You may think booking music lessons at your local, brick-and-mortar, community music school is the best place to find a music teacher and support your local arts community, but think again. These music schools and studios often charge high prices yet pay their teachers extremely poorly.
Of a typical $100 hour lesson at these schools, you can expect only around $40 or even less per hour to actually be paid to your teacher, and that’s before taxes, which are significant as contractors. Also, the teacher usually has to wait around a month or more to receive payment. This is true even for professional teachers with post-graduate degrees and who are experts in their field.
Teachers at community music schools are typically hired as independent contractors; rarely will they be offered an employee position. Almost all are paid hourly based on the number of lessons given, not a salary. Among other things, that means they have no unemployment benefits should they lose their position or become disabled. There is no paid leave or maternity leave. It also means most schools do not allow them to teach over a certain number of hours to maintain a part-time status. Six to twelve hours per week is a typical schedule.
This is not right. These talented and highly trained local musicians deserve fair wages and the opportunity to become a full-time teacher if that is they want.
By taking lessons at these community music schools, students are often unknowingly supporting these unfair practices.
Not to mention, your teacher probably charges a fraction of that price for their lessons at their private studio. So why pay a premium?
You're paying a lot more. Your teacher is getting paid a lot less.
Now let's say your teacher leaves the school. Most schools have agreements in place with the teacher that says they cannot continue with the school's students after the teacher leaves the school. It's similar to a non-compete clause. Some even have students sign agreements to that effect as well. So if you and your teacher want to continue together, you cannot at least without significant legal exposure.
The M Is Different
The M does not charge teachers for partnering with its network, limit the number of students teachers are placed with, dictate lesson schedules or fees, or take a cut of lesson fees. What you pay to your teacher is what your teacher is earning from your lesson. And you pay that directly to your teacher.
Next, we offer career and business guidance to our members to make sure they are getting the support they need as the sole-proprietors or small business owners they are.
Additionally, we help to host events like recitals, competitions, classes, and other events for members so our teachers can focus on teaching and less on event planning and administration, also keeping costs down to their studios should they have hosted them on their own. For example, there is not fee to teachers for their students to participate in our recitals. However, if a teacher hosted his/her/their own recital, the cost of throwing it would fall on the teacher directly.
The M does not have any clause with any of our members, teachers, or students that states should either or both leave our platform the parties cannot continue together.
Your membership dues are what keep us able to support local musicians in this way.
Join today to support the M, our local musicians, and to join this positive and friendly community of musicians!