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Confused about musicteachers.co.uk website


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#1 Misterioso

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 14:50

I have a listing with musicteachers, but today received an email from them with a video explaining how their new site works. I know that a large proportion of my new students are doing a google search to find me and then contacting me direct, or through my own website. I've never had to pay for the listing (as far as I know) and can't understand when or why you pay a platform fee, or indeed any fee at all. Has it changed, is it ok to carry on having a free listing or is this being done away with?


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#2 maggiemay

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 16:21

I have a listing with musicteachers, but today received an email from them with a video explaining how their new site works. I know that a large proportion of my new students are doing a google search to find me and then contacting me direct, or through my own website. I've never had to pay for the listing (as far as I know) and can't understand when or why you pay a platform fee, or indeed any fee at all. Has it changed, is it ok to carry on having a free listing or is this being done away with?

Misterioso - I’m listed there too, and I  hadn’t heard anything (at least not recently) from them, but will let you know if I do. 


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#3 Misterioso

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 19:16

Thanks, maggiemay. This email was entitled "Sneak Peek" and is not the first email I've had from them re the changes, as they seemed keen to highlight them before they came into effect. I'm afraid I shall decamp if I have to pay as my experience suggests that very few - if any - students come to me through this listing.


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#4 Piano Meg

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 21:21

I'm listed and got the email. Watched the video. It looks like you don't pay a platform fee, but for as long as you have a pupil found through music teachers, the pupil pays a percentage of your teaching fee to music teachers - between 10% and 33%. It's less if the pupil pays for blocks of lessons and for teachers who teach lots of pupils via music teachers (in other words, there are incentives to pay them more fees). So, if a pupil wants a one-off 30 minute lesson and you charge £20, they pay music teachers £30 (you get £20 and MT gets £10!)... for every lesson they pay as a single lesson.

 

I can't see established teachers using it. I'd be horrified for my pupils to pay an extra 10% to a website for every lesson they have with me. The site will do billing (presumably to make sure they get paid) and it seems they get the money from the pupil up front and then pay the teacher at the end of the month. Erm... no, I don't think that works for me! And they have it designed to give blocks of 5, 10 or 20 lessons. Erm... half-terms, months?? And they've got rid of qualification checking, but customers can post reviews. The only benefit I can see is that teachers are supposed to provide a DBS and two referees. Like a job application.

 

After all their 'consultation' process, it looks as though the new website will be exactly like their current platform - music tutors (or that's where the link for terms and conditions takes you - where it says tutors have no rights to fees, and tutors will have 20% reduction in fees for blocks of lessons*).

 

I'm thinking no. :glare:

 

EDIT: *having re-read the terms, I think the no right to fees/ 20% reduction is just badly worded - I don't think it actually means those things. Probably.


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#5 Bagpuss

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 21:27

Yup, I'm ditching it too.
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#6 ten left thumbs

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Posted 07 January 2022 - 21:38

I've been afraid of this for a while. I keep getting these emails about how keen they are to do all sorts of stuff for me, like billing and invoices. And how badly they wanted my input. My instinct was they were trying to extract money somehow, which I do understand. But I went onto them because it was free, though there was a paid option. I certainly don't want the hassle of billing different students differently depending on how they found me. I don't think I've had a single student through them, though of course I can't be sure. 


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#7 zwhe

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 09:19

I'm half way through a paid three year membership as I do find it a useful source of pupils. I've sent an email asking what they are doing about refunds. I also told them what I think of the new site and that their cookie policy was illegal as there was no option to refuse them, only accept! 

Why would I want to either take a pay cut or charge pupils more than the going rate for this area? It makes no business sense to me. 


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#8 Misterioso

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 11:23

I'm listed and got the email. Watched the video. It looks like you don't pay a platform fee, but for as long as you have a pupil found through music teachers, the pupil pays a percentage of your teaching fee to music teachers - between 10% and 33%. It's less if the pupil pays for blocks of lessons and for teachers who teach lots of pupils via music teachers (in other words, there are incentives to pay them more fees). So, if a pupil wants a one-off 30 minute lesson and you charge £20, they pay music teachers £30 (you get £20 and MT gets £10!)... for every lesson they pay as a single lesson.

 

I can't see established teachers using it. I'd be horrified for my pupils to pay an extra 10% to a website for every lesson they have with me.

 

 

Thank you, Piano Meg and everyone else who has offered feedback. This tells me everything I need to know; it also tells me that my interpretation of their video is correct, although when I watched it I could scarcely believe that the pupil would have to go on paying just for finding a teacher through them. I'm decamping.
 


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#9 ViolinsAreForLife

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Posted 08 January 2022 - 17:32

I applied to be on the revamped Musictutors, having been on Musicteachers for some years, as it used to provide

a few students but since the pandemic the demand ground to a halt: the old system of just having a directory looked

quite outdated and I was keen to be part of the new site.

 

I attended both meetings last year where Alex Wibrew told us about the survey they conducted of all members and

it seemed that the sites were getting very few students overall, meaning that the SEO and other tools were not optimsed:

this large survey showed that, beyond individual perceptions and anecdotes, it was time to try something new.

 

The new site is nothing revolutionary but it has moved on, offering a much more SEO-friendly approach, with picture-strong

profiles that are much more mobile-friendly to browse and will deliver better online teaching with a host of platform-ready tools,

meaning that you can get students from the site, organise your calendars and payments there, and use online tools within the

site to deliver lessons. The good thing (for teachers) is that there is no penalty for having less students in the sense that you

do not lose status in the search hierarchy: compare that to sites where only logging in everyday keeps your site near the top.

 

True, students will shoulder the fee, but this means the teachers are not hit by hidden fees: the rate set by the tutor will be what

they bank, not a penny/cent less. 

 

I think no online platform is perfect: other platforms, for example, does not allow any exchange of details between students and tutors without payment of an upfront fee; other sites take commissions from the tutors; other sites are a race to the bottom where the cheapest tutor wins the day. If a site works for you to win the SEO war and get more visibility, then I think it is worth a shot

before declaring it a resounding failure. But each to their own.

 

I had a session this week wiith Alex Wibrew (CEO of the new site) where he showed me and another tutor how the site works,

answering questions, etc. My profile is now live and I am very happy to have gone through the application process, which involves:

 

- two professional references;

- Criminal Records check / Disclosure (PVG);

- ID documentation;

- an application form.

 

What the analytics showed was that for the previous MusicTeachers and MusicTutors sites there were a vast number of

dead accounts and this new system at least ensures that only people who are actually going to teach are on the searches.

Also, if you do not log in for 128 days, your account will become dormant/invisible, which will keep it from clogging up searches.

 

I commend the MusicTutors team for trying something different: it is not just a cosmetic touch, it is a different business model

and in tune with social media search habits, for one.

 

Sorry to dissent, just putting my own spin on this.

 

Good luck if you decide to join/re-join MusicTutors. :)


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#10 Piano Meg

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 00:43

Sorry to dissent, just putting my own spin on this.

 

Not at all. Everyone will have their own cost/benefit ideas!

 

I agree that the new site will be more aesthetically pleasing. The calendars might be useful for some teachers (though most established teachers will already have a system in place for that - it's not hard if you have regular pupils). Personally, I wasn't keen on the profiles. I thought they were very wordy, which I'm not sure potential pupils would take the time to read. It's hard to find the information you're looking for when there's a lot of prose. Qualifications aren't validated (which was the only reason I had a profile on MT), but there isn't even a place to list them as far as I can tell. That will make it hard to compare between teachers based on what you're looking for. Do they teach post-grade 8? Do they teach adults and children? I'd want to see that easily. Being held to the platform's T&Cs is another negative for me as teacher - it means taking away my control. Something that has been fought for in this profession.

 

But the fees were the biggest turn off for me. The example on the video is of a teacher who has taught for over 100 hours on the platform but not more than 500 hours - a silver member. If the teacher wants to get £36 (the MU recommended rate) for an hour's lesson, the pupil will pay £52.33 if they pay for just one lesson upfront, £47.09 for each lesson if they pay for 5 lessons upfront, £44.48 if they pay for 10 lessons upfront and £41.86 if they pay for 20 lessons upfront. Alex the CEO said (in the video) that those rates were a bit high for the pupil, so teachers might want to lower their prices. So even the CEO is saying that the MU prices will be too high for pupils on this platform.

 

Extending that example further, let's say a pupil wanting 60 minute lessons decides to pay for 10 lessons up front. They'll be paying MusicTeachers £8.48 for each lesson they have, which amounts to £84.80 per block and £254.40 per year for a 30-lesson year or £339.20 for a 40-lesson year! And imagine (as is often the case) if it's more than one child per family having lessons! I personally don't see £339.20 worth of benefits for the teacher/pupil in using the platform. I'd be surprised if any established teachers would want to sign up to that.


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#11 katyjay

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 08:38

Well said, Piano Meg.
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#12 elemimele

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 10:41

If I found that that proportion of what I paid for my lessons was being creamed off by a website, I'd consider myself cheated, and it'd leave me with strongly negative feelings towards not only the website, but also the teacher who let it happen.


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#13 ViolinsAreForLife

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 12:51

Good points, PianoMeg and Elemimele...

In the end, if all your fears prove
real then in the worst scenario there
will be a decline in take-up and in the best
scenario the site developers will rethink
their pricing model.

I am personally keen to sit on it
and wait to see what happens, given
that I already have security from
other sources; also, there are other
platforms that one can use therefore
if a client wants you at a better price
they will likely find you outwith
Musictutors.

Let us see what happens.
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#14 ten left thumbs

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 16:06

I applied to be on the revamped Musictutors, having been on Musicteachers for some years, as it used to provide

a few students but since the pandemic the demand ground to a halt: the old system of just having a directory looked

quite outdated and I was keen to be part of the new site.

 

I attended both meetings last year where Alex Wibrew told us about the survey they conducted of all members and

it seemed that the sites were getting very few students overall, meaning that the SEO and other tools were not optimsed:

this large survey showed that, beyond individual perceptions and anecdotes, it was time to try something new.

 

The new site is nothing revolutionary but it has moved on, offering a much more SEO-friendly approach...

 

... :)

Thanks for sharing your experience. Am I the only one who doesn't know what SEO is?


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#15 Latin pianist

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Posted 09 January 2022 - 16:12

Do you mean CEO, chief executive officer?


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