Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00103

Submission Number:
Robert Best
Baylor University
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:


To whom this may concern: Although I believe there should be oversight over organizations and such for the sake of commerce, I also believe that enforcing such a rule for music teaching organizations will cause more problems than it solves. Why the same courtesy allowed for doctors and lawyers isn't applied to other professions, like individualized music teaching, with one-to-one communication as the principal means of instruction, is pejorative. What this means is that if, say, a piano teacher hears a student of another teacher in the same area or town at a performance and wishes to try and recruit them as their own student, they can do so by doing so ethically or unethically. If there are no measures in place to limit enticements, a piano teacher that happens to have more disposal income than another, can use all types of means to lure a student to their studio. Where does this type of behavior end? Music communities are very small, much like doctor or lawyer communities in a given city, I imagine. MTNA or any other musical organization approves bylaws and a code of ethics so we can co-exist together. My wife and I decided to switch piano teachers for our two daughters this past summer. Because we approached the new piano teacher first, it fell within an accepted code of ethics within the music profession. If the FTC's ruling is not reversed, then music communities will become less collegial over time. One would hope that the FTC would actually celebrate a code of ethics in any trade/educational organization instead of what is seemingly the opposite viewpoint, as evidenced by their actions. Music teaching organizations must be allowed to establish a code of ethics and adhere to them if they so choose. Students and their families already have the right to change teachers when they choose to do so. Therefore, in effect, this proposed action by the FTC does nothing but limit unethical behavior. In fact, over time, it will encourage it. Doctors and lawyers are not the only professions that should be exempt from unscrupulous behavior from colleagues within those occupations.