*Starred headings may not apply to online lessons
Private Lessons: Students are expected to attend lessons on a weekly basis. Lessons will be offered for 30, 45, or 60-minute periods, based on each student’s age and level.
Group Classes: In addition to weekly lessons, a 60-minute group class will be held once a month, with a focus on theory, history, performance, and collaboration. In order to provide the best learning experience, students will be put in small groups based on their age, level, and availability. These are an important aspect of the studio experience and there will be no makeup opportunities for missed group classes.
*At the Studio: Students should arrive a few minutes early for lessons and be prepared with all lesson books and materials. Please wait until the teacher sends you a text before entering the studio. See the separate COVID-19 guidelines for more detailed in-studio procedures.
Parental Involvement: Parental involvement is an important and necessary aspect of the Suzuki method. Parents of Suzuki students are expected to quietly observe and take notes during the lessons of students in order to act as the “at-home” teacher when practicing. The Suzuki method is designed for the parent to be much more involved in lessons and home practicing than traditional methods of teaching. The most progress is made when all three parts of the Suzuki triangle (parent, teacher, student) are involved. The teacher and parent will decide together when the student has reached a level of independence and can take responsibility for their own lesson notes and practicing.
Electronics: Electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, and laptops should not be in use during lessons unless they are being used to take notes or videos for home practicing use. If there are occasional times when parents need to take a phone call or send a text during a lesson, that is fine, but should be kept to a minimum.
Calendar: Regular lessons and group classes will occur from September-May with breaks for holidays. Multiple performance opportunities (with participation expected) will be available to students throughout the year and students are encouraged to perform as often as possible. Recital dates will be given ahead of time so that families can plan on being available for those events.
Summer: Students will be required to take either 8 private lessons OR 1 camp and 4 private lessons in the summer (June-August) in order to hold their spot for the following school year. This encourages continual practice and learning. Students who do not take summer lessons will be charged a fee to hold their spot in the fall. The schedule for the summer will differ from the rest of the year, offering various options for lessons and summer camps throughout the summer months. There will be no refunds for missed lessons in the summer, but the schedule is more flexible if lessons need to be rescheduled.
Makeup Lessons: Lesson times are reserved for each student. Due to a full schedule of students, rescheduling lessons during the week is not possible unless another student cancels. One week each semester will be devoted to makeup lessons only and each student will have the opportunity to make up one of their missed lessons during that week. “No-show” lessons will not be made up, except in cases of emergency. Each family will also have a My Music Staff account which will allow make-up lessons to be scheduled in open times during group weeks.
Payment: Payment is due at the beginning of each month. Email invoices will be sent prior to the due date of the payment as a reminder. Payments can be made online through PayPal and can be set up for monthly auto-pay if desired. Payments are due on the first of each month and can be made by clicking the link in the emailed invoice. An overdue notice will be sent one week after the due date. If the payment is not received by the 15th of the month, a late fee will be added.
*Materials: The teacher will purchase books, flashcards, or other materials needed for each student. Charges for these materials will be added to the upcoming invoice for that family.
Studio Music Library: A library of books and other materials will be available for students to borrow for temporary use or until their own books or materials can be purchased.
Additional Fees: The studio is a part of a larger local organization called the Central Pennsylvania Suzuki Association, which puts on a yearly concert at Messiah University, as well as smaller recital opportunities throughout the year. As a part of the studio, all students become members of this association and participate in the Messiah University concert. There is a fee to become a member and a fee for the concert that will both be collected in the fall. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in National Guild Auditions in the spring, which requires a fee as well.
Practice and Preparation At Home: Students are expected to practice daily. There is no requirement for the length of practice sessions, but students/parents should expect that practice times will increase as students advance in their studies. Students should strive to be diligent, but also efficient in their practicing: Fast practice produces slow results and slow practice produces fast results!
Instrument: Students are encouraged to have an acoustic piano at home. Exceptions may be made for keyboards at first, depending on their quality, but if a student is committed to lessons, investing in a piano is necessary. The piano should be in a quiet place without distractions.
Termination: The teacher may discontinue lessons due to disrespectful behavior, consistent absences, unpreparedness, or frequent late payments. If a student/parent is thinking about discontinuing lessons, please contact the teacher to discuss this. Sometimes a change in repertoire selection, lesson time, etc. can be made in order to encourage the student to continue. If the student still decides to end lessons, it is helpful for the teacher to prepare for a positive final lesson and closure.
Teacher Absence: The teacher may miss lessons because of illness or other commitments. These lessons will be rescheduled or refunded.
Office Hours: The teacher will be available to talk briefly before and after lessons. If more time is needed, an appointment can be made or parents can reach the teacher by phone (717- 512-1594) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Texting will most likely give a quicker response.