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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!  I am looking to flesh out a group of brand new incoming beginners.  I would like at least 3, preferably 4 to start in the summer or fall.  Inquire now!  Alternatively to the group class start, I offer individuals the chance to start as well.  Contact me to determine which is the best fit for your family.  (**it looks like I have 3 for the fall, and I can take ~2 more)

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.  However, I believe before age 4, progress is a bit slower, and that can be frustrating for some families.  If the parent is involved, then the kids can handle what we will do.

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/

 

DO YOU HAVE THE TIME SLOT I WANT?

I teach Wed, Thursday & Friday, **& in the fall Saturday too** during the day and after school hours.  Thursday I go later for families that need the later time slots.  Saturdays are for families that work the 9-5+ type jobs, or to avoid traffic.  If you have limited options, contact me asap.  I do scheduling later in the summer, and I have found that my students have enough flexibility that we can work it out for everyone.

 

STARTING SOON: SATURDAY LESSONS!

WHAT WILL I GET OUT OF VIOLIN LESSONS?

As a parent, you will get the joys of helping your children learn a musical instrument, and to see them develop the character that comes with being successful.  Here is one research article: an overview of current research as to the benefits of music education.  Click here.

 

Also, a colleague of mine found this excellent article by a piano teacher that are applicable to lessons with me with violin or viola.Here’s a link: what are piano lessons good for?  Check it out!

I agree with Elissa Milne that your belief of what [violin] lessons are for will affect your satisfaction.  I believe that spending time with your child, and helping them develop comfort in life is a top priority, and that this is the path to help them develop their potential as well, in music and beyond!

As William Martin wrote in “The Parent’s Tao De Ching”, “if you teach them to achieve they will never be content.  If you teach them contentment, they will naturally achieve everything.”

 

WHO DO I WANT TO WORK WITH?

Parents & kids age 4+ who want to learn to play the violin or viola with the Suzuki method.  Parents who have not played a musical instrument are most welcome!  The younger your child is, the less of a rush it is to start, and the more patient we can be with progress.  This helps practice to be more fun and fruitful.  I strongly encourage Suzuki Early Childhood education classes for your son or daughter if age 1-3, as they develop the skills needed for early instrument study.  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 a home practice gradually, as appropriate for your age child.  Eventually, we work up to weekly individual lessons and every other week group class on Saturday morning.

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.

Parents may find the initial setup of the home learning environment challenging to get started in some cases, and I encourage families to allow this to take the appropriate amount of time to not be rushed.  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 is moving to Newburg soon.

 

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, 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?

Probably coming to observe a lesson or two.  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!

**Ask me about how to get a discount off the first year of lessons!