Code of Ethics

These ethical guidelines are established by the Association to outline Members’ ethical duties and obligations to students, colleagues and the general public, and to promote professional cooperation and productive relationships among its Members. 

Antitrust Compliance Information

I. Personal Ethical Standards

The Association expects its Members to behave professionally and ethically in the representation of their abilities and in their promotional materials and outreach, and to conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the Association.

  1. Members shall present themselves honestly, in a dignified and professional manner, and with documented qualifications. These may include appropriate academic degrees, awards, professional affiliations, and teaching and performing experience.
  2. Members shall strive to teach with competence by demonstrating knowledge of voice pedagogy, musicianship, familiarity with a variety of vocal repertoire, as well as performance skills.
  3. Members should strive for continued growth in professional competencies.
  4. Members shall faithfully support the Association and are encouraged to participate in and contribute to its activities and mission.
  5. Members should abide by copyright laws and guard against encouraging or allowing infringement thereof.
  6. Members shall exhibit responsible and ethical behavior when using print, digital and social media associated with the profession and the studio.
  7. Members should be artistic resources for their communities.

II. Ethical Standards Relating to Students

The Association is committed to Member/Student relationships which foster excellence and learning in a dignified and professional environment, and which do not involve discrimination, sexuality, innuendo, or favoritism.

  1. Members should avoid all types of discriminatory practices. Appropriate guidelines are set forth in statutes such as Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Canadian Human Rights Act.
  2. Members should maintain appropriate boundaries in psychological, emotional, and personal contact with students, including insinuations that could be construed as sexual advances, even when a student may encourage or request such interaction.
  3. Members should respect the privacy and personal integrity of students, not disclosing confidential information except to the extent that a particular legal or academic system requires disclosure.
  4. Members should clearly communicate and comply with their studio policies and expectations in a timely and concrete manner.
  5. The relationship between teacher and student shall be established, maintained and terminated in a respectful, professional manner.
  6. Members should respect a student's prerogative to obtain instruction from any teacher(s) of their choice, including concurrent study with another teacher(s). Transparency should be maintained among all parties.
  7. Members should offer their best instruction and career advice to every student under their supervision, and should treat each student in a respectful and impartial manner while taking into account individual differences in ability, learning styles and motivation.
  8. Members should refrain from making exaggerated claims or misleading statements concerning a student's prospects for a professional career in music. They should not guarantee performances, professional positions or favorable contacts unless they can fulfill those promises.

III. Ethical Standards Relating to Colleagues

The Association encourages a mutually supportive atmosphere among its Members, and in their interactions with other related professionals.

  1. Members shall refrain from making defamatory or untrue negative public statements or judgments about colleagues or their students, either verbally or in writing.
  2. Members shall render honest and unbiased adjudication at auditions and competitions. If they are unable to do so, then they should recuse themselves.
  3. In cases where a Member determines that involving other professionals in a student’s instruction may be of benefit (for medical, technical, artistic, musical, pedagogical, or other reasons), Members shall strive to work collegially with these professionals.
  4. Rules and regulations of accredited academic institutions may at times take precedence over the Association’s Code of Ethics, should there be a conflict.
  5. Should ethical conflicts arise between Members and/or a NATS Entity, direct communication should be used to resolve problems among the involved parties. If the conflict cannot be resolved, the Association has a specific, detailed process for dealing with concerns.

This version of the Code of Ethics approved by the NATS Board of Directors in June 2018.