piano lessons at church

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by dcorbett, Sep 1, 2004.

  1. dcorbett

    dcorbett
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    Hi folks....I only read here, I rarely post....but I have a problem and I want some OPINIONS.

    There is not music for our young people at church. There is no music offered in the church academy (K-12) and there is no music theory taught by ANYONE at ANYTIME at my church.

    I am a musician, 15 years of piano lessons, and 5 years of music ed at the Univ of Arizona. I have long felt convicted to offer piano lessons to the kids at church at a reduced rate. I have 2 students starting this week, brand new. Because we are a rural community, it is more convenient for lessons to be done at the church, which is centrally located for all of us, and one of the girls doesn't have a pinao at home, so this is ideal for her. We have a piano in a side room which I had planned on using for this.
    Well, the church secretary found out, and she informed me that I couldn't do this because of the "Money changers in the temple" story.

    Folks, I am not trying to take advantage of the church. I could have these lessons at my home, but I am trying to make it convenient for the parents and the girls involved. What is wrong with doing the lessons after they get out of school each week, one day??? Both attend the church academy, so they will be on site.

    Can anyone tell me what is wrong with doing this?

    Debbie C in Colorado
     
  2. Salty

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    Debbie, I must assume that your Christian does NOT charge any tutition, am I correct? :rolleyes:

    In my case, I teach the Defensive driving course (DDC) That is the one that many states (incl NY) will give you a 10% discount off your auto insurance. For my open classes I charge $40. When I teach at a church (with a required minium of students) the cost is only about $28/ student. I asked my pastor if I could do a class at the church for the benifit of the members. It was okay with him, but one of the senior elders did not like the ideal, so no class.
    I talked to another pastor about doing a class at his church. He told me they do not allow any activites that charge admission or ect. As I walked out into the hallway, I noticed an announcemtnt for a Mothers-Daughter banquet. Cost of meal - $7. Sounds like a double standard to me. :eek: :confused:

    Debbie, may the Lord bless you in your music ministry.

    ps Our music director wants me to sing solo- so low, that no one can hear me! [​IMG]
     
  3. Singing Cop

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    I personally think people take this Biblical principal too far! I think God does not want his house to be known as a place to purchase goods. I know of a church that turned the basement into a restaurant. - The Rib Crib. As far as providing a service - I see nothing wrong with it. And how many churches allow groups to come in and sing and then sell their tapes and cds at the back of the church...I really don't see anything wrong with it. Some churches even operat small christian bookstores for their members and visitors.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    The money changers story is a "whole 'nother" issue.
    I am a piano teacher, too, and I teach from my home (the parsonage). I believe that regenerating church musicians is part of my calling. Therefore, I give 3 "scholarships" to students who couldn't take lessons otherwise. I also have some I "barter" with - like two sisters who watch my children in exchange for free lessons. There is also a student whose mother is a photographer, and we barter, too. We are in the country, too, so I also charge waaay less than the going rate in the city. We hold recitals at the church and no one has had a problem with it. Sometimes I give the lessons at the church when the need arises or close to recital time.

    And if someone is going to learn to play the organ, they pretty much have to learn at church! What better place is there that can provide a positive and supportive learning environment.

    But if folks have a problem with it, maybe you should just teach at home. It doesn't seem like a hill worth dying on. Just my opinion!
    Best wishes!
    TaterTot
     
  5. 2atlow8

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    Does your church secretary run the church?
     
  6. DavidsAngel

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    dcor, this is the thing. The money changers story was one of abuse. What they would do would be to take all the money and exchange it for temple money. they really started to abuse it. Jesus didn't attack every temple for money changing, he attacked one. So the theroy that you could give piano lessons at church is a sound one but, most if not all Baptist fundamental churches want no kind of appearance of evil, so they cut it out totally. That way there is nothing to defend.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    It looks to me like what is wrong is that the church secretary thinks she is in charge. Who appointed her to make this decision?

    If you are a church member teaching church kids, I don't have a big problem with it.
     
  8. Gina B

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    I think it's totally wrong, but as it's already going to cause a problem, I wouldn't push it. If it appears she made this decision on her own though, I might approach the pastor with something like this:
    "Pastor, I was really hoping to be able to help the students here afford music lessons, and thought it would be convenient to offer them right here since the room, the instruments, and the students are already here. I was told that this isn't allowed to happen because it would be like the money changers in the temple. I don't understand why it's like that and although I want to keep the peace and not make a big fuss over this, I'd like a bit more explanation on how adding an elective class would be doing that."

    This way the pastor would be aware of the situation, nobody directly is named so nobody gets defensive, and he has the opportunity to either get this on the road to happening, or providing you with a more satisfactory explanation.
    Gina
     
  9. WallyGator

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    Good advice, Gina! I'll second that. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. dcorbett

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    thanks to everybody for your input!!! Pastor is
    out of town, but will be back tomorrow, and I
    am creating a formal presentation in writing as to the need for music education, the need for Christian music education, and the need to teach at the church.

    Let me answer some questions here....yes, the academy charges tuition. And yes, traveling musicians sell their CDs out front, and yes, several "ministries" of the church are charged for (banquets, Patch the Pirate) and yes,
    the church secretary thinks she runs the church!
    Many, many members have dealt with her controlling and overbearing behavior, and Pastor always takes her side!

    Sorry for venting, but I am only trying to offer CHEAP lessons to kids who have no other alternative, and I have invested time and money into this to the point that their lessons won't pay me anything for at least 3 months. I am even paying to have the piano in the choir room TUNED
    for the first time in 3 years.

    (sigh)
    Debbie
     
  11. donnA

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    Always go to the pastor before planning to do something at the church that you know isn't a normal activity. Secrateries do not run the church. I see no problem with makeing new musicians for the church by training them. Your church has a school, I wonder if they charge? If she going to miss apply scripture I wonder if she applies it to the school?
     
  12. dcorbett

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    well, she printed some reply to a post she had done on a forum for church admin...and an accountant said it could jeopardize our non profit status if someone uses the building for profit. I am so confused - I am charging half price for lessons, and I am paying to have the piano tuned ($75) and I am buying all their books, so I am NOT making any money....I am actually in the red on this! Yes, I am going to talk to Pastor as soon as he has room on his calendar for me. I am totally frustrated, and I don't want to be a hindrance to the message we put out, ya know? But we need a feeder music program in that church! Where will the next generation of pianists and choir members come from if we don't do domething about it????
     
  13. Salty

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    What? :confused: Your pastor does not have time for you? [​IMG]
     
  14. dcorbett

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    Long story...Pastor is close to retirement. He is at the end of a long ministry of serving God, raised 2 of his 4 children to be Pastors, and spent some years in Kora as a missionary also.

    He just cannot let go, even though he does not minister to the people much anymore. He preaches a great message, and that's about it. The assistant Pastor is the one I talk to most of the time, but it is a sticky mess, because he has no authority to approve anything.

    (sigh) and the deacons? They are puppets.

    Debbie
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    That was a common complaint in teh early church. In Acts 6, Peter and the others gave a solution ... deacons ...
     
  16. Debby in Philly

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    Since you mention that it will be after school, which is at the church, why not "sell" the idea as an extension of the SCHOOL's program, not the CHURCH's or your own business?
    Jesus didn't drive the moneychangers out of a school.

    BTW, Debbie, I'm a church musician too, my name is Debby, and I often go by the username of dcrockett. Interesting coincidences, yes? Welcome to the BB, and do post more often!
     
  17. blackbird

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    dcorbett---there's a big difference between a church secretary and a church pastor

    Secretary answers phone

    Pastor answers questions

    We have exactly what you have here! A lady in the community had been teaching lessons for years at her house----one day she casually asked me of the possibility of using the church facilities for lessons---we have 4 members now taking lessons from her---she is not a member here---but I told her she could(I'm not the secretary---I'm the pastor)---Deacon's meeting rolled around and I just casually informed them of what was happening---and in the words of Arnold Swartnegger---"No Prob-blem-o!" She's been giving lessons here now for 2 1/2 years!

    As for the "Money Changers" alibi---that won't work! What happened in Jesus' situation was that He came in to the Temple---and saw that these changers were "hoggin'" what was called the Court of the Gentiles(which doubled also as the Court of the Women) preventing the Gentiles AND Jewish women from their rightful place of worship in the Temple! That was enough cause to make Jesus go "Bear Huntin' with a Fly Swatter!"

    Tell the Secretary that when she gets through filein' her nails and paintin' 'um---that you'd like to speak to the Pastor!!

    Brother David
     
  18. dcorbett

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    Thanks, Deb!!! Glad to meet you!! I will be here more often.

    Debbie C
     
  19. Bro.Bill

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    Many secretaries act as gate keepers whether in business or otherwise.So you need to make an appiontment to see the pastor.
     
  20. dcorbett

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    I plan on it. I am pianist in the morning service tomorrow, and then we have the annual church picnic in the park, and then no evening service - I will try to "book" him on Tuesday
    after the holiday. I am going to bring up the secretary trying to run the church when he is gone also.

    Debbie C
     

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