 - 02/20/13 05:57 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 471
I would double missed shift fees for everyone, make sure that for every X number of students X number of shifts would have to be covered and to pay university music students to be door monitors, check ins, and run errands.
0-5 students 1 shift or $200
6-10 students 2 shifts or $400
11-15 students 3 shifts or $600
70-75 students 14 shifts $2800

If one person can physically only do 6 shifts, then cash for the overage. Right now the model works because it's cheap. Make it less cheap for the dishonest.

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#2036632 - 02/20/13 09:35 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: hippido]
Kevin K Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/13/13
Posts: 31
Originally Posted By: hippido

I live in Irvine as seraval of my siblings. My son spent 2 years at a "commercial" piano studio as many of his cousins. One of his cousin passed MTAC Level 10 studying from one of the commercial piano studios. Although my son now studies piano with a private teacher, many of his cousins still go to the commerical piano studios.

My son quit the multi-teacher studio because his teacher at the time, whom he has grown fond of, quit the school due to a business dispute. We decided to hire her as his private teacher following her resignation. Although I'm not a fan of commercial studios and their directors, I wanted to offer a different point of view seen from parents' perspectives.

From my experiences with several bigger commercial piano studios, most of their teachers are credentialed, highly credentialed in fact. I suspect that the studio directors want to hire highly credentialed teachers to attract clients. My son's first teacher has a doctorate degree in piano performance. His two other teachers at the same "commercial" studios have master degrees. My nephews and nieces' teachers at the commercial studios have masters or higher as well.

BTW, before my son started piano studies, I talked to my bros and sis and friends, and heard quite a few "horror" stories re: private piano teachers, hence we decided to sign him up for the multi-teacher studio.

Commercial studios offer many conveniences to the parents (the folks signing the checks) that most private teachers do not:

1. After my son's first teacher left the studio for personal reasons, his 2nd teacher and he never hit it off. After our reflection to the studio's director, he was "assigned" another teacher immediately. No 30-day notice, no explanation given to the teacher (it's not our job).

2. When his teacher needs to take a few weeks off, we did not have to search long and hard for a sub. One was assigned, so he did not miss any lessons. When he studied privately and his teacher took two months off for maternity leave, he was without a teacher for those two months.

3. Every quarter my son was evaluated by the director for progress. Based on my son's progress, the director gave us a plan, we gave him feedback. Together, we determined if the plan suited my son. Tremendous help for parents who are muscially (piano) challenged like us. I doubt if many private teachers offer such regurlar evaluations.

4. His progress was concretely measured. For the parents who know piano or music, perhaps getting past certain exam levels might not be a good indication of progress, but for those who are musically challenged like us, the only way for us to differentiate between good progress or lack of is how well our sons and daugheters are doing at exams and/or competitions. Commercial studios tend to provide concrete, measureable goals.

As mentioned, my son studies with a private teacher now, and I'm not a big fan of the music schools, but they do serve their purposes for some parents, ones like us 4+ years ago.

So, to Kevin Kao, although I live in Irvine, I had not heard of Cameron Tong and his studio until I read this post, for I suspect it's not one of the big, well-known ones in Irvine. Frankly, your review of Cameron Tong does not offer much to the parents. Cameron might be a crook, but your review smacked me as a gripe from a disgruntled former employee. Try to write for the parents, i.e. how the director being a crook affects students' progress, then perhaps it would be more useful.

I don't think there are anything wrong with large commercial studios if it's run with students' interests at heart. There might be others, but I know of at least one such studios (not the one my son attended) in Irvine. Perhaps, EZ, Kevin, AZN can team up and create a multi-teacher studio that provides the conveniences cited above, yet is ethical, and keeps student's interest above all else.

Just a thought.


Hi Hippido!

Thanks for offering your point of view, it's very informative.

It is definitely true that a few commercial music studios here in Irvine hire teachers with doctorates and masters in piano performance. Although that does bring into the mix the difference between a great pianist and a great piano teacher. There's a reason public school teachers need to go through years of a credential program in addition to their specific field of study. What if anybody who've taken courses in math, biology, and english, and are pretty good at it are allowed to teach at schools? It doesn't make sense there, yet it is commonly accepted that a pianist with a performance degree(i.e., pretty good at piano) would be a good teacher. But! This is a whole other discussion. And this isn't directed at you hippido, just in general.

Point 2. Personally, I think the teacher should have found a substitute teacher if she was going to be away for two months. I would. Two months is way too long to be without lessons.

Point 3. Awesome! I agree most private teachers probably don't do that that often. I think I might start doing that.

You hit on some great points pedagogically!

Irvine School of Music is relatively new and not as big as the more established ones. Just curious, would the review have been more helpful if you didn't read it on another piano teacher's website(mine) but say on Yelp or Google and I wasn't upfront about the fact that I'm a piano teacher? Or even better, if it came directly from one of the parents that were upset they were lied to? If this does change your view of the review then I think that is the unfortunate part, that my review of him is smacking quite a few people in the face as the rantings of a disgruntled former employee and dismissed accordingly.

However, if it doesn't change your view, and that as long as the student is making progress people couldn't care less about the fact that a large chunk of their tuition goes into the pockets of a crook, then I think I really am just naive and I will take this lesson to heart. Because truthfully, having a crooked director will not affect a student's progress, the teacher does. Personally, if somebody I'm giving money to is a crook, I'd like to know that.

Anyway, thanks hippido, very good thoughts indeed.

I think to summarize all the arguments presented here 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 such 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. Which, while I may not agree with as a teacher(good luck finding a commercial music studio willing to keep the same low rate of 10 years for a family who've lost their mother to cancer) and morally, I completely understand from a business point of view, e.g., the need to keep making payments on my Mercedes.

Although, I'm starting to realize less people care about ethics and moral than I had originally imagined.
_________________________
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Piano Teacher in Irvine, CA

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#2036666 - 02/20/13 11:42 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: theJourney]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Judging by aznpiano's earlier posts you are gullible and easily deceived, not interested in quality, etc.

Don't misquote me.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2036670 - 02/20/13 11:46 PM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Advanced, 30 min. eval. Panel * $ 65.00

When's the last time you sent a student to Panel? I paid more than that when I did Panel.
_________________________
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#2036693 - 02/21/13 12:43 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
theJourney Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/22/07
Posts: 3946
Loc: Banned
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Judging by aznpiano's earlier posts you are gullible and easily deceived, not interested in quality, etc.

Don't misquote me.


I apologize. I confused you with ezpiano.org.

aznpiano, ezpiano ...

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#2036697 - 02/21/13 12:51 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: AZNpiano]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Advanced, 30 min. eval. Panel * $ 65.00

When's the last time you sent a student to Panel? I paid more than that when I did Panel.


I am not lying AZN, check this link yourself. This link includes all the state fee. Each branch will add on their on branch fee and each teacher will add on their own teacher fee to cover "non-involvement fee".

So, if you pay more than this when you did Panel, your teacher probably include "non-involvement fee" in your fee, that is why you are paying more.

So, when is the last time you send students to panel? Is this not what you pay? according to the link I provided?


Edited by ezpiano.org (02/21/13 12:57 AM)
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#2036704 - 02/21/13 01:15 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
According to the link you posted, the $65 only covers the state fee, not the branch panel surcharge mentioned at the top of the form or the $25 regional surcharge listed at the bottom.

Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Advanced, 30 min. eval. Panel * $ 65.00

When's the last time you sent a student to Panel? I paid more than that when I did Panel.


I am not lying AZN, check this link yourself. This link includes all the state fee. Each branch will add on their on branch fee and each teacher will add on their own teacher fee to cover "non-involvement fee".

So, if you pay more than this when you did Panel, your teacher probably include "non-involvement fee" in your fee, that is why you are paying more.

So, when is the last time you send students to panel? Is this not what you pay? according to the link I provided?
_________________________
"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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#2036757 - 02/21/13 04:14 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Quote:
As mentioned, my son studies with a private teacher now, and I'm not a big fan of the music schools, but they do serve their purposes for some parents, ones like us 4+ years ago.


Hi Hippido! I like your screen name, it makes me happy when I try to pronounce it.

I have two friendly questions here and later I have some feedback to your four points.

Q1: You said you are not a big fan of the music schools, but you just list four points that why you think music schools are good. So, could you share with us your reasons of not being a big fan of the music schools?

Q2: You think music schools serve their purposes for some parents, ones like you 4 years ago. Can you elaborate to compare what was your mindset four years ago and now? Later, can you tell us what makes you change?

Here is your four points and my feedback for it
Quote:
1. After my son's first teacher left the studio for personal reasons, his 2nd teacher and he never hit it off. After our reflection to the studio's director, he was "assigned" another teacher immediately. No 30-day notice, no explanation given to the teacher (it's not our job).


Yes, I agree with you that this is very convenient. IMT could not do that.

Quote:
2. About two months off for maternity leave issues.
I think this is the one that IMT cannot measure up to music schools. However, I think two months off for maternity leave is too long. I can only imagine myself take 2 to 4 weeks off.

Quote:
3. Every quarter students is evaluated by the director for progress.

Actually, IMT (independent music teacher) could do this too. I have teacher/parents conference every semester where I meet only with parents without children to give them my most honest feedback about their childen’s progress. I am sure your current IMT that you followed from music school is giving you the evaluation for progress at least every year, right?

Quote:
4. Students’ progress was concretely measured.

To be honest, any good to excellent teacher should provide this service. This service is not only provided by music schools. Every month I send out report card my emails so that parents know exactly at what point their children are. I am sure your current IMT is providing you a progress report with concretely measure, right?

Quote:
I don't think there are anything wrong with large commercial studios if it's run with students' interests at heart……Perhaps….a music schools that is ethical, and keeps student's interest above all else.


Hey Hippodido! You hit the right point! I am not against commercial schools either! In fact I think Opus119 in Irvine is doing a great job in assisting piano students and piano teachers. I am looking up to them. What we need is ethical and keeps students’ interest above everything else. However, same as Kevin, I started to think that less people care about ethics and moral than I had originally imagined. Especially those who think commercial music school could offer such advantage to them that IMT can’t and not care about what kind of cost or cause behind the screen. Just like what Keystring PM me: There is crookedness in all professions. But would we do something about it or just let it happen?
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#2036760 - 02/21/13 04:24 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: ezpiano.org]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: Kreisler
According to the link you posted, the $65 only covers the state fee, not the branch panel surcharge mentioned at the top of the form or the $25 regional surcharge listed at the bottom.


Yes Kreisler you are right. The panel fee is actually...
state fee $65 + branch fee $25 + teacher fee $X = $90 + $X (only if I know what is X then I can tell you what is the answer)

The rest of the fee, for example Level 6 is....
state fee $40 + branch fee $8 + teacher fee $Y = $48 + $Y

When I provide the list fee, I meant it is only for state fee. My branch charge $8 only for each student, I never been to another branch other than my current branch since I started teaching, so, I am not sure if other branch is charging a different branch fee.

So, Panel has a higher branch fee than the rest of the levels. I am right, ANZ is not wrong either.
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#2036763 - 02/21/13 04:51 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their boss [Re: theJourney]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: theJourney
Judging by aznpiano's earlier posts you are gullible and easily deceived, not interested in quality, etc.

Don't misquote me.


I apologize. I confused you with ezpiano.org.

aznpiano, ezpiano ...


That is okay Journey! So, did you glance through all the posts and decide that I call Tim "gullible", "easily deceived" and "not interest in quality"? Or, you actually "read" it?
_________________________
http://ezpiano.org
Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2036766 - 02/21/13 05:10 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: ezpiano.org]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5902
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
2. About two months off for maternity leave issues.
I think this is the one that IMT cannot measure up to music schools. However, I think two months off for maternity leave is too long. I can only imagine myself take 2 to 4 weeks off.
Well, good luck with that...
_________________________
Du holde Kunst...

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#2036768 - 02/21/13 05:14 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: currawong]
ezpiano.org Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/10/11
Posts: 1002
Loc: Irvine, CA
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: ezpiano.org
Quote:
2. About two months off for maternity leave issues.
I think this is the one that IMT cannot measure up to music schools. However, I think two months off for maternity leave is too long. I can only imagine myself take 2 to 4 weeks off.
Well, good luck with that...



No problem. Someone in my family only took two weeks off and she was C-section! Don't worry, I am a workaholic I will be bored to death if I stay home for 2 months.


Edited by ezpiano.org (02/21/13 05:16 AM)
_________________________
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Piano lessons in Irvine, CA
Watch the introduction video on YouTube
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#2036826 - 02/21/13 08:58 AM Re: Commercial Music Studio at Shopping Center and their bos [Re: ezpiano.org]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2271
Loc: Huntington Beach, CA
What a thread. I didn't know piano teachers were so vicious.

For my part, I take lessons at a strip mall school. My teacher is a piano performance major at a local conservatory, the pianos are new and very well maintained Kawais. I've never purchased music from them or been pressured to do so.

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.
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Gary Schenk

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