For optimal results, make music lessons a high priority. Careful consistency is the most important ingredient in the recipe of progress.
Before the Lesson
Before touching their cellos, students should always wash their hands! If they need to use the restroom, clip nails, or get a drink, that would best be done before the lesson starts. Once students are ready, they may unpack cellos, tighten and rosin bows, and start tuning up. Please have all the music we expect to use on (or near) the stand before it is needed.
During the Lesson
Parents of young students should attend all of the lessons, usually taking notes. Parents of older students, please be willing to experiment with me to find the optimal arrangement to support your children — whether as the primary notetaker in lessons, or just physically present, or even waiting in the car (or running errands).
When you come to lessons, silence your cell phones. If you must take a call, please step outside before you talk. However, do not feel obliged to turn cell phones completely off. With the advent of cell cameras, mobile devices have become an amazing note-taking shortcut! If you would like to take a video of something I am teaching your child, please don’t hesitate to ask!
If you want it, here's a sample practice chart on which you might take lesson notes, but, really, a blank sheet of paper will do as well or better for most students. I have practically unlimited scratch paper and pens. Just ask.
Disclaimer: As my family has grown, I've had to make decisions about where to prioritize lessons. I love to teach, and I would like to continue indefinitely. However, I have decided not to get a babysitter for my own little ones during lessons. Usually, my younger is napping and my older is self-occupied, but if one of them needs me during a lesson, I may take a moment to attend. If it will be more than a few seconds (e.g. a diaper change), I try to give the student a mini-assignment to work on while I'm gone. I love it when student parents or siblings read/play with the kids, but kindly don't hand them your phone.
I know this isn't the same experience you would get in other studios, but I think it is valuable for our children to be present for lessons. If this makes you uncomfortable, I can refer you to other teachers who have less familiar arrangements. Meanwhile, thank you for your understanding.
If we don't cover anything else you need to know in early lessons, please feel free to ask questions!
After the Lesson
Try to write checks and ask questions at the first of your lesson, respecting the lesson time of subsequent students.
Feel free to help yourself to treats (if available), but limit yourself to after the lesson (to avoid sticky fingers).
Please return any books, games, or toys to their proper places before leaving.
Please refrain from bringing food or drinks into the studio, with the exception of water. No gum is allowed during lessons. I will ask you to spit it out.
Siblings are welcome at private lessons. However, for group lessons specifically, I prefer that especially noisy or disruptive toddlers/children be left at home or kept in the car. Nursing babies are always welcome. Please do not change diapers on the carpet/couch or leave soiled diapers in our indoor waste bins (except the diaper pail by the changing table).
While in our home, students and their siblings should stay with their parent at all times—no wandering through the house. Young children should not go to the restroom unattended. Also, when they’re not taking a lesson, we recommend having something for children to do (e.g. book, puzzle, toys, coloring book, homework). We also have some books and games that your children are welcome to use, but please return anything borrowed back to its proper place before you leave.