1) What is Jazz Band Masterclass?
Jazz Band Masterclass began about 15 years ago in Annapolis MD, as an outlet for adult jazz musicians to play in a small group setting. These were “day job” folks who played music on the side. Central to the experience was a strong educational and inspirational component from a trained professional group leader.
Founder Jeff Antoniuk certainly didn’t set out to start a new business for himself, much less a template for others. Jazz Band Masterclass was really founded to help a few of Jeff’s adult students at the time who had learned to play a couple tunes (the blues, Summertime, Take The A Train, etc). They started asking him where they could go to play in a small group setting – a jam session or a local combo. Aside from the occasional big band at a community college, there was nothing. And upon further investigation, nothing much in other areas of the country either.
Jazz Band Masterclass grew for the next 15 years, and has now served many hundreds of adult students in the mid-Atlantic, many of whom typically stay in JBM groups for six, eight, up to ten or twelve years. As it has grown, Jazz Band Masterclass has continued to focus on defining it’s core members and it’s Core Values.
JBM is so successful because it understands that, beyond learning to play great music, our art is really about communication, interaction and self expression. This is what keeps our students coming back.
2) What is Jazz Teacher Training all about?
We will teach you to form your own business (adult small groups), based on Jeff’s model of Jazz Band Masterclass, in your geographic area, and to make them successful for you and for your students. You will learn that it’s possible to earn many times more money by teaching adults in groups, and you will experience the joy of working with interesting and dedicated students. The dynamics of group coaching is endlessly interesting, enlightening for the teacher, and a great challenge.
You are probably doing some teaching already. Jazz Teaching Training will give you the tools, and show you how to take charge and build a real business around your existing skills (and give you plenty of new skills as well). We’ll enable you to move ahead with a real plan, and with intention.
With Jazz Band Masterclass type teaching, you can earn much more income in less time, freeing you up to play the gigs you want, and live the life you want. The teaching you do will be more rewarding to you, it will feel more creative, and it will be more impactful for your students. It will actually feed your performing career, not take away from it.
3) I’ve taught lessons and played gigs for years now. Why do I need further training from Jazz Teacher Training?
You are wondering what is next for you, in your career and in your business (that is why you are investigating us in the first place). Wondering what is going to help you move beyond playing the same gigs and teaching the same few lessons over and over again. And what could possibly come along to help bump your income up to what someone of your training and talent actually deserves in the marketplace.
We built this for you.
I too began as a perfectly adequate teacher (with years of university teaching experience), a good communicator, and a close-to top call player in my town. I had a Masters in Music from one of the best schools in the world, and 8 years of university education, including a Teaching Fellowship, teaching undergrad classes and lessons at the University of North Texas.
And none of this remotely got me ready for what we are talking about achieving here.
You would need to develop your philosophy as a teacher, live it and breathe it and real -world test it for years, maybe a decade. Then, find people who will agree to live and breathe your philosophy with you, so that you can BEGIN to form your business. Then invent numerous systems and protocols from scratch, probably through trial and error. And on and on.
We have spent almost two decades in this field assimilating, organizing, test driving, studying and incorporating, accepting and rejecting, and growing. We are ready to share this work with you.
4) What can I expect to earn in my business after Jazz Teacher Training?
The median income for a musician in the USA is $36,000 a year, with a median hourly income of $23.60 (US Dept. of Labor, 2014).
Starting just one adult amateur group (of six or seven people) that meets twice a month for two hours each session (four hours of teaching time per month) grosses between $ 8,500 and $13,000 per year (the range represents both the tuition you’ll charge in your market, and the number of students per group).
Depending on your drive and commitment, and the size and makeup of your city or region, running two to 10 or more groups is very attainable. Running six groups requires just six hours of teaching per week, as the groups meet every other week. If making an additional $60,000 a year for six hours a week of work sounds good to you, we are here to help.
5) How long is the Jazz Teacher Training program?
Jazz Teacher Training requires four months to complete from beginning to end. By the end of Teacher Training, you should have +/-80% of your business formed and fully in place. Some of your peers in Jazz Teacher Training will already be up and running and earning money by the time Teacher Training is over.
6) What is the cost of Jazz Teacher Training?
The tuition for Jazz Teacher Training is $6,500.
Jazz Teacher Training is a signiﬁcant commitment. Certainly a commitment in time investment (see below), but maybe more so a commitment to move beyond what you know and how you do things. One way we can make that likely to happen is to raise the stakes a bit. When the stakes are high, folks tend to get down to business and get things done.
Jazz Teacher Training is essentially a four month semester of education, inspiration and group networking where, at it’s end, you will have created and established a new, real business. To be clear, we are not just doling out information with Jazz Teacher Training. During the four Modules, week in and week out, you are setting up your actual business. The business that YOU own. At the end of four months, your business is up and running. This is not just “theoretical” information. Not just a pep talk. We are building your business.
7) I’m too busy with my current teaching and gigging. I just don’t have time to do this, and don’t see the need.
It is absolutely possible that you don’t need this training. If you are happy and fulfilled with your work, well compensated and growing and expanding each year, you are doing great. Congrats!
That said . . . . a friend of mine is Jody Espina, Founder and President of JodyJazz, and one of the top jazz saxophone mouthpiece makers in the world. And by any measure, he is VERY successful at it. Jody observes that most musicians are traditionally under-investors in themselves. If you are ever going to invest in something, why not start with yourself? That is precisely what Jody did, years ago, and it served him very well. If you are ever going to move ahead, it probably won’t happen by doing the same thing you’ve done for the last ten or twenty years.
We often think too linearly. “Wow, this $75 gig might lead to that $75 gig.” Or, “I’ll raise my rates $5 next year.” We are talking about nonlinear growth here. Your goal should be to double or triple your income this year. It’s possible, and we want that for you.
We are talking about putting a real business together that could be a game changer for you, financially and artistically. And not just some Tuesday night jam session where you make a little extra bread each month.
We know you are busy, and running like mad. We would simply invite you to consider whether you are busy doing work that feeds you and matters, and will carry you through your career. If not, it might be time to step off the wheel, and take a look around.
8) What do the nuts and bolts of Jazz Teacher Training look like?
Jazz Teacher Training is about group and individual action. Unlike most classes or courses you’ve ever taken, we are project-based: you will be working with your coach and your fellow Trainees as a team in video/phone conferences and chat groups to create your own individual businesses.
Jazz Teacher Training isn’t about simply handing out information – all the information in the world is on the web if you want to look for it. Information is cheap, and these days, practically meaningless. Teacher Training is about making space, in your schedule and in your head, to create something amazing.
Teacher Training involves four Modules, each including distinct topics and units of study. The ﬁrst three Modules involve weekly video/phone conferences with your coach (Jeff Antoniuk), and with your Teacher Training peers. Video conferences are approximately two hours in length. There is plenty of homework between video conferences, and you will be expected to have completed your work, and to be a source of information, ideas and inspiration to your team. You should allow approximately 6-8 hours per week for work time during the ﬁrst three Modules (three months) of Teacher Training.
Module Four takes place in the Washington DC. This will involve three days of hands on teaching and playing experience with your team mates, your faculty leaders, real adult students, and you.
Following the Socratic Method famously used in the best law and business schools, we are project based and discussion based. The project is “make your own jazz coaching business, now.” The team is you and your team mates/peers in Teacher Training. You’ll be presented with scenarios, guidance, advice, hints, potential problems and focus. Regular deadlines keep you and your team moving ahead through each Module. You are not “handed the answers,” nor are you left to fend for yourself. You are part of a team with a huge arsenal of individual experiences, resources, connections and ideas to feed each other.
9) What kind of overhead or startup costs are there in running a JBM business?
There is very little overhead in a Jazz Band Masterclass business.
– Rehearsal space lease, downpayment, deposit
– Posters, flyers, brochures
– Eblast or ad in a local jazz magazine
– Web Site (Go Daddy, Fiverr, etc)
10) I can’t afford this training. Why can’t I just do this on my own for awhile?
Two thoughts here.
#1 – Get Creative. Tina Richerson in Portland, Oregon funded her entire training in two moves. She raised half her tuition through a crowdfunding campaign, and the other half by receiving a grant from a church. The church had a scholarship program to help folks who wanted to develop a small business that would give back to the community. Exactly what we do!
Our trainees have worked and saved, borrowed from banks and family, receive grants, asked for donations, and much more. Get creative.
#2 – We are interested in providing a huge level of value to our Trainees. You should be able to earn double, maybe triple your investment with us within the ﬁrst year of operations. Most of us paid many tens of thousands of dollars for our university educations. Today, those educations could easily cost $8,000 – $20,000 per semester. You will learn more pragmatic, money-making education with Jazz Teacher Training than in any one semester you ever paid for, at any school you attended.
“Don’t reinvent the wheel” is a phrase we hear quite often. It suggests that you should look around you to see if something exists ﬁrst before doing a lot of work to make that same thing. We took years to develop a great wheel, and we are excited to have you take it to your town and get it rolling.
11) This sound too good to be true. What is the catch?
There are three catches if you want to think of them that way, but this is certainly not “too good to be true.”
1) This is work. This isn’t a “get rich” scheme. If you put in the time and effort, this can happen for you. But, there will be work.
2) This isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for a quick and easy change, this may not be for you. If you are a naysayer, or spend your days finding excuses for things being the way they are, this probably isn’t for you. If you are in love with being a “starving artist,” we are not for you. We are looking for artists who want to thrive.
3) You have to pull the trigger. Certainly do your due diligence, and think it through. Consider the money and the time invested. Weigh the pros and cons. But, you will have to pull the trigger. As the great Wayne Gretzky said, “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
We are used to hearing people say “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” It’s actually not so much about easy and hard however. It’s more about “comfortable and scary.” The saying should be “if it were comfortable, everyone would do it.” That rings more true, doesn’t it?
We’ve built something that is a bit scary, and for that reason, not for everyone. “What is the catch?” It turns out the catch is more about us as individuals, not about the program at all. For those who choose to push through the discomfort, we built this for you.
12) What are the requirements for attending Jazz Teacher Training?
There is an interview and audition process to be accepted into Jazz Teacher Training. Our teachers generally have a BM and/or Masters degree, and a strong history of professional playing experience.
Jazz Teacher Training graduates are often leaders in the music scenes of their market cities.
That said, we are open to the various ways that musicians and teachers create their careers. As such, the interview process is ﬂexible and allows for a variety of paths to be considered for a Teacher Training position.
We are passionate about the quality of JTT business owners, and we take the interview and audition process seriously. We are looking for committed musicians who are looking to learn and grow themselves, as they grow their business.
13) I see that most of your client base is adults and amateurs. 9 out of 10 students I’ve ever taught or heard of are kids and teenagers. Is there a market for this?
The market is huge, and largely untapped. Think of the hundreds of thousands of people who studied music as a kid, in high school or college. They’ve gotten their non-music career’s going, and their kids are grown. They have a little free time and a little extra money. And they are thinking about their quality of life. Music is one of the big answers to the question of “what makes me happy?”
Further, universities in the USA hand out between 5,000 – 10,000 music degrees every year. And do all of those thousands of musicians play gigs for a living? No. Many teach in public schools, and many more work in other non-music fields. But they are musicians, and there isn’t an obvious place for them to play small group jazz.
So, hundreds of thousands of past musicians and music lovers, from two or three different generations. Add to that thousands of trained musicians per year graduating, most without a place to play. If you take just one percent of that number, it is still huge. The market is ripe, untapped, and waiting for trained, thoughtful and inspirational teachers to fill the void. Importantly, Jazz Band Masterclass Core Values speak to this demographic.
14) I could use some business help, but I know the music end of things. Can I study just that?
While we have learned plenty about business over the years, we’ve learned much more about pedagogy and teaching jazz, and exactly what works with adult amateur students. What motivates them, and what seems to leave them ﬂat. What gets immediate results, and what is just busy work. We’ve learned what makes a student stay with you for ten years. MANY of the thousand things you learned in school and on the bandstand do not apply to this group of people. If you are open, you will learn how to become a highly effective, supportive and ﬂexible mentor and teacher.
While we could offer a quick business seminar for music teachers, that would be a faint shadow of what Jazz Teacher Training really is. We are here to offer you an incredible value, and a proven process that garners results. As such, we don’t offer business classes separate from Jazz Teacher Training.
15) I’ve never heard of this kind of thing for musicians. I’m just not sure that I get it, and that this will be worth my money.
Jazz Teacher Training is not for everyone. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, and want to build something of value and longevity, this may be for you. If creating a lucrative business that serves people by helping them reach their dreams resonates with you, you will ﬁnd incredible value here. The fact that something like this is new to the music industry should be enormously exciting to us all – the fact that there is a largely untapped need to ﬁll, and with JTT, there is a tried and true path.
With commitment and a modest amount of initiative, most Jazz Teacher Training graduates will double their investment in 10 – 12 months.
16) There are probably 10 music stores and services in my town offering music lessons. How can I compete with them?
The good news is that you won’t really be competing with them. You are in a very different business than they are. Both Wal-Mart and Nordstrom sell shoes, but they are not really in competition. The same people don’t usually shop at both places. The same with Econo Lodge and The Ritz Carlton. Wal-Mart and Econo Lodge are businesses of higher volume/lower quality. And that is just ﬁne. Our businesses, based on the Jazz Band Masterclass model, are a lower volume/high quality business. Different business, different students.
We will learn that what our Jazz Teacher Training businesses offer is probably not offered anywhere in your area. And if something similar does exist, you will learn how to distinguish yourself. Those strip mall music stores are selling “volume.” They are Wal-Mart, having to teach 200 lessons a week to break even. You will be offering quality and value, an experience and an attitude.
17) What kind of support can I expect after Teacher Training? What if I am having problems getting my business up and running? What happens a year or two down the road?
After the four months of Teacher Training ends, you receive a further four months of individual followup time with Jeff Antoniuk. You will have an hour each month to put the ﬁnishing touches on your business, or ﬁne tune what you already have up and running.
Frankly, this is where it gets REALLY exciting. Imagine 40 or 50 of us around North America, 40 or 50 jazz pros doing this work, talking and sharing information with each other. Offering thoughts and ideas and tricks of the trade. 40 or 50 of us hiring each other as Guest Artists, at jazz camps, helping each other book tours, and recommending students to each other. 40 or 50 (or 100) of us connected like never before, serving thousands of adult students. The support is going to be unprecedented, and it will be coming from this powerful network, not just from Jeff and JTT.
Further, we are currently building www.JazzWire.net, a subscription-based web site for adult amateur musicians around the world. You, as a Jazz Teacher Training Certiﬁed Teacher, will have the opportunity to be front and center on Jazz Wire. Jazz Wire will be excited about using your talents, featuring you and your work, and sending you students for your business!
18) How do tuition payments work? When is tuition due?
We ask for a $1,000 downpayment to reserve your spot in Jazz Teacher Training. The remaining $5500 is due two weeks before your session begins. If necessary, we can split that into two payments of $2,750. Tuition payments are nonrefundable.
Look at Question #10 above, if you haven’t yet. Many of us don’t have $6,500 sitting under our mattress, doing nothing. Get creative – crowd funding, grants (private, corporate, and government), loans, gifts, continuing education funding, instrument endorsement deals, partnerships . . . there are a lot of ways to get this done.
19) How many Jazz Teacher Training sessions will there be each year? What if I can’t attend the current session of Jazz Teacher Training, but deﬁnitely want to do the training?
We want to work with you, and we aim to have a number of options for you to help make this as “low impact” as possible for you. We foresee hosting three Teacher Training sessions each year. Apply now to save a spot for this or the next training session.
That said, there is probably never going to be a “perfect time” to do this. You will probably need to miss a gig or two, or reschedule some students or events. A reminder: we are talking about the long game here. Don’t let a couple hundred dollars worth of gigs and teaching be the reason you give up tens of thousands (probably more) over the long term.
20) So, is this a franchise? Do I have to call my business “Jazz Band Masterclass? Do I owe you percentages or premiums or a yearly fee?
Not at all. Jazz Teacher Training is just that, and only that – training. We don’t own any part of what you create. You can call your business whatever you like.
What you create here with us is YOUR business, and you get all the rewards. Jazz Teacher Training just shows you the path that we took to build an amazing business for ourselves. Our biggest dream is for you to have DOUBLE the success that we ever had with Jazz Band Masterclass. We are successful only when you are successful.