How To Fire a Music Teacher | Episode 26

Knowing When It’s Time To Fire A Music Teacher

I cannot tell you the amount of hours that I have wasted worrying and stressed out about employees. Even losing sleep over employees. No one wants to ever fire an employee. There is a time and place for it. In this episode I’ll discuss how to fire a music teacher.


There’s always that one employee. He or she is a great instructor, but is just a real pain in the butt. The thought of firing them is stressful because you know it’s going create a lot of conflict for you. And the thought of keeping them stresses you out .


I once had this instructor get up in my face about firing another instructor. He knew nothing about why I fired this person. He was out of line. He actually got up in my face about it. I should have fired him right on the spot, but instead I didn’t want to deal with the frustration and the distraction that it would create. Instead I just tried to “deal with it.”


Music Teachers and Power Struggles

He challenged my authority. He put me in my place, and I let it happen, which meant that the power had shifted. He was now in control, he was the boss. And when something like that happens, it can become explosive because at any moment I could’ve said, you know what? I’m sick and tired of this. I’m going to be a boss now. I’m going to fire him. I’m going to discipline him because I can. How do I know when to fire someone?


So what did I do? I took him out for drinks one night. I thought that would be kind of a, as some sort of peace offering, try to just kind of reboot our professional relationship. And that’s what I said to him. But he, we went back to work the next day and he kept playing his games with me. He would avoid me. He wouldn’t say hello when I would see him at the start of the workday.


How To Fire a Music Teacher

“Hey, how’s it going?” He would ignore me. I would say something and he wouldn’t say anything back. It really just became this weird kind of twisted mind game. I eventually wrote him up and said here’s what I expect from you and I’m going to give you three months to change your attitude. And if you can’t change your attitude, you’re outta here.

 A studio owner recently came to me for advice who was struggling with a problem employee. I saw how emotionally invested he was in this situation. He would forward me text, you know, screenshots of the texts from his, um, from, from his instructor. Can you believe it? What this guy said? What should I say to him? I’m not sure if I even know how to fire a music teacher.


Hire Slow Fire Fast

The outcome’s always the same with employees like that, they just got to go. It never works out. When you’re having a problem with an employee, it’s so important that you sit them down and explain to them, these are my expectations of you. Is this something that you feel like you can align yourself with? Is there anything that I’m doing in my management style that could be more helpful to you? How can I be a better manager? That’s an important dialogue to have. Having that open communication is crucial. Perhaps you contribute to the toxic culture in your studio. So keeping open communication is key, but if you’ve got that, if you’re doing everything you can to allow that employee to be heard and to voice their feelings and they still won’t get with the program, they probably got to go.


Every single employee that I’ve had that shows signs of building tension because they refuse to get with the program, the outcome’s always the same. They always get fired or they quit. It really becomes an issue of delaying. The inevitable. As Jay Abraham once said, hire slow-Fire fast. (See 8 Job Interview Instructions For Instructors)

When you keep problem employees like that around for too long, the culture in your studio becomes toxic. When a customer won’t pay and you find yourself consumed with it.  Let it go.  That becomes toxic. It creates stress in your life. Just let it go and when you record a podcast that gets deleted after hours of work, come up with the solution.  Just let it go.



Intro music: Dusted by Fojimoto

Transition music: Levi Simon

Outro music: Rain and Revolution by City Breathing


Related Episodes

How to Hire a Music Instructor | Ep 42

How to Manage and Empower Your Music Teachers with Jared Erlinger | Ep 44

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