FAQ about lessons

I'm a new student/parent of a new student. How do I/we sign up?

While I would love to take on every student who inquires about lessons, there just aren't enough hours in a day! To find out whether or not I have any lesson slots available, please fill out the contact form. I do my best to respond within a day. If my studio is full, you can request to be added to my waiting list.

I do a trial period of three lessons for prospective students. This is to determine whether the student's learning style matches my teaching style, and whether or not you/your child's personality and mine are a good match. This is essential for good progress.

At the end of the trial period, I will either offer you a regular lesson slot in my studio, or refer you/your child to another teacher who will be a better fit. I want everyone to have the best musical experience possible, regardless of whether or not you end up studying with me.

Do I have to pay for trial lessons?

Yes, trial lessons cost the same amount as regular lessons. Please contact me for details.

I have my first trial lesson scheduled, and I have never played the violin/viola before. What should I bring to the first lesson?

For young students with no prior violin/viola experience:

You do not need to bring an instrument to the first lesson. In order to ensure that the first sound a child makes on the violin/viola is a clear, resonant one, we will be working on mastering the correct posture, bow hold, and rhythms before trying it on an actual instrument. It is crucial for students to be capable of producing a beautiful sound right from the beginning; this helps the child to expect good tone and to develop the abilty to self-correct.

I will let you know when your child is ready for an instrument (and I will measure him/her to determine the correct size) and recommend good places to rent instruments.

For students in second grade or above with no violin/viola experience:

Please bring your instrument if you have one. I will let you know whether you need a different size, accessories (new strings, shoulder rest, chinrest, etc.) or repair work. Please do not go to a music store for instrument sizing/rental without consulting me first. Instead, let me help you so that you end up with an instrument of the correct size and quality.

For students who have previous violin/viola playing experience:

Please bring your instrument and prepare a piece to play for me (can be a work-in-progress).

What else do I need to bring to lessons?

You will need:

  • a parent (required if you are younger than middle school age; up to you beyond that) to observe/take notes/learn how to help with home practice
  • notebook or binder
  • music books/music you've been using (if applicable)
  • pencil
  • recording device (not required, but very helpful! Many of my students use a smartphone for this) 

Are there any other materials I need for home practice?

You will need:

  • an electronic tuner, unless you have an in-tune piano at home
  • metronome (beginners will not need this right away)
  • music stand (beginners will not need this right away)
  • music/books/anything else I recommend that you order

How does Suzuki differ from "traditional" music instruction?

Here's a quick summary from the SAA. I have a packet of information for new students, which I will give to you at your first lesson.