All About Music Lessons:
Educate Yourself! Become a smart shopper, know this field, and get
information by phoning around.
Most people, when phoning for music lessons never even ask if the teachers offering are educated.
Be sophisticated and be informed. Everything matters... and a great teacher, combined with, a superior
institute is paramount. Know what to look for, and know the questions to ask. You owe it to yourself.
...What do you know about finding a qualified music teacher?
~ What are the current teachers in Canada required to have as teaching credentials to teach a musical instrument?
~ Are teachers licensed the same way as; hair stylists, trainers, massage therapists, plumbers...etc.
~ Are there Federal or Provincial Regulations of any kind?
~ Do Music Studios pay any kind of licensing fees?
~ Are teachers require to belong to any type of professional association?
Read on to find out what this business is truly all about...
The Following are Some Facts About This Business...
Music Education Facts in Canada:
Section One...The Real Truth About Music Instructors:
Another common term used is, "Professional Instructors." This term is nothing more than an advertising generalization, anyone can call themselves or their teachers, "Professional." Many music stores and private individuals who teach music have little to no actual qualifications. This means, no University or College music training on the part of the instructor. The result, in many cases, is a very poor quality of knowledge passed on to the student.
Music Reading, Music Theory, Harmony, Improvisation and overall Musicianship can be very weak in many private students repertoire due to the lack of basic knowledge an untrained instructor delivers during lessons. Even worse, is the huge amount of inaccurate information and bad playing habits which are passed along to unknowing students by these untrained instructors. It can sometimes take years of un-doing and re-learning to gain proper techniques which could have easily been avoided with instruction provided by a trained, and properly educated teacher.
A FEW POINTS TO CONSIDER...
#1). Ask a teacher about their Professional, University, or College training. As well, ask about their live performance experience. Make sure they are graduates of recognized institutes. Ask about their teaching experience. A minimum of 8 to 10 years teaching experience is average for a professional instructor charging the going rate of approx. $22.00 - $25.00 per 30 min. class time. Uneducated, or amateur teachers, will charge what they feel they are worth. This usually is approx. $10.00 - $15.00 per 30 min. Notice the big difference in price! Basically, you are getting a large price drop for the overall lack of training, experience and education. Remember, inexperienced teachers charge what they feel they are worth.
#2). Ask for a meeting/consultation and spend time getting to know if this teachers teaching style is relaxed and patient. Find out how well they can communicate musical ideas to you. How good are they at; notation, transcription, improvisation and theory topics? Some professional, well established teachers will charge you for meetings. But, that's fine. More than likely you'll walk away learning a few excellent ideas.
Section Two... The Truth About Tax on Lessons and Claiming Lessons as a Tax Deduction:
What about tax deductions?
Can any and all lessons fees be claimed for Federal taxation personal or family expenses?
Who decides on the paperwork to be handled, the Music Studio or the student/parents for tax credit forms. Can students who are pursuing a career in music benefit even greater?
Are there other deductions you are missing?
Have you spoken to your personal income tax accountant about you, or your child's, lesson fees?
Read on to find out more...
In Canada, there is NO TAX on music lessons. Music lessons hold tax exempt status under both Provincial and Federal governments, (no G.S.T. or P.S.T). If you know of someone charging tax on lessons, it is a misrepresentation of Revenue Canada's Income Tax Act regarding Education Tax Exemption. They should be reported for tax fraud or tax evasion. As the money they are collecting isn't going to revenue Canada.
Claiming lessons as a personal tax deduction is only available
through a music school which holds the certification of a, "Certified
Educational Institute." This title is very specific, and is offered
to only a select few organizations. It is a title which authorizes an
educational center amendments to the Income Tax Act for the purpose of
allowing students enrolled in a Federally qualified educational program
to receive Tax deductions. These deductions are authorized through a
roll number filed in Ottawa. The roll number is checked against any Tax
deduction claims made by a student for tuition, books, or extra
material(s). The qualification of, "Certified Educational Institute," is for tax registry associated to a specific curriculum only. It holds no association to the qualification of instructors teaching any of the programs at these certified institute.
DO "YOU" QUALIFY FOR A TAX DEDUCTION?
Generally an individual may qualify for a tuition tax credit if...
(A). The student is 18 yrs. of age and is enhancing or working toward a professional career as a musician. The student must be enrolled at a, "Certified Educational Institute." A signed "Tuition Certification Letter," from the institution, must accompany the claim. The student must have spent over $100.00 to qualify. Please contact Revenue Canada Taxation for an up-to-date Interpretation Bulletin regarding tax deductions at Certified Educational Institutions.
Section Three... The Truth Regarding Registration Fees:
Many private instructors, and many more commercial locations charge a, "Registration Fee." They range in price from $20.00 up to $40.00. This fee tends to be an annual fee at most studio's. It generally is for the, "Annual Materials." Many pages of material covering the specific needs of students is part of the ongoing lessons package at most studio's. Plus, add in; manuscript paper, CD's, DVD's, etc. Most music studio's do not charge for weekly supplies at each lesson. Although it might seem, "as if," it is free at the studio - business' must re-coup the costs which far exceed $20.00 or so during a full semester.
Be sure to ask, "What the Registration Fee is For?" And, find out if the fee being charged is actually for anything specific, (i.e. Music Related Materials). Or, is it a way to simply raise sales figures at someone's store. Quite a large number of studio's charge fees as high as $35.00 per year, yet give out absolutely no supplies each week. Get the details. Don't fall for free merchandise or store related gimmicks you get for enrolling, or for staying enrolled. Remember, music stores receive manufacturers giveaway product, (junk), all the time. Store giveaways such as; free batteries, stickers, guitar picks, or a new strap and guitar polishing cloth DO NOT turn you into a better player! An educated teacher and a solid music program will!