Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00033

Submission Number:
00033
Commenter:
Carol Rein
Organization:
Rein Piano Studio
State:
Ohio
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:

131-0118

The FTC's attack on MTNA, a non-profit professional organization, is nothing short of bullying. MTNA supports our studios and schools with continuing education and crucial events and opportunities for our students and is supported by member dues and charitable donations. It is not a "high dollar" organization, but is incredibly important in our industry. The code of ethics is not legally enforceable, first of all. It is simply a guide to remind colleagues in the music instruction business to respect the relationships established over years of careful nurturing between children and families with their private instructors. There is nothing AT ALL prohibiting instructors from 1) advertising rates and fees, 2) talking with prospective students about rates and services offered. Out of professional courtesy to other instructors, who are often friends or acquaintances, most of us avoid actively pursuing students that we know are currently studying with another teacher and request that they provide that teacher with any balance due should they decide to make a move to a new teacher. Anyone who requests information about my services, regardless of their status with another teacher, gets up front, honest information from me and is free to make an informed choice. Such a provision in the code of ethics is not unusual among professionals, including doctors and attorneys. It is ridiculous to think that there is any price gouging going on that might harm consumers. Depleting the resources of such an honorable and important organization as MTNA is a deplorable waste of resources. It comes out of the pockets of independent business professionals like me, and ultimately harms our young students and their families. I have never balked at paying taxes to benefit my fellow citizens, but when an organization such as the FTC abuses its power like this, it angers me to no end. It makes me ashamed of the federal government, which is supposed to be "of the people". Leave us alone!!