Zoom Lessons - bravo!

May 21, 2023, 9:46 PM · I am disappointed to learn that a post advertising Zoom Lessons with Mr. Berg was removed. It was a missed opportunity for talented children to receive efficient instruction and develop their musical abilities. I recognize the challenges faced by music teachers in making a living, and when a teacher like Mr. Berg is willing to lower their fees to attract talent, their efforts should be appreciated and supported.

It is disheartening that our current system lacks adequate support for gifted children. These young individuals exist, albeit in small numbers, and they are in need of assistance. I wish there were better mechanisms in place to identify and nurture their talents. Everyone needs financial stability, but when exceptional teachers are willing to make sacrifices in order to support and inspire these talented children, their efforts should be applauded and encouraged.

Replies (16)

May 21, 2023, 10:17 PM · Although I don't disagree with the fact that its wonderful to have a good teacher with his background making their talent available to talented students, turning the forum into an advertising platform for teachers to undercut other teachers, isn't a good direction for this forum to take. There is a teachers section on violinist.com. He could easily add himself there.
May 22, 2023, 7:00 AM · It’s a pity really. I found all the negative backlash against Prof. Berg petty, senseless, and overly dramatic.
May 22, 2023, 8:28 AM · If the post went against v.com guidelines, I agree is should have been removed or placed in the appropriate section.

However, Dr. Berg has been a well respected contributer here for years, and I was appalled at the disrespect he was publically shown. Maybe because he's from the same era as my dad and I wouldn't dream of talking to my retired dad publically like some of the responders did. I'm glad it was removed- for Dr. Berg's sake.

I hope he gets his studio up and running smoothly. He seems to have a lot to offer.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 10:47 AM · I also found some of the posters on Dr. Berg’s discussion to be completely out of line, appallingly rude, and narcissistic by hijacking the discussion the way they did.
May 22, 2023, 10:41 AM · I think he just added himself to the teachers list. Although I was against advertising within the forum, there is absolutely nothing wrong with him mentioning something in his profile about being available for lessons through zoom.
Edited: May 22, 2023, 2:07 PM · Perhaps Laurie can add a tag in the teacher's section to indicate that the teacher also offers lessons over Zoom or Skype, since right now it's arranged by particular location. Bruce can also update his bio and add all his teaching info to it. Pretty easy to do.

I was also puzzled by the other thread's commentary, although I guess I kind of understand from a unionization standpoint (I'm not making any specific claims about what existing teachers' unions do, but more about the possibility for unionization in a freelance economy).

Edited: May 22, 2023, 11:12 AM · Exactly, Christian. Make regular contributions to violinist.com, and people like me who didn't previously know you, will click on your profile. In fact, you need to. If you read the "teachers" page, it will only keep your profile if you log in once every 30 days. Post something exactly like you did on you forum post, but in your profile: I am a retired distinguished professor who loves teaching and misses it greatly, available for instruction over zoom etc.
May 22, 2023, 11:55 AM · The post brought up some interesting topics.

It does appear from the rules of the site that posting ads for your services is against the rules. Thus it was going to be removed.

There were some comments directed about his rates. While I do think he could charge more if he wanted, his price would not lower the prices over all. There are already tons of inexpensive teachers. More experienced students would probably want to seek a degree. Professionals who are seeking coaching will typically not be shopping based on price. All in all I do not think his prices would prevent food being put on the table for another teacher. The food may not be there already the way the music economy is going.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 12:20 PM ·

I agree with the action taken. The existing rules are there for good reason, not that Dr. Berg was necessarily attempting to break rules.

I belong to a photography discussion forum, and they have similar rules. And having been a past moderator on that forum, I know full well the kind of distractions that can occur by permitting commercially inspired posts in a discussion forum.

Onward and forward.

May 22, 2023, 2:01 PM · Whether the original post was appropriate to the forum is immaterial. It was the hostile reaction and public shaming that was objectionable.
Edited: May 22, 2023, 5:23 PM · I don't like the direction that this thread is taking. Teachers, on violinist.com, if you want to advertise your services, you can either list yourself as a teacher or you can advertise directly by paying them a service fee right here: place an ad . There is also a paragraph here about advertising.

I appreciate that many of you respect this man, and because he is an older retired, distinguished professor, he deserves our respect, nonetheless this does not give him permission to jump the queue, so to speak, at the expense of the other teachers on this website who could also advertise their services in exactly the same way. Chastising another respected teacher on this forum, who chose to stand up against this behaviour - calling her a "karen", is "completely out of line (and) appallingly rude"!

Edit: I see that the poster who referred to her as "karen" has removed it! Good!

May 22, 2023, 3:35 PM · I have a ton of respect for Dr. Berg and eagerly attended all his concerts back when he was at Duke. I'd be thrilled to learn from him and was happy to hear that he was offering remote lessons.

Setting aside the pricing issue (which I can see both sides of), I honestly think maybe there's a third way to do this. The "teachers" section is pretty sparsely populated and most of the people I see on the list aren't super regular contributors, whereas frequent contributors like Mary Ellen Goree are NOT showing up on the list. It also has little info about who these folks are, whether they are taking new students, etc. It reads like an advertising page.

In my Facebook Buy-Nothing group there is a similar prohibition from advertising one's services or business, and then once a month, there's an exception to the rule and people are able to post in a thread if they are dog-walkers, babysitters, estate advisors, personal organizers, etc.

I'm wondering if something like that would work here – could regular contributors (lurkers too?) be invited to a monthly thread where they are able to announce that they have a chamber music camp with some openings, or a studio spot, or a violin or bow for sale? Then everyone understands that this is effectively an advertisement but a) it feels current and b) posters can give more specifics and maybe even answer questions.

Edited: May 22, 2023, 3:54 PM · Katie, every person has the opportunity in their profile to draw attention to themselves by mentioning their teaching and performance experience. Perhaps the best form of advertising for them are regular and helpful contributions to the violinist.com forum. Also, it's important to keep their profile up to date with all necessary contact information. Another revenue source for violinist.com would be to sell to teachers the option to label their profile as an active teacher, immediately visible in the forum, so that we can all see who are the teachers that are contributing to the forum.

Nate, has done a good job with setting up his profile on violinist.com. Click on contact and it links to more details.

Dr. Berg would do himself the greatest favour, if he updated his profile, provided contact information, and made helpful posts directly on this forum. People like me who didn't previously know him, will enjoy his posts and then click on the link to his profile to read more about him. And that is exactly what I did. However, I saw the details in his profile and then decided to research more about him, only to discover that he was no longer listed as a prof. Well that's weird, I thought, so I questioned him. Anyhow, the point is for you teachers: update your profile; make it clear that you're a teacher whose looking for students; contribute in the forum with helpful posts. The rest takes care of itself.

May 22, 2023, 4:02 PM · Bruce Hardy, I just checked your profile ;-)
Edited: May 22, 2023, 5:04 PM · Lol, Jean. I'm not a teacher. ;-)

My wife is the violin teacher, and after taking an almost 3 decade break from the violin, due to an injury, followed by life reality taking over, I am very active with my practicing again, at the bridge between intermediate and advanced. She keeps on trying to get me to take on new students that approach her, and I refuse. I don't think its right for me to be teaching at this stage. However, out of curiosity, I took the intro Susuki course ( one hour left ). I'm actually tempted to take the 4 Suzuki units and then take on some of the new students that approach my wife. The two of us working together as a team might work well. However, first I have to master Mozart Concerto #5 which is well within my ability, but the last mozart concerto I looked at was #4, over 30 years ago. :)

May 22, 2023, 4:05 PM · I try and post frequently as a favor to all the other teachers, so that students can seek a real teacher out as a palate cleanser after reading my thoughts.

The system works!

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