Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
Latest Pianoteq add-on instrument: U4 upright piano
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#960327 - 05/03/08 08:58 PM About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I thought it would be helpful to others, teachers, parents and students, who do not know about MTNA, to have information about the purpose and ethics the members of MTNA subscribe to with their membership.

Members of MTNA are part of National, State, and Local Chapter Associations. Each have written statements of purpose, bylaws, code of ethics to adhere to.

I belong to Mount Rainier Chapter - Washington State Music Teachers Association - Music Teachers National Association.

Our Purpose at Mount Rainier Chapter is:
To promote growth and professional development of our members by the exchange of ideas

To provide programs that encourage and support teaching, performance and composition

To elevate the standard of scholarship among music teachers

To further musical culture in the surrounding communities

To conform to the Code of Ethics of MTNA

The Mount Rainier Chapter, affiliated with Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and WSMTA, is dedicated to the advancement of musical knowledge and education. It aims to promote the art and knowledge of music by providing educational programs that further the appreciation of music throughout the Puyallup area and surrounding communities.

From its inception in 1978, its members have included independent teachers with varied and diverse backgrounds. The organization is constantly upgrading and expanding educational opportunities for students, teachers, and our community.

The MTNA Code of Ethics
We, the members of Music Teachers National Association, having dedicated ourselves to the advancement of musical knowledge and education, recommend the following principles of ethical practice as standards of professional conduct.

Responsibilities to our students:
The relationship between teacher and student shall be established, maintained and terminated with an appropriate professional manner.

Members are responsible for encouraging, guiding and developing the musical potential of each student.

Members shall encourage pupils to participate in community music activities.

Responsibilities to our colleagues:
Members shall maintain a professional attitude and shall act with integrity in regard to colleagues in their profession.

Members shall participate as fully as possible in activities of Music Teachers National Association.

Members shall provide professional assistance to one another when such assistance is requested.

Members shall respect the rights of colleagues when speaking of other teachers' work and/or students and shall avoid conflict with the instruction of students' regular teacher when serving as an interim instructor.

Responsibilities to our public:
Members shall maintain the highest standard of moral conduct, professional conduct and personal integrity.

Members shall exhibit the highest standard of expertise by maintaining their professional abilities in their fields of teaching and performing.

Members shall maintain and increase the prestige of the art of teaching and shall promote the teaching of music as a culturally enriching profession.

When asked, members shall assist those seeking guidance in selecting an independent teacher by suggesting the names of two or more teachers in the community. The parent and student shall make the final choice.

Members shall refrain from making exaggerated claims or misleading statements concerning their teaching qualifications. Advertising copy shall be dignified, strictly truthful and representative of the art of music and its responsibility to the community.

I hope this information allows others to see the integrity, purpose, and responsibility members hold toward their clients and their associates in the teaching of music in the private sector.

You are welcome to visit web sites:
www.mtna.org
wsmta
mount rainier chapter wsmta

I appreciate the opportunity to share this information with you.

Betty Patnude

Top
(ad) Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#960328 - 05/04/08 12:31 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5506
Loc: Orange County, CA
Thank you, Betty, for the wonderful, and NECESSARY post. Parents and students--please pay special attention to these two:

1) Members shall respect the rights of colleagues when speaking of other teachers' work and/or students and shall avoid conflict with the instruction of students' regular teacher when serving as an interim instructor.

2) Members shall maintain the highest standard of moral conduct, professional conduct and personal integrity.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#960329 - 05/04/08 02:11 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
The document is full of noble and lofty values, as such documents are. "Real" things shine through beneath the surface.

There are a few things I am wondering about, howver. The document speaks of maintaining and improving skills, but what about the initial having of skills? I noticed that there is a certification program at 4 or 5 levels. At the most basic level, the teacher must be capable of performing, and must also have something similar to educational psychology - in other words knowledge in the subject to be taught, and knowledge of teaching. Is membership dependent upon certification? Should this matter?

I see a welcome wish to "encourage, guide and develop the musical potential of each student." and of course at some point ones has learned how to do so. For a student, having an indication of background is as important as values statements since it is difficult to know how to choose a teacher wisely.

Top
#960330 - 05/04/08 12:09 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I am including here a short version of history about THEODORE PRESSER FOUNDER OF MTNA which I previously had posted in PWF:

"Betty Patnude Member # 23598 posted November 23, 2007

www.mtna.org is the website for more Music Teachers National Association information.
________________________________________
Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) was founded in 1876 by Theodore Presser and sixty-two colleagues in Delaware, Ohio. “The mission of Music Teachers National Association is to advance the value of music study and music making to society and to support the professionalism of music teachers.”

MTNA now boasts memberships of 24,000 independent and collegiate music teachers in the United States with 50 state affiliates grouped into seven divisions: Eastern, East Central, Northwest, Southern, Southwest, South Central, West Central; more than 500 local affiliates.

The Theodore Presser Company is the oldest continuing music publisher in the United States.

Its founder, Theodore Presser (1848-1925), is remembered not only as the publisher of The Etude music magazine and the founder of the publishing firm, but also as a philanthropist in the cause of music education.

With a background of study at the New England Conservatory in Boston and the Leipzig Conservatory in Germany and the experience as a college music instructor, Mr. Presser was sensitive to the needs of the music teachers in cities and towns throughout the United States.

His plan was to provide these teachers with the material they required in their work - music and practical guidance as well as information about the international music world - that would be available to them readily and inexpensively.

In October, 1883, with $250.00 in cash, Theodore Presser began publication of The Etude in Lynchburg, Virginia. The immediate success of his new music magazine prompted him to seek larger publishing facilities in Philadelphia in 1884. His need for music for The Etude led him not only to secure, but also to publish new music, at first only in the magazine and then later, separately.

The publishing company that Presser founded was so successful that in 1906 he was able to express his appreciation to those who made this success possible by establishing the Presser Home for Retired Music Teachers in a suburb of Philadelphia.

His philanthropic zeal is continued to this day through his foresight in forming the Presser Foundation in 1916, nine years before his death. Each year the Presser Foundation awards scholarships, grants and funds specifically to further the cause of music education and music in America.

Today the Theodore Presser Company is dedicated to carrying out the aims and goals Mr. Presser established more than a century ago: service, with integrity, to music and musicians, commitment to quality, and a vision for the future.
________________________________________
Posts: 1512 | From: Washington State | Registered: Jun 2007"

I hope this thread gives those who are not familiar with MTNA an appreciation for the long-term established association of music education in the United States.

Betty

Top
#960331 - 05/04/08 01:54 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
I am reading that this organization serves the needs of teachers, providing them, among other things, with teaching materials. It further serves the needs of teachers by fostering an interest in music and musical culture, which will provide a market for teacher services. If a teacher's needs are served, that also enables him to provide a better service. Also, since I value classical music and the type of culture that is not shallow or superficial (which includes things that are not classical) this thrust is welcome.

Would the MTNA also address the needs of students and parents in any direct way? It does stress values. A skilled teacher without ethical values would not be a good teacher since ethics also govern aspects of teaching.

However an unskilled teacher with good ethical values cannot do what he sets out to do. A teacher must have sufficient knowledge of the instrument, music, performing, and know how to teach. Are there any membership criteria ensuring that teachers have a minimum background that will make this likely? As a student, this is what would interest me.

Top
#960332 - 05/04/08 01:57 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
I should add that I am a freelance professional and member of a professional organization. To obtain membership we must have a certain background, experience in the field, and then gain certification through stringent examination. We have a code of ethics which reads a bit like the MTNA code of ethics (no mis-representation of skills). It is also possible for membership to be revoked after review if a complaint is received by the certifying body. this gives the client something reliable to lean on. Does this exist in regards to the MTNA?

Top
#960333 - 05/04/08 03:27 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
My word, Keystring!

What is causing you to go in this direction when reading "information" about MTNA? It feels like you are busy puncturing members status, and you seem to have no idea that MTNA represents an educationally oriented association of long tenure. It is not a feel good elitism of music teachers, it is a group of accomplished musician-teachers at many levels of participation from college faculty members, teachers of long standing membership, leadership of volunteer teachers, student activities, academics as well as socialization. There are state and national conventions annually.

If you are truly interested in MTNA from the point of view of knowing more about the teachers and the organization, I can provide you with articles from the "American Music Teacher" magazine which all members receive. I can direct you to the Convention Speakers and Programs information. The winners of State and National Competitions, and the Audition - Adjudication Program.

I would not react to a question of "can you tell me about....", but in this last posting you ask: " It is also possible for membership to be revoked after review if a complaint is received by the certifying body. This gives the client something reliable to lean on. Does this exist in regards to the MTNA?

What do you have in mind?

Each of your postings here seem to me to be antagonistic to what are defined as the purpose and ethics behind this fine organization.

If I can't originate this post in the Piano Teacher's Forum, where can it be posted!

It was not posted so that it could be ripped apart. I am very surprized by what I consider to be an attack.

While the questions may be totally valid, the tone of voice is not.

I apologize to MTNA and all affiliated for disturbing the peace, but I am hopeful that others learn about MTNA in it's most positive influence in the world of music.

Betty

Top
#960334 - 05/04/08 04:07 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7384
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
keystring, one of the goals of MTNA is to improve both playing and teaching skills of its members. Doing so would seem to benefit students as well!

Many chapters offer opportunities for students to perform, opportunities otherwise unavailable.

Every organization that I can think of (off hand) primarily serves its members. Even the Christian Church!
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#960335 - 05/04/08 04:29 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Betty, there is no antagonism whatsoever. Please understand what I am trying to say and where I'm coming from.

We are in similar situations. I am member of a profession which is largely unregulated, has many freelance (self-employed) members, varying in expertise from none at all to incredibly impressive. We both serve a public that is uninformed of our profession and may carry false assumptions and demands. We are both trying to uphold high professional standards while possibly being inundated by the opposite. You have high credentials, but the 15 year old girl down the street can begin teaching piano just like you do. "Anybody can teach piano" and "anybody can translate". We are both, possibly, fighting misinformation and ignorance about our professions.

I am looking at this as a fellow professional from a different field. I hoped that this would be welcome and seen in the correct spirit.

The debate is going on with my colleagues across the world, trying to see what the merits, advantages, and roles of a professional organization might be. I am afraid that I brought those fresh thoughts into this forum. The purpose for probing is improving.

What I have concluded is that a professional organization must serve two purposes in order to be effective. It must serve and protect its members, ensure high standards, give support material and support etc. The MTNA does that. So does my professional organization, and its American counterpart, though I think less effectively. Not every translator is part of our organization yet can translate, and I assume that not everyone who teaches is part of the MTNA.

In a sense, a professional organization must also have the client's interest in mind. A medical association guarantees that member doctors are fully qualified, and we shun doctors who cannot prove qualification becuase they may harm us. In fact, we don't call them doctors.

Similarly, I have exclusive right to the use of my official stamp, to bear the title that I hold as member and place that after my name as a "member in good standing". A client knows that full membership means that I have the appropriate education, my abilities have been tested, and that I must adhere to given ethical standards.

In a profession as unregulated as ours, with people who are primarily working on a self-employed basis, and clients who are unfamiliar with our profession, some form of assurance is needed. This is to the advantage of the professional as well as to the client. This is the part that has the client's interest at heart.

Right now, in both professions, clients don't know who is a competent translator/music teacher, and who is incompetent. They have no way of judging. They are trying to wend their way through a jungle and they want to have some way of being able to tell.

If your organization has as stipulation to membership some kind of minimum standard of abilities in the areas of: does he know, can he teach it? - then this will induce students and parents to seek out MTNA members. That is a business advantage. Secondly, if such criteria exist, and if clients are known to seek them, then those who may not be interested in becoming fully qualified will want to do so. Currently we are hearing teachers deploring the situation of transfer students who have been incompetently taught, and needing difficult remediation.

I was looking at this document as a professional belonging to another professional organization. I gave my impressions in the same way that I would expect you to give your impressions if I came to your studio and played for you. I would not want pretty words, I would want to know where you see weaknesses and what might be done about them.

I have posted in this forum for five months, more than I should, and I believe I have been consistent in attitude. You should know me well enough by now to know that I do not attack and I do not gratuitously rip apart.

I perceive problems: not all teachers are teaching well or seem to have the tools to do so - there is a fair amount of distrust and misunderstanding between client and service provider. A professional organization can go a long way toward rectifying both things. These are exactly the same things plaguing my professions. Beyond this, I am also a trained teacher and that also colours my view in your favour.

Essentially I was asking whether there are prerequisite standards for membership such as there is in my organization, because if such standards to exist, parents and students would be likely to seek out MTNA members as teachers and insist on such membership. I asked my questions in a helpful spirit.

Top
#960336 - 05/04/08 04:42 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
I would like to add that when I write that the organization serves the needs of the teachers, this is not a negative statement. It is absolutely essential that an organization serves the needs of its members. I am identifying one of two needs that a professional organization, in my opinion, must need.

If such an organization protects members, makes sure that one member does to criticize another member in front of a client (which can be done in order to lure the client/student away), then it must also have a mechanism in place if there are grievances. There is usually some way of upholding standards, and this is an assurance also for the client.

In my profession recently a member lured a client away from me by promising a fee a fraction of my own. Three months later the client came in a panic, out some $300, with a useless document that was unreadable, and only a quarter of the work done. This is a matter of ethics. The client would have recourse to the professional body. If this does not exist, then our membership is meaningless. Philosophies of quality and ethics are "pretty words" if they cannot be backed up.

To be honest, I did not expect an emotional reaction. I expected to hear: yes, we do have standards for membership - or no, we don't have such standards but it's a good idea - or no, we don't have such standards and it is also not a good idea because....

I decided to take what was presented seriously. I took the time to read the material carefully and give it thought. I could have said "Oh, how lovely." or said nothing at all.

Top
#960337 - 05/04/08 04:49 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
keystring, one of the goals of MTNA is to improve both playing and teaching skills of its members. Doing so would seem to benefit students as well!
Yes, John, I can see that. Is it, in fact, being done?

What concerns me is that "anybody can teach" and "anybody can translate". In both cases there has to be basic knowledge of the subject matter, as well as skill and knowledge of the activity. both disciplines are composites of two separate skills and bodies of knowledge.

I assume that this is an American organization. If I were American, and if I knew that the MTNA will give membership only to those who have a minimum set of skills in instrument, music, and teaching, then I would seek out such a teacher.

But the MTNA also describes 7 levels of certification. Is this administered by the MTNA? As a student, I would also seek out someone who has the lowest level of certification, which requires these twin skills. Otherwise I cannot assume that someone who has set up a shingle as a teacher does in fact have training in these two areas. We have unregulated professions.

Top
#960338 - 05/04/08 05:00 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7384
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Well, I haven't kept track of what the current MTNA criteria are, so I cannot address the questions you pose about various levels. I have an ACM certification, which is based on student performance, not lofty credentials (the assumption being, I suppose, that you cannot teach what you yourself don't know!).

FYI, some of the state organizations, like California's MTAC, have very high entry requirements, where other states are more concerned with outreach.

The fact is you cannot prevent the aunt millies of the world from teaching their neices, nephews, and neighbors, not matter how onorous government regulations become, so MTNA's basic philosophy is to gather them up, then work to improve their skills. It seems like a win win to me.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#960339 - 05/04/08 05:26 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
John, your mailbox is full.

 Quote:
The fact is you cannot prevent the aunt millies of the world from teaching their neices, nephews, and neighbors, not matter how onorous government regulations become, so MTNA's basic philosophy is to gather them up, then work to improve their skills.
I think that perhaps I identified too closely with our own organization and international debate on the same, expecting something similar. It is not the same kind of organization. If the MTNA seeks to improve things where they are, then that can only be a good thing.

Now I have a better understanding of the thrust and purpose of this organization. I did not fully grasp that before.

From a student point of view, I think the bearing it may have on parent/student choice of teacher may be this - membership would indicate an interest in improving excellence of teaching.

Thank you for the feedback.

Top
#960340 - 05/05/08 01:26 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5506
Loc: Orange County, CA
 Quote:
Originally posted by John v.d.Brook:
FYI, some of the state organizations, like California's MTAC, have very high entry requirements, where other states are more concerned with outreach. [/b]
Actually, MTAC just recently (within the last few years) mandated that all new teachers must have at least a BA or BM degree in the instrument that they teach. In addition, each applicant must have taught successfully for two years to become a full member. Students can join as "student members" and people in their first two years of teaching can become "associate members."

Unfortunately, all teachers who were accepted into the organization before the rule change have been grandfathered (or "grandmothered," which is more accurate).

There is another way to enter the organization called CALPLAN, in which the applicant has to take a series of tests, take some courses, pass a performance test, and have a master teacher observe his/her actual teaching. It's tough, but I know at least two teachers who have passed CALPLAN in lieu of getting a university degree.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#960341 - 05/05/08 01:52 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
AZNpiano, on all counts that is identical to the Canadian translators organization. I apologize for having intruded in the teacher forum. The difficulties seem to be similar in the two professions, and I have been concerned. As a student what you describe leaves me feeling reassured and it would possibly be a deciding factor in choosing a teacher.

Top
#960342 - 05/05/08 04:59 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
[large edit] Fwiw, I found an answer to the question that I asked originally:
web pagecertified teacher This page follows a page on "How to find a certified teacher" which is preceded by a page on "How to choose a teacher".

I do not know whether these criteria are even valid or necessary. Just that something exists.

We students are to invest ourselves in the instructions and guidance of a teacher, following closely, and it is stressed how important it is that this teacher be competent. We often have no experience and no way of judging such competency for sure.

We are presented with a professional organization of teachers. Does it not stand to reason that someone using the services of such teachers might ask whether some kind of standards are in place, which would help in finding a reliable teacher? Many, but not all, professional organizations do so. Such a question is not meant as an attack. The opening statement of this thread addresses "teachers, parents and students" and as one of such I felt welcome to explore and ask questions.

A bit further one of the teachers addresses parents and students --- therefore we are not being told to stay out, but to participate --- to pay special attention to the following:

 Quote:
1) Members shall respect the rights of colleagues when speaking of other teachers' work and/or students and shall avoid conflict with the instruction of students' regular teacher when serving as an interim instructor.
It was not clear to me then and it is not clear to me now why I, as a student, should pay special attention to how a teacher should behave toward another teacher. This has nothing to do with me. My job is to follow my teacher's guidance to the best of my ability, and trust that guidance, period. In what sense should I pay special attention to this? This admonishment however is addressed to me, a student.

The one thing that springs to mind is that students can be mistaught by teachers. We read over and over about teachers who get transfer students missing huge chunks of skills, and the great difficult of rectifying this. What happens if a teacher happens upon a student who he sees is being mistaught or not taught when this clause is in place that the observing teacher may not interfere, may not redirect, may not change the teaching? This is a standard clause among professionals in any profession by the way, so it's not unreasonable. It is standard ethics. But what happens in that case? Is the student left struggling in darkness not able to progress because something is missing, but the observing teacher cannot help because he must not interfere or criticize?

My attention as a student, was directed to this clause. Usually where there is such a clause, which is standard, there are also standards which means it is unlikely that members of a professional organization would be teaching neglectfully or lacking taeching knowledge, and furthermore there is some way that such a student can be helped without the observing teacher having to break the ethics.

That is why I asked the questions that I did, not out of hostility or antagonism, but in the hope that I would find something positive to a tricky situation. Teaching music is an art and a science - it is not measurable in the same way as the skills of an accountant. We entrust ourselves to someone for a long time. If the worst happens, remediation is not only a chore for a teacher, but for every hour the teacher spends in rectifying what has happened, the student must spend many more, and never let up since habits are hard to break.

I am saddened that my input was taken in the manner that it was, and that it caused chagrin. It is probably wise for me to refrain from posting under such circumstances in the future and simply read without comment.

Top
#960343 - 05/05/08 04:46 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Betty Patnude Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/07
Posts: 4896
Loc: Puyallup, Washington
I am amazed at the scrutinizing of the OT and I posted a 2nd posting about the founding of MTNA.

I made a 3rd posting and said: "I apologize to MTNA and all affiliated for disturbing the peace, but I am hopeful that others learn about MTNA in it's most positive influence in the world of music."

I do feel antoginism and dissecting, and trying to fit the words found in our organization challenged. I posted this for informational purposes to give an idea of what piano teachers hold in common through membership in MTNA.

MTNA is an outstanding professional organization. That is not in question.

I am sorry to have had this entire turn of events and I again apologize to MTNA and it's members for being the catalyst of that. I had the best of intentions in sharing information about purpose and ethics.

Sincerely,

Betty Patnude

Top
#960344 - 05/05/08 05:07 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Betty, the apology is mine, and would be happy if you accepted it. However, I intended no attack or criticism of the organization or its members. What they are doing is wonderful in furthering music, the culture, and giving support in an area that gets so little of it.

I probably went about it in a clumsy manner as an outsider. Our professions face a difficulty as an art and science as well as not being regulated in the same way that many other professions are. Therefore as a student, with these concerns fresh in my mind, I looked to the MTNA in the hope of finding answers to the problem. In fact, I found that answer and have supplied it in my preceding post. I kept asking whether the MTNA has any mechanism for ensuring that teachers have the background that they need to carry out their task.

In this initially I asked the wrong question. That is because I understood the MTNA to be a body similar to my own organization. However, it has a different function. It embraces "Aunt Joan" or whoever may be teaching who does not have lofty qualifications, and then gives the people who have fallen into teaching in this manner a door through which they can improve and grow. Additionaly, it provides resources in the community, including outlets for performance. That does two things. Students can perform: the culture of live performances is brought to the community. The oft dying popularity of culture and music is given new life.

This is a function of an organization that was new to me.

I must say that it only did become clear by asking, by having the wrong ideas, and having those ideas explained. When one comes into new territory as an outsider the descriptions often do not go further than pretty words, because we don't have enough experience to put ourselves into the context. I am not happy that my questions caused such turmoil. I am happy that I have a much better picture, as well as the concept of some roles that were not fully imagined before.

Top
#960345 - 05/05/08 05:16 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
bitWrangler Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/07
Posts: 1789
Loc: Central TX
Betty, though keystring's original reply may have been a bit brusque, I do think he does have a reasonable question with regard to membership criterion. You have to understand that from a "customers" point of view, that this is indeed an interesting question, and that like it or not, peoples opinions of the organization will be colored by the answer. Please don't view this as an attack, I know you were trying to give the MTNA more exposure and that is quite worthy. However, I think it best not to shy away from questions that are reasonable (even if they are not stated in the most friendly way). There is a huge difference in organizations where membership is simply a $75 annual check away, vs one in which you are tested, requires minimum levels of specific education, and requires continuing education.

That said, I don't think this thread is going to "turn anyone off" the MTNA. It's information and folks are going to take it in whatever way they will. If someone is likely to be turned off by the "loosey goosey" membership requirements of some MTNA chapters, then it's best that they know in advance. For others, it'll be a "oh, OK, that's interesting" and the points that you were trying to bring out will come through instead.

keystring, I would say that there is a world of difference between your two professions and the importance of rigorousness in qualifications for membership. My wife is a certified interpreter, not exactly the same as a translator, but similar. In both cases the potential ramifications of quality of service and ethics can be huge (and quite possibly on a global scale), so the need for things like strict membership requirements, CE requirements, etc make absolute sense. A piano teacher OTOH, while a worthy pursuit, does not have the same quality requirements.

Top
#960346 - 05/05/08 05:36 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Bitwrangler, certified court interpreters is one thing. Translation is reaching the level of a joke in some corners. We are in very similar situations. In both cases you have the delicate balance between art and craft, a double expertise (teaching and musicianship/linguistics and translation), and the fact the the still untrained teen down the street may resort to the profession for pocket money, while other professionals may have 10 or 20 years of training behind them (consider the musician who began at age 4).

I have only seen a sliver, but I have seen enough in the music world that my appreciation and respect for teachers of this ancient craft that hales from the days of mastery is boundless. The potential that exists in terms of musicianship, instrumental proficiency, knowledge of interpretation, a physical and mental training that is subtle and difficult is mind boggling. The growth that can happen through the guidance of a master teacher who manages to weave all of this together - um, adjective-failure.

Anyway, this doesn't have to do with the MTNA anymore, but just to say there is more to it than meets the eye ... or can be.

There goes my resolution to stay out of the thread.

Top
#960347 - 05/06/08 02:29 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
I agree with you bitwrangler. It is interesting to consider how a court interpreter will often hold someone's future in their hands. I do think you could 'up' the piano teacher's ramifications though - for many, they hold a person's quality of life.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#960348 - 05/06/08 04:29 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
AZNpiano Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5506
Loc: Orange County, CA
Keystring:

I sort of see where you are coming from. I am not in MTNA, but I am actively involved in MTAC, which is the state association for California. Just like all volunteer organizations, it is the members that make each chapter/branch strong. It is unfortunate that there are teachers who do absolutely nothing except to pay their dues once a year--I don't even know why they bother; can't they just save $111 per year by not renewing their membership??

Worse yet, year after year we have to deal with teachers who do participate in events, but refuse to (or are reluctant to) accept any responsibilities. They pick the easiest jobs to do, and sometimes they just don't show up, so other people have to be called in to cover them.

So I do think, Keystring, that some of the concerns you raise about the professionalism of members _is_ warranted, because I have witnessed many examples that would corroborate your concern. Unfortunately, we can't kick members out for simply being lazy. They actually have to do something pretty bad (like stealing students, or claiming a transfer student as their own within the first six months of instruction) in order to be terminated from the association. Sheer teaching ineptitude, I'm afraid, isn't grounds for removal from membership.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

Top
#960349 - 05/06/08 06:51 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Keyboardklutz, a teacher's effect on a student's life can be much higher than that of a court interpreter. The kid who takes lessons because his parents want him to is not going to be that affected by a bad teacher, though he might develop a love of music through a good teacher and who knows where that will lead. But imagine someone taking lessons who does love music and has a passion for it. Imagine this person taking lessons from someone who does not know how to teach them to read music, or thinks for this group of students it's not all that necessary, or some of the other skills that have been identified among transfer students as "necessary but missing". The student struggles because he is missing essential skills enabling him to play. A teacher will know that is the case, and a new teacher can help him go from struggling to reasonable proficiency. Talent is good, but talent is not all there is.

A student does not know this, however. A student who has not been given the essential skills and building blocks knows playing through the lense of his experiences. Playing an instrument, any instrument, is a hit and miss thing full of struggle with no certainty of improvement, and worse, with that kind of experience he will believe that he personally lacks something since others can play and he can't. He has not experienced guidance toward proficiency. It is a learned impotence, learned helplesness, and a false view of how things are that stay with him and may lead to not playing music, or viewing it as a struggle, or viewing teacher input as useless. If he began with a passion for music such a false viewpoint can be painful. Every time such a student hears music the old yearning may come back but he "knows" that he "can't". The divorce settlement in court wends its way to a conclusion and is a single event. Music, however, is always there even in its absence.

Now, an organization such as the MTNA cannot be responsible for "all that". the fact they at they foster awareness, provide opportunities in the community plus handing teachers tools in various ways is something extremely positive. The impact of a single private teacher, including the positive impact, should not be under-estimated.

Top
#960350 - 05/06/08 07:07 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
...or claiming a transfer student as their own within the first six months of instruction
A-a-argh, determination not to post in this thread won't work. We students and parents should be sensitized to such issues, methinks.

It will strike most of us as odd to think of ourselves as having been "claimed" as though there were an ownership involved. I am certain that this parlance is aimed mostly in the direction of up and coming students because when that student becomes famous he will have a list of "student of...." which will make others want to run and learn from one of the of's.

By the same token, a finisher-type teacher (I understand they often do not want to lay the ground work and will have a beginner-intermediate teacher do that so that he can work with the results of that first foundation) is a ticket toward performance, coupled with how the new musician plays, of course. "Studied with..." I understand can be a door opener, directly or indirectly.

I think that we students can nicely dance around that by saying "I am currently studying with NewGuy. Until three weeks ago I was a student of OldGuy." If we don't know this convention, however, we would be saying "I am NewGuy's student." We ought to know.

These subtleties would not tend to matter for casual pursuits, I would imagine, but would have to be upheld pro forma.
.......
Come to think of it, I can see a connection in some translation scenarios. In the translation of an artistic work, the name of the translator is published and sometimes there are royalties involved. The artistry of both the author and the translator is at stake - similar to the talent and work of the student combined with the work and talent of the teacher.

It has happened that a client will make changes to a translator's work, introducing error or faulty style. In that case (happened to me once) the translator will stipulate that he does NOT want any connection to this work and does not want his name to appear, because the translator's reputation is reflected by the impression created by the work.

Top
#960351 - 05/06/08 08:00 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
Keyboardklutz, a teacher's effect on a student's life can be much higher than that of a court interpreter.... But imagine someone taking lessons who does love music and has a passion for it. Imagine this person taking lessons from someone who does not know how to teach....[/b]
Well, apologies for paraphrasing but that does sum me up for the first 20 years of serious study. Luckily, in later life I fell into the arms of someone who knew how to play the piano. As someone who lives and breaths music, I suppose my life was nearly ruined.

I kinda baulked at the 'claiming' thing too.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#960352 - 05/06/08 08:06 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
As someone who lives and breaths music, I suppose my life was nearly ruined.
That is quite a statement, and it is also quite plausible.

Top
#960353 - 05/06/08 08:52 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Membership is not dependent on certification. Several years ago, MTNA had no certification whatsoever, then they started a certification program, but it was a joke and pretty much anybody with a little money and some paperwork could get certified.

Nowadays, they've tightened things up, and there is a general knowledge requirement (university coursework or an exam), and a peer-review of your performance and teaching (although the standards aren't very high.)

There are really two sides to MTNA. One is for the teachers and the other is for the students. There are student activities that are promoted, especially at the local level, but the national organization is mostly for the teachers. The code of ethics is basically a reaction to bad things people have done in the past, and I think it has some problems. (For example, you can't really say that another teacher is bad, even if every single one of their students has no sense of tone and can't play 8th notes.) But there are some good things - the magazine helps keep people connected to what's going on (although it's often more gossip than pedagogy), the group insurance plans are useful for private teachers, and the national conference is great fun.

I hope that clears some things up. MTNA is not without its problems, but it's basically a decent bunch of people.

 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
The document is full of noble and lofty values, as such documents are. "Real" things shine through beneath the surface.

There are a few things I am wondering about, howver. The document speaks of maintaining and improving skills, but what about the initial having of skills? I noticed that there is a certification program at 4 or 5 levels. At the most basic level, the teacher must be capable of performing, and must also have something similar to educational psychology - in other words knowledge in the subject to be taught, and knowledge of teaching. Is membership dependent upon certification? Should this matter?

I see a welcome wish to "encourage, guide and develop the musical potential of each student." and of course at some point ones has learned how to do so. For a student, having an indication of background is as important as values statements since it is difficult to know how to choose a teacher wisely. [/b]
_________________________
"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

Top
#960354 - 05/06/08 09:02 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Kreisler, I actually edited the part that you have quoted because it was not well thought through and contained thoughts in the raw, and before I knew more about the MTNA. I wonder whether it would be good to have your quote reflect the current wording - or does it matter?

Top
#960355 - 05/06/08 02:13 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Doesn't really matter. I was just posting some random thoughts on MTNA that I thought might add to the discussion.

\:D
_________________________
"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

Top
#960356 - 05/07/08 03:01 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 845
To Keystring,

I don't think I'd worry so much about the fate of piano students. Most piano teachers have something to teach a student, if not a list a mile long. A student also knows when his/her teacher is lacking knowledge, and will eventually quit if they feel the need to. Parents also notice things at recitals and elsewhere and make decisions for their children.

Everybody eventually finds the right path.

Top
#960357 - 05/07/08 03:14 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
No they don't.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#960358 - 05/07/08 04:21 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Candyman, you are probably an excellent teacher and possibly in your own journey you were fortunate to have discerning parents and perhaps fell to the right teachers at the right time. That is not the case with everyone.

I am not wondering idly. There are personal stories, people I have come in contact with, teachers I know personally, patching together what I read. Piano is my second instrument and maybe, because you cannot help produce a note on the instrument that resembles a note, the effects are less devastating.

Yes, a student may sense something is wrong. But he won't know what, and is just as likely to blame himself because the adulation of teachers is relatively high. And if parent and student sense something is wrong and go to the next teacher who does not address the original problem, then the problem remains, they sense something is wrong, and go to the next. They gain the reputation of "teacher hoppers" and no decent teacher will touch them. They're stuck.

There are too many pitfalls. Look at the phenomenon of "market demand". People who don't know what music making entails want to progress "fast", be able to play admirable pieces, and the essential tools of music such as note reading, effective posture and body movement, mastery of rhythm, are meaningless abstracts. Teachers have a hard time getting students to focus on these things. Enough teachers will then cater to the "market demand" and give the client what he wants: it can also be seen as "motivation". Unfortunately those teachers will be seen as desireable because of the fancy pieces being played somehow and the apparent advancing of the student. But if you don't have the tools: note reading, body use, technique, understanding of tempo you're going to founder at some point. And they won't know why!

Those are the students who show up at the studios of new teachers at some high grade level but incapable of reading notes, developing a piece, or whatever: read this forum to get examples. Those are the lucky ones, if the new teacher can recognize what is missing and can get them to do it.

 Quote:
Everybody eventually finds the right path.
Is this your actual belief, or are you trying to reassure me.

I surmise that a teacher has the perspective of his own experience. You have your own students coming into your studio who are all being taught by you. You get the perspective of a variety of students all being taught in the manner in which you yourself teach. You will not be experiencing a variety of teachers and teaching styles, except peripherally through the results that you may see here and there. It is not all ideal and some people are falling through the cracks badly.

Keyboardklutz has told us that it took him 20 years to find a teacher through whom he could learn.

Top
#960359 - 05/07/08 05:14 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
And that by chance. The teacher who I was having lessons from happened to have a world famous piano teacher as her mum!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#960360 - 05/07/08 05:17 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Hence my proposal another thread of a "gray area" or "meeting place" for exploring elements that don't fit anywhere else.

Top
#960361 - 05/07/08 09:23 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Getting back OT, I have been a member of MTNA and Wisconsin Music Teachers Association since 1998. The group of teachers that I have come to know in this organization have been extremely helpful to me and to my students. Programs that are put on by the organization can directly improve my students (like Master Classes), or indirectly (teacher seminars). We often have round table discussions about various subjects that all teachers encounter, and it's open for all to participate. We even read a book together (one or two chapters each) and reported to one another so we didn't have to take the time to read the whole book. It was a very interesting experience and a relevant book to piano teachers.

No organization is not without it's problems, but I'd say for the most part it was been a helping hand, especially when I was first starting out in teaching. The most valuable thing it has provided, however, are the District and Statewide auditions, which have high standards of performance and theory knowledge. My students love the awards and the way these are conducted better than the Solo & Ensemble contests at their schools. Without MTNA, this would not be possible.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#960362 - 05/08/08 08:53 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Without MTNA, this would not be possible. [/b]
Sure it would.

MTNA is not the only organization in the country. There are places where independent groups and other national groups are very active. For example: Guild, the National Certificate Program, the American Conservatory of Music, community music school programs, various Suzuki programs and schools, etc...

Also keep in mind that MTNA isn't just for piano, and there are organizations that serve other instruments as well, NATS and ASTA probably being the big two, and IAJE is really starting to take off these days as well. (And it includes piano also!)
_________________________
"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

Top
#960363 - 05/08/08 08:59 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
The impression is that without the MTNA (and possibly the other organizations mentioned by Kreisler) the music teaching/learning world would be less rich in resources and opportunities.

Top
#960364 - 05/08/08 12:56 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7384
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
I'm not positive, buy I believe that it is MENC which sponsors the Solo/Ensemble Festivals in schools. MENC is more oriented to the classroom music teacher, but parallels MTNA in many ways.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#960365 - 05/08/08 01:06 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Kreisler:
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
Without MTNA, this would not be possible. [/b]
Sure it would.

MTNA is not the only organization in the country. There are places where independent groups and other national groups are very active. For example: Guild, the National Certificate Program, the American Conservatory of Music, community music school programs, various Suzuki programs and schools, etc...

Also keep in mind that MTNA isn't just for piano, and there are organizations that serve other instruments as well, NATS and ASTA probably being the big two, and IAJE is really starting to take off these days as well. (And it includes piano also!) [/b]
Well, it has been my understanding that NATS is quite political in their judging, based on whose student you are. I have not heard of the other two, and do not think they have anything locally (or if they do, I havent' heard anything from them). MTNA has strict guidelines to help prevent judges from knowing who is who's student, or what the student's last name is. I use MTNA for my voice students as well, and it is a very good experience for them. MENC, as John mentioned is mainly for the school music teachers, and their Solo/Ensemble contest has varied results. The judges aren't regulated because they are in such a need for a lot of judges they'll take anyone, even those that are not qualified to judge at a particular level. One judge this past year told my piano student that his Clementi Sonatina Op. 36 No. 3 was way too fast and proceeded to have him replay it at a Moderato tempo. This is just one example of many that I've had with Solo/Ensemble contest.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#960366 - 05/08/08 04:36 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I'm wondering whether standards for judging the public-school solo & ensemble contests vary from state to state, or even region to region. Here in Illinois I believe that judges for the high school contest are required to have a master's degree in music or be faculty members at the college level. This year I accompanied 14 high school students and they all were judged by university professors (some from Illinois State, some from Vandercook, some from small private colleges in northern Illinois). I think that many college professors view this as a recruiting opportunity, because many of the kids who are playing Mozart flute concertos or Beethoven violin sonatas in high school will be shopping for a good college music program.

And some schools hire judges to do a masterclass/clinic a week or so before the actual contest. My daughter's high school did this; the flute professor from ISU spent 20 minutes with each flute soloist, giving a "mini-lesson" and coaching each performer and accompanist on their solo. Playing at the actual solo/ensemble contest felt like playing a college jury exam, complete with scales (but unlike a "jury", there was only one comment sheet!)

Maybe they do things differently in Wisconsin, or in your school district--but the students I accompany for solo & ensemble contest get a lot of "bang for the buck"!
_________________________
Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir

Top
#960367 - 05/08/08 07:26 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Candywoman Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 845
To Keystring:

Everybody does eventually find the right path. As a student looking back, it's easy to blame one's teachers. Perhaps not so easy to look at our own part in it all. For instance I couldn't take much criticism when I was young, and was quite obstinate at times.

I didn't find my excellent teacher until I was 22. I started at 8. The other teachers helped me to the best of their abilities. I was playing a lot of music besides the teachers' choices by the time I was 12. So, I learned many things from them.

It's better to understand that in any given field you have people functioning at various levels of competency, assuming basic competency of course. Should we get rid of all the teachers who aren't stellar?

Should society apologize to all the people who didn't get on the most efficient path as students?

Top
#960368 - 05/08/08 07:35 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7384
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Some very interesting questions! I believe that's part of the rationale that MTNA has of gathering all teachers in and helping to advance from whereever they are.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#960369 - 05/08/08 09:00 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Candyman, I'm hesitating because it's too broad a topic to be contained as a subtopic. I have read some of your other posts and your perception seems to be the same as mine: it is best to have a good teacher in the beginning because that is when the foundations are laid. Both solution to existing problems and prevention to them exist in that insight. Blame does not enter into it - those of us who took no childhood lessons could not do so anyway - rather to know where you are now and what should be done.

However, this is not part of this thread. I do take exception to the idea that "everybody" finds his way. The 60 year old who tried several times and couldn't find the door did not find his way. It is not something that just happens. You have to go about it intelligently, or be informed, or become informed, so at least you know where to look for guidance and then trust that guidance. This is the student perspective.

Top
#960370 - 05/08/08 10:25 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11968
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I do take exception to the idea that "everybody" finds his way. The 60 year old who tried several times and couldn't find the door did not find his way. It is not something that just happens. You have to go about it intelligently, or be informed, or become informed, so at least you know where to look for guidance and then trust that guidance. This is the student perspective. [/b]
Well said. Just because some have found their does not mean all will eventually. Many give up, blaming themselves for the failures of their teachers. Sometimes it is the student's fault, but what a shame when it isn't and they are made to think so. Ultimately, however, the responsibility does fall on the shoulders of the student. They must educate themselves on what to look for in a good teacher, and to evaluate how well the teacher is working out for them.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#960371 - 05/08/08 11:19 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Thanks, Morodienne. That is the bottom line. It includes defining our goals. The first responsibility is ours.

Top
#960372 - 05/08/08 11:57 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
MTNA doesn't have any judging guidelines whatsoever. It's up to the local associations to choose judges. If you have good ones, it's because you have a good local president!
_________________________
"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

Top
#960373 - 05/09/08 01:49 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
 Quote:
Originally posted by Morodiene:
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I do take exception to the idea that "everybody" finds his way. The 60 year old who tried several times and couldn't find the door did not find his way. It is not something that just happens. You have to go about it intelligently, or be informed, or become informed, so at least you know where to look for guidance and then trust that guidance. This is the student perspective. [/b]
Well said. Just because some have found their does not mean all will eventually. Many give up, blaming themselves for the failures of their teachers. Sometimes it is the student's fault, but what a shame when it isn't and they are made to think so. Ultimately, however, the responsibility does fall on the shoulders of the student. They must educate themselves on what to look for in a good teacher, and to evaluate how well the teacher is working out for them. [/b]
Encouraging. At least you're meeting the nearly-disgruntled half way. I disagree about the 'they must educate themselves on what to look for'. Until you've been shown it, you'll never recognize it. I recognized my good piano teacher because 10 years earlier I had a world famous oboe teacher - I immediately saw something in common. Ultimately it is a shared responsibility - that is the magic.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


Top
#960374 - 05/09/08 07:16 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
I disagree about the 'they must educate themselves on what to look for'. Until you've been shown it, you'll never recognize it.
Yes and no, kbk, though your oboe analogy makes a point - If you have an insight through any instrumental training you have some kind of point of reference.

I'm trying hard not to veer OT because this is a vast topic and doesn't fit in this thread. Self-education and responsibility for the first-time adult student who aims for a serious path begins by having an idea of what this means, and then being able to express it to a prospective teacher.

As worded by one teacher, many adults are after a "hobby" and goals as well as willingness to do certain things fall within that. Some teachers have had the experience that when they pushed certain things they met with resistance or lost the student. So lessons are geared in a certain direction, maybe lots of pieces, some general effects but not much emphasis on basic skills like note reading or technique, or just skimmed enough to get by. The adult student doesn't know a choice has been made and thinks this is how it is. Without a solid foundation he hits a ceiling at some point. In other cases the adult simply won't get through the door. Some teachers won't take adult students. The same teacher who will push certain things on little kids because some of these kids might end up going the professional path will eschew those things for adults.

Our world is very small. It consists of one teacher's studio and that becomes our reality of what music and learning is about. Some acquaintances eventually discovered it was about something different than they were experiencing and that led to discussion with their teachers. Those particular teachers had assumed things about what they were willing to do and what their goals were, and subsequent to this the lessons changed substantially. Some of the adults were shocked by what was involved - by now there is enough peer support that they held through.

The responsibility of the adult student consists of knowing what his goals are - this does not mean "I want to play pieces ABC like musician X - and be able to articulate this clearly to a prospective teacher, and also listen carefully to the response. The teaching approach is up to a techer and I can't tell much about that. But if the teacher gives a list of popular classical songs (and calls them songs), talks about the fun we'll have, and hauls out 20 Easy Classical Pieces To Impress Your Friends flipping through it randomly, I would not expect the attitude I'm looking for.

I would be looking for a teacher who knows how to teach to create a decent foundation and is willing to do so with an adult. To achieve this, I must be able to communicate my own attitude to a prospective teacher so that he knows where I'm coming from. What is stressed to the parent of a 5 year old child is not necessarily what will be stressed to an adult who has never taken formal lessons. It is important to be aware of that reality and address it.

The second responsiblity as an adult student is to take instructions seriously even if they seem trivial and meaningless.

I have been suspected of an elitist attitude. Not so. Nor do I expect the existence of a super teacher who will put me through some kind of paces that will magically turn me into a super musician by dint of following these amazing instructions. Basically I have reiterated what teachers have advised parents: the first teacher is the most important because that person lays down the foundations and you should make certain this is a good teacher. To me "good teacher" would define someone who understands how the instrument is played, understands music, and understands what a student must be taught and asked to do in order to bring this about (pedagogy). Would anyone dispute these three attributes, or say that any of the three is not essential? I'm not looking for a pedigree that says Curtis or "teacher of (famous people)". Just these three elements. I do feel chagrined that an elite attitude was read into my words.

In any case, that's where I came in. I thought a body was under discussion that has the purpose of regulating a profession according to qualifications and all my initial questions went off on the wrong foot. That is because in my own profession we are trying to work on just that.

But I have since discovered that this organization plays a supportive role for teachers of all ilks, providing opportunities in many ways that turn into benefits for students in performance opportunities, professional growth for teachers wherever they currently find themselves, and community awareness which can have tons of positive spin-offs.

That is why all of this is in a sense OT to this thread.

Top
#960375 - 05/09/08 08:44 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
By the way, I don't know if anybody has posted links, so for those interested in hearing from the horse's mouth:

http://www.mtna.org/

http://www.mtnacertification.org/

http://pianoguild.com/

http://www.nationalmusiccertificate.org/

And an example of an independent group which (I think) is not affiliated with a national organization:

http://www.mthp.org/
_________________________
"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

Top
#960376 - 05/09/08 10:21 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7384
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
FWIW, our state level organization puts together a listing of judges for local chapters to use.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

Top
#960377 - 05/09/08 07:10 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
Kreisler Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 13792
Loc: Iowa City, IA
Texas is pretty much a free-for-all.

The Michigan state organization also had a list of judges who had been through a state-approved training process. (Kind of like a 1-hour inservice seminar.)
_________________________
"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

Top
#960378 - 05/24/08 12:10 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
cjp_piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Cincinnati OH
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I assume that this is an American organization. If I were American, and if I knew that the MTNA will give membership only to those who have a minimum set of skills in instrument, music, and teaching, then I would seek out such a teacher.

But the MTNA also describes 7 levels of certification. Is this administered by the MTNA? As a student, I would also seek out someone who has the lowest level of certification, which requires these twin skills. Otherwise I cannot assume that someone who has set up a shingle as a teacher does in fact have training in these two areas. We have unregulated professions. [/b]
There are no requirements to become a member, that's why it's important to be certified. Yes, it's administered by MTNA. When someone wants to search for a teacher, it only gives a list of those that are CERTIFIED.

Anyone can become a member, but why would you pay 100 bucks a year if you didn't actually want to take advantage of membership? I don't know any teachers that claim they are qualified to teach because they are a member. Being a member simply shows that you stay connected with other members and continue to learn about your profession.

Being certified, however, is a way to show you are "qualified" to teach. There aren't 7 levels of certification, there may be 7 steps, but either you are certified, or you aren't.
_________________________
MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Piano
Instructor of Music Theory, Accompanist
Member: MTNA, OhioMTA, SW District OhioMTA
www.mtna.org
www.ohiomta.org
www.swomta.org

Top
#960379 - 05/24/08 12:41 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Thank you, cjp. Since I wrote that question I learned more about the organization. Among others, it supports teachers by giving more opportunities for students to perform, promotes music, gives chances for continued development, and I imagine helps private teachers break out of isolation. As a freelancer I know about the latter. When I first learned about the MTNA I thought that it functioned like my own professional organization and toward the same purposes and that is what prompted my question.

As a student, were I looking for a teacher, certification would mean something if I knew the merits of such certificatin. I am also open to the possibility that teachers might be qualified who are not certified, that there might be different criteria for judging etc. It seems to me that teaching music is both an art and a science for both the music and the teaching aspect. Such things are sometimes hard to "judge".

Top
#960380 - 05/25/08 08:49 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
cjp_piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Cincinnati OH
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
As a student, were I looking for a teacher, certification would mean something if I knew the merits of such certificatin. [/b]
If you go to www.mtna.org, there is a link in the bottom left corner to find a certified teacher. The page it takes you to has an overview of what it means to be certified. You can search by location for such a teacher right then, or continue reading more in depth about the process.
_________________________
MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Piano
Instructor of Music Theory, Accompanist
Member: MTNA, OhioMTA, SW District OhioMTA
www.mtna.org
www.ohiomta.org
www.swomta.org

Top
#960381 - 05/25/08 09:07 AM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Thanks, cjp, and I've seen that link and I think it's fantastic. It is a much better thing than trying to guess about teachers without knowing what to go on.

However, what I meant is that as a student or parent I don't know whether these are the only types of criteria that can be used, and that if I were to eliminate as choice all uncertified (by the MTNA) teachers, I could also be eliminating excellent teachers.

For example, one teacher here who by every consideration gives the impression of being a superb teacher has stated that he is not certified in this manner, and gives different indications that can help identify a probable good teacher. This is what I meant by "if I knew the merits of such certification". At the end of the day, I am not an expert in music teaching, and so there is a certain vulnerability in my ability to choose wisely. The presence of such certification may be one remedy, but probably not the only one.

On a different note, I noticed in passing that there was an MTNA conference in Canada. Does that organization have any role among Canadian teachers beyond that of exchanging ideas?

Over here, when I was looking for teachers and phoned the RCM some years back, whoever was on the phone recommended that I consider only those teachers that were certified by them, because a basic degree of knowledge plus teaching know-how would have been verified, while getting someone out of the yellow pages put me into totally uncharted waters. But one teacher eschewed such certification because he believed his credentials and experience, as well as not wanting for students, spoke for themselves.

In any case, I understand that this is not the main role of the MTNA. The supportive element that it provides is heartening to see.

Top
#960382 - 05/26/08 03:48 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
cjp_piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Cincinnati OH
Keystring -- You're exactly right about there being excellent teachers who AREN'T certified, myself being one of them! ha ha . . (Actually I'm in the process right now).

I continue to believe that word-of-mouth is probably one of the best ways to find a "good" teacher.

The conference in Canada: Our national conference for the FIRST time in the 130-year history was held outside our borders. This was a great collaborative conference with Canada! Pretty much the only role of MTNA in Canada is just the exchanging of ideas as you said; however, the Canadian RCM examinations have come into the USA (as the National Music Certificate Program), and we are working towards more collaboration, very exciting!
_________________________
MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Piano
Instructor of Music Theory, Accompanist
Member: MTNA, OhioMTA, SW District OhioMTA
www.mtna.org
www.ohiomta.org
www.swomta.org

Top
#960383 - 05/26/08 04:05 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
Yes, I've heard about the RCM exams coming across the border and being accepted with some reluctance. As an adult learner I did two of the theory exams last year. What struck me is that I was in a room full of people who had different teachers using different approaches having different philosophies, even different instruments, and all were sitting an exam demanding a given standard of knowledge and being able to use that knowledge. In Ontario, passing the theory exam along with practical exam of a given level will give high school credits. (I wonder if they would add that to my 1976 transcript).

Top
#960384 - 05/26/08 04:16 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
cjp_piano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/23/08
Posts: 202
Loc: Cincinnati OH
You're correct about there being some reluctance. Most of this is due to the fact that we've never had anything like this before, plus the theory requirements are pretty tough for the typical student here. These requirements are currently being revised in order to accomodate teachers and students in the USA. RCM is investing HUGE amounts of time and resources in order to get us on board. And the program IS growing here, which I'm excited about!

Keystring, just curious, which exams did you take?
_________________________
MTNA Nationally Certified Teacher of Music, Piano
Instructor of Music Theory, Accompanist
Member: MTNA, OhioMTA, SW District OhioMTA
www.mtna.org
www.ohiomta.org
www.swomta.org

Top
#960385 - 05/26/08 10:59 PM Re: About National-State-Local Purpose & Ethics of MTNA Members
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11710
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
Keystring, just curious, which exams did you take?
I took the grade 1 practical violin exam some years ago. I developed a problem through a defective instrument so that all halted. I'm considering discussing resuming it this year.

(Piano acquisition a year ago; no steady lessons yet)

Last year I wrote both the intermediate and advanced rudimentary theory, and I'll be working on basic harmony next.

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  Ken Knapp 
What's Hot!!
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Interesting books about the piano, pianists, piano history, biographies, memoirs and more!
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
ad (Casio)
Celviano by Casio Rebate
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Two Hand Line Technique Help
by Herwiberde
10/02/14 01:00 PM
AvantGrand N2/3 Update......
by Pete14
10/02/14 12:50 PM
Dealer exchanging piano?
by cherublace
10/02/14 12:19 PM
Looking for some help buying a digital piano, Yamaha 105/142
by Shadowbadger
10/02/14 12:12 PM
Robin Spielberg - Piano Tutorial
by Robin Spielberg
10/02/14 11:59 AM
Who's Online
161 registered (ajames, accordeur, 36251, Adypiano, alans, 45 invisible), 1640 Guests and 16 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76404 Members
42 Forums
157955 Topics
2319623 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
|
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |


copyright 1997 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission