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Am I being unreasonable?

Discussion in 'Music' started by elliejo, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. elliejo

    elliejo New commenter

    Hi Music World.
    I've just finished three nights of playing in the band for my school musical production. Also in the band were three peris and two college students. The other five musicians have been paid for their services. I was told I would be as well - until 10 minutes before the start of the last performance, when I was informed by my HoD (relatively new to my school) that as I work at my school I couldn't be paid!
    Two years ago, under a different HoD I did get paid for playing in the band just the same as the other musicians. Naturally I feel a bit miffed and the whole conversation rather spoiled my enjoyment of the last performance -I played some wrong notes too (not on purpose, you understand!)
    When I questioned my HoD and reminded him I had been paid the previous time he said, "Well, you can always talk to the bursar." I shouldn't have to - it's his job.
    So, I say, am I being unreasonable? Advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks. [​IMG]
  2. I wouldn't expect to be paid, nor ever have been, to play in a school production at my school. If I were giving up my time to another school/establishment/club then yes, but in my experience it just comes down to one of those roles that music teachers are expected to fill without extra pay.
    If your HoD has said you won't be paid then this must have come from the bursar and so they have done their job. If you want to bring up the fact that you were paid when a different HoD was in charge then it is your job to do it, not theirs. Who told you you would be paid? Do you have it in writing? If not, then I doubt there is much you can do about it. To be honest you were lucky to be paid for extra-curricular work at your own school in previous years.
  3. midnightoil

    midnightoil New commenter

    I have to agree, sorry.
  4. YesMrBronson

    YesMrBronson New commenter

    Just don't do the gig next time. Tell them you have a prior engagement. They have messed you about.
  5. Crowbob

    Crowbob Lead commenter

    If you have been told you would be paid you are not being unreasonable to request the payment.
    Having said that, I don't believe teachers should be paid for playing in school performances. You do it for the love of it or you don't do it at all. I have never heard of a music teacher being paid for playing in a school performance.
  6. v12


    In my productions:
    Peris - I allow them to charge 10hours to the department (includes two rehearsals and three performances)
    Staff members - I present them with a nice bottle of wine on the final night and give them my thanks
    Pupils - receive some chocolate/sweets or similar and a £10 book token from Waterstones on the final night.
    In fact, the staff are genuinely happy to contribute the productions and most of the non-musical staff are backstage or front of house anyway.
  7. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    I always paid the peri staff who played in shows and musicals.
  8. mrkeys

    mrkeys Occasional commenter

    Are you a full time teacher in the school? If so, same conditions as hod. If a peri on an hourly rate then you should claim and get the additional hours.
    Grey are for FT staff. Next time, if you are unhappy, you are busy.
  9. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    It seems to me that the problem here is the precedent set by the previous HoD. I think it's very unusual to pay full-time members of staff to take part in a school production. What about all the other staff who contribute - scenery, costumes, ticket sales and so on - surely they don't get paid as well?
    My policy was only to pay peris who are fee-earning, plus any outsiders. For salaried staff, participation was regarded as part of their duties.

  10. elliejo

    elliejo New commenter

    Thanks to all who have commented on my post - I will certainly think twice before I agree to any other similar activities!
  11. v12


    Oh dear! I do hope you're not joining the ranks of those who avoid (at all costs) joining in the with the real fun to be had in teaching - i.e. the concerts and productions.
    That's the best bit!
  12. I completely agree! It's obviously your decision, but it won't do you much good career wise to have that kind of attitude.
  13. Oh come along madmusic! The point here is that someone was promised a fee and that fee wasn't paid. It doesn't matter if it was in writing or not, a contract is a contract. I agree that all our full time staff usually play without payment as it is considered part of their job, but they understand this in advance. It seems that the HoD wasn't in a position to offer a fee and that is an error on their part which they should be big enough to admit. I feel that if I could pay these staff overtime I would. My staff already work incredibly hard and this is just another extra to add to the list. A musical is different from the usual concert as they will be involved for a number of nights and they will have had little or no involvement in the preparation for the show. For my own staff I went for a decent bottle of malt this year and they were very appreciative. madmusic-it shouldn't do the HoD much good "career wise" to break promises to staff, that is the real issue here surely.
  14. Pinoir

    Pinoir New commenter

    Last week I played violin for my school production. We paid for the pianist (a local piano teacher) but the rest of the band was made up of pupils and school staff. As 2nd in department it never even crossed my mind that I should be paid for it (I'd worked as assistant musical director on the show) - I see it as a crucial part of my job to offer whatever support I can to an extra-curricular activities. Yes it took up a lot of time, but taking part in things like musicals is what really makes our job such a brilliant one. I received flowers, cards, chocolates and wine for my efforts and that's enough for me! Hammondist is right - the HoD was in the wrong to have offered to pay you and then gone back on their word but isn't it part of your job to be involved in these things, and surely helping the pupils to put on the best show possible is what really matters to us as music teachers?
  15. Er, when one goes for cancer treatment, do you think the specialist is doing it for the good of humanity or because he is being paid?
    Or as a typical Anglo Saxon view on the arts and teaching in general, music and teaching in general is not a real job it is a vocation/vacation so people don't wonna be paid, right?
  16. v12


    As it happens, I'm paid incredibly well for my job. An enormous amount.
    By both parents and children at the school it is considered a real job and my rewards extend well beyond both the classroom and my bank account.
    I feel jolly lucky in not only being paid for doing something which I love - teaching and talking about my subject and trying to enthuse others - but having a slew of available musicians to perform anything I might wish to compose for them.
    The choir and orchestra practise and perform anything at my whim - I am surrounded by the music I love and I am very selective.
    Playing in school shows and concerts is the icing on the cake. It's what I live for.
    I don't think I'd care to be someone who only worked for financial reward.

  17. People only work for financial reward.
    Get real!
    Why do you think people only leave Communist countries? Because the pay is so marvellous?
    Anyone in UK state schools wants seniority- less teaching more salary. That is the game. Assistant HT no teaching big salary, except they are going to get the chop. Ed psyh loadsa money, no teaching.
    Otherwise the other solution is leave UK, which I have done. There are an awful lot of Brits who have already done that!
  18. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    Its not a question of not being paid. You are paid by your school for working there. To be honest i am amazed that the situation ever exisited where the school could pay a teacher twice over.
    If you ever become a HoD yourself will you expect to be paid extra for evey school concert/performance you attend?
    In my school we don't even pay our peris for playing. I thank them and even give them a little thankyou gift in the form of cash (but that has to be done unoffically by taking it out of the ticket sells before they are counted). My peris don't do it for money - they do it out of support for the school in which they work. If they started refusing to do anything I might think about not employing them anymore.
    On another note I do my upmost not to use outside staff/adults in school musicals. In my opinion they should be just that - musicals put on by school students.
  19. Er, so you don't pay PRS? If yes, why?
    Driving to a school costs money. Fuel is expensive. We're paid to teach-in addition to that one should get more.
    Supporting the school! How noble.
    Taking money out of ticket sales is defrauding whoever wrote the music and the PRS returns.
    Professional means being paid. Like Andrew Lloyd Webber, ABBA and Queen.

    Obviously for most Bris music teachers do not fall into this category.
  20. pauljoecoe

    pauljoecoe Occasional commenter

    eh? Don't know what you do, or if you've had any experience of putting on a muscial at a school.
    You pay the company who hold the rights for the musical you are staging. They will have very clear policy on how much you have to pay - hire of music, scripts. The theres a minimum royality charge and a larger charge based on ticket sales above the minimum.
    Obviously there are other costs such as scenery, PA and mic hire, costumes etc etc. So you price your tickets to allow yourself to make enough profit to cover all of this. If you wanted i suppose you could factor in pay for musicians but this becomes a little bit of a grey area with the schools employment of you. Is it legally/morally right to benefit financially from a performance you are putting on in school that is part of your paid employment anyway.
    As a teacher I have to sign a pecuniary interests declaration each year. Profiting in this manner could possibly infringe this.
    So a lot of grey areas here but don't you worry the legalities of paying for the performance rights are certainly covered.


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