Ramblings, Rantings & Useful Information

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Changing Times

So, one of the recent WP updates ‘broke’ functionality, and I’ve been devoting some of that ‘extra’ time we all have to attempting to fix it.

Instead, it seems I broke everything. Fantabulous.

So, as I figure out how to fix it, In Search of Persimmon Pulp is a brand-spankin’ new, fresh-as-a-daisy blog!

Yup. It’s all gone. Floating out there somewhere in cyberspace. *sad face*

Anywho, just wanted to let anyone know that came here looking for things that I certainly HOPE they will all be back soon. Keep you fingers crossed for me, k?

February 13, 2014   No Comments

The High Cost of Music, Indeed

Wow. I just read Lain Ehmann’s article on “The High Cost of Music” http://parentingsquad.com/the-high-cost-of-music and I must say that I am shocked. (as of Feb 4, this article appears to have been removed)

I am shocked that an article disparaging music professionals was posted on your site. I am shocked that Ms. Ehmann hasn’t done her homework on typical studio hours to see that no, music teachers do NOT generally work a 40-hour week. They generally teach when the students are available – very often after school starting around 3pm and teaching until around 6 or 7. If they are lucky, they might get a few adult, college or home-schooled students during the day.

She is also not taking into account the cost of studio space. A music teacher has to pay rent or the mortgage on space to teach students, as many parents do not want to take their children to someone’s house for lessons. IF that teacher is lucky, s/he will be able to find studio space large enough to house multiple teachers and rent out the extra studio rooms to other teachers. Of course, there are also the bills to heat that space, have lights, and have water for drinking and a bathroom. IF a teacher is lucky, they can rent studio space at a music store or a school instead of having a stand-alone studio.

Their marketing is very often word of mouth, but if they advertise, they also have to factor in the cost of ad space in newspapers, yellow pages, online, business directories, etc. Those “overly expensive” lessons have to pay for that too.

Oh, and has she priced a good piano lately – or any other instrument for that matter? Don’t forget the cost of having it tuned every 6-12 months. Then we add in the cost of music. The teacher will have to stock books and sheet music – even if their students purchase their own – so that WHEN their students forget their music (because they will), there is a copy available for them to play from. A good teacher will also have cd’s that they can check out to students to hear those that have studied and practiced to become excellent at their craft. It helps to build the desire to practice and become better.

Also, please keep in mind that there are generally two recitals per year. That space has to be rented, unless their studio has a space large enough to seat all of their students and families comfortably. The cookies, fruit and veggie trays, coffee and other beverages served generally come out of the teacher’s pocket as well. Performing is an integral part of learning mastery of an instrument, so we can’t leave that part out. Having a teacher that builds their student up is also important. For younger students, they really like to get stickers on their music when they have mastered a song. It makes them happy, and gives them the drive to move on to more challenging music. Those stickers cost money too. Have you priced stickers lately? Older students are more challenging. Sometimes they like to earn a pin (prices start around $15 for those) and when they graduate from high school, they generally host a senior recital. A teacher will often bless them with some kind of gift that will bring back fond memories of their time in that studio as they go off to adulthood.

Add in the training that the teacher paid for to learn their craft. Add in the hours and hours that they practiced to hone their craft. Add in the college degrees that they may still be paying off. While we are at it, why don’t we add in their rent or mortgage for their own home. Food to eat, clothes to wear, a car and gasoline to get them from home to work. They might even want the occasional “high-rent bi-monthly hair cut” themselves – but I guess they shouldn’t be allowed to make that much. After all, they don’t need to look good, right? I certainly hope they don’t have children of their own to feed, clothe, send to school, sports, dance, music or other arts lessons. And did I even mention health insurance?

ALL of these costs have to come from that $60 an hour that a music teacher will make in a few hours a day, 5-6 days a week. I personally have not known ANY music teacher that made $120,000 a year, outside of a college professor – and that’s a maybe. And yes, as someone in the music profession for a time, I do know quite a few.

Yes, it is expensive to the family – especially if you have multiple children wanting to learn to play. If you are fortunate enough that they want to play the same instrument, many teachers will offer family discounts. But is it not worth it? Music uses all of the brain. Music helps with math and reading. With problem solving and critical thinking.  It also inspires our creative sides. It is very hard to be a serious music student and not ‘feel’ it. There are many articles and studies that cite musical study with personal success in other areas. Here is a link to a NY Times article bringing this to light: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/16/will-musical-training-make-you-more-successful/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0 This article is just one of many.

So little Kinsey wants to learn piano. Good for her. At the age of 9 she has more foresight than her mother. Music for Kinsey may actually pay bigger dividends in the long run than her mommy’s high-rent bi-monthly hair cut. Well, it should, unless her mommy’s attitude about it keeps her from truly experiencing it.

The high cost indeed.

And I haven’t even TOUCHED on the comment that those who choose to teach music are “out-of-work musicians”. You REALLY don’t want me to go there.



February 13, 2014   No Comments