“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” –Shinichi Suzuki

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Studio Policies

Important things to know

List of Policies

These policies allow me to spend maximum time preparing for lessons that enable your child’s musical growth and minimize time spent on logistics. Additionally, they encourage good communication and establish mutual respect within my studio. Thank you for taking the time to read them carefully!

1 Initial Trial Lesson

Your first lesson is complimentary. This is a time when a prospective family/student and I can get to know each other and ask questions to determine whether my programs are what you are looking for. You will receive a Welcome Pack at your trial lesson with all the information you need to make your experience in my studio the best one possible. 

Families with young children will attend the initial trial lesson, followed by a parent orientation session (additional fee applies). If your child is coming along with you, please bring something to occupy your child during the parent orientation session.

2 Tuition Fees

Classes are payable termly in advance and a pro-rata fee applies if start part way through the term. Studio terms are based on the number of weeks in NSW public school terms.

Tuition fees not only cover the cost of contact during the lesson time, but additional services and costs of running a teaching studio. These include professional insurance, ongoing professional development programs, teaching materials, handouts, assistance in purchasing new instruments, telephone consultations, administrative tasks, computer programs, etc. 

Additional costs for group classes and recitals are involved. 

Tuition Fees are calculated each year as per the recommended minimum fees from the NSW Music Teachers Association.

3 Suzuki Membership

As I am an accredited Suzuki teacher, each family who is learning the Suzuki Method is required to join the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (STEAA), NSW. Your membership includes access to a quarterly newsletter, Workshops, Parent Education Lectures, Sydney Suzuki Festival, the annual Graduation Concert and other special opportunities as they arise. The STEAA also supports training and development, which ensures I can teach with the most up to date resources and at a consistently high standard. For more information and to join for a family membership: www.suzukimusic.com.au/membership/family-membership/

  • There is an early bird rate if paid before 1st March.
4 Attendance

To get the most out of any program, students must attend lessons regularly. Consistent attendance leads to happy and steady progress. Please review your schedule carefully for any conflicts with your reserved lesson time, choose a lesson day and time that will work for the whole term. 

If you or your child are not well, please do not come to lessons.

5 Make-up Lessons

Please note that make-up lessons are not always possible, so reschedule your lesson only if it is absolutely necessary.  If you are going to miss a lesson, please let me know as soon as you can by text message or phone call.  

Make-up lessons are possible if: 

  • There are available time slots;
  • You give me at least 24h notice before your designed time slot;
  • It is scheduled within the current term. 

Refunds or credits are not possible. 

6 Family Travel

It is understandable that some families (particularly those with pre-school or homeschooled children) prefer to travel at times other than the scheduled school breaks. However, please note that there will be NO REFUNDS or CREDITS if a student must miss a class due to travel. I try my best to accommodate make-up lessons but due to my schedule I cannot guarantee. Please contact me to discuss your specific case. 

7 Parental Involvement

By taking an active role in your child’s learning, you, as a parent, will develop a special bond with your child and build and incredibly positive experience. Parents of children 12 years old and under are required to attend lessons, listen with full attention, and take notes for home practice. All parents are expected to take an active role. Suzuki parents will serve as their child’s “home teacher” – a role that requires no musical background and will thrill those who choose it. An explanation of the Suzuki parent’s role will be part of the Suzuki parent orientation session that follows the initial trial lesson.

8 Practice

Students and families are required to make an effort for daily cello practice. It is the parent’s responsibility to foster a musical environment at home by listening to the Suzuki recording, preparing the practice schedule and study space, obtaining needed supplies, and communicating with me frequently so we can work together to improve and enjoy the process. It is a cooperative effort!

In my Suzuki program, I work very closely with parents to help them know how to assist their children at home. You don’t need to know music or be an expert! If you are willing to share these important first steps with your child and work alongside the teacher, that is all you need. Come to lessons, listen to the recordings, practice everyday and celebrate every little step! Time goes by so fast but these special moments with your child will last forever.

9 Listening Routine

Students are expected to listen to their required recordings every day.  This is the best way to further develop their musical ear, and their musical sensitivity.  As a student in my studio, you will have access to my playlists on SoundCloud where you will find the Suzuki Cello Program repertoire for beginners. Just download the free app SoundCloud, search for Monica Lima Cello Studio and choose your playlist.  

If you would like to purchase the Suzuki recordings, they are easily obtained from iTunes (search for Suzuki Cello School) or you can find a physical copy from your local music shop.

10 Hygiene

Cello students are required to have short, clipped fingernails at every lesson.  Students must also wash their hands before their lesson. 

11 Holiday Lessons

I may offer cello lessons during school holidays.  I will provide my holiday availability in advance and students can opt to have more than one lesson a week during the holidays. In the instance that I do offer holiday lessons, I strongly encourage students to take lessons, as they have more time to practice and focus during the holidays.  Students often experience great progress during the holidays. 

12 Siblings

I have no rule against siblings attending lessons, but they must respect the lesson environment.  Please bring a quiet activity for siblings to do. If necessary, take them out of the room and come back when they are ready.

13 Lesson Content

In each cello lesson, we will work on tone production, cello technique, musicianship, and cello repertoire.  We may also work on orchestral music as needed, and any solos students wish to play for school, church, exams, etc.  Students are responsible for providing their own music.  Photocopied materials are not permitted in lessons as a permanent substitute for purchasing printed works.  Students are responsible to bring their materials to every lesson.  Parents are required to observe and take notes in lessons.

14 Cello Group Classes

Run a few times a year. Additional fee applies.

I highly recommend all my students to participate. Theses classes are key to my cello program. In group class, we review and polish our common repertoire, learn ensemble skills, and most importantly, learn from our friends. Additionally, we have informal performance opportunities. It builds our community and motivates us as we learn from others.  The musical, social, and inspirational benefits of group classes are endless and are often the highlight of learning the cello. Group classes serve as a motivator for students and help develop their self-confidence. Most importantly, group lessons are FUN! You wouldn’t want to miss group classes, they are key to the student’s success.

  • To be able to participate in events run by the Sydney Suzuki Institute, you need to be a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW).
15 Recitals/Graduation Concerts/Festivals/Summer Camp

Solo and group performances are the milestones of our musical journey. I arrange studio concerts in which students up to 18 years old are required to perform (optional for adult students).  I will also try to arrange performances in the community, as opportunities arise. Suggestions as to where to hold additional performances are welcomed! Recitals, graduation concerts and Suzuki festivals are an important part of the Suzuki community and families are highly encourage to participate in these events. They are fun and a good motivation for the student and for the family!

  • To be able to participate in events run by the Sydney Suzuki Institute, you need to be a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW).
16 Discontinuation of Lessons

If you wish to discontinue lessons, please let me know well in advance.  Notice must be given by the end of the current term, not the beginning of the new term as this makes really hard to plan for the upcoming term and to accommodate families on the waiting list.

Be happy, play cello!