The Music Teachers Network began in 1997 on Chicago’s North Shore. Mike Simon, who had grown up in an entrepreneurial family, combined his passion for music and business by starting a network dedicated to finding the best teachers and matching them with people seeking the best for their children.
A nationwide music platform
As the idea took off, Mike began receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback. He decided to take the concept nationwide and soon was auditioning teachers in every state. At the same time, the Internet was becoming a universal platform, allowing MTN to become a nationwide network where music instructors could post their profiles and students and families could search for and connect with them.
MTN today – top quality and convenience
Today, MTN showcases more than 20,000 first-rate teachers across the country. They are skilled in a broad variety of instruments and teaching styles. They know how to convey the vision and passion of music and make it fun and fascinating for students. Every instructor has a professional profile with details on education, approach to teaching and more. And, as we have since 1997, we offer our “SELECT” program where we manually match teachers with students for the best possible fit.
We at MTN are dedicated to bringing music to everyone’s heart.
We live it. We love it. We share it.
Mike Simon on music education
What motivates you to give so much energy to music education?
What motivates you to give so much energy to music education? Mike: “It's all about my own experience. You know, I was a kid who didn't have a lot of friends growing up. And I was a shy kid, not very self-confident. But I took private lessons on guitar. I would race home from school on Wednesdays for my lesson. Developing an excellent command of the guitar gave me self-confidence.”
How did this happen?
Mike: “When I was 11, I won the talent show at summer camp. It brought respect and admiration, and it showed me the power that music has to connect people. It was that memory and more that inspired me to create MTN.“
You hold a strong belief in the power of music.
Mike: “And in the common connectivity that music gives to every human being! These days, with all of the distractions that kids face, there’s a purity and soulful purpose in learning music. The benefits - spiritual, mathematical, and in so many other ways - cannot be over-estimated. And there’s a ton of data to support that.”
You also say that music education is life education.
Mike: “Absolutely, because music teaches us about diversity, humanity and creativity. These skills shape character, help kids become well-rounded adults, and ultimately make the world a better place. Since 1997, I’ve been on a mission to bring joy through music education. It started on Chicago’s North Shore, it’s now nationwide, and we’re nowhere near finished!”
Mike on MTN's vision
Where do you see MTN headed?
Mike: “Technology is really amplifying what we can do with MTN. Back in 1997, I personally interviewed and trained instructors, I understood their special skills and their teaching approaches. I would only hire those who I would have wanted for my own family. Today, we can use the advances of technology to understand each teacher’s specific skills and profile. We create partnerships with schools and other kids-related communities, where students are seeking a private music education. Technology helps us to facilitate the perfect fit between student and teacher.” Besides, we still offer our SELECT program, a higher level of personal service in which we actually select the teacher. Parents of special-needs students, for example, really get a lot of benefit from this.
But it doesn't end here ...
Mike: “Not at all. For example, we grant some teachers our “Gazelle” accolade, to set themselves even more apart and to help students with their choice for the right instructor. Many of our teachers are also performers – outstanding ones! We also will be offering a performance profile for musicians seeking private gigs; this gives our clients an enormous selection of performers for their special events -- a birthday party, an anniversary, a bar or bat mitzva, whatever it might be.”
Mike on music recording and production
What else is in the works?
Mike: “We know that half the teachers on our platform are writing and/or recording their own music. Many own a small home studio. I went through this myself, so I know the hurdles and pitfalls involved. My goal is to help musicians use the MTN community to develop their careers faster, more smoothly, and more professionally. I am eager to share my knowledge about producing and mixing in webinars and blogs, and to use my own professional studio and connections to bring out the best in every musician. I want to help artists enrich the world with music that otherwise would have never been heard.”