Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00173

Submission Number:
Chris Smith
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:


Hello to the FTC- I write in opposition to the proposed consent decree concerning the Music Teachers National Association Ethics Code. As I understand it, the MTNA ethics code provision concerns the treatment of music teachers who campaign for or in some other way try to encourage students to move from one studio to another, usually to their own studio, and that the FTC feels that this provision discourages competition amongst the teachers. While I can understand how the FTC could feel this way, I have, for the past 25 years, worked as a freelance collaborative pianist at a University, and I have seen, FIRST-HAND, the deleterious effects of teachers who steal students from other studios. The distrust of students by their teachers, the distrust of some teachers by other teachers, poisons collegiality amongst teachers, and students can acquire a reputation that could damage their future prospects for a career. At the University where I work, one of the areas in the School of Music has developed a set of procedures to make a transition of a student from one studio to another at the very least a more fair event. The student who wants to move to another studio must first talk to their own teacher and then have the move approved by the Area Chair. A teacher is not allowed to influence a student to move from another studio to his/her own studio. If their is some real defect in the MTNA code provision, by all means get rid of it, but let the MTNA rewrite the provision to correct the defect. The general idea of not allowing teachers to try to collect students from other studios MUST BE ALLOWED TO EXIST. Any effect on competitiveness is more than outweighed by the professionalism fostered by having such a procedure. Don't tell the MTNA what they can't do. Encourage them to rewrite the code provision so that it will pass FTC review. Tell the MTNA what it can do. Thank you- Chris H. Smith [redacted]