I hope you cover somewhere in your PAM series the matter of the reported number of students vs. the actual number at any one time. There have been charges of enrollment inflation for the purpose of making the Academy appear more successful than it actually was in terms of enrollment.
It has been said that if a student enrolled for private instrumental lessons and also for a class (such as a theory class) that the student was actually counted as two students. Also, it was said in a recent LN story on PAM, that if a student enrolled for one class, he/she could take a second class for free. Could that student, then, actually count as three in enrollment statistics? Were pre-schoolers in their children’s music class (or infants in their Family Music class) counted the same as were the teen-age college preparatory students? There were three choirs; were they also counted the same as private instrumental students?
Who was responsible for the announcing of enrollment figures to the press? Was it the head of board of trustees, the registrar of the school or the founders themselves? And what of the report that the founders expected the faculty members themselves to recruit his/her own students and, if he/she didn’t do that, they would no longer be allowed to teach at PAM?
When PAM announced that it was planning to build a new building, I clearly recall that the founders were quoted as saying, “We have 400 students coming in here and we are bursting at the seams.” Yet, since they moved into their new building (that has been called a palace), the highest figure I’ve seen reported is 350. Later it was 325 and, more recently, 300. Has PAM’s enrollment actually decreased since the opening of its state-of-the-art building?
In addition to this, it was been reported that there are tuitions that are past due and that an attempt will be made to collect these past-due accounts. All reputable music academies and conservatories require payment in advance for lessons, usually by the semester, as are colleges. Why did PAM continue to teach students who had not paid for the lessons they were getting? Particularly when the instructors were on salary? This is tantamount to super-markets (or corner groceries) allowing persons to take groceries home without paying. Stores allowing this would soon be bankrupt.
Also, how many students were on full or partial scholarship compared with the number of students paying full tuition? Were all instrumental students private students or were several students allowed to share a class in order to make the lessons more affordable? (How many working class families can afford to pay $30 and more per half-hour lesson?)
And what was the arrangement with foreign students? Were these on full scholarship? Who paid their travel and living expenses? Their parents or PAM? If PAM, was it to give PAM the reputation of being an international school? Who paid for the founders’ trips overseas, particularly to Eastern Europe and to China?
What percentage of PAM’s income was expected to come from payment for private lessons?
Considering the reams of copy that has been written about PAM, whose product was music education, why has this information never been discussed or published? Was PAM a business or a charity? If a business, why was it so dependent on donations? If a charity, why did they build what has been called a “palace”? What were they (the founders), as well as the donors, thinking?