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Shirley S Kirsten

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Teach Street is soon gone, shades of CD Baby?
by Shirley S Kirsten   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Friday, February 03, 2012
Posted: Friday, February 03, 2012

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Sad to see the Street close down

Teach Street is closing February 15th, 2012, shades of CD BABY’s rite of passage


This was a homey STREET that hosted so many teachers, some of whom were basket weaving tutors. Others wove stories and helped fledglings beautifully craft them. In the sports arena, personal trainers, football and basketball coaches, et al, pitched their personal expertise. It was a Mister Rogers type neighborhood that embraced diversity and individuality.

Sad to see the Street go….

Dave Schappell, T.S. CEO sent us the follow e-mail header:

“Teach Street is Closing” (An emotionally jarring opener, “Today we are HAPPY to announce….)

Here’s the text:

“Today we are happy to announce that we’re joining the AmazonLocal team. Sadly, this means that we will be closing Teach Street on February 15th, 2012.

“Over the last few years, we have enjoyed creating a place to help lifelong learners find great classes and teachers, empower teachers with robust tools to manage their teaching businesses, and enable schools to more effectively generate leads for their classes. We could not have done any of this without the support of wonderful teachers like you.

“To ensure a smooth transition for all of our valued teachers, below is a list of changes and things to note before the big day.”


This transition reminds me of CD Baby’s rite of passage. It was driven by megabucks, but in the case of founder Derek Severs, the lion’s share of profit from CD BABY’s sale to Disc Makers funded music education. (See below from WIKI)

“Derek Sivers (born September 22, 1969 is best known for being the founder and former president of CD Baby, an online CD store for independent musicians.

“A professional musician (and circus clown) since 1987, Derek started CD Baby by accident in 1998 when he was selling his own CD on his website, and friends asked if he could sell theirs, too. CD Baby went on to become the largest seller of independent music on the web, with over $100M in sales for over 150,000 musician clients.

“After he won the 2003 World Technology Award, Esquire magazine’s annual “Best and Brightest” cover story said, ‘Derek Sivers is changing the way music is bought and sold . . . one of the last music-business folk heroes.’ “

“In 2008, Derek sold CD Baby to focus on his new ventures to benefit musicians, including his new company, MuckWork, where teams of assistants help musicians do their “uncreative dirty work”. His current projects and writings are all at

“Derek is married to Sajitha, and they reside in Singapore.

Derek Sivers bequeathed his company to a charitable trust for music education, and had them sell it. This agreement allows him to receive the minimum allowed by law for such agreement of 5% per year of the company’s sale price (annually $1,100,000 pretax, based on a sale price of $22 million as reported by Sivers until death, while upon death the remainder if any will ultimately go into the trust.


Just a few comments about CD Baby post Derek Sivers:

CD Baby has become more commercialized under Disc Makers, but not to the benefit of Independent musicians. I see increasing pitches to take money from their pockets for this or that self promotional project and sign-up receipts are pocketed by the giant man-eating Corporation that now runs the site.

I noticed immediately under Disc Makers, that listening samples were poorly re-formatted. For example, where mine were set up to run for so many seconds, starting at the beginning of a track, they are now SHORTENED, cut into and left at insensitive points in the music. And unfortunately, Indies have no say in the matter making it very frustrating!

Where CD Baby set a fee to set up an artist’s site that was reasonable, additional charges have been added for this and that in the D.M. takeover.

Because Disc Makers wants our business for copying and packaging CDs, if not mastering them, there’s a sniff of conflict of interest in this ownership venue.


Not to compare apples with oranges, but I’m not sure why Dave Schappell is making the move to Amazon, though it must be financially driven. But that’s okay because the American Dream is probably now within his reach. Sad, however, that entrepreneurs can’t grow their business, stay with it, and keep up high quality standards.

Most die on the vine, or are bought out and then resold to their overall disadvantage.

In any event I wish Dave Schappell all the best in this new undertaking, and like other T.M. members, I’ll IMPORT my stuff using his convenient “TOOL.”

Thanks for the memories….

As a depressing post-script to this tragedy, Dave Schappell wrote me that Teach was “economically unsustainable.”

Now it all makes sense, in the midst of a declining economy which impacted T.S.

At least the Amazon moved saved jobs, and kept the staff intact.


Only until Feb.15, 2012


More about Disc Makers and CD Baby:

Disc Makers
“In business since 1946, Disc Makers is the nation’s leading independent CD and DVD manufacturer, offering a wide variety of products and services, including state-of-the-art automated printers and duplication systems as well as complete CD & DVD duplication, CD & DVD replication and custom disc packaging for independent musicians, filmmakers, and businesses. The company’s state-of-the-art facilities are outfitted with the latest graphic, printing, and CD & DVD replication equipment and products, as well as in-house studios for mastering and post production, DVD and CD-ROM multimedia authoring, and award-winning graphic design. Disc Makers manufactures and distributes a large selection of disc duplication and printing systems, as well as a full line of recordable media and disc packaging supplies. The company also offers a variety of additional services including download cards, posters, and music distribution. Disc Makers’ main office and plant is located near Philadelphia in Pennsauken, NJ, and the company has regional offices in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Nashville, Boston, Houston and Puerto Rico.”

About CD Baby

“CD Baby ( was started by musician Derek Sivers in 1998 as a way sell his CDs online and help some friends sell their music as well. CD Baby’s service gives any artist worldwide distribution for their music. Through word-of-mouth only, CD Baby has grown into the largest seller of independent music, paying 240,000 artists more than $81 million over the past 10 years. Apple iTunes invited CD Baby to be one of their early back-end digital content providers, and now CD Baby’s digital distribution catalog provides over 2 million songs to digital music services like Apple iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster, Amazon MP3, and more.”

Read more: Disc Makers Acquires Leading Online Independent CD and Download Seller CD Baby


Web Site: Teach Street is closing down

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