Tuition is due the first lesson of the month. Venmo is preferred, but I will also accept Zelle, cash, and checks. A $10 late fee will be added to late payments. The cost of lessons is $50/hour + $10/month per student, but tuition will be equally paid each month with a reconciliation every June and December.
Make-up lessons: Lessons may be canceled with a refund or rescheduled up to 1 day in advance. While I understand that unforeseen circumstances arise, please note that lessons canceled or missed on the day of the lesson will not be eligible for a makeup lesson or refund. If I need to reschedule or cancel a lesson or group class, I will give as much notice as possible. Lessons canceled by me will always be made up or refunded.
Communication: I will communicate all calendaring items through email. I also have a calendar in the studio and Google calendar. It is okay to text me if you have a question about your lessons, but you may not get an immediate response, especially if I’m teaching. Text is best if you are running late or need to cancel a lesson.
Social Media: I occasionally photo or film my students and post on social media. If you do NOT want me to post any pictures of your student, please let me know in writing through an email.
Online lessons: I offer online lessons for people who live far away, but I am also available for online lessons if you are unable to come to your lesson in person due to illness, parent unavailability, etc. Please refer to the online lesson guidelines.
Practice expectation: Students who practice and listen every day progress considerably faster than those who don’t. I expect a minimum of 5 days of practice per week, 6 or 7 days is marvelous!
Concert Attendance: Please arrive 15-30 minutes before every performance unless otherwise noted. Make a note of the concert attire for performers. It will be different for each concert. Please have your instrument, shoulder rest, extra strings (in case one breaks), music and music stand.
Concert Etiquette: To show respect for the performers, it is expected that you stay for the whole recital. Unless your teacher allows you to leave early, it is impolite to exit before the performance is over.
SAU Membership: All Suzuki student families will be members of the Suzuki Association of Utah (SAU). Your tuition covers the $35 annual fee. SAU sponsors the Suzuki graduation and parent convention in January each year. www.suzukimusicutah.org
Federation: In the Spring, students can take part in the UFMC String Festival (Federation) by preparing a polished and memorized performance. There is an extra fee to participate (usually about $20) and you will need to pay your accompanist.
Intermountain Suzuki String Institute (ISSI). ISSI is one of the largest Suzuki institutes in the Americas, and it is located right here in Utah at Juan Diego High School. This summer music “camp” is designed for parents and children to attend together (responsible children over 12 can attend without a parent.) During the week, attendees can expect to participate in master classes, group classes, and concerts featuring top Suzuki teachers from around the globe. I highly recommend making plans in advance to attend this remarkable Suzuki institute.www.issisuzuki.org. Scholarships are available.
The Violin Lesson
Please keep your lesson time accurate. Lessons will start and stop on time.
Always be prepared for your lesson by arriving 5 minutes early and bringing all your music and accessories for your violin. Enter the studio quietly if the lesson before is still underway and get your violin out and quietly sit on the bench or couch. When it is your turn for lessons, please put your music on the stand and be ready to tune.
Parents should plan to attend the lessons for children under 12. Please be a quiet observer so the child only needs to focus on one adult.
Siblings can attend a student’s lesson. Please make sure they play quietly and do not let them roam the house. Please don’t bring food and clean up all toys and messes made by your children.
All students are required to study for the entire year, including summer.
Music: I prefer that each student has their own Suzuki books. If you have more than one child studying with me please purchase Suzuki books for each student. I strongly recommend spiral binding your Suzuki books (1-5 and 6-8). Other technique, scale, and music books can be shared. I will often loan books to students. I will add the cost to the book on your account with a refund cost if you return the book in good condition.
Theory Books: I will give each student a theory book in the fall of each year. Encourage your child to work in the book enough to finish by the goal date. Please replace lost theory books (you can buy them on Amazon.)
No gum chewing is allowed during lessons.
Please make sure that your child’s fingernails are trimmed.
It is helpful if long hair is pulled back so it doesn’t get in the way of the violin on the shoulder. Dangly earrings and necklaces, hoodies and jackets can sometimes cause the violin to buzz.
Please take off your shoes in the studio.
The Suzuki Method
Parent (Caregiver) Participation: The Suzuki method is successful when the student has a practice partner which is usually a parent or caregiver. Young children require a practice partner to attend lessons and take notes, ensure practice happens and make practice fun. Older children still need a practice partner to ensure practice happens, give guidance on what to practice and create a positive musical experience. Teens need a parent/caregiver to give encouragement and praise and to be a main contact to the teacher for scheduling, payment, and to be and advocate for the child. Practice partners do not need prior musical experience.
Early Beginning: Suzuki students can start as young as 3 years old, although I enjoy teaching individuals of all ages and am able to adapt the Suzuki method to suit any age group.
Step By Step Learning: The Suzuki repertoire is designed to teach skills. Pieces and techniques are taught in small steps that are meant to be repeated over and over. Use games and practice tools to help guide practices and make small repetitions fun. I have lots of practice ideas on my blogwww.practicemakesiteasy.blogspot.com and I also have lots of games and ideas at www.thepracticeshoppe.com
Daily Listening: In order to improve your progress and make learning easier, it is recommended that you listen to the Suzuki recordings every day. For beginners, I suggest that you purchase the recordings up until book 4 and listen to them frequently. It's important to not wait until you reach a certain book to start listening, but rather to listen ahead of what you are currently learning. Remember, you can never listen too much!
Create A Positive Environment. Find a quiet and clean place in your home to practice. Create games and incentives for practicing. Make it fun! Performances are to be celebrated, not critiqued.
Note Reading: This is a very important skill to learn on the violin. I will teach note reading after I feel the student has a sufficient level of technique on the violin. When I start note reading, it should be practiced daily.
Review: To improve their skills, students should practice all of their Suzuki pieces throughout the week. This will create a strong foundation, build confidence, expand their repertoire, and enhance their musicality. Additionally, book recitals provide great motivation for both students and parents to carefully practice review pieces.
Group Lessons: Please plan to attend. If you are unable to attend for an extenuating circumstance please let me know. Please arrive 5 minutes early.
Common, Set Repertoire: Suzuki students learning all instruments and around the entire world learn the same pieces. I will follow all the pieces in the Suzuki books, but I supplement learning with fiddle music, Christmas music and other pieces.
Online Lesson Guidelines
Setting up for Success
One positive result of the pandemic is the increased ability for people to meet virtually online. Online lessons are a great tool teaching students when they move away and also still provide lessons when a student or parent is sick and shouldn’t attend lessons in-person.
You can ensure that you get the most out of your online violin lesson by preparing just a little bit beforehand. After teaching online lessons for several years, I’ve discovered four areas that slow down lesson progress. Internet problems, camera set-up, violin set-up, and searching for music or supplies.
FaceTime: For my house and internet connection, FaceTime has been the most successful. This is only available on Apple products. iPad, phone, or apple computer. Zoom is an option that I am willing to explore if needed. Since I don’t use Zoom nor have a “waiting room.” I will call YOU when I am ready for your lesson. Please set up and be prepared by the time your lesson is supposed to start. If I don’t call within 5 minutes of your lesson time, please send me a text.
The larger the screen the better. Computers are best if you can get a good angle. iPads are second best. Phones are doable, but the smaller screen makes it hard to pay attention to details of the lesson.
Set up the screen horizontally so that I can see the whole student from the waste up – I need to be able to see the full bow arm and scroll.
Have all items ready and easily accessible. It is best if your stand is set up to the left of the camera so I can see your body while you’re looking at music. Keep a metronome handy as well as all your music.
Young children need the parent with them through the entire lesson to help be my eyes and hands with either correcting posture or pointing to music. Online lessons require a student to be able to find places on the music quickly using measure numbers. If your child struggles with this consider writing small numbers above each measure.