Frequently Asked Questions
How do I register my child for lessons?
Click here to contact me to set up an opportunity to observe a lesson and a sample lesson. The complimentary sample lesson is an opportunity for us to meet one another, for you to get a feel for my teaching style, for me to assess your child’s readiness, and for us to discuss the studio policies and any questions you have.
What is the Suzuki Method and why do you use it?
Click here for more information about the Suzuki Method and here for information about my teaching philosophy. – Learning a complex technical skill that appears very difficult on the surface, like the violin, can be made easy by following the wisdom laid out by Dr. Suzuki. By providing a nurturing environment at home and in lessons, by encouraging daily listening and daily practicing, by breaking each task into small, accomplishable steps, by creating a studio and family environment that honors and values hard work and beauty, and by finding ways as the adults in our children’s lives to humbly reflect and grow as leaders and learners, we can make what appears hard (and certainly may feel difficult on some days), a process full of joy and ease!
How old does my child need to be to begin lessons?
I generally start children between the ages of 5-7 and am happy to assess the readiness of four year olds on a case by case basis.
Why do parents attend lessons with their children?
In the Suzuki Method, a consistent parent (the “Suzuki Parent”) attends lessons, takes notes, participates in the lessons and learns the instrument alongside the child, and serves as his or her daily practice assistant at home.
Does my child have to take individual lesson and group lessons?
Yes, both components of the curriculum are required and attendance should be taken seriously. Group class builds ensemble skills, commitment to the instrument, motivation, and integrates music theory, aural skills, supplemental music, and the opportunity to refine the Suzuki Repertoire.
I want my child to begin violin lessons, but she has soccer practice four nights a week and two games each weekend. Will she have time to do both?
I respect and admire the ways families choose to use their resources and energy and know that in today’s world, time is precious. For that reason, I ask that families reflect on their commitment to beginning a musical journey before making the decision to start lessons. To create ease and joy in playing the violin, families should expect to practice daily and prioritize attendance to both individual and group lessons. That dedication to the learning process will motivate the child and create an environment that promotes success, and also gives your child the greatest opportunity to grow and excel.
Do Suzuki students learn to read music?
Yes. I teach music reading from the first lesson, and my students are literate in note-reading very early on in their musical journey. However, I separate the violin technique and playing from the note-reading until both are done with ease and confidence, usually around the start of Suzuki Book 2.
Do you teach adults?
Yes, I enjoy teaching students of all ages, and it is never too late to begin learning the violin!
How long are lessons?
Lessons for beginners are 30 minutes, and lessons for more advanced students can be 45 or 60 minutes. Group class is 45 minutes.
What does your tuition include?
Semester Tuition includes weekly private lessons, twice monthly group classes, parent education class, and performance fees. Tuition is due in full at the beginning of the semester or in monthly installments at the first lesson of each month. Late tuition will result in a $10 late fee.
We have already rented a violin. Why can't my child play the instrument before lessons begin?
It is so exciting to begin the Suzuki journey, and I am always delighted to see children's enthusiasm for learning. Please do not let your child play or hold the violin before I set them with proper technique and position in their lesson. I ask this because it is much easier to "do" than to "undo," and having to correct habits a child has made because they began playing the violin prior to instruction makes the process frustrating for the child. You can encourage your child by listening to fine classical music together, listening to the Suzuki CD, watching YouTube videos of young violinists, and imagining together what your child will sound like after just a year of lessons!
What is your makeup policy?
My goal as a teacher is to provide high quality, personalized instruction to every child, and to prioritize my own continued learning and growth as a teacher and musician for the students’ benefit. I take your child’s progress very seriously, and I ask that you do the same by prioritizing violin events in the case of conflicts with lessons, group classes, and recitals (except in cases of emergency or illness). In the case of lesson conflicts, I ask that you switch lesson times with another student in the studio for the week that you have a conflict. If you are traveling or are feeling sick, I am happy to offer a Skype lesson. If you need to miss a lesson, please let me know as soon as possible so I can make appropriate use of the time that I have reserved for you. I offer one makeup day at the end of the semester. I do not refund or discount tuition except in cases of family emergency.
Can we take the summer off and restart in the fall?
Streetcar Suzuki is a year-round program. Just like any language, if you don't "use it, you lose it." For that reason, we continue throughout the summer with several opportunities to make up lessons if your family intends to travel and with the understanding that we may need to have a Skype lesson occasionally if a family is out of town. I cannot offer a spot for the upcoming school year to a student who discontinues lessons for the summer.