When I was young, I remember seeing commercials for "modeling schools" on television. When you went to the mall, there were frequently modeling recruiters there from those schools. If you talked to one, you had amazing cheekbones, beautiful skin, or an elegant posture.
Go to the school and you'll be told you need head shots (but only with the photographer they recommend), you'll be told you need to pay them a fee to be your agent before they can find you work, then charge you for each class you take to improve your modeling career. At each step along the way, they'll tell you how beautiful you are and how close you are to making it.
As an instructor, I will never tell a student something false just to keep them in lessons. My job isn't to build false egos. My job is to help students attain success.
I remember one student, many years ago. One day, she comes to her lesson and informs me she's going to start taking double lessons with me to prepare for her college auditions. Thinking she's going to be auditioning in voice, I said, "awesome!" When I found out she wanted to audition as a songwriter, I recommended she reconsider or at least take an extra year to prepare.
The school she was trying to get into requires a portfolio of thirteen songs to be presented at the school's audition. This particular student had never completely written one song, let alone thirteen, and she had six months to do it.
Rather than tell her, "no, that's impossible," I recommended she take a year off of school to work on that portfolio. At the end of the year, she would have a better chance.
I could have smiled, took six months of double income, and said nothing. But that is not teaching with integrity. Taking the money is not being open and honest with my students. It isn't helping them become the best they can be.
Her parents opted to take her elsewhere, somewhere that promised to make the dreams come true. I lost track of her, so I don't know how her college story turned out, but as a writer I know it is very unlikely that anyone can write and record thirteen amazing songs in less than six months.
Just like in modeling, there are people out there who will take advantage. They'll take a parent's money, make lofty promises, and then disappear. It's a sad reality.
But there are great schools out there, too, and amazing teachers who will move mountains for their students.
How do you know the differences? Is your teacher honest? Do they give you suggestions for growth in addition to positive feedback? Are they promising you the stars? Are they able to back up their promises with examples of previous students and experiences?
Integrity is important to Music Authority. We want you to have the right teacher for you. I'll never give you false promises just to keep you in lessons. We'll walk with you through your child's development as a musician - however far it is you want to go. I can't promise you the stars, it isn't in my power to give it to you.
All I can do is open the door. It's up to your child to do the work and walk through.
Rock Camp, Jr. got started on Monday of this week. This group of 12, 5-10 year olds, is having a blast learning songs, making new friends, and doing beach themed crafts. You can check them out in concert at Music Authority on Friday, June 7 at 7pm in The Backroom. Tickets $5.
The Longest Day
Music Authority supports the Alzheimer's Association on Saturday, June 22, 2019 by hosting an all day recital. Participants are asked to make a donation in the bucket onsite, or though an online link. Money raised goes to support Alzheimer's research.
Please take a moment to stop by on June 22 and make a donation! Or come to the closing act, a concert by Eclipse, Beauty School, and Teacher Band, starting at 7pm in The Backroom at Music Authority.
One of Music Authority's adult performance opportunities this spring was the Bel Canto Singers. Soloist Meredith Dornan and the rest of the singers sang songs from various shows as part of "Queens, Pirates, and Fairy Princesses."