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Sean Pacey

Sean Pacey is founder of the PTF which helps piano teachers build their professional teaching practices by matching them with students and providing a number of marketing and outreach programs. As founder, Sean is responsible for creating the vision behind the PTF and ensuring the Federation's mission is carried out at all levels.

Sean has a strong connection with the piano and music industries. He describes himself as the quintessential on-again-off-again piano student having begun lessons at just five years old. In 1993, he joined Pacey's Pianos, a company his grandfather and uncle founded. In 2001, he headed up Pacey's Pianos, which is not only Vancouver's most established and trusted piano dealer, it's also a vehicle for reaching out to the community-at-large in charitable, non-profit ways.

Sean (and his family) believes strongly that everyone should enjoy the gift of music. To that end, he gives away hundreds of thousands of dollars through piano donations, free rentals and service, and similar programs. He estimates he spends at least one hour a day on non-profit activities which have garnered over $100,000 for the community. He also fulfills several advisory board positions including those with North Vancouver's Sinphonia, the Vancouver Masonic Centre, and BL Lighting where he is also a partner. Sean has been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Business Improvement Area for over 10 years and is currently its vice president.

Chief among Sean's non-profit endeavors is the PTF. "Our goal is to change the way students find piano teachers," he says and that's a big job. According to one 2008 study, 84 percent of adults who don’t play the piano wish they did. Further, an informal poll by Pacey's Pianos of over 100 parents with children who used to taken piano lessons revealed a stunning fact. Close to 70 percent of the children lost interest because their teachers over-disciplined, were mean, or uninspiring.

"The lesson here is students just aren't finding teachers who meet their needs, because they can only consider cost and geography," says Sean. "The PTF's website will allow them to compare teachers based on a number of criteria—not just price and location." Sean believes students and teachers will be more successful if they are better matched. And, he knows what he is talking about. "When I was a kid, my piano teacher struck my hands with a ruler when I made a mistake or did something that displeased her," he laments.

Helping students and teachers connect on terms other than price and location, solves another challenge. Sean tells the story of meeting a client who was clearly a gifted pianist and passionate about teaching. But, she was working at a coffee shop to make ends meet even with her masters degree in piano studies. "Yet, I knew of lesser teachers who had full rosters," he says. "Again, the answer is found in the teacher search capabilities of our website. Students will find the most qualified teachers not the ones who happen to live nearby."

Sean is particularly proud of the way he and his team are developing the PTF. "We're meeting with teachers to find out what their needs are. And, we're responding by building the PTF around those needs. This transparency is critical to our success, our member teachers' success, and their students' success," he says.

Sean is a certified sales executive and a certified marketing executive from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. He hails from Vancouver, BC.