Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

Research shows that music students are at high risk for sexual abuse. Find out why.

Often, music classes in schools are held in large groups. But once the child is older, hiring a private music teacher for advanced classes is usually the next step. While this 1:1 student to teacher ratio is considered normal, some parents should be wary about it. This is because of the numerous alarming reports of sexual abuse by music teachers. So music students are at high risk for sexual abuse? 

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse, says research. | Image courtesy: stock

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

Sexual abuse or molestation is defined as an act where one individual forces unwanted sexual behavior to another. The same term is also used to describe any undesirable conduct of any adult music teacher towards his/her student.

Increase in sexual abuse cases

According to a research, cases of sexual molestation of music students have increased over the years. In America, several sexual abuse cases among music professors from different state colleges and universities have been highly publicized.

What’s more alarming for parents is that other sexual predators disguised as music teachers are also infiltrating high schools and molesting teenagers.

music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse as they spend a lot of time alone with their teachers. | Image courtesy: stock image

Why music students?

Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse for number of reasons.

  1. Music students are very passionate about music. Because they have been training most of their lives, they really want to succeed in their musical careers. An opportunist sexual predator often uses this drive to succeed against his/her student. The teacher has the power to perfectly mold the talent of the student and eliminate most obstacles towards a successful career. With this knowledge, the teacher may blackmail the student to comply with a sexual request.  If the student refuses, the teacher might stop teaching important techniques that are needed to refine their musical skills.
  2. Music students are at high risk for sexual abuse because they often spend time alone with their teachers at home and in school. This is because learning music requires deep concentration and total focus which can be disrupted if other people are around.
  3. Out of town or overseas music festivals and shows often play a huge role as to why music students are at high risk for sexual abuse. This is because these travel opportunities are often unchaperoned which makes it easier for the predator to assault his/her student. For example, one accused teacher used to book only one room with a single bed for him and his student every time they go out of town for auditions.
music students are at high risk for sexual abuse

More schools are taking precautions to prevent sexual abuse. | Image courtesy: stock image

Preventing abuse

More and more schools are taking steps to prevent any kind of sexual abuse of their students especially on campus. For instance, all classrooms need to have curtain-less windows and unobstructed windows on doors.

Additionally, all teachers/professors conducting classes (one-on-one or not) must leave doors unlocked. Other schools are even recording these classes on video as an added preventive measure.

Since music students are at high risk for sexual abuse, these students are always advised to be accompanied by a guardian or at least a trusted friend when attending off campus lessons or outings.

Most schools are also maintaining a zero tolerance policy.

Any inappropriate behavior by teachers is acted upon immediately. A 24/7 hotline/website is also available in some schools to allow students to report any misconduct by teachers without fear of being ridiculed, bullied or blamed.

Do you agree that music students are at high risk for sexual abuse? Tell us what you think by leaving a comment. For information on sexual abuse and recovery, watch this video:

Also read: Why you need to talk to your child about sexual abuse now!

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Written by

Karen Mira

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