The Academic Season commitment is from Sept-mid June. New students may begin anytime as long as the Academy has new student openings.
Parent/Guardian Participation: Parents function as a core component of the Suzuki method and take on the role of “at home practice partner.” It is a requirement that parents with children under the age of 10 attend and participate in all lessons and group classes. It is recommended that the same parent/caregiver that comes to the weekly lesson also be the at home practice partner. This ensures consistency and more efficient weekly skill building. In the occasional circumstance that a different parent/caregiver brings a student to a lesson, they must also be willing to participate and take notes. Please note that students under the age of 10 years are required to have a parent or guardian with them at all times.
Parent Role in Lessons: Leave it to the teacher to lead the lesson. Students are often confused when hearing directions from both their parent and teacher at the same time. As a Suzuki parent, your job is to be the observer so that you can recreate the practice at home, take notes and videos, and ask questions if a task is unclear. Your teacher may need you to step in for discipline reasons or participation and will ask you if need be. Please bring your practice book to every lesson so that you can work together with your teacher to create a record of tasks and progress that you can both refer to each week.
Siblings: Siblings are welcome to attend lessons and group classes if they can sit quietly without requiring continual parental attention. It is recommended that siblings be at least 4 years in age if they come to a lesson. When parents are having to attend continuously to a sibling, it is very likely that they will miss important information being taught in the lesson and/or be unable to take sufficient notes. Students are often distracted by younger siblings and this can lead to lack of progress. In order for students to be successful, they need a parent’s undivided attention for the duration of the lesson.
Observations: On occasion, prospective families and academy teachers will be invited to observe current student lessons. Academy teachers enjoy learning from one another and meeting other teacher’s students. This is great practice for your child to become accustomed to playing in front of visitors. It helps to decrease performance anxiety and increases confidence. The academy will always contact you ahead of time if a visitor is planning on coming to your lesson.
Private Lessons: Students will take a weekly private lesson throughout the semester. There will be a minimum of 30 lessons scheduled per the 2018-2019 season.
Group Classes: (required) Group classes provide an enjoyable social outlet for musical learning and teach valuable ensemble skills that cannot be learned in private lessons alone. Group classes are a core component of the Suzuki approach and are required for all students age 5+. Please note: school band and orchestra does not exempt students from group classes. A minimum of 15 group classes will be taught per season. Classes are mixed with ages & levels for learning purposes. (Group class schedule TBA.)
Studio Recitals: All students are required attend/perform in two studio recitals per year (Winter & Spring). A piano accompanist will be provided for all studio recitals. Students are also required to participate in one mandatory piano rehearsal before playing in any recital. “Rehearsal & Recital” dates are provided on the studio website calendar.
Graduate Recitals (optional): All students are encouraged to perform their own graduate recital upon the completion of each book. Many student families choose to host graduate recitals in their own homes where they provide a reception for their guests. Students are also welcome to use Flute & Friends Academy space for this event (rental fee is discounted at $50 per hour for students, minimum of 2 hours required), or rent a venue of their choosing. Parents will be responsible for graduate recital fees including 1) paying the piano accompanist for rehearsal & performance, and if necessary, 2) the venue of their choosing. Flute & Friends staff will assist all families with graduate recital plans. *Graduate recitals are not required but highly recommended!
Withdrawals: If for any reason a student must withdraw from the 2018-2019 program, 30 days’ notice must be given or 1 month’s installment is required. (* Please note that students may NOT withdraw for June lessons only. If a student is unable to attend June lessons, June’s monthly installment payment is still due). It is under the teacher’s discretion only if the student may re-enter the program at any point in time after withdrawing. Please note that unfortunately, lesson time slots cannot be held in the case of a withdrawal. If a student would like to re-enter the program in the middle of the season, they will be offered current available time slots only.
Attendance & Missed Lessons: Consistency is essential to the learning process; therefore, attendance should be taken seriously and held as a priority for all scheduled lessons and events throughout the year. There will be NO credit or make-ups given for missed lessons. Instead, there will be 4 extra teaching weeks scheduled throughout the year to allow for occasional absences for any reason. Please give as much notice as possible if you cannot make your regular scheduled lesson. Rescheduled lessons, other than the additional teaching weeks, will be given only at the teacher’s discretion and convenience, and she is under no obligation to do so.
Lesson Swap (optional): Each student will have the opportunity to sign up for the Lesson Swap option on their registration form at the beginning of each season. This will give students the option of switching lessons with another student instead of missing a lesson. Families will receive an email with the password to access the swap page on the website and can simply contact another student on list to request a lesson swap for a particular week. There is never an obligation to agree to a swap if you are contacted by another family. By signing up for this option, student families agree to use the page for this purpose only, and are giving their consent for their contact info to be shared with other families. Please note that switching with someone that has a longer or shorter lesson is part of accepting the swap. Teachers are NOT able to adjust lesson duration for a lesson swap. Swapping with students that have a different teacher is also encouraged. It is not required to notify your teacher(s) when a student has arranged a swap, however a quick text or email is always appreciated!
Teacher Cancellations: If a teacher cancels a group class, she is under no obligation to reschedule it if 15 total group classes have been taught per season. If a teacher cancels a private lesson, she is under no obligation to reschedule it unless she has already cancelled 2 previous lessons. * Please note as stated above that both extra group classes and private lessons are scheduled throughout the year that are given by the teacher on her own time. These extra lessons are scheduled in the event that the teacher and/or the student miss a private lesson or group class for any reason, including inclement weather, schedule conflicts or illness.
Dismissals: Unfortunately, there are some situations that may call for the teacher’s dismissal of a student from the program: The teacher reserves the right to dismiss a student at any time under the following circumstances:
1) Poor attendance- a student continues to miss consecutive lessons, 2) Lack of parent involvement, participation or attendance when required 3) Consecutive late tuition payments and/or non-payment, or 4) Missed recitals.
“Through the process of playing the flute, my daughter is developing the discipline that she can make it through challenging moments as long as she makes the decision to try. She is learning that even when something doesn’t come easily to her, she can accomplish it as long as she commits herself to making consistent effort. Because Jenni is such a warm, focused, engaging teacher who sets high expectations, my daughter is eager to keep working at building this life skill with her. It’s an amazing and delightful process to be a part of.”