Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc. #00200

Submission Number:
00200
Commenter:
K Levorson
Organization:
Minnesota Music Teachers Association
State:
Minnesota
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Music Teachers National Association, Inc.
Matter Number:

131-0118

I am writing on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA), a state affiliate of Music Teachers National Association since 1901. Our mission is to advance the profession of music teaching through education, certification, networking, and advocacy. Local and state organizations like ours serve a vital function in assisting our members to become better educators and more professional business people. Our members come to organizations like ours with a high level of expertise in music performance and pedagogy, but often are less confident in their capacity to run a small business. While some of our members are college faculty or teach at music schools, the vast majority of our members are small business owners. As such, they look to our organization and to their colleagues for help in developing professional business practices. Our members have read the consent decree and have many questions about how conversations at our local and state meetings will play out in the future. Many say they have rarely, if ever, heard conversations about specific price setting. Many say that when conversations about business practices occur, those conversations are more about creating a sustainable business that fairly serves its clients than about undercutting competitors. Some members worry that restrictions will discourage potential members from joining and experiencing the value of the collegial relationships our organization supports. Since MTNA demonstrated to the FTC that its Code of Ethics has always been voluntary and that the former solicitation provision had never been enforced, we find it disappointing that the FTC continued to pursue action against MTNA. The consent decree, with its compliance requirements, while well intended, puts unnecessary burdens on small local affiliates that are operated by volunteer members. While we do not believe the practices of music teachers or MTNA warranted investigation by the FTC, and while we are dismayed by this use of government resources, our organization and affiliates will fully comply with the consent decree.