“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 cello group classes and recitals might be involved.

Each family is encouraged to become a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW), which provides many benefits including access to Suzuki events and group classes, quarterly newsletter and support to the training and professional development of your teacher. 

If you register more than one family member (another child or parent), you will receive 10% discount on second tuition fees.

*Current teaching fees in accordance with the recommended fees by the NSW Music Teachers Association.

3 Attendance and Make-up Lessons

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.

Care is taken to schedule the student at a mutually convenient time. A specific time is reserved weekly for you that is exclusively yours. This is the special nature of private study.

Please reschedule your lesson only if it is absolutely necessary.  If you are going to miss a lesson for any reason, please let me know by e-mail, text message or phone call. You can have a make-up lesson within the current term as long as you give me at least 24h notice before your designed time slot and if there are available time slots for make-up lessons. For last-minute cancellations and no-shows, I am not able to offer make-up lessons and the lesson will be forfeit. At the Student Portal, you have access to my schedule and the available time slots for make-up lessons. If you cannot find a suitable time slot to make-up your lesson within my schedule, unfortunately the lesson will be forfeit. Refunds are not possible.

Finally, if you have not practiced, or if your cello is being repaired, please don’t cancel your lesson, we can still make some musical progress!

4 Illness

If you or your child are not well, please do not come to lessons.  If they are not well enough to go to school, they are not well enough to come to lessons. We could arrange an online lesson instead.

If your child has an injury (for example, a sprained wrist) and can’t play but is otherwise in good spirits, please do bring them to their lesson. We will find something to work on!

5 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 except in the case of emergency (i.e. death in the family), 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.

6 Holiday Lessons

I may offer cello lessons during school holidays.  I will provide my holiday availability in advance to my students via the Student Portal.  Students can opt to have more than one lesson a week during the holidays.  Holiday lessons must be scheduled in advance.

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.  Students often experience great progress during the holidays.

7 Parental Involvement

One of the unique aspects of the Suzuki Method is the direct involvement of parents in their child’s education. It is required that you attend the lessons. You are the best teacher for your child and your presence is key to develop their interest in learning.

During our classes, you will learn how to create a proper learning environment in your home, the basic technique of the cello, and how to practice effectively with your child. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert! Most often, parents that are not musicians tend to be really good Suzuki parents!

8 Lesson Content

In each Suzuki 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, 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.

9 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 Suzuki 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 group classes run by the Sydney Suzuki Institute, you need to be a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW).

10 Recitals/Graduation Concerts/Festivals

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 these events, you need to be a member of the Suzuki Talent Education Association of Australia (NSW).

11 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.

12 Listening

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 Sound Cloud where you will find the Suzuki repertoire. Just download the free app Sound Cloud, 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.

13 Siblings and Lesson Etiquette

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.

Cell phone must be turned off, and making phone calls during lessons is prohibited.

14 Hygine

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

15 Communication Procedures

I check my studio e-mail once a day each weekday and respond as soon as I can. Please call/text my phone 0416 325 979 for emergencies or cancellations.

I hope that music classes will be a very positive experience for you and your child.  If you have any concerns, or wish to discuss the student’s progress, please do not hesitate to contact me. I may contact parents and students to discuss their progress. I believe that open, honest communication is always the best way to resolve problems.

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.

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