How do I get started?
- Contact me via phone or e-mail. I would also suggest filling out the Registration form to be added to my waiting list, so I can learn a little more about you and your child. I will do my best to respond within 24 hours.
- Observe. The best thing you can do to ensure your child’s success in learning music is to start them with the right teacher from the very beginning. I require parents of prospective students to observe lessons because observing the teacher will help you, your child, and the teacher decide if it will be a good fit. You and your child will also know what to expect once you begin lessons. Observe more than one lesson, with students near your child’s age, and other ages and levels if possible. See the SAA’s page on How to Choose a Teacher to learn more about what to look for when observing a potential teacher for your child.
- Meet with the teacher. In addition to observing lessons, I also ask that I meet with you and your child individually to allow everyone to get to know each other better, since that can’t always be done when you come to observe. I will give you more information about my studio and policies. I will also answer any questions you may have about me, my teaching, how I run my studio, etc.
- After observing lessons and meeting, if we agree that lessons in my studio will be a good fit, we will then schedule lessons.
What else can we do to prepare for lessons?
It may be a few weeks before lessons begin, depending on my schedule, and when you are able to meet with me and observe. Here are some things you can do in the meantime to prepare for Suzuki violin lessons.
- Rent an instrument. See Resources for where to rent. The advantage to renting is that you can swap up as your child grows and you build equity to eventually purchase it. The violin shop can size your child.
- Please do not purchase an instrument without checking it by me. There are lots of violins that seem like good deals but whose quality will only frustrate you and your children (and me!)
- And, when you get the instrument – PLEASE DO NOT let your child play with it! That will be really frustrating but it prevents bad habits from starting. It’s so much easier to start with good habits!
- Purchase Suzuki Violin Volume 1 with the CD and start listening to the CD daily. I expect all of my students to listen to their repertoire daily. Getting a head start on listening will inspire your child, and start preparing them to learn the music even before their first lesson. Also, since listening is a daily requirement, you will be happy that you made listening part of the routine before lessons start. You can purchase the Suzuki Volume 1 book and CD together at Vermont Violins or online – Shar Music is a good resource. The CD is also available as a digital download from iTunes.
- Find other ways to inspire your child and get them excited about the violin. Watch Youtube videos of famous violinists. Attend live performances with your child. Read books about the violin, or find more information about it on the internet with your child.
- Parents: Read more about the Suzuki method. My top recommendation for new Suzuki parents is
- Nurtured by Love, by Shinichi Suzuki.
- Teaching from the Balance Point: A Guide for Suzuki Parents, Teachers and Students, by Edward Kreitman
- Building Violin Skills by Edmund Sprunger will prepare you for the beginning stages of violin lessons, and how to help your child at home, and Helping Parents Practice, by the same author, is also a great resource.