- What do I need for the first lesson?
- Suzuki Book 1 and CD (or digital recording)
- While you will need a quality violin or viola, please do not purchase one before your first lesson. You will need to be professionally measured at your lesson for the correct size instrument. I can advise on places to purchase a quality instrument.
- I can read music volume 1
- Notebook for keeping lesson notes and practice logs
- Folder or binder for keeping practice logs, handouts, programs, loose sheet music, and other materials
- Shoulder pad or rest (we will discuss this in the lesson)
- Cleaning cloth (a small piece of T-shirt works very well)
- Bag for carrying lesson materials
- Recording Device such as a phone to record parts of the lesson
- Suzuki CDs Vol 2-4
- String Swing Violin Hanger
- How much should my child practice?
a. Parents and students are expected to practice and listen daily
b. Each student is required to practice and listen for approximately the length of their lesson. This may be more or less as discussed in lessons.
c. “Only practice on the days you eat.” – Shinichi Suzuki
d. Parents and students are expected to practice and listen daily. Work hard! All assignments should be carried out fully so that I can help you be your best. Please prioritize LISTENING and REVIEW. Each student is required to practice and listen for approximately the length of their lesson. This may be more or less as discussed in lessons. Parents and students are required to take notes during lessons and classes. Parents and students should also keep a practice log of daily practice.
- What can I do to get my child to practice?
Learning to practice is part of the process. Take note of what works and what doesn’t. I recommend following the Suzuki Parent Discussion Group on Facebook and articles on the Suzuki Association of Americas website in addition to reading the following books.
a. Nurtured by Love
b. Teaching from the Balance Point
c. Ability Development from Age Zero
d. To Learn with Love
- What do we need to do to maintain the instrument?
a. Clean the instrument regularly with a soft cloth
b. Replace the strings at least 1 time per year (every 3-6 months for advancing players that play a lot)
c. Rehair the bow at least 1 time per year (every 3-6 months for advancing players that play a lot)
d. Wipe the rosin off the strings daily
e. Rosin the bow every day (or as needed)
- What is the best age to begin music lessons?
a. It is never too early or too late to begin! You should begin listening to quality music from birth. Children ages 0-3 are encouraged to attend Suzuki Early Childhood Education classes. Instrumental study can begin as young as age 3. Students should be able to take directions from an adult that is not in their family and be able to focus for at least a few minutes at a time. These skills will also be developed in lessons.
b. Parents must be able to commit to practicing daily and listening with their child and attend all lessons, group classes, and recitals.
- When will my child be able to practice independently?
a. Students should be able to practice independently by age 13. We will work together to develop a plan to scale back your involvement with practice over time.
b. Students of every age will need support, especially with scheduling and initiating practice
c. Essentially every child ages 3-9 will need significant home practice support.
d. Students ages 9-13 should be developing independent practice habits that may include review, completing a practice assignment independently after going over it with a practice parent, checking their own notes or writing their own notes in lessons. The parent should still be initiating practice and listening at this level to help their child be successful.
- Do you offer discounts?
- May I video lessons?
I encourage parents to video parts of the lesson to supplement their notes. I ask that you not share these videos on the internet as they are designed for personal use and are made specifically to help your child learn.
- Should I buy or rent an instrument?
I recommend purchasing an instrument. You will have a higher quality instrument that can be traded in when you are ready to upgrade to the next size or quality. You will be responsible for all repairs and upkeep for a purchased instruments, so some families prefer to rent.
- Why do you teach the Suzuki Method?
I believe that through a strong Suzuki Triangle (parent-child-teacher) relationship we can build great skill on our instrument and develop good character. I teach with love and believe in developing the whole child.
- Why is listening so important?
Your child should listen to the recording everyday. Through listening, they will develop awareness of tone, rhythm, pitch, and musical expressiveness. Just as a child needs to hear language before attempting speech, a child needs to be familiar with the pieces they will play before attempting to play them.
- Why is reviewing so important?
Reviewing, renewing, and repeating previously learned pieces and skills will help solidify the child’s musical ability. It will also help develop memory, concentration, and the learning process. There is the added benefit of continuing to polish a piece to the child’s current best. Imagine if you only used words you recently learned! To really develop fluency in music the child must continue to review everything they have learned. Dr. Suzuki once said “Ability breeds further ability!” As the child continues to internalize and polish review pieces and skills they are preparing to developing new skills and future pieces.
- What does tuition cover?
a. Tuition covers your private lessons (tuition is the same regardless of the number of lessons), group classes, studio events such as recitals and parties, teacher’s time spent on administrative duties, teacher’s time spent attending book recitals, teacher development, parent education nights, and studio incentives.
b. No make up lessons will be given. Please note that you may request a video chat lesson if you are unable to physically attend your lesson time. Please take advantage of extra lessons and group classes. There are no refunds.
c. Please note studio breaks as indicated on your MMS calendar.
d. Your tuition is your membership to the studio, not simply a given number of lessons.
- What other costs are associated with lessons?
Some examples of things that are not included in your tuition are books and materials, competitions, festivals, institutes, workshops, summer camps, youth orchestras, and accompanist fees. Please plan accordingly.
- When is tuition due?
Your tuition is due by the 1st of each month.
- What does the studio calendar look like?
Each year students participate in lessons, group classes, practice challenges, recitals, workshops, and students events. Each student has an online account and calendar through My Music Staff that includes all of their studio events. Please keep up to date with your calendar and emails.
Weekly lessons are held year round with breaks for holidays, teacher training, and vacations.
Group classes are held from September through May based on student availability. Please check your calendar for the exact schedule. Virtual group classes may be offered as well.
– 2 Studio Recitals are held each year, typically 1 per semester
– Book Recitals are scheduled on an individual basis
– Animato Strings may be scheduled to perform throughout the year
– Students may be asked to perform at special community performances (2+ per year) during the holidays and summers at places such as a retirement community, coffee shop, or farmers markets.
“Musical training is more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the secret places of the soul.” ~ Plato