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Takelessons.comRip you off

S Review updated:

They charge you $69 / hour for instruction. They pay the poor teachers around $20 / hour. Any reputable teacher in an area will have a following and will usually charge in the $50 - $60 / hour range, and it all goes to that teacher.

Most of the teachers I have encountered are HS grads, some with college degrees, most do not. I mean if you are a professional music teacher are you going to work for $20 / hour? And their lesson centers in Best Buy? They are all about the "upsell" - buy an instrument, only buy books from them, etc, etc...

So, here's the real deal: Your child wants to take lessons? What is your first reaction... it should be ask their teachers, friends, neighbors, but go to a website and put a teacher in a "shopping cart" and check out. They claim to have "certified" teachers. Well, they interview that teacher for not very long, do an on-line "training" which is all about selling and marketing and has nothing to do with educational values. I actually asked a rep from Takelessons and asked if they follow the guidelines set forth by the MENC standards and rubrics for music instruction and they said that they dont follow any "other schools" program. Even when that "other school" is the Department of Education that has a very detailed list of what private lessons should be consistant of (www.menc.org)

Are they a scam, you decide, are they trying to rip you off, you bet. And yes, their website is flashy, but like any prostitute, sex sells.

Responses

  • Ro
    Rodrigo Essentuki Mar 16, 2018
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    I have been a teacher at takelessons.com for about 1 year as a Spanish teacher. Though the site is most known for music, you can find all subjects being taught there. There's actually great freedom in what you can teach. I don't remember being screen to be a teacher there. Perhaps they did, I don't know. Classes are offered in person or online through their their online module, which is easy to use, and comes with screen-share. For example, I am strictly an online teacher. When I first started with them, I did not get any students. But as I worked on my profile, I began to get students. Soon so many inquiries were coming in that I stopped taking new students (won't come up in searches), since I was happy with the amount of students I already had. What I like about takelessons is that it's easy to use, and pays every week reliably. You can get students from anywhere in the world where there is internet. What I don't like is that student's cannot buy one lesson at a time. They have to buy packages of five lessons or more. So a lot of students ask questions before committing to a package, obviously because they will be putting some real money, and want to know if it's a good fit. But you won't really know until a lesson takes place. Sometimes, you just don't click with a student, and they seek a refund for the remaining classes (which is handled by takelessons). Another sore point is the minimum cost for a lesson is $15 an hour. No one can charge less than $15. So this keeps the prices somewhat artificially high, there's no race to the bottom, and it takes some freedom from someone who's willing where living cost is low and is willing to teach for less than $15 (of which takes lessons gets a good cut of). It seems they don't get teachers from outside the USA, so perhaps its part of their business model. Takelessons takes 40% cut from the first five lessons, each package after that you earn 10% more until you reach 90%, which is good when long term students kick in. All in all, it's a decent deal for both the teacher and the student. Taking and giving lessons online eliminates the cost of transportation in both time and fuel, the stress of traffic etc. So there's a great deal of 'saving' going on through the online classroom. If they eliminated their package requirements I suspect they could be doing a lot more business. Some people only need one or two lessons.

    1 Votes
  • Ha
    harmonica Jan 22, 2018
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    I meant I have a 4 year degree and have been teaching for 17 years.

    -1 Votes
  • Ha
    harmonica Jan 22, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    The only reason I found this message board is by accident. It has come up on the top of the search engines and I was searching to make sure my profile was turned off because I have 50 students! I am a teacher with Take Lessons, I have been there since 2010. I have never worked for a better company. They have even sent me Christmas cards. I have my own company too. I have been teaching for 4 years and have a 4 year degree, but you don't need one to be a music teacher. Experience is what you need. Not learning about history and math. It was waste of my money. And the high costs of lessons helps to keep a teacher working when she is not actively teaching. It takes time to learn and implement curriculum. I'm very shocked to see all of these negative reviews. Yes I hear complaints from customers all the time. But I find that customers requests are out of line too. If someone cancels for a birthday party, should the teacher go without pay? And also, I have made $1000's of dollars from them, they are always there to discuss any concerns I have, and work with me every step of the way. Now I don't know how things have differed from when I started, but I told my boyfriend to apply to be a teacher and he did not get hired. He has a much larger background in theory then I do, and didn't go to school. I thought I would be able to get him through the door. But it doesn't work like that. And teachers make mistakes too by the way, even the most educated. I think you all need to take a step back, and think about what your rant is about. Companies of very large sizes are bound to have some complaints. But I wouldn't stay with them as long as I have if it weren't a good company. If you dont want to pay for lessons then do some research and find free tutorials. I'm not leaving my name because I am afraid of the negative feedback I will get from all of you for stating the truth. I have an established business.
    Take Lessons Instructor.

    0 Votes
  • Le
    Lena Bloch Dec 22, 2017
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    I have 2 Masters' in Music and 27 years of teaching experience, I completed my profile with stellar feedback ("gold"), got several students, most of whom were temporary, seasonal (online, during holidays or vacations), or seniors, who quit after first two months for health reasons. TakeLessons told me that I have a "low retention rate" and put my profile on the very bottom, so no one can see it anymore. This happened 2 years ago, and they told me that there is no chance for me to ever get anywhere higher than the very bottom, because of my "retention rate". This was totally incompetent, nothing to do with education and overt swindle. The idea that education is just another form of customer service and is based on sales, comes from a profoundly ignorant mind, who should not have a right or authority to hire any teachers.

    2 Votes
  • Re
    Real teacher Feb 13, 2018
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    @Lena Bloch The "low retention rate" excuse is what Drew would always use when we knew TL didn't have enough demand to justify the number of instructors but we wanted them to feel like it was the teachers fault, not ours. That was often used on instructors who never even had as much as one referral. Since instructors are blind to what happens with other teachers, just like the students, we could say anything without you being able to challenge or question TL claims. Since TL targets nubie instructors through CL, we often took shots at CL when writing fake reviews defending TL, so that readers couldn't see they were getting the exact same people as CL except for a much higher price at TL

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    Sandra Holzbach Oct 09, 2016
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    Listen, Takelessons involves payment on their website and the service they offer. They bring you students in what ever field your teaching. The percentage goes up 10% for every five lessons that the student completes. This helps the teacher to retain the student and to give the best service possible. When a student takes 20 lessons, the teacher gets 90% of the pay. Takelessons is not a rip off. Nothing is cheap. The services that Takelessons provides and the websites that they put up cost money; but the teacher would go up 10% upon completion of the first 5 lessons with the student. As the student continues, the pay would keep going up 10% until the teacher gets 90% of the pay. Please keep that in mind before you accuse a worthy school of instruction of being a rip off.

    -3 Votes
  • 4m
    4mystudents Feb 13, 2018

    @Sandra Holzbach So teachers get paid least when we're needed most. There is no excuse whatsoever for a REAL instructor to EVER settle for less than 90% especially since TL does NOTHING but make things less clear for both students and instructors and lie to cram yourself in-between. TL is NOT a "worthy school of instruction" and don't your dare insult real schools by claiming you are in any position to call yourself that. You are NOT a school at all. You are scamming salesmen who are polluting an otherwise honorable profession.

    0 Votes
  • On
    Onyx1210 Apr 29, 2016

    Dissatisfactory service for GMAT tutoring, he was very unprofessional and missed classes. Don't think I'll take them again.

    3 Votes
  • Li
    Liz Vargas Feb 01, 2016
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    Verified customer

    I'm a music teacher and I've been a music professional for 20 years. They take 40 percent for the first five lessons. I am very disappointed with the screening of my students through this company. They also lack in travel cost and distance so when I'm trying to qualify customers they harass me and my students or potential clients and they promote another teacher to them. It's a waste of my time. I use a monthly commitment theirs is weekly. It's very poorly managed. Thumbtack is a far better system. I might add they set me up with a criminal. So they don't screen customers. They are only interested in making "the buck".

    1 Votes
  • Ve
    VegasTeach Sep 23, 2015

    First, these posts are OLD, it's September 2015. Second, It's a service, no one has to use it. I'm a teacher with, and am pretty critical on most things where people tend to have to reign me in when I find things to be "scams".

    Pay is higher for the teacher than is stated on these complaints. The cost for the lessons, less than is being claimed here. Plus, as the teacher continues with a student, pay increases by percentage up to 90% as the lessons continue.

    The fact is, a student can pick their teacher based on the experience the teacher has. Can the experience be a con? Sure, but the student can ask questions from teachers before having to commit to hiring them. Some teachers might turn off the questions feature, so the smart student might pass them right over then. Point is, it's up to any student to know who they are hiring as a teacher before they commit - that's just good sense.

    Teachers are also able to allow background checks. It's only 20 buck now, reasonable. Students/parents of students would find this comforting, at least more so than not. Again, since TakeLessons is a formal entity, there is an additional accountability factor there some people might say. At the very least you have to assume TakeLessons is not looking for lawsuits.

    Teachers also can't be prevented from teaching outside the service. Having the service is a bonus, not a take away for teachers.

    So I call this one out as NOT a scam. It's an option, a choice. It may not be for all teachers, it may not be for all students, but TakeLessons seems to be doing a reasonable job at this moment in time.

    1 Votes
  • Ad
    AdvocacyU.S. Apr 25, 2015
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Attn. Take Lessons.com We are the consumer advocacy group that has made Thumbtack.com's life a pure living hell. After reading all the negative comments on this thread (and many others throughout the internet) We have decided to turn our attention towards you.We can promise you this will not be pleasant in the least bit. We are a powerful group of intelligent people who stand up and fight for those who have been ripped off. Your business model and current method of operation sickens us and we will now deal with things our way...Be ready.

    0 Votes
  • Aq
    aquanutter Nov 19, 2014

    I don't know about all the negative stuff here. Some of it repeats, slightly re-worded from one to the next. Talk about Takelessons being less than truthful! And guess what? just below this box for comments is a link for "Teacher Training" - "Earn Your Teacher Aide Certificate. 100% Online Study." OK back to Takelessons. My teacher is a PhD, a member of a nationally known symphony of a major US city, a leader of a chamber orchestra, etc. etc. Definitely not the wet-behind-the ears incompetent described in so many of the "complaints".

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    Baryton Oct 01, 2020
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    @Real teacher This is simply not true. about teachers with PhD's in music. Doctoral degrees are now required for musicians to teach at a university, unless they are literally famous (i.e. a Metropolitan Opera singer or a member of a top-5 symphony like NY Phil, Cleveland, LA, or Chicago. Having a music doctorate is a sign that the teacher spend 10 years of their life studying music at a very high level and had to submit original research on a relevant topic pertaining to their instrument. Having a doctorate does not mean you are a good teacher by default. Some are better at researching their instrument than actually teaching it. But to say that most people with PhD's in music are not experience at teaching privately is ludicrous. It is quite literally the required degree to teach at the university level in the 21st century. This comment would have been true in about 1960. Doctoral music degrees became the standard in the early 1990s.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Real teacher Feb 13, 2018
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    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @aquanutter A little reality for you, Aquanutter, most people with PHD's in music, even if they play for a "nationally-known symphony" are not experienced at teaching privately and often very poor instructors who think students are there to learn a "method" rather than learn how to plan an instrument. That is two very dissimilar goals that are often lumped together by those who have not learned to think beyond the confines of outdated academia.
    A business like Takelessons, knows how to exploit the appearance of qualified before students know what they are stepping into. Of course, you know this since you work in their sales department.

    -3 Votes
  • La
    la pastorella Aug 10, 2014

    Hello--I'm going to try to be balanced here. First thing: take lessons takes advantage of instructors who are looking for students, not doubt about it. Second thing, my experience shows that they do not adequately screen their instructors. I am a musician with a conservatory degree and an MA in musicology. I was looking for a voice teacher to help me work on my low register so I can sing mezzo parts now that I'm older. I picked someone who was nearby and seemed appropriate. She was absolutely awful--her office was a mess, with papers piles all over. She didn't have a mirror (essential for voice lessons)--she talked, she sang and she didn't listen to me either singing or talking. Worse, she kept trying to play the melody on the piano and kept hitting the wrong notes because it was in d flat. (guess what, I'm a musician, I know when I've sung a note wrong and I know how to fix it) So--I complained to take lessons. They switched me to another teacher, gave me credit for the lesson. Second teacher--fantastic! Just what I needed, an opera singer, clearly knew her stuff, and I learned a lot. More problems though: Take lessons screwed up the record keeping and it took a few tries to fix it, then I had to cancel because I ran out of $--be aware, they automatically deduct from your account, if you don't stop it in time they won't refund it, and if it's on a debit card you can't cancel payment. Advice--Take Lessons, be cautious, be your own advocate, keep an eye on them. Best option--get a recommendation from a music store, local school, theater group, etc.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    JonSach Jun 21, 2014

    As a music teacher who has used Takelessons, I can say that my experience has not been that bad. I set my own prices, and they take 25% (much too high, in my opinion) and I have only received two students through them in almost a year of membership. While I would never recommend looking for music lessons online (ask a friend, teacher, or local music store instead!), I haven't heard any problems from my students. I've received all of my payments on time with ease, and my students haven't ever been charged when they shouldn't be. It might not be a great business, but it is not a scam.

    Like I said, I wouldn't recommend using it to find a teacher. While there are some great teachers on TakeLessons, you have no idea, as anyone can sign up. If you have no idea where to go to find lessons in your area, TakeLessons is a viable option. I would recommend paying for as few lessons as possible upfront, and by all means, take advantage of the money-back guarantee if you aren't satisfied. Better yet, find a teacher through a trusted recommendation.

    0 Votes
  • Di
    DisgruntledTutor Mar 19, 2014

    Dear GTREDITOR and Scamdetector,
    I was spurred to reply to this thread because of your responses. I have been teacher on TakeLessons.com for about 3 months now. I don't understand how you can say the teachers on TL are scam artists when all we do is sign up for what looks like a tutor-student networking site to find students. If a teacher on TL doesn't offer certified documents proving what universities they attended, etc., then keep on looking and go to the next one! Signing up to teach others knowledge you have gained is NOT scamming others. Teachers are required to list their certifications, education, past work experience, etc. If you don't ask each teacher for proof of this information, then they have the opportunity to lie, but an honest teacher will produce the necessary documents, which I can do! It irks me when people make generalizations and assumptions about others. Just because someone lied to you about their certifications and you didn't bother making a simple request for proof, that does NOT make every TL tutor a scam artist! Also, TL tutors get 25% chopped off from the fee students pay, which may explain why TL tutors must charge a little extra to make what they need to. I charge $13/hr because that only gives me $9.75/hr, which is a downgrade from what I was paid as an AVID Tutor at Kealing Middle School. People who sign up for TL as tutors are just trying to make a little extra money (hopefully on top of another job they have...because there is no way in hell you can make a living off the avg 1 student/month that TL finds for you) and share what they know. I don't even know what kinds of policies and fees TL uses for students, I ONLY see the tutor side. So don't assume we are scam artists because you don't understand what other people know, unless you are a mind reader. You should also think a little more before you speak and try not to make such broad generalizations about ALL these people who you have never met or interacted with.
    Now I agree that TL should definitely certify all claims made by TL tutors and also not give referrals to Best Buy (D:)!!! I am in 100% agreement there. I also think they shouldn't charge an outrageous 25% (plus sign up fees at an initially undisclosed amount) cut from all tutoring sessions or make students buy 4 lessons at a time, etc. However, those policies by TL are NOT created or even known by TL teachers. If there were another way I thought I could find students, I would use it. I definitely plan on deleting my profile for TL soon, based on evidence they are giving away referrals to BestBuy.

    -1 Votes
  • Di
    DisgruntledTutor Mar 19, 2014

    Dear GTREDITOR and Scamdetector,

    I was spurred to reply to this thread because of your responses. I have been teacher on TakeLessons.com for about 3 months now. I don't understand how you can say the teachers on TL are scam artists when all we do is sign up for what looks like a tutor-student networking site to find students. If a teacher on TL doesn't offer certified documents proving what universities they attended, etc., then keep on looking and go to the next one! Signing up to teach others knowledge you have gained is NOT scamming others. Teachers are required to list their certifications, education, past work experience, etc. If you don't ask each teacher for proof of this information, then they have the opportunity to lie, but an honest teacher will produce the necessary documents, which I can do! It irks me when people make generalizations and assumptions about others. Just because someone lied to you about their certifications and you didn't bother making a simple request for proof, that does NOT make every TL tutor a scam artist! Also, TL tutors get 25% chopped off from the fee students pay, which may explain why TL tutors must charge a little extra to make what they need to. I charge $13/hr because that only gives me $9.75/hr, which is a downgrade from what I was paid as an AVID Tutor at Kealing Middle School. People who sign up for TL as tutors are just trying to make a little extra money (hopefully on top of another job they have...because there is no way in hell you can make a living off the avg 1 student/month that TL finds for you) and share what they know. I don't even know what kinds of policies and fees TL uses for students, I ONLY see the tutor side. So don't assume we are scam artists because you don't understand what other people know, unless you are a mind reader. You should also think a little more before you speak and try not to make such broad generalizations about ALL these people who you have never met or interacted with.
    Now I agree that TL should definitely certify all claims made by TL tutors and also not give referrals to Best Buy (D:)!!! I am in 100% agreement there. I also think they shouldn't charge an outrageous 25% (plus sign up fees at an initially undisclosed amount) cut from all tutoring sessions or make students buy 4 lessons at a time, etc. However, those policies by TL are NOT created or even known by TL teachers. If there were another way I thought I could find students, I would use it. I definitely plan on deleting my profile for TL soon, based on evidence they are giving away referrals to BestBuy.

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
    Peggy Alex Feb 17, 2014
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    It is a pure scam. Con-artist scam! I am a college professor, a guest-lecturer in ethno-musicology and variety of socio-cultural anthropology classes., academic mentor and tutor. Please, look what they ask you in the first place SNN and a bank account. Plus, money for background check, which most probably will happen many times (which is not cheep). They simply repeat the same scam as others (like Silver Learning) by charging students a lot, and pay almost nothing to the teachers/tutors. The questionnaires (so called interviews ) are easy to be recognised as "fake", and make you feel "not suitable" and not "a good match" . If they give you a job somehow, they'll make you feel "not good enough" and pay you MINIMUM survivable fee. Think first! . Why they bombard your e-mail with offers? Most probably harvesting your info and e-mail from LinkedIn or other sources you try to exhibit your skills. Yes, they are very good of that, aren't they.
    Yes, it is a pure scam, based on the fact that quality of education in America is going down, budgets are limited, teachers and professors are losing jobs every day. it is FRAUD - pay attention to the questions they ask you! PLEASE, do not fall into such deep hole!

    3 Votes
  • Bi
    bill pierce Feb 11, 2014

    These guys clearly lie about who has 100 students etc. Fact, they bought out Betterfly.com. Which WAS a good place to find pro teacher. FACT #2 guitar lessons are not as popular today as in the boom period [protected]). Perhaps with all their "innovative minds" they should be noticing declining interest in lessons on a global basis as the guitar hero era is over. As annoying as Best Buy's entrance into the lesson market was. Fact #3: best buy is losing market share alot faster than any local music store ever will. Take lesson is a great Idea for a communist government, but you will not find teachers like me working with them. I get my students with actual college degrees and facts based on 3000 happy past students of whom are in bands like Trivium, Johnny Hiland and Weezer. I have been here for 20 years befor games, youtube, and bestbuy or takelessons.com. I plan on being here after all thes idiots are done chasing a lesson market that is way way past its peak!

    2 Votes
  • Mu
    Music School Jan 19, 2014

    I applied to be a teacher with Takelessons. Even though I was HIGHLY qualified as a teacher, they did not hire me. Like someone said earlier, qualified teachers will charge around $60/hr. Sometimes it's higher or lower depending on the area. Instead, I opened up my own shop and now run a highly successful music school and pay my teacher more than Takelessons would ever think of paying their teachers. Our focus is on getting qualified and experienced instructors. Since I'm assuming employees are paid as contractors, Takelessons CANNOT control any aspect of the training process or the methods a teacher uses. So as far as your know, you may get some kid who has never taught a lesson in their life.

    Do yourself and your child a favor and support your local music school instead of these rip off businesses.

    1 Votes
  • Ma
    Manshoon11 Oct 30, 2013

    I am a user of take lessons. I chose my instructor. They list their credentials... Thus being quite easy to avoid any under-qualified instructors. I called their 1800 number when I first wanted to take lessons. They gave me a list of my options. They asked what instructor I liked and where I wanted the lesson to take place. I knew I could go on craigslist or to guitar center and look at all of the business cards/flyers of instructors... My instructor has a degree and is insanely talented. Oh, and he is the instructor for the local best buy too.

    Take Lessons is a company. Noone forces the instructors to sign up with them. They can pay as "low" as they pay because demand is so high to be an instructor with them. This is common sense. If it was so bad, then there would be no instructors willing to accept such a low salary. It is called supply and demand. The instructors are offered a market clearing price for their labor. There is no such thing as a low wage. It is always subjective. Prices (wages) provide information to the market. Again, if it is such a crappy wage, then explain all of the existing instructors and those wanting to sign up. Then ask yourself if you tip Mcdonalds employees when you eat there. Also ask yourself if you pay the highest price when accepting bids for a remodel on your house. Hypocrites.

    1 Votes
  • Bi
    Big Twangy Nov 03, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    TakeLessons is a dishonest telemarketing company that uses bait -and -switch tactics to get students into local Best Buy stores. They will use the profiles of more qualified instructors to lure online students only to have their salespeople re-route students to their teachers at Best Buy. TL has an "agreement" with BB, the teachers there are inexperienced kids straight out of music school who are told to upsell everything. I am a pro guitarist with 17 years of teaching private and group lessons, BM and MM degrees in music. I worked for this company for nearly a year and didn't get a single student referral during that time. Hopefully by now (thanks to sites like this one and thanks to the revealing and honest posts I have read here by former teachers) the word is out and both music teachers and students alike will avoid this colossal ripoff. By now TL has probably burned through most of their at-home music teachers and will have nowhere to place students once B Buy goes bankrupt in Q1 2013. Then the whole bottom will fall out of this scam and I will laugh my ### off.

    -1 Votes
  • Mu
    Music Teacher 949 Oct 26, 2012
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    Verified customer

    This is a horrible scam. They pay the teachers badly and don't hire teachers that are qualified (because they pay badly). Get a local teacher (recommendations at your local music store) that will actually teach!!

    1 Votes
  • An
    AngryTeacherSD Jul 14, 2012

    Something to consider... If a piano teacher gives $50 lessons, and gives 5 lessons per week through Takelessons, at the end of the year, the total lesson revenue would be $13, 000. That means Takelessons would make $6, 500 from that one instructor! (and charge them a $49 setup fee). What a joke. A pure scam.

    3 Votes
  • Pu
    Published gtrman Jun 28, 2012

    Takelessons replies are just more misleading political marketing manipulation and that is all.
    Bottom line, Takelessons doesn't just "stretch the truth" and their marketing isn't just "good salesmanship" it is FRAUD against both the instructors and students.
    From the standpoint of the customer, it is ###ic to be told that it makes sense for the customer to pay $60 per hour for a kid that has NEVER taught before instead of an experienced instructor like myself of 35 years, heavily published with an awesome reputation just because a telemarketer salesman in San Diego says the kid is "safe & certified"
    You are basically saying it would be okay to sell someone a $350 Squire for $3500 because you and Best Buy "certify" it to be as good as a vintage strat.
    Any company that tries to use a one-price-fits-all policy whether the instructor has NEVER taught or very experienced, is to lazy and not knowledgeable enough to be in a position of judging whether an instructor is "a good match" or not.and it is stupid for a customer to pay more to you per hour, than the teacher per hour for every lesson for ANY reason if you had REAL instructors at the lever THAT YOU CERTIFY THEM to be.
    Takelessons prices as if you are getting the best professionals in the biz and sell lie to the customers but professionals like myself would NEVER have anything to do with you. A customer going through you would ELIMINATE ANY HOPE OF ACTUALLY GETTING A REAL INSTRUCTOR BY GOING THROUGH TAKELESSONS.
    Whenever you guys use fake testimonials from "instructors" and students, they are always the same "critics are so angry and I don't understand why" and then pull the "that's all I am going to say about that" to manipulate the readers to dismiss the facts as just being exaggerations. The fact is, these "instructors" comments are written by Dru and the sales staff as just more propaganda marketing because you cannot get REAL teachers for anything.
    The fact is, a national company that is one tenth as quality as you claim really reaching the numbers that you claim should have THOUSANDS of favorable comments here along instead of a few in a small amount of time.

    -1 Votes
  • Gu
    Guitarteach101 May 08, 2012

    Not sure why some of the text was turned into code but everyone that reads will get the idea, for every post that takelessons retorts to I will send twice the reply. Again this is another middle man company that charges the client far more than the average rate & pays the actual employee, teacher, musician far less than they should be earning since they are the 1 who builds a relationship with student, teaches them & normally charges them a lot less or comparative to their reputation than takelessons. The fact that takelessons has so many bad reviews should warn & advise both teachers & students to seek their own local teacher, on top of that take lessons clearly has no interest nor connections in music other than to identify target audience on both sides, build a client database, network & exploit.

    2 Votes
  • Gu
    Guitarteach101 May 08, 2012

    Dear Takelessons
    It is exploitation because you use the fact that the economy is down & especially with the music industry being upside down, just because you are half honest about your service & basically a disclaimer does not erase the fact you are exploiting both parties. & the use of language & terms as 'good fit' which is code for 'if you don't agree with our greedy policy' how can you justify paying a teacher who earns $60 on their down to $25 on average of location when you charge the student $70, $45 cut per lesson is a high price for basic admission & book keeping. If the 'for whatever reason' a teacher wants to cut their wage in half & give you $45 per hour just for a student to use your site & book a lesson is valid they will work just as hard for half the money because a middle man saw a opportunity to take a cut. Other than a basic criminal background check & a few questions regarding experience & qualification(which is a joke since the interviewer has little or no experience as a musician or teacher to pass such judgement) does not really spell certified teacher. If you want to be a honest & successful business then pay teachers more what they are owed, charge students less than what you over charge & don't make your telemarketing team so lackluster, impersonal & employ telephone operators who have no idea about music other than to ask scripted questions. It's not only insulting to teachers but unfair on students which I'm sure take lessons cares neither for other than to make a profit but in doing so unfairly to both student & teacher your company will 1) earn a bad reputation 2) go into liquidation from eventual lack of profit. Don't be greedy, your service is very minimal at the end of the day & at most should take no more than 10-20% per lesson fee. If you really generate that many students then 20% of each would still make take lessons a fortune. Rather than a short shelflife business model that takes as much as it possibly can before your business goes under which at its current rate inevitably will.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    TakeLessons May 08, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Hi @Guitarteach101,

    One of the things that we here at TakeLessons realize is that we aren't the best fit for every teacher -- or every student for that matter. Based on your background, it's clear that you know the business of music and are in a great position to acquire and manage your students on your own, and that's awesome... but there are many teachers out there that, for whatever reason, prefer not to handle the business side of their student relationships, which is where we step in to help. We value our teachers greatly and are very up-front about what we provide, what we pay (which varies based on the market they are in and the length of the lesson) and what the teacher can expect based on their goals re: number of students and time commitment. Once informed, the teacher makes the choice to work with us... there is no pressure and certainly no exploitation. If a teacher finds they are not a good fit, or they would rather work on their own, they have the option to move on from TakeLessons.

    You make a great point that students (and teachers) should be very diligent about who they choose to work with. While your feedback gives another view of our processes and business model, there is one point we'd like clarify: we never sell student information or client lists... our students sign up for lessons and the information they give us is used to find the best teacher for them and to continue communication through time they work with us. Again, there are cases where we might not be a good fit, or a student or teacher may choose to move on, but in the time they are with us we are committed to giving them the best music lessons experience possible.

    4 Votes
  • Gu
    Guitarteach101 May 08, 2012

    TakeLessons truth-I have a degree in music, studied at music college & university for 7 years, toured & been a pro session player everywhere from the u.k to my new home in Los Angeles & now work with a Grammy winning songwriter in the last 15 years. Offer of pay was $25 per hour, +$6 if you have to travel. I turned it down, they charge $70 a lesson, I normally charge $60 & keep 100% of it. They make you jump through hoops for a interview, want a $50 fee & I suspect they get you no more than 2-3 students a month, my time is better spent being my own admin & flyering than $25 an hour compared to the going rate. They make it sound like they handle booking, calendar, billing etc, how hard is it to do that yourself? Really? Worth them taking $45 while you make less & half of what you could if you do it yourself. On top of that the person who interviewed me totally blanked me when they asked me what I currently do, I explained who I work for & the hits they have written=which basically told me they are not a music education company, they no doubt make money just from teachers sign up fee's, & sell client lists to companies that want it for telemarketing which is basically what this company is. They exploit both teacher & student. Students, please just research & reach out to teachers in your local area rather than overpay a company that under pays the teacher

    4 Votes
  • Ta
    TakeLessons Apr 23, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    First of all, thanks to all who participated in this thread. We’re always looking to improve our communication and this feedback has helped us to identify several topics that we can make clearer moving forward.

    While the pay to our teachers (as well as the costs for our students) varies depending on market and experience, we are very proud of the fact that we're helping musicians make a living doing what they love: teaching and playing music. It’s important to remember that we aren’t just connecting students with amazing teachers, we’re helping the teachers market, screen and schedule students. We’re also handling all of their administrative duties such as billing, as well as managing their teaching calendar. We’re partners with our teachers and we know they appreciate the value that we bring in assisting them with tasks that might otherwise take away from the time that they can teach.

    As for the hiring of our teachers: Yes, we do screen our teachers and filter out the best candidates by reviewing their education background, experience and referrals. We background check them, certify them through training with our teacher support team (many of whom are teachers themselves) and then help them to find students. The teacher support team also assists our teachers after they come on board with everything from coordinating schedules with students to finding cutting-edge teaching materials and technologies.

    While we do work with Best Buy, by no means do all of our referrals go directly to them. Many of our teachers use our service to increase the number of students they teach in their own studios or, if preferred by the student, in the student’s home.

    Finally, we know that TakeLessons will not be the right fit for every student, or teacher, for that matter. Our student counselors and support team work very hard to give potential students all of the information they’ll need to make the right decision for them. In the case that things don’t work out, all students are offered a 100% money back guarantee, taking the risk out of giving music lessons a shot.

    As we continue to grow with our amazing community of teachers and students, we’ll constantly work to improve our communication and are more than happy to answer any questions you might have about our business, our policies and our lessons.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
    JohnSings Jan 10, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I used takelessons to find a voice teacher. I disagree with the description of it as a con or scam site. I found a few teachers on their website, and ended up with a really great one. She has helped me to gain back my voice (I used to sing in HS/college, but haven't sung in about 10 years). My instructor hasn't said anything bad about them, and seemed happy to have me as a new student. She is very professional, has a nice studio space, and accompanies me on piano. Maybe I got lucky, but I also went for a teacher that had a few well written reviews. So perhaps that's the caution you should take when selecting a teacher...find one that others have rated highly. No offense to you guys who are all very angrily against takelessons, but you all sound like you have a personal vendetta against the company and aren't giving objective criticism or feedback. You politely address people who agree with you, and then trash talk everyone who doesn't...which is why I decided to take a few minutes out of my day to write this. So go ahead...flame on. I won't be coming back to read your replies..

    3 Votes
  • Be
    BeeBeeBeeBee Sep 20, 2011

    I am a TakeLessons instructor, and well, it's ok. Of course the pay is less than what I charge normally, but it's not THAT much less. I am working on my MM at a prestigious music school after recently finishing my BM, and I've been teaching for about five years. I've only been in this city a few months and without knowing anyone it's been nice to have students found for me. Without TakeLessons I wouldn't have many students. That said, of course there are cons. Like how the kids on the homepage are singing into a microphone and playing guitar, and then the parents/students come with the expectation that they will be professionals in a few weeks. OF COURSE it's better if you can make your own connections, but for someone who isn't established in the local music community it's a way to get students. If you already have a studio full of students OF COURSE you shouldn't apply for TakeLessons! And if you say that the instructors who "settle" for TakeLessons are less qualified, that's very general. I had a decent sized studio when I was a junior in college, because I had been in that city for awhile and had good connections. Now that I'm alone in this city (and MORE qualified because I have a Bachelor's degree, some Master's work, and more experience) I have to use TakeLessons. So it is what it is.

    3 Votes
  • Scamdetector Sep 06, 2011

    I'm sorry "Bryan A" but I have many reasons not to believe a single word of your post. You are NOT a teacher but one of the their telemarketer "counselors" (salesman) so lying is like breathing to you. From what you state, there is no reason for you to have ANYTHING to do with takelessons.com. There is NO "prestige" associated with TL and there NEVER has been.

    Whenever an "instructor" makes a statement like "like all instructors with the company" that is a clear giveaway that they are really a salesman in the headquarters in San Diego because TL "instructors" know NOTHING about other "instructors" in the company. They don't even let you know the last names of the other instructors.

    I also see nothing that confirms your claims of high national rankings and since I have been a transcriber for all music publishers as well as a transcription editor who trains transcribers, I would know you and I do not. This is VERY TYPICAL of TL to lie about the quality of their instructors being in the "top 5%" when I know who would fit that category on a national level and NONE of the instructors who would qualify have ANYTHING positive to say about TL being anything but a bait-and-switch scam.

    The biggest lie is your claim that TL "instructors" earned by your level of education and experience." REALITY: There are only two qualifications to be a TL "instructor" is to have a pulse and agree to embarrassing low pay while TL charges MORE THAN SKILLED PROFESSIONALS. BTW the pulse requirement is negotiable. If the CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS CHARGED THE HIGHEST PRICE THEN IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE FOR THE COMPANY TO BENEFIT BY PAYING OUT LESS WITHOUT PASSING THAT SAVINGS TO THE CUSTOMER. IT'S THE CUSTOMER THAT IS STUCK WITH LOWER QUALITY LESSONS AND THERE IS A FINANCIAL BENEFIT FOR TL TO STEER CUSTOMERS TO THE WEAKEST INSTRUCTORS.

    THIS IS A STUPID DEAL FOR THE CUSTOMERS AND ANYONE WHO HAS EVER PUT MONEY INTO TL's POCKET SHOULD DEMAND THEIR MONEY BACK OR REPORT THEM TO THE BBB OR BOTH.

    -6 Votes
  • Ph
    PhillyinDC Aug 23, 2011

    I had a terrible experience with a teacher for my daughter who really didnt know anything about music. Now granted it was guitar, and I know a lot of guitarist dont or cant read music, but I would think that if you are spending big money to a company to have a teacher teach you MUSIC lessons, they would know how to read music. If I wanted my daughter to learn how to play chords and rock out, I would have got a neighborhood kid to do it. I asked my daughter's school music teacher for a recommendation and told her about my Take Lessons experience and she said that the music teachers in our county (just outside of Wash DC) know of the Take Lessons reputation and do not recommend it for the students. In fact, she told me that the county supervisor of Music Education sent an email to the music teachers about NOT recommending them due to their reputation (and particular for the Best Buy stores: we were asked to take lessons at a Best Buy, but I wanted someone to come to me).
    I took piano lessons when I was 6 years old and I kind of remember how to read music. I'm sure I would make a great Take lessons teacher!

    0 Votes
  • Gt
    GTREDITOR Jul 17, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Sorry, "Bryan A" but there are too many red flags in your posts to indicate that you are not who you claim to be and that your credentials appear to be every bit as fake as most of TakeLessons.com's claims. The ONLY time you see anything favorable about TL is when employees and the owners write them themselves which is VERY strange for a NATIONAL company that boast so much of it's effectiveness that would mean that you would have thousands of happy customers raving over them instead of so many who are embarrassed to have been scammed by them.

    There is NOTHING libelous being said about TL because they are facts. There has NEVER been a period where TL was considered to have ANY prestige. They have ALWAYS been a telemarketer scam and for you to try to state otherwise tells me that you are either dishonest or incompetent enough to be their salesman

    There are only THREE requirements to teach for them: A) be very very cheap B) lie through your teeth and C) have a pulse but C is negotiable.

    Now while Chicago and corruption do seem to go hand in hand, Takelessons.com is a new low when it comes to shady deals and scams and the Best Buy deal is clearly a strong indication of how little credibility either company deserves.

    Takelessons.com's claims and tactics (like fake positive reviews) are not just "good salesmanship", exaggerations, "bending the truth", "puffing" or misunderstandings, they are FRAUD, MISSTATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACT, MANY MANY BRAZEN LIES (BIG AND SMALL)

    -4 Votes
  • Br
    Bryan A Jul 16, 2011

    I have been a takelessons teacher since 2008. I don't think it's appropriate to discuss my pay, but I assure you it is not $20/hour. Like all of the instructors with the company, my pay was earned by my level of education and experience. I possess a masters degree in music performance from Northwestern University. As a part of my scholarship, I taught private guitar lessons to non-music majors. Currently I am on faculty at Sherwood at Columbia College, one of the most prestigious community music schools in Chicago. Outside of teaching, I am an active performer, studio artist and transcriber.

    My only problem with the company is that I have not gotten very many students through them. Perhaps due to a culmination of libelous online posts such as this one. "Certified Instructor" is a cheesy phrase that means we have passed a criminal background check. I think their decision to team up with Best Buy certainly has damaged their prestige.

    I do not teach at Best Buy, nor will I travel to your home. I have taught at Northwestern University, which is ranked 6th nationally amongst music schools. You can book me through takelessons.com.

    4 Votes
  • Ba
    Ballet Teach Aug 11, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @Bryan A Hi there, I am considering signing on as an instructor with TakeLessons. Are you still comfortable teaching for them? Did you do a background check with them so that you felt comfortable giving them your financial institution info? Thanks so much. JB

    0 Votes
  • An
    anonymousparent May 20, 2011

    The Takelessons program at Best Buy stores are a joke. They have crappy teachers (usually college kids with little or no experience) and they charge you 3 times as much as finding a local teacher. And they dont let you meet the teacher or even know who it is until they get your money, and you cant just take one lessons you have to buy at least 4!

    They called their teachers "certified" - all they do is pass a background check.

    Also, on top of that the employees in the Best Buy stores are kind of creepy. My daughter didnt feel comfortable with the environment that Takelessons laid out and it felt inappropriate for a 12 year old girl.

    Maybe this would be something that would work for an adult who wants to do this as a fun time.

    From one parent to another, dont sign your child up for something you cant test drive. Ask for a referral from your school.

    How I got to Best Buy was I saw their ad on craigslist, I called the number after seeing a teacher in my neighborhood that looked based on the profile, and I was told that all of the teachers in my area were booked and my only option was to take lessons at a Best Buy.

    This is a telemarketing company. I hear they are run out of San Diego, but their customer service seems like its outsourced to India or somewhere. There are still some things you cant do on the internet and this is one of them.

    1 Votes
  • Scamdetector May 07, 2011

    And thank you Laura for taking the time to share your experience. The ONLY reasons these scams work is that most people don't go to the trouble of making their stories known because they want to put it behind them but that only rewards the crooks.

    Talelessons isn't the only company using these unconsciable tactics. Taylor Robinson (Dallas), Elite Music Instruction (Orlando) and "The" Music Teachers Network (Washington State) all used the same "jump through our hoops" and we will call you 'certified' and give you twice as many students for 1/3 the pay and whoever is cheapest we will rank as "passing our highest standards."

    A couple of free ones are available though. Contact me at [email protected] and I will send a couple to you and show you a couple of tricks just in case it helps

    -1 Votes
  • Perhaps Piano May 04, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    @scamdetector thank you, I certainly appreciate your knowledge on this. I didn't know their referrals went straight to best buy...I guess I was just so excited to find a site to help me get more students and continue to pass the music on to our children of today...anyway, I am thankful this didn't go any further. If I would have been asked to pay, that would have given me the heads up to stay away from this. Thank you again, Laura McMillan

    2 Votes
  • Scamdetector May 04, 2011

    They will contact you later to get you to "re-apply" and PAY for another background check. That is why they are very likely still advertising in your area "needing new teachers" but planning to send them the same message.

    Right now. their claims are being investigated regarding how they only keep 5% of all aplicants "who meet their high standards" because now that they have opened their big mouths about doing background checks for everyone who applies with them, they now have to come up with fake record of about 60, 000 "rejections" to substantiate that claim or come out and admit to that lie and face false advertising charges.

    They also like about all of their numbers, including how many students they REALLY have. Just look at their own numbers of having 100, 000 students and 3000 instructors nationwide and that comes out to a little over 30 students per teacher and that's not very many. Then go to Best Buy and see how quiet their place is in the lessons and then actually talk to TL instructors who have not EVER received a single referral in years but they see their bio in CL ads. But they will never get a single referral unless they work at Best Buy and Best Buy instructors are just salesmen who will go back and give a lesson as just part of their sales job with no extra pay.

    Be thankful that you are not associated with them and that your resume isn't polluted with what will soon be the kiss of death when the bottom falls out of this disaster in the making

    The very fact that all of their referrals" are going straight to Best Buy should have been a very clear indication of how low their standards really are but they will do everything they can to spin everything to cover up what they are really doing for as long as possible until the bottom falls out.

    1 Votes
  • Perhaps Piano May 04, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just finished filling out a long application, assuming their standards were high and I was hoping to get a few more students. After submitting this application, I promptly received an email stating, 'Your background looks great, but unfortunately, we do not currently have a position available in your area. However, we would like to follow up with you at a later date when we have another position available. In the meantime, we wish you the best, and we look forward to speaking with you in the future.' Needless to say, I was disappointed. You may read my bio on my website http://perhapspiano.com Laura McMillan, instructor, studio owner, composer, solo artist.

    3 Votes
  • Gt
    GTREDITOR Feb 20, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    They are not qualified to judge or "certify" anyone, much less teach how to train ANYONE the ART of how to teach private lessons. All they are selling is the very bureaucracy that clients ARE PAYING GREAT MONEY TO AVOID.

    They try to sell the illusion of safety and credibility but that is like the wolf telling chickens that he's there to protect you from the other chickens.

    Their OWN NUMBERS DON'T ADD UP:
    They have teachers in 2800 cities and only 5% of the teachers who apply are qualified (desperate) enough to satisfy their high standards (cheap enough) That means that they have interview and passed judgment on over 56, 000 instructors in their six years in business.

    But that is if they ONLY have one instructor in each city but if you actually look at their referrals lists in each city and cut through all of the redundant tactics to look like they have more (like posting ads of individual teachers AND Best Buy) then that number will multiply to over a million instructors.

    No matter how much we are expected to be stupid enough to swallow this, there is no way for ANY of their claims to be credible enough to justify charging the prices of ACTUAL WORLD-CLASS INSTRUCTORS THAT WOULD NEVER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS SCAM and then pass off inexperienced instructors, no matter how good the instructors attitude and intentions might be, as being at the same level just because of a "certification" that is no better than the printed "diploma"s on the back of silly guitar methods.

    Teachers who get sucked into this scam do not realize that if they see their bio and picture posted on an ad by takelessons.com, when a customer calls the (877) number in the ads, a TELEMARKETER in San Diego will tell you that teacher does not have any openings but takelessons.com has another "certified" (cheap) instructor closer to where they live at Best Buy because take lessons has a deal with Best Buy to
    sell their referrals to them. That means that each customer has to get through two corrupt 3rd parties to get to a teacher and when they do, they find out the real value of the bogus "certifications."

    The best way to get takelessons to assist you in the way that they indicate is find out who takelessons refers and scratch them off of you list of choices. Their teachers cannot be a part of the system without being corrupted by it.

    Their "guarantee if every bit as bogus because if you do not like the first teachers that they "carefully and skillfully matched you" (sold you) they do not want you to take your money somewhere else. You only get the guarantee AFTER you have exhausted all of THEIR referrals but you are the one that is going to exhausted.

    They will keep resigning you to more teachers and start over and over until you catch on. You are not supposed to ask "Why would I want your 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice if I don't like your 1st choice?"

    THIS IS A VERY OLD SCAM OF POLICIES THAT ONLY THE MOST DISHONEST ESTABLISHMENTS EMPLOY WHERE LESSONS ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A BAD REAL ESTATE DEAL FOR THE STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

    SAFETY TIP #1 NEVER NEVER NEVER ALLOW A SALESMAN, ONLINE OR LOCAL, TO SCHEDULE YOUR LESSON WITH A TEACHER OR ALLOW THEM TO "DO YOU A FAVOR" AND TAKE YOUR PAYMENT FOR A TEACHER AND IF THEY PULL THE, "YOU HAVE SCHEDULE SOMETHING RIGHT NOW BECAUSE OPENINGS ARE CLOSING FAST" TO GET YOU TO SIGN UP AND PAY RIGHT THEN BEFORE YOU EVEN TALK TO A TEACHER...PUNCH THEM! OF COURSE, IF THEY ARE ON THE PHONE IN SAN DIEGO KEEPING YOUR "SAFE" THEN THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN DO.

    You are ALWAYS much better off talking to a teacher OUTSIDE of establishments that try to intrude because the teacher is going to be the one that you spend all of your time with every week and they are MUCH more likely to operate in YOUR best interest since they have the accountability. You are not going to be just another number where to a salesman, both teachers and students are just numbers and once they have you locked in, they're happy because they will be making most of the money that YOU are paying.

    You would know you were being ripped of if you paid a travel agent, in advance, top dollar for a vacation package at the most expensive resort and then found out that they sent you to a cheap motel chain or if your gormet $200 meal for two came in a bag with golden arches but these scammers know how to fool over 100, 000 students nationwide so far because it is a lot harder to judge quality...THAT'S WHY YOU ARE HIRING THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE AND THEY PREY ON THAT.

    I have no problem using the word scam to describe them as an instructor that they COULD NEVER have who has over three decades of experience as a private instructor to PEOPLE (not numbers) that often remain friends of mine. I have OFTEN had to clean up the mess caused by their "certified" instructors have caused my clients in the past while they were paying more than I charge.

    The only thing these telemarketers are trying to make their customers "safe" from are quality instructors who really do know how to teach. Now who's going to protect the customers from takelessons.com

    1 Votes
  • To
    tomjohnson245 Dec 09, 2010

    I cant agree with you more! They keep stressing that their teachers are "certified" and go through orientation. They dont care about educational values. The CEO said he "wants to be the Starbucks of online lessons" Look at this link http://www.slideshare.net/TakeLessons.com/takelessons-teacher-orientation or see the pix below for their "certified" teacher training - its all about the sales and marketing and NOTHING to do with the teaching method

    -4 Votes

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