Where do good music teachers come from?
Until now, there is no training program to teach someone how to teach music.
Music teachers come in two different varieties. First are the performers, who get degrees in music performance. They have exactly zero training in how to teach.
The second are the folks with music education degrees. And unfortunately, they also have zero training in how to teach music lessons. Their training is instead about classroom management, and meeting state standards (set by government bureaucrats and not educators) and adolescent psychology. None of this prepares them to teach music lessons one on one.
This isn’t their fault. They are all really great people. It’s just that the system we have doesn’t prepare anyone to teach.
And that is exactly what we do differently. We’ve built that system to train teachers.
We take skilled musicians, who are passionate about teaching. And then we give them the skills and training they need in order to be amazing teachers.
To give you a little more…one of the things you have to do as a musician is to form habits of movement.
I used to get so really angry when I interviewed teachers. I would ask them a simple question “How are habits formed”. I asked, of course, because every music student has to form these habits.
And guess what? Not a single ‘teacher’ ever answered this question correctly. That’s when I realized teachers need training.
Our training is simple. It’s based on the research, the actual science, about how humans learn. We’ve just taken that research and applied it directly to the teaching of music.
Why aren’t other schools using this scientific method? Because it’s really hard work. It’s easy to say “look, our teachers performed at Carnegie Hall”. But it’s quite another to spend the years it takes to really groom a top rate teacher, to build the resources and training and support they need. So other schools take the easy way out and rely on their performing credentials or experience. We don’t.
We believe that just like our teachers are expecting our students to learn and grow and get better each week, we have to expect the same of our teachers. Otherwise, we are setting a bad example.
So in addition to our training, we have regular professional development meetings, lesson observations, and student check-ins to ensure that they (the students) are making the most progress.
This systematic approach is super effective, but takes time. And we have to compensate our teachers for their time. That’s one of the main reasons our prices are higher.
The second, and this is also a big reason, is that our teachers are employees. Most music schools hire teachers as ‘independent contractors’. Legally the school cannot dictate how an independent contractor does their job. You see, the IRS’s lawyers are crystal clear on one point: the moment an ‘independent contractor’ is told how to do their job they become an ‘employee’. That changes everything.
So profit maximizing schools are very careful with this legal distinction. But at what cost?
Teachers are a valuable resource. As a society we need to agree to invest in the best teachers. That includes providing a stable work environment. Stability drives consistency
Many schools will keep teachers for only short periods at a time, driving turnover.
And imagine if you had a teacher as a contractor (not an employee) where they are juggling 4 other jobs, with no benefits, and with no oversight. It isn’t hard to imagine their level of distraction.
We cost more because we pay our music teachers more. Teachers should earn living wages, and not just music teachers. In return, you get better results, faster. And because of that progress our students stay 3x longer.
Now you know.