Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00029

Submission Number:
00029
Commenter:
Sullivan
State:
California
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:

131-0118

As a member of the Music Teachers National Association for more than 25 years, it has always been my belief that we were incorporated as a not-for-profit entity. I'm having trouble understanding the legal authority under which the Federal Trade Commission has power to regulate our organization. It is my understanding that the FTC refuses to address this question directly. The MTNA exists not to promote or discourage competition between music teachers. We function primarily with a mission to encourage the highest standards of music pedagogy and to provide our members' students with performance and evaluation opportunities through competitive and non-competitive auditions. Our teacher-members run these programs as organizational volunteers. In my experience, no member is ever paid for organizing or running a festival or competition or evaluation program. We are only able to offer these programs through cooperation among teachers. And this cooperation can arise only within the context of good professional relations between teacher members. Our Code of Ethics merely sets a wise standard which encourages good member relations. Please believe me when I say that without cooperative professional relationships between members, our volunteer-based programs, which serve our students, will cease to exist. If that happens, music education in the United States will be all the poorer for it. MTNA is such a small organization, it is baffling to me that our Code of Ethics is even on your radar. We’re hardly Walmart! Evidently, the FTC refuses to offer any explanation about how this came to your attention. In the absence of any explanation everyone I’ve spoken to assumes someone on the FTC staff has a personal grudge and is using the organization to seek some sort of retribution. Such conjecture cannot serve the mission of the FTC. Greater transparency would seem to be to the benefit of all parties.