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Confused about musicteachers.co.uk website


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#61 Bagpuss

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 20:14

I honestly fail to see how this set up could be attractive for any instrumental/voice teacher.
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#62 ten left thumbs

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 21:06

 

What does irk me is to be told, 'look we had to do this because the old format of the website was dated and lots of the entries were out of date, etc, etc'. If entries were out of date, all they had to do was delete them. I regularly got requests for me to update or confirm my entry, and I did so. If nobody bothered deleting the old accounts, then that's their fault! No matter. Someone bought the domain name, they have the right to change it as they wish, within the law, to whatever business plan they want. Either it works or it doesn't. 

Well said, ten left thumbs.

 

I'm also wondering if someone signs up for lessons and takes them for 10 years, do they get the platform fee added onto every single lesson over those 10 years?

 

There is nothing (as far as I know) to stop teacher and student working out their own arrangement once they know each other. I can't see how the website could stop them. Then the student would just pay the teacher as normal. 

 

When my kid was having trouble with exams at school, we wanted to get them a tutor. We went through a local agency because I wanted some measure of quality control and accountability, as the tutor was only a few years older than my kid. Once we met, I could have said to them, look, 'we'll tell the agency it didn't work out and I'll hire you privately and we can split the difference'. But I still felt like I wanted the accountability and the quickness to replace tutor if they were sick or got a proper job, so I continued to pay the agency fees. All was well. The exams happened and we were never in touch after the 3 months or so of tutoring. 

 

It is a business model, it's just not for me, as it would be a massive step back.


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#63 Maizie

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 22:01

 

There is nothing (as far as I know) to stop teacher and student working out their own arrangement once they know each other. I can't see how the website could stop them. Then the student would just pay the teacher as normal.

 

This is where looking at the small print very carefully would have to come in to it.

I have my house cleaned by a cleaning company, but I have the same cleaners each time - if they leave the company, I can't employ those individuals (directly or through another company) within 2 years unless I pay a (substantial) penalty.  OK, it's there nice and clearly in the contract I signed in this case.  I woudn't be surprised by any similar sort of arrangement in any context having a penalty fee/finders fee or whatever they want to call it.
 


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#64 elemimele

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Posted 15 January 2022 - 23:30

I'd recommend you do an experiment. Just pretend you're a student looking for lessons in your area, open up Google, and type "piano lessons Manchester" or wherever you live. I just did it for my city. Yes, musicteachers.co.uk was there. It was underneath four paid-for ads and the Google-map showing all teachers in my area, and three entries relating to the map. By the time a student has scrolled that far down, and assuming they don't just select someone from the Google-map, they'll probably be happy to keep scrolling a bit further. I did, and found a long list that was roughly half-and-half individual teachers and organisations that look for tutors, in no particular order.

 

Downton put it rather well: "I also wonder if they don't expect it either as they appear to be billing big to a small audience, rather than the other way around".

 

There are really two ways that anyone is going to go looking for music teachers: ask your friends/other-parents/child's-music-teacher, or Google. And Google really doesn't need any other website to help. It's pretty good at finding things on its own. I can also see this being limited in appeal to those who are buying some lessons for a partner as a present. And at those prices, they're going to have to be feeling very romantic to buy 20 lessons.


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#65 ten left thumbs

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 10:24

 

 

There is nothing (as far as I know) to stop teacher and student working out their own arrangement once they know each other. I can't see how the website could stop them. Then the student would just pay the teacher as normal.

 

This is where looking at the small print very carefully would have to come in to it.

I have my house cleaned by a cleaning company, but I have the same cleaners each time - if they leave the company, I can't employ those individuals (directly or through another company) within 2 years unless I pay a (substantial) penalty.  OK, it's there nice and clearly in the contract I signed in this case.  I woudn't be surprised by any similar sort of arrangement in any context having a penalty fee/finders fee or whatever they want to call it.
 

 

Yes, you're probably right. 


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#66 HelenVJ

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 12:33

From the above comments it seems clear that very few qualified, experienced and established teachers will want to give this business plan the time of day.  VAFL seems to be in a minority of one. Some things are just not worth keeping an open mind about and this sub-optimal deal, with students apparently continuing to pay a hefty percentage in perpetuity, would be one of them. Not much in it for the teachers either - the reduced input in the choosing and vetting of new students is just one of many drawbacks.

I see that while references and DBS clearance are required to get on to the list, there's no requirement for qualifications. So the innocent student/parent may well end up paying well over the odds for an  inexperienced and possibly under-qualified teacher who's getting on the starting ladder. While new teachers of course have to start somewhere,  they might be better advised to get on the lists of the MU, ISM, EPTA etc as well as setting up a Facebook Group at no outlay. 


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#67 Banjogirl

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 21:48

My son's viola teacher worked via a local agency. The price we were quoted was from them, and I don't know what he got paid and how much they kept. We paid for ten lessons at a time. He was a very busy man and the way he worked was that at each lesson you booked the next one. We'd have the same time for a stretch and then he'd be away on tour or whatever and we'd do something else. It worked ok though it wouldn't have been my first choice as an arrangement. However he was an excellent teacher and viola teachers are hard to come by! But the difference between them and this new music teacher arrangement was that it was local and we knew the owners of the agency and they did give some extra value such as concerts that the pupils could be in, and so on. The cost per lesson was reasonable for a teacher of his calibre and it made the admin easy. I'm quite surprised that it worked for more standard teachers teaching more common instruments.
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#68 ViolinsAreForLife

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 22:59

Thanks for that,BanjoGirl.

Worth seeing the description
of First Tutors, and their
business model,in the About Us
section:

https://www.firsttut...ic/about-us.php

...for comparison.
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#69 ViolinsAreForLife

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Posted 16 January 2022 - 23:11

Sites come and go...

There was once Violinandviola.co.uk
for tutors to list their services
but,being free, it has ceased to be
(the site is now a music download service).

Advertising may not work to keep
a platform afloat, and it is
a business decision to decide
whether fees should be
introduced, and how.

The "how" is what has been
debated on this thread, which
of course is valid and fair,
rather than putting the "why"
in the dock on trial.

I think, as elemimele said,
there will be a range of options
available to anyone looking online
for music lessons, some local and
some nation/world-wide, therefore
no one agency will dominate
the whole market- same as with
language lessons, say.
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