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#2181350 - 11/13/13 12:26 AM Holiday Music - Buy their own books?
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
I have been loaning out books and making copies of some music for students, but it is getting to be a hassle. Do you require your student buy christmas music books, or do you loan out books? Just curious.
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#2181449 - 11/13/13 08:08 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Ann in Kentucky Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2647
Loc: Kentucky
Hi pianogirl1978,
For the past few years I have bought a variety of levels of Christmas music and let parents know that Christmas music would be available for purchase on first come, first served basis. But this year I don't feel like bothering. I am considering taking my leftover Christmas books, putting my name label on them and begin a lending library for Christmas books.

What hassles have you run into with lending Christmas books?

I've also considered asking parents to let me know if they would like Christmas book recommendations for their child. (I'd drop out of purchasing books, and just make suggestions to parents.)
_________________________
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#2181455 - 11/13/13 08:14 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
For most of them I have them buy it. I purchase the book once we've selected a piece and give it to them and email the bill to their parents. That way the student gets the music with time to work on it (letting them buy it takes forever usually), and I've never had a student not pay for a book. They're cheap enough, and it beats having them lose pages.
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#2181532 - 11/13/13 10:42 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
I have been loaning out books and making copies of some music for students, but it is getting to be a hassle.


I hope you don't mean that you routinely photocopy music from your own books to give out to students.... (shudder)...

I try to include a Christmas book as part of the collection of books my students will receive during the year. For very beginners I will create a version of 'Jingle Bells' or another piece on my computer that is at their level technically. At the later levels they may keep the same book for 2 years and learn the songs they didn't learn the previous year. I don't lend out books as I think it's good for students to build their own collection of repertoire, even Christmas music.
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#2181593 - 11/13/13 12:21 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago
Every student gets brand new Christmas music every year. Sometimes books, sometimes sheet music, sometimes computer print outs. The expense is included in their annual materials fee. That way there is never a worry about expenses.

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#2181604 - 11/13/13 12:45 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
catpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 55
For beginners I just loan them out since I have enough books to go around. For intermediate/advanced I either find arrangements to print out or have them buy.

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#2182044 - 11/14/13 12:18 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
I usually don't have enough books to lend out so that is the hassle for me. and Dumdumdiddle, yes I photocopy the music from my books if the student is interested in one that is not in the book they have. My teachers used to do it when I took lessons. Sorry if I made you shudder. wink
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Private Piano Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska

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#2182172 - 11/14/13 08:43 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: Joyce_dup1]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11422
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Joyce_dup1
Every student gets brand new Christmas music every year. Sometimes books, sometimes sheet music, sometimes computer print outs. The expense is included in their annual materials fee. That way there is never a worry about expenses.
I don't understand - what is the hassle about getting paid? I really have never had trouble getting paid from a student for a book. In fact, I'd venture to say I have more trouble collecting lesson payment than book payment, but that may just be because books are less frequent so the chances of someone missing is less. wink
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#2182184 - 11/14/13 09:09 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13763
Loc: Iowa City, IA
I have them buy their own.

Loaning is a huge pain, and you can't write in the music (unless you erase it for the next person.) Often, books don't come back unless you have some kind of library check-out system. And copying is illegal.
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#2182210 - 11/14/13 09:51 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
I usually don't have enough books to lend out so that is the hassle for me. and Dumdumdiddle, yes I photocopy the music from my books if the student is interested in one that is not in the book they have. My teachers used to do it when I took lessons. Sorry if I made you shudder. wink


The shuddering is because photocopying is illegal. Just because your teachers used to do it? They were wrong too.

It's one thing to occasionally copy something because of last-minute necessity; it's another when it's a policy of your piano studio.
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#2182575 - 11/14/13 11:21 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
Kreisler and dumdumdiddle,

I beg to differ with you. Photocopying music is NOT illegal. If I were making a personal profit from the sheet music - then it would illegal. There is a little bit of a loophole when xmas music is involved. Most of the pieces were written 50 years ago or more, and by now are considered "public domain". I believe it is acceptable to make a copy for performance purposes. When I was in marching band in high school, my band teacher needed 100 copies of the sheet music and we all had copies. There was no way he was going to demand we find "China Grove" sheet music for the trombone. And plus this was before the internet so it would have been difficult for all the parents to have bought us a copy. And he was never turned in or prosecuted. So if you are only copying it for student use and you are not making money off of it there really is no problem with it.


Edited by pianogirl1978 (11/14/13 11:21 PM)
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#2182578 - 11/14/13 11:24 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: Morodiene]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago
Morodiene, there are a few issues. One is having to keep track and bill the parents. And the accompanying bookkeeping for tax purposes, etc. But the greater advantage to collecting annual material fees is that you have complete freedom in assigning books. If one book doesn't work out the way you had hoped, you can just take it back and substitute another. I have actually done that this week for Christmas music with at least three students. And despite careful consideration of the best materials for each student, sometimes it just doesn't work the way I had anticipated. In some cases, they are so relieved to get a different book - two of them were struggling a bit, one of them had found the book too easy. So they are all happy with a change and a new start. And I have no billing problems or bookkeeping records to worry about. Works for me and is much better than monthly billings as I once did.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Originally Posted By: Joyce_dup1
Every student gets brand new Christmas music every year. Sometimes books, sometimes sheet music, sometimes computer print outs. The expense is included in their annual materials fee. That way there is never a worry about expenses.
I don't understand - what is the hassle about getting paid? I really have never had trouble getting paid from a student for a book. In fact, I'd venture to say I have more trouble collecting lesson payment than book payment, but that may just be because books are less frequent so the chances of someone missing is less. wink


Edited by Joyce_dup1 (11/14/13 11:28 PM)

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#2182605 - 11/15/13 01:32 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
I beg to differ with you. Photocopying music is NOT illegal.

It depends on what you photocopy. If the book is published (yes, that means printed and sold) before 1923, you're safe. I actually have one of these books in my collection, which listed Brahms, Debussy, and Saint-Saens as "contemporary" composers. The website imslp also has scanned copies of these old tomes, which are perfectly legal despite their print quality.

For post 1923 books, there's a whole list of crazy laws and dates regarding what you can and cannot copy. The whole thing about these laws is just bizarre to the point of absurdity, but you really should read up on these laws.

Just because you're not making money off the process doesn't make it less illegal.
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#2182718 - 11/15/13 10:00 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
red-rose Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 177
Loc: Cleveland, OH
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
Kreisler and dumdumdiddle,

I beg to differ with you. Photocopying music is NOT illegal. If I were making a personal profit from the sheet music - then it would illegal. There is a little bit of a loophole when xmas music is involved. Most of the pieces were written 50 years ago or more, and by now are considered "public domain". I believe it is acceptable to make a copy for performance purposes.

You are quite misinformed. (But God help you if your primary source of legal advice is from an anonymous forum on the internet... don't take our word for it- find a professional copyright expert.)
While the song "Silent Night" or whatever might no longer be under copyright, you are most likely copying from a more recently published book, and the arrangement is almost certainly still under copyright. I have heard it said that even though there might not be an iota of original material in the arrangement, the publisher can even lay claim to the copyright of the layout of the piece, which could be the original material.

But really...why? Why not just have your students buy a book each year if they want to play Christmas music so bad? Is the $8 a year for a book in their level really going to kill them? It's only fair to the publisher and arranger of the music, (who is likely a starving musician just trying to use his talents to make a living, just like we all are.)

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#2182744 - 11/15/13 11:07 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
Kreisler and dumdumdiddle,
So if you are only copying it for student use and you are not making money off of it there really is no problem with it.


If you are making a copy of a piece in a published book (let's say a Christmas book by Alfred, Bastien, Faber, etc....) you most certainly CANNOT make a copy to give your students. The book and arrangements in it are copyrighted.

Just because YOU are not making money from it doesn't mean you are allowed to do it. By copying the arrangement from the book you are preventing the composer of that arrangement from making money. Now, you are free to make your own arrangement of any Christmas song because yes, they are 'public domain'. Copying from a book (unless it's really really old) is ILLEGAL.

In fact, you are not even allowed to perform said arrangements in public without the permission of the copyright holder.

You really need to be knowledgeable about what you're doing. You are doing a disservice to your students (just as your teacher did to you with his/her example of copying music).

More legal info is here:
http://www.mtna.org/member-resources/copyright-information/copyright-faqs/
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Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
Member of MTAC and Guild

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#2182783 - 11/15/13 12:00 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
Just to be clear here, I have had some students buy their own Xmas books, I just have also copied some pieces for students when they didn't have that piece in their said book. What I have understood about copyright is that as long as the book's copyright is over 30 years old then it is no longer under copyright. The one book I have made copies our of is the Bastien Level 1 Popular Xmas music and it says the copyright is 1985. I am in no way trying to "rip off" the arranger, and I am just a piano teacher trying to put on a recital and have had to make some copies for students. Now I am made to feel like a criminal. Funny how I put a post on here asking for opinions but then get attacked. Seems to happen quite often on this forum. I am thinking of leaving it altogether. I don't like the tone of this forum and how people are treated. Maybe there should be a copyright class that is offered to private piano teachers as I know that I am not the only who in my local area who has copied music for students.
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Private Piano Teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska

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#2182818 - 11/15/13 01:11 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
ChristinaH Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/12/13
Posts: 11
Loc: Canada
In response to your original post, I think a good balanced approach, that doesn't start to verge on the muddy waters of copyright laws...would be to encourage/make available for students to purchase their own copies of books AND also lend books on the side (as you said you have been doing up to this point) so that legal copies may be used at all times. That seems like a simple enough solution, espeically since it sounds like you have already built up a lending library of some sort.

Whether or not you expect each student to purchase their own book is really a question I can't answer to and likely depends on how you run your studio, the demographics of your clients, the financial climate etc. I think it seems very reasonable for all families to purchase a $7-10 seasonal book...though in my own studio I don't practice this. Rather I just put the information out there for any families who want me to order books for them. Those who don't choose to purchase, I simply lend out music from my library or print off free (and legal) arrangements that can be found online (makingmusicfun, gmajor etc).

I think there is great value in students owning their own copies of music, particularly seasonal music since it is fun to review it year after year. I know my children (my family) sure enjoy the older arrangements because it is easy to play these favorites:-) They can cruise through the easier arrangements which brings them lots of joy. And then I keep pushing them with arrangements that are at their current levels which take longer to learn.

All the best! It sure is fun to fill the studio and home with christmas music I must say!

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#2182826 - 11/15/13 01:18 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1263
Loc: California
The intent was not to make you feel like a criminal but, rather, to educate you on how photocopying music for students (no matter how good your motives are) is wrong. When your response is still that "photocopy is not illegal" then we respond back, citing more information and sources. You can choose to ignore the info or become better educated.
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#2182871 - 11/15/13 02:33 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Quote:
How long does a copyright last?
The term of copyright for a particular work depends on several factors, including whether it has been published, and, if so, the date of first publication. As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. For an anonymous work, a pseudonymous work, or a work made for hire, the copyright endures for a term of 95 years from the year of its first publication or a term of 120 years from the year of its creation, whichever expires first. For works first published prior to 1978, the term will vary depending on several factors. To determine the length of copyright protection for a particular work, consult chapter 3 of the Copyright Act (title 17 of the United States Code). More information on the term of copyright can be found in Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright, and Circular 1, Copyright Basics.


Copyright law is confusing, and there are huge gray areas.

However, photocopies for a student are not gray. Sorry.

There are vast resources of free public domain music if you have students who need additional material. IMSLP is one site everybody should have bookmarked. The other forum (pianostreet) has a large free download section as well.

I personally like the look-and-feel of an actual book. But there is so much available online.



Edited by TimR (11/15/13 02:34 PM)
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#2182962 - 11/15/13 05:13 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
I give out a book or piece of sheet music to each student. It's a part of their registration fee.
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Independent Music Teacher
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#2182978 - 11/15/13 05:37 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5421
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
Funny how I put a post on here asking for opinions but then get attacked. Seems to happen quite often on this forum. I am thinking of leaving it altogether. I don't like the tone of this forum and how people are treated.

Would you rather be "attacked" on this forum, or be sued by the Bastien family for copyright violation?

Your choice!
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#2183365 - 11/16/13 12:46 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
PApianoteacher Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 36
I love teaching piano in November and December! My students love Christmas music and do some of their best practicing! Sometime in mid-October, I get on sheetmusicplus.com when they are having their Christmas sale. I order enough books for all of my students (plus one or two extras just in case). When the books arrive, I spread them out on my living room floor and decide which book will be best for which student, and put a post it note on each book with the students name and the price (rounded off to the nearest $). They are always incredibly excited to get a new shiny Christmas book, and it is fun to compare from year to year how they have advanced from book to book. I have never had parents complain about purchasing the book. (I've had more than one parents comment that they like this time of year because they recognize the songs!) Most of them usually have enough cash to pay me on the spot, otherwise they give it to me the next week. This year the books ranged in price from $4-$8 each. I stay away from photocopies for Christmas music with the exception of an occasional page to help with an obnoxious page turn.

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#2183437 - 11/16/13 03:09 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: Joyce_dup1]
John v.d.Brook Online   content
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7305
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Joyce_dup1
Every student gets brand new Christmas music every year. Sometimes books, sometimes sheet music, sometimes computer print outs. The expense is included in their annual materials fee. That way there is never a worry about expenses.



Bravo for you, Joyce! Been doing this myself for 25+ years. And I inscribe the inside cover with a Merry Christmas and best wishes for 20XX, and then sign it. Student's eyes light up. They have a permanent keep-sake of their lessons and teachers (Christmas carols and songs are the one genre of literature they're most likely to keep and replay year to year).
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#2183488 - 11/16/13 05:27 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: John v.d.Brook]
Joyce_dup1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/01/02
Posts: 191
Loc: Chicago
That is an awesome idea. I never thought of it. I am going to steal your idea and start signing the students' music with "good wishes." I have asked quite often if the student feels they have too many Christmas books and they always tell me "No!". They love the stack of books and anyone else in their family who plays also enjoys the selection of holiday music. Thanks for the nice words.

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#2183709 - 11/17/13 12:20 AM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: Joyce_dup1]
pianogirl1978 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/06/11
Posts: 104
Loc: Nebraska
Oh my god, seriously? I highly doubt I will be sued by the Bastien family for reprinting a few copies of Xmas music from a 30 year old book. Has anyone ever actually been sued for making some copies of Xmas music? You all are reading way too far into this. I think I will just stay away from this forum for awhile. Thanks so much for all of your ideas. But, like many of you have said , copyright is a very GRAY area so we can just stop arguing about it now and just agree to disagree. For God's sake.


Edited by pianogirl1978 (11/17/13 12:21 AM)
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#2184648 - 11/18/13 04:05 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3443
Loc: Western Canada
Originally Posted By: pianogirl1978
I have been loaning out books and making copies of some music for students, but it is getting to be a hassle. Do you require your student buy christmas music books, or do you loan out books? Just curious.


Okay, here's what I did one year! This is an idea!! Notice I didn't say it was a GOOD idea, but it was an idea.

I took all my 34 students to a sheet music store. Paired up older students with younger ones. Had the older students help the younger students find an appropriate level Christmas book. There was a piano at the store, so the older student's could sight read "play" the songs from different books for the younger students. Worked really really well. The older students got help from the music store personel to find "them" books.

Why this wasn't entirely a "good" idea... was ... I had to have 2 parents plus me, drive all of us to the store. I was freaking out a bit that I might lose one or two, but all were accounted for there and back. Each student brought $20 (cash) to buy one book. Some students wanted to buy more than one book, but they could only buy one book each, had to be fair for all who participated. And all my students participated. Go figure!! The music store was also pleased to see us all arrive, but we kept them very very busy.

Was a good day, but did take a day and lots of phone calls and lots of planning! And next time I'd pick a store with more than one piano!

So there you have my "idea"! grin


Edited by Diane... (11/18/13 04:07 PM)
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#2184653 - 11/18/13 04:10 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: pianogirl1978]
Stanny Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/08/06
Posts: 1461
We can all agree to disagree on whether or not to break the law.

I used to copy some sheet music when I was a new teacher, but after getting to know some composers seeing how much that hurts them, I've changed my ways.
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Independent Music Teacher
Certified Piano Teacher, American College of Musicians
Member: MTNA, NGPT, ASMTA, NAMTA

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#2184665 - 11/18/13 04:27 PM Re: Holiday Music - Buy their own books? [Re: Stanny]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3158
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Stanny
We can all agree to disagree on whether or not to break the law.



Right. And that's why it is worthwhile to explain to someone who doesn't yet know it, that some practices ARE against the law. Then they can make an informed decision.

Surely if you belong to one of the teacher associations (is it MTNA?) you get kicked out for photocopying?
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Yesterday at 10:56 PM
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