FAQ

What is your teaching philosophy?

music lesson stringsLearning a musical instrument can be one of life’s greatest challenges and rewards. I am committed to supporting your growth as a person and as a musician. My job as a teacher is to share with each of you my knowledge, my teaching skills, and my love of music. I promise to treat you with respect, work hard to develop your skills, and be sensitive to your needs. I firmly believe that teaching is a privilege. I am an inspiring, hands-on, sensitive, caring, and empowering instructor.

What do I need to know in general?

  • Here you can compare different teaching methods.
  • Here and here are  two wonderful articles on buying a violin.
  • You will need to bring a notebook and music books to every lesson!
  • Lessons are 50 minutes or 20 minutes in length with the last 10 minutes reserved for student transitions, final student instructions, or parent communication when required. We often do go for the full 30 or 60 minutes, but it is helpful to have an optional buffer.
  • It is best to arrive a few minutes before your scheduled lesson in order to take full advantage of our time together.
  • Tuition payment is due at the first lesson of each month.
  • Electronic tuition invoices are automatically sent out monthly for your convenience.
  • A $10 late fee is charged to tuition payments that are more than two weeks late.

How much is tuition?

  • Monthly tuition payment is $250 for 1 50-minute session per week.
  • 30-minute sessions are discouraged. However, monthly tuition payment for these sessions is $125 for weekly 20-minute sessions.
  • Family discounts are available.
  • Tuition payments include 46 lessons per year, a group lesson quarterly, and at least one formal recital annually.

What is your attendance policy?

  • Missed lessons, when notification of upcoming absence is given by phone, text, or email at least 24 hours in advance of scheduled time, are considered excused absences and will be made-up.
  • Missed lessons, when there is less than 24 hours advance notice—or no notice—are considered unexcused absences. Unexcused absences are not made up.
  • In case of personal illness or family emergency, lessons will be made up. Please refrain from coming for a lesson when you are unwell.
  • Except in very specific circumstances, I do not prorate missed lessons, relying instead on makeup lessons. It is important to have regular lessons in order to avoid frustration and aid in steady progress.

What is your withdrawal policy?

  • First and foremost, if for any reason you are considering discontinuing lessons, speak to me about it. If the matter cannot be resolved and you decide to discontinue lessons, my studio policy is as follows:
    • Written notice of withdrawal (email acceptable) must be submitted to me from you (or your parent) at least 1 month in advance of departure.
    • If I initiate the withdrawal, a full refund of collected fees for the remainder of the month will be made.

What are the expectations held for me as a student?

I expect the following:

  • Have a strong commitment towards learning violin and music in general.
  • Show up for all scheduled lessons.
  • Be disciplined about practicing everyday.
  • Practice what you are assigned by me.
  • Ask questions if something is unclear.
  • Keep a practice log.
  • Abide by my policies.
  • Arrive promptly to lessons.
  • Bring all lesson and assignment books.
  • Cut fingernails and keep them short, as you cannot successfully play the violin with long fingernails.
  • During lessons and practice, always be open to new ideas and put forth your very best effort.
  • Buy all music and any other musical tools or equipment needed to make playing and practice successful.

What is your cell phone policy?

  • I require ALL cell phones, pagers etc. to be turned off or at least put on silent mode. I ask that all people in the room refrain from taking calls. If you absolutely must take a call, please be courteous and take your call outside.

What do you consider to be proper lesson etiquette?

  • Please do your best to be a few minutes early to your lesson. If you are late, your lesson time may be shortened to allow the next lesson to begin punctually.
  • If you arrive for a lesson and I am still with another student, please unpack your violin and get ready.
  • If you are an adult student, and you bring your child or children to the lesson, I ask that each is able to play quietly out of your sight and that the lesson is able to be completed without disturbance.
  • I ask that you actively listen to what I say and wait for me to finish before you reply or resume playing.

How can I practice effectively?

  • Practice every day!
  • Practice what I assign.
  • Find a specific time for your practice that is always the same (i.e. 5:30pm everyday).
  • Don’t just play pieces over and over, fix problems!
  • Start from a different place each day.
  • Practice the amount of time that I assign to you in the exact ways I suggest.
  • Here is a March 2017 NPR article on research based effective practice techniques.

What are the consequences of failing to practice?

Just like any other life skill (language, sports, art, dance), any student (you included) will not benefit from lessons unless you establish consistent, diligent practice habits! Consistent daily practice habits allows you to become increasingly comfortable on the violin and to more fully enjoy playing. When practice does not occur regularly, it almost always results in frustration and failure to progress. Commit to practicing every day and reap the rewards of faster progress and greater enjoyment.

  • For young students, several small practice sessions are usually more effective than one long one each day. Positive, nurturing parent/student interactions at the home practice session is key to successful study—ask me for some tips if you begin to experience some stressful practice times.
  • I have a limited number of spots open for lessons, so it is important for students and parents to take their commitment to violin seriously.
  • I reserve the right to dismiss students who habitually appear for lessons with inadequate practice preparation.

How often are lessons?

Lessons are once a week, with 46 lessons per year.

We like to keep tuition the same each month regardless of whether there are 4 weeks or 5 weeks, and to make that happen we’ve found that it works well to have a “studio hiatus” at common holiday times (i.e., Thanksgiving or the winter holidays). This way, we can not only keep tuition the same each month, but additionally there’s no need to scramble to find makeup lesson times in busy schedules if families plan to travel for these holidays.

Usually during studio hiatus dates there is one day dedicated solely to any outstanding makeup lessons. (However, make up lessons can be scheduled any day, not just on these “dedicated” days).

What is the purpose of group lessons?

At least one quarterly supplemental group-lesson is included in tuition. Sessions may include as many fifteen students, or as few as three. The instructor will determine the gathering’s size, the materials covered, and the location. These lessons may be held off-site. The time will be determined by consensus.

I believe this is a significant opportunity for students to polish performance and ensemble-playing skills in a warm, supportive, and low-stress environment.

Students are typically grouped by ability, with stronger players acting as mentors for their peers. More advanced players may be grouped into small ensembles or paired with an accompanist during these sessions.

Beginning level students (generally through Suzuki book 3) may play together or individually paired with piano accompaniment.

Group classes typically run about 45-50 minutes. However, it would be desirable if students arrange their schedules to accommodate at least a full hour. Please arrive early, unpack, and be ready to play at the agreed upon time. These sessions normally take place mid-afternoon on Sundays and, if desired, will include a social time after the lesson’s end.

*PLEASE NOTE: These are student only events. Please plan to come alone. If you are a student who does not yet drive, ask your parent or guardian to drop you off.

There will typically be a recital for friends and family in the Spring.

Annual Recital

The annual recital takes place in a more formal venue. This is the time to celebrate the progress that students have made over the year. Pieces performed will be well practiced and adequately rehearsed.

There is no dress code for this annual event. Coats and ties or dresses and heels are not required. It is essential that the musician be able to move and breathe freely. So, dress for comfort, and, avoid tight waistbands, belts, and shoes. The recital’s day and time will be determined according to student, teacher, and venue availability.