What happens when my teacher misses a scheduled lesson?
Each teacher has their own calendar for the year and is required to provide 32 opportunities for lessons during those 39 school year weeks. Lesson days & times are arranged between you and your teacher. Teachers are required to provide 24 hr notice if they will miss a lesson or need to change the time of the lesson. We encourage you to be understanding. However, if a teacher is consistently missing or rescheduling lessons, we want to handle this appropriately and encourage you to inform our board of directors via board President Carla Mills.
If my teacher misses a scheduled lesson do I still have to pay my full monthly tuition?
You can pay the yearly tuition in monthly installments September through May. Each teacher has their own calendar for the year and is required to provide 32 opportunities for lessons during those 39 school year weeks. In order to meet the 32 lessons, our teachers may schedule a longer lesson or makeup lessons at the end of May.
*In the unlikely event that your teacher has been unable to provide the 32 lesson times due to snow days or their personal reasons, we ALWAYS provide a refund for lessons missed.
What happens if I miss a lesson?
We encourage our teachers to make up at least 2 missed lessons regardless of the reason. We understand that sometimes life happens and generally our teachers are excellent in providing these 2 makeups. However, at the end of the day, we maintain a basic policy that our teachers are not required to make up lessons missed by students.
If you know you will miss a lesson, you are required to provide at least 24 hrs notice to your teacher to be considered for a lesson make-up. Please keep in mind that you will pay for every missed lesson unless you have provided this 24 hr notice AND have a compelling reason for having missed.
In cases where you require a temporary reprieve from lessons, we do offer a leave of absence. We have given this out previously for families moving, facing pregnancies and hospital stays.
Requests for refunds should be submitted to Executive Director, Mary Flanagan.
Frequently asked Questions
Where do I get a violin?
First have your teacher measure your child for the right size, then get your teachers advice in choosing an instrument. Some sources for renting or purchasing include:
Suzuki School - Limited rentals are available or from parents who are selling used instruments.
Former student Tom Weisgerber (507) 351-6820, he is a former fiddle champion who fixes violins and sells mostly full sized.
SHARmusic.com - has new and used violins for rent or sale.
House of Note - located in St. Louis Park has a large selection of instruments for rent or sale. An appointment is advised so you can get help in choosing the right instrument
Music Mart - Located in Mankato and Faribault they have string instruments for rent or sale. Get your teacher's advice in selecting a used violin or ordering a new one. Their prices are competitive with online offerings.
If you try eBay please get your teacher's advice. A "good deal" on a violin can lead to expensive adjustments just to make it playable.
How do I get my child to practice willingly?
There are books written in response to this question and you are welcome to check them out! But here are a few suggestions.
Find a time to practice when your student is usually alert and when you are unhurried. Find a non-distracting environment. After a few weeks, you will settle on the best time and place for practice.
Be kind, have fun, be humble. If you are tired, admit "I'm not feeling up to it, but let's do this anyway!" Try practicing for 30 in a row. Figure out a fun reward. Even on extra busy days, there's time for a short practice. Learn that you really can find the time.
Dr. Suzuki said, "Make eager." What does your student like to do? Put on concerts for favorite stuffed animals. Send a video to grandparents. Let the student make some decisions, like rolling the dice for how many times to play the hard part. Design a personal practice chart for you teacher to hang up at school. Agree to do 10 pushups every time your student plays the hard part correctly. Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight on the perfect bow hold. Improvise!
Go to group lessons and make some practice buddies, fiddle friends, musical teammates.
If someone complains about Twinkle, tell them to dust off their guitar or buy a ukulele and learn the A D and E chords and start strumming along. Start a family band. Don't be so serious, learn Boil 'em Cabbage. Go to concerts and fiddle contests. Dance, sing and improvise!