The purpose of Music Garden Studio is to nurture the creative development of the students who study there. All rules and policies are meant to serve that goal.
Lessons are 30, 45, or 60 minutes long depending on the student’s age and level. Part of the lesson time, especially for beginners who are 3-5 years old and whose attention spans are limited, may be spent working with the parent.
The lesson fee is due at the lesson. You may pay for multiple lessons in advance if that’s more convenient for you.
Before committing to a course of study, you should become familiar with the Suzuki philosophy and methodology. Reading “Nurtured by Love” by Shinichi Suzuki, attending the course “Every Child Can”, and observing other students’ lessons are all good starting points.
Once you’ve decided to start lessons, your chief responsibility as a Suzuki parent is to create the proper music immersion environment for your child:
1) Your primary, daily responsibility is to play the CD of the Suzuki Book your child is currently working on. Details of how to do this effectively will be explained during orientation and reiterated during lessons.
2) Your next most important responsibility as the Suzuki parent is to supervise your child’s practice sessions at home. Establishing a daily practice time helps ensure that practicing becomes an enjoyable habit. Be assured that you can be an effective Suzuki parent even if you don’t know how to play the piano or read music. (Though you may learn both in the process!)
3) The Suzuki parent must attend all lessons. It’s a good idea to take notes during the lessons. Some parents find taking a video of parts of the lesson helpful when supervising the lesson assignments at home. As such records accumulate, they become both a useful reference and a history of your child’s progress.
4) Come early, stay late. You and your child are encouraged to observe the lessons of other students. This can be a valuable part of the learning process. It provides insight and inspiration for both of you. There is no additional charge for observing other students’ lessons.
Late Arrivals & Cancellations
In the interest of musical progress as well as developing important life skills, parents and students should arrive at lessons on time and should avoid canceling even by giving advance notice.
Occasionally, however, canceling a lesson or arriving late cannot be avoided. As a courtesy, the parent should phone the studio as much in advance as possible before canceling a lesson or when anticipating a delay. Time missed by arriving late will not necessarily be added to the end of the lesson.
All canceled lessons should be rescheduled as soon as possible. Skipped lessons deter progress.
Equipment & Materials
You need to provide the following equipment for your child’s practicing at home:
- An acoustic piano (spinet, upright or grand), which is kept in tune. If getting an acoustic piano is not feasible, then an electric keyboard, as a starter instrument, may be used. At a minimum, an electric keyboard should have weighted keys. It should be emphasized, however, that weighted or not, a keyboard is less than a desirable alternative. Both the sound and touch are significantly different from an acoustic piano.
- An adjustable bench
- An adjustable footrest (for small children whose feet don’t yet reach the floor). Recommended source: Shar Music
The following materials are required:
- CD of the Suzuki Piano Book currently being studied
- The Suzuki Piano Book currently being studied.
(Until reading is introduced, Book One will be used primarily by the parent.)
In order to maintain a vibrant learning atmosphere in the studio, kindly observe the following:
- There should be no cell phone usage (including texting) during lessons.
- Food and drink (except water) should not be brought into the studio.
- On rain and snow days, please remove shoes.
- Chatter among parents is distracting, and should be avoided even when it pertains to the lesson being observed.
- Siblings, younger and older, are welcome in the studio as long as they don’t distract from the current lesson. Toys that don’t make noise and books to read are fine for siblings to bring into the studio.