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FAQs

WHERE AM I LOCATED? 

I am in SW Portland, John’s Landing area, off SW Macadam Ave.  Group classes are at the nearby Korean Presbyterian Church.

AM I ACCEPTING NEW STUDENTS?

Yes!  Please contact me below.

WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO START LESSONS?

I think a large part of this is determined by the family.  Generally, the earlier the better, similar to learning a new language is better the earlier you start.  However, I encourage parents of young children to take an honest assessment of their life and whether they can commit to doing the roughly 30 minutes of daily work together with their child.

For a different perspective, some think of having different goals of lessons at different ages.  Here’s an article (click through–>>)  Check it out!

or copy/paste:  http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/whats-the-right-age-to-begin-music-lessons/

 

WHO DO I WANT TO WORK WITH?

Parents & kids who want to learn to play the violin or viola with the Suzuki method who spend some time almost every day on their instrument.  I want to work with families that have no experience with musical instruments, and families where there is an accomplished string player already.

I strongly encourage enrolling in a Suzuki Early Childhood education class (SECE) for your son or daughter if age 1-3, as they develop the skills needed for early instrument study, and help parents strengthen some of the habits that lead to Suzuki success.  Visit “DaCapoSECE.com” for classes!

 

Teaching details to Madeleine

“YEAH, BUT CAN MY CHILD REALLY DO THIS??”

YES.  Definitely.  Sight unseen, he or she will be like other kids, and be a product of his environment.  We will take steps each week to ensure he is in the right soil to grow.  One aspect of this is that the child isn’t already being asked to do many different activities.  Kids need rest, and child-directed play time as well.  Give me a call and we can talk more about your child. 503 577 four three 48.

 

WHAT IS REQUIRED?

Being an ‘ordinary’ parent.  Assignments will guide you to develop your home practice, as appropriate for your age child.  Weekly individual lessons and every other week group class on Saturday morning are the central part of our time together.

Well, put another way, sometimes just being an organized parent to an at-times-chaotic child is extraordinary, so perhaps you will be called to be somewhat extraordinary!

 

HOW TO PROCEED IF I WANT TO LEARN MORE, OR TO SIGN UP?

If you are interested in lessons for your child, go to my ‘contact‘ page and send me a note which includes a phone # and times to reach you.  I like to hear a little bit about you and your family to confirm that violin is a good idea for you/your child in your situation, and to clear up expectations and logistics.  Signing up for violin lessons is a bigger commitment than, say, swim lessons, hence the phone call.

If you want to learn more about me, check out my blog. Click here!

HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE?

Daily practice of 20-45 minutes is a reasonable goal for successful, enjoyable violin study to start, though that can be worked up to, especially with young children, and new practice parents.  Rather than focus on a number, however, I note that you will enjoy it, or you won’t do it.  Playing an instrument well is incredibly satisfying, and is worth the time investment.

The cost for the initial parent sessions is much lower than once individual lessons start.

Group class is required for kid students and strongly encouraged for adults, and is not only a great motivator for all but where we share in a musical community.  I offer group every other week on Saturday morning.  At some point in the future I could imagine a weekly group class, though I would likely move it to a weekday after school if I did that.

Adults that wish to learn should expect to put in just as much time.  But know that with the time will come an immensely rewarding world to explore.

 

SO YOU TEACH ADULTS?

Yes!  They have included both new players starting from the earliest stage, to those getting re-acclimated.  Everyone ranging from from HS graduate to grandmas looking for a retirement activity.  It is possible to start as an adult and have a satisfying practice.

May I impress upon you the adult, however, that regular time, week in week out, month in month out, is particularly important, and much more challenging as family, vacations, etc. regularly can interfere with momentum.  Right instruction is only effective when paired with time.  I could describe all the steps it takes to build a 37 story office building, but unless you plan to dig the foundation, it will remain a picture in your mind.

Time is the primary ingredient to success and enjoyment.  Your desire to succeed, organizational skills and receptiveness to coaching will maximize the time you spend.  A blue collar workman like approach is your biggest asset.  Anything can be learned with time, dedication and right guidance.  I particularly enjoy helping the motivated adult discover the joy of playing violin or viola.  The practice is spiritual in its own way.

See this awesome link to an NPR story called: Never too late to learn an instrument

 

WHERE TO BUY AN INSTRUMENT?

Geesman Fine Violins, David Kerr, Caitlin Pugh Luthier Studio, and a few others I have good experiences with.  Sharmusic.com is an online shop that has some good merchandise.  The shop should be in the business of repairing and working on violins, otherwise it’s just a middleman marking things up.  Schuback violin shop is excellent, though he just moved to Newburg.

 

PAYMENT & RATES (PLEASE NOTE THESE WERE UPDATED RECENTLY AS I FOUND AN ERROR!)

Lesson fees are commensurate with other professionals in the area.  Please contact me for details.

However, I was the beneficiary of multiple very generous teachers as a child so I also offer income based payment.  Ask me about scholarship options.  Also, if your family is blessed with the means, I also accept donations towards others.

Lesson fees for individual and group lessons for the months Sept-June are at a set monthly rate according to your lesson length.  The monthly fee will include all recitals, group classes, individual lessons, SAA membership, and parent education sessions.  The monthly fee will be due for each month due at the last lesson of the prior month.  The rare teacher miss will lead to a credit for the July/Aug months, or a holiday lesson week makeup, or if enough build up a free month’s tuition!

I teach July & August too, but those months are billed ala carte, as are extra lessons during major holiday weeks.

If you are on free or reduced lunch, I have a significant scholarship available and free and reduced cost materials too. I am a ‘musiclink’ teacher.

If you are not on reduced lunch, but believe yourself to have other financial considerations, please do not hesitate to ask.  I believe cost should not be an impediment to regular lessons.  Scholarship options are available.

CANCELLATION & SICK POLICY:

If you are too sick to come to lesson, but well enough to still play, I offer a facetime or skype option that can be used during your regular lesson spot.  Facetime and skype options are available when working properly!

Lesson fees are done on a fixed monthly rate, so no makeups.  However, please inform me prior to your lesson if you expect to miss it as a courtesy.  If you give 2+ weeks notice, we can try to reschedule the lesson at another time mutually agreed upon during the same week.  Switching with another student of the same length is also possible.  For lessons September to June, as your time slot is reserved for you, no make ups or credits are provided if you miss a lesson as expected missed are factored into the yearly cost already.

I reserve the right to have 1 sick day per day of week per year (aka, one for Wednesday, one for Thursday, etc.).  If I have to miss more, or miss a lesson for any other reason, I will provide a makeup lesson, or a credit for future ala carte lessons, or similar remedy.

 

I WANT TO SIGN UP OR LEARN MORE.  WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP?

Talking with me, and observing a lesson or two is a great way to take advantage of the natural learning method.  Send me an email through the contact form, and we can arrange a phone conversation to figure it out.

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

 

And for your bonus of scrolling this far, and perhaps even reading some of this, some bonus coupons….because if you are the type of parent who reads material like this, you probably will be easier and more enjoyable to work with.

**Also if your child is 7 or under, a special discount for you as I know those years require some penny pinching!

**BLACK FRIDAY LESSON discount: new students who pay for the first month of lessons will get their 6th month of lessons for free–Saturday lessons excluded.  (Expires Dec 27th)