General Lesson Overview:
While I am primarily a Suzuki instructor, I do not teach solely out of a certain method or "by the book"; I choose and mold every lesson depending on specific, strengths, weaknesses, etc. If you have several years experience and consider yourself or your child to be a serious player, more intensive lessons focusing on advanced technique and repertoire will follow suit.
I am comfortable teaching all ages and levels up to advanced. Use of games make learning the violin fun and accessible for young children. Older and more advanced students receive a more technical, intensive and advanced approach.Classical, Jazz, Gypsy and Fiddle styles are all introduced and studied to give students a rounded technique. Music theory (reading and understanding music) weekly coaching on school assigned materials (orchestra/string class music and homework) is also incorporated in lessons. Repertoire is diverse and exciting. Various approaches for the visual or aural learner. Guaranteed to keep you or your child engaged and interested!
Suzuki Violin/Viola Lessons:
The Suzuki method is a world renowned method of teaching based on the philosophy of Japanese pedagogue Shinichi Suzuki. Mr. Suzuki's philosophy was that all children have the innate capability to master music when supported with loving encouragement and constant support from their parents, as well as relying on listening, constant repetition, and finally, learning and working together with others.
I am a registered Suzuki Teacher, active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and I teach as young as 3 years old. However, that does not mean all children are ready for lessons at such a young age. If you are considering pursuing Suzuki violin lessons for your child, please read and take note of the following:
- I highly recommend reading Nurtured By Love by Shinichi Suzuki. This will give you the best picture of what to expect from Suzuki lessons, and if it is a commitment you are willing to stick with.
- Parents MUST sit in and actively participate in their children's lessons.
- While I offer trial lessons to any interested parents and students, there is a possibility your child is not ready for lessons. Learning the violin involves an incredible amount of focus and coordination that make take more time to develop in some children.
- Buy and listen to the Suzuki Violin School Vol. 1 CD daily. The Suzuki method is based off listening and repetition. Your child will be more excited and motivated to learn if they have actively listened to all the songs they will eventually learn in lessons.
As mentioned above, I am comfortable and have experience teaching students of all ages, including beginner adults. Exercises to strengthen fingers, make muscles more flexible and adaptable for technique are introduced in the first few lessons. Classical, Jazz, Gypsy and Fiddle styles are studied to give a rounded technique. Music theory (reading and understanding music) is also incorporated in lessons. Repertoire is diverse and exciting. Various approaches for the visual or aural learner.
Cost & Location:
Currently, all lessons are taught at my home studio.
Studio Lesson Costs Begin At:
Bi-weekly lessons are more expensive at $32.00 for a 30 minute session because it is more difficult to fill bi-weekly slots. Prices may also vary if you find me on a different platform, such as Thumbtack or Takelessons.com as they may run a background check, offer money back
guarantees, take "finders commission" or other incentives/fees to warrant the higher cost.
- 30 Minute Lesson: $30.00
- 45 Minute Lesson: $45.00
- Hour Lesson: $60.00
Private Lesson Expectations:
- Students & their guardians should maintain a regular, weekly lesson schedule. The more space there is in between lessons, the more chance there is for a student to pick up bad habits that are hard to break. Rarely will I agree to bi-weekly lessons. Parents are also highly recommended to not only sit in & observe lessons, but take an active role in helping students practice, prepare, and understand lesson homework. (Note: this is required for all strict Suzuki students).
- By committing to lessons, students are expected to keep a set, consistent practice schedule weekly. True success with learning an instrument not only comes from the lessons themselves, but also from solid, productive practice sessions in between each weekly lesson. The hardest challenge is getting into a solid practice routine, and we all struggle with it. Set a precise weekly routine with specified days and times your child knows they need to stick to. Offer some sort of reward after completing a successful practice week as an incentive. Here are some rough suggested (MINIMUM) practice times based on age:
- Ages 3-6: At least 15 minutes of practice w/guardian supervision 4-5 days a week.
- Ages 7-12: 15- 30 minutes of practice with some guardian supervision 5 days a week.
- Ages 13-17: 45-60+ minutes depending on lesson length, extracurricular involvement (i.e. orchestra, string quartet, summer festival auditions) daily.
- Adults: Daily for 15-30+minutes daily
- Some practice is better than no practice! Sometimes the above practice lengths are not feasible. If that happens, make it a point to at least get out the instrument, play a scale or easy song (Twinkle is a great one), and then come back to it the next day.
- Make notes during the lesson or actively read lesson notes I write down for you. I always try my best to give clear-cut directions on what to work on. For most students, I take the time during lessons to write down notes for you, or at least write notes in your child’s music. These are the goals they should be focusing on completing for their next lesson.
- All in-studio students are expected to participate in the semi-annual/annual recital. Recitals are great for many reasons! They provide a goal for students to look forward to and work towards, provide opportunities to meet other students, and gives students a supportive and friendly platform to practice performing. Most students will be expected to perform with a pianist. Extra fees for rehearsals and the recital may apply, but I do my best to keep it at a minimum! All recitals are recorded and performances will be emailed to all parents within a month of the show.
Studio Lesson Rules, Guidelines & General Information:
- **NEW** Package discounts are offered for families (more than one person per family signing up for lessons). Discounts are also offered for referrals (A one-time invoice credit of $10.00 after the referred student has completed 4 lessons), and $5.00 credit for an honest, informative review left on my Takelessons.com profile or Thumbtack Profile.
- As of summer 2017, if you need to take more than a month off during the summer, I can no longer guarantee you a spot in the studio for next year unless you pay a reservation fee of $150.00 to hold your spot. Unfortunately, with many students taking off for the summer and an increase in studio size, I cannot turn away potential new students to hold your spot for several months without compensation to make up for the loss of potential tuition.
- Periodically, I may raise my rates (marginally for existing students). If I do, this will be because I have completed additional teacher training, have obtained another degree, or can be due to a “cost of living” increase. I will make you aware with advanced notice if I do find it necessary to raise rates.
- Remind students to be respectful, attentive and ready to learn during lessons.
- Students and accompanying siblings should not touch anything in the studio or wander to other rooms in my home unless explicitly permitted by myself or you, the guardian.
This includes our animals (they are friendly, just make sure to ask first and please do not try to pick them up!). This is mainly for you and your child’s safety.
- Parents and siblings who accompany students must remain in the studio for the entire length of the lesson. I have coloring books, colored pencils, books and puzzles for siblings or friends while they wait if they are restless.
- Any siblings or friends who accompany students should remain quiet and do their best to not distract their sibling/friend having a lesson.
- Please note, there are three cats in the house. They are usually isolated to a different part of the house during lessons to ensure there are no unnecessary distractions and to help minimize potential allergies (studio is also sprayed with allergy reducer spray and vacuumed regularly). All are UTD on shots. Please call and ask to schedule a "trial" lesson to see if the animals interfere with allergies.
- Make sure to provide me your best contact number or email to notify you if I am running late or experiencing other scheduling difficulties. I will be sure to provide you with your full lesson time one way or another.
- You may park on the Clayton Rd outside our house or on the cul-de-sac next to the house and walk down.
- I have a trial 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 size violin to use for the first lesson if your child is a beginner.
- After the first lesson I will send an email explaining what materials and equipment I recommend you buy to help you sound your best.
- Places to rent or buy instruments will be recommended upon request.
Studio Lesson Cancellations & Makeup Policies:
- At least 48 hours notice is required if you need to cancel your or your child's lesson. With proper notice, you will be given the option to take a credit that will automatically roll over to cover future unpaid lessons on your calendar, or the option to reschedule for a different day within two weeks of the canceled lesson if my schedule allows. If you know certain dates you will not be able to make your scheduled lesson (vacation, holidays, miscellaneous conflicts) please let me know right away. The more notice the better!
- If you find that you need to cancel with less than 48 hours notice (I completely understand life happens, and sometimes it is unavoidable to provide 48hr notice), you will be given one chance to make up your lesson within 7 calendar days of your originally scheduled lesson time if my schedule allows. If you cannot do a makeup lesson, this will result in the lesson being marked as "missed" and will still be charged as if you attended the lesson.
- If you do not show up to your lesson scheduled at my home studio and no notice was given, the lesson will be marked as "missed" and will still be charged as if you attended the lesson.
- If I need to reschedule or cancel a lesson for whatever reason, you will be given an option for a makeup lesson or given a credit that will automatically roll over to cover future unpaid lessons.
- I require two weeks notice to discontinue lessons if you would like to receive a refund or be exempt from paying future tuition.
- All lessons are billed ahead of schedule and must be paid in advance in order to keep your lesson slot.
Studio & Online Payment Information & Monthly Invoices:
- Monthly invoices are sent out via my billing service MyMusicStaff. On these invoices, you will find how much is owed for the month (to be paid in full), for our expected lesson schedule for the month and any other miscellaneous lesson notes.
- I currently accept payment via cash, check, Paypal or Credit & Debit Card via Square. Please make checks out to Jessica Bailey. Paypal payments may be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Square payments can be taken in person at the beginning of your lesson. Returned checks are subject to a $40.00 returned check fee.
- Payment is due within 7 days of when you received your invoice. Invoices are generally sent out the last week of the preceding month. Please let me know if you cannot make payment within 7 days. I am happy to arrange a later due date with you with proper correspondence. All payments must be received by the 7
of the month. Any payments received after the 7
are subject to a $10.00 late fee unless you made proper payment arrangements ahead of time.
- If you do not make payment within a week of the original invoice, MyMusicStaff will send out an automated reminder email regarding your invoice.
- Lessons will unfortunately be suspended if I do not receive payment within the appropriate time frame.