Crescendo Suzuki Studio of Bedford, MA

Cultivating Ability Joyfully

Joining Crescendo Studio Studio

It is wonderful that you are interested in music lessons for your child! This has the potential to be a great learning adventure for your family. On this page you will find some preliminary information and suggestions that will help to ensure a successful experience, followed by information about how Crescendo Suzuki Studio of Bedford, MA functions. 

Getting Started

  • Familiarize yourself with Suzuki Philosophy by reading the suggested material on the About Suzuki page.
  • Come to observe at least one private and one group lesson. (All students in the program take part in both private and group instruction.) Observations help determine if this is the right program for your family.
  • Discuss scheduling with Director and Instructor Carlough Faulkner-Carroll to choose a private lesson time and join a group class.
  • Request and fill out registration materials and return them with tuition payment.

Preparing for Excellence

  • Invest in the CDs for Suzuki Books 1 and 4 and begin to listen to them every day. (I prefer the recordings made by William Preucil.) Allow this to begin to build excitement in your home for this endeavor.
  • Seek out violin performances to take your child to.
  • Choose one piece from the major violin repertoire to buy a CD of to begin to play for your child often. This will become a favorite piece that they can aspire to play some day.  

Parent Partner

The parental involvement in a child's musical experience is one of the things that sets the Suzuki approach apart from traditional violin lessons. Success depends upon the relationship of the parent, teacher, and child. This relationship forms a triangle. Each arm is of equal length indicating equal importance. The basis of this triangle is a foundation of trust, and the creation of an environment conducive to learning. These are the responsibilities of the parent of a beginning student in a Suzuki program:

  • Ensure that ALL MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY show the child enthusiasm for their violin studies.
  • Facilitate daily listening of the music being studied, as well as frequent listening of other classical music in general and violin repertoire in specific. Listening can be passive and in the background. (Also make sure that all members of your family show enthusiasm for the music. Your child will react to the way you feel about this music. It is important for their motivation that everyone loves it.)
  • Learn to play the violin yourself through the first several pieces in Book 1. You will attend the first several lessons by yourself to begin this process. Your practice at home will build your child's excitement, and they will already have an idea of how things work from watching you do it.
  • Provide for practice time that is free of distractions. It is expected that students will practice 6 days per week.
  • Bring a notebook and pen to your child's lesson and take notes to help you organize the practice during the week. Make sure you understand the material presented, and can help your child with it at home.
  • Remain in the background at your child's lesson. Allow the teacher and child to interact without interruption. Keep a pleasant look on your face...even if you feel your child is able to play better than they are at the present moment, or if you don't like your child's behavior. The teacher will handle discipline in the lesson.
  • Discuss the material covered in the lesson on the way home, and make sure that the first practice session takes place within 24 hours.
  • Keep the instrument in good playing condition.
  • Regularly attend both private and group lessons.
  • Refrain from comparing your child's progress to others.
  • Be creative when you are practicing. This will help to maintain your interest and your child's. And, you'll have fun together as you practice.
  • Keep growing--musically, as well as in other ways. Children grow best in an atmosphere of adult growth. Curiosity is contagious!

Private Lessons

  • Students must be accompanied by the adult who helps them practice, until they are able to practice independently. For most children this happens between the ages of 11-13.



  • Please bring all of the materials we are working on, the instrument, a pencil, and a notebook (or 2) to each lesson.


  • Please turn off all electronic devices, ESPECIALLY CELL PHONES!!! It is very distracting when they ring, and it sends the message that something else is more important than the lesson. The children deserve our undivided attention. 

Group Classes

Group Classes are an important part of your child's musical study. They provide the opportunities to learn the ensemble skills that will be necessary for making music with other musicians, for children get to know others who play, and for parents provide motivation for each other. They can also be a wonderful source of fun games to play in your home practice. 

  • If you still practice with your child, please bring the violin notebook to take notes on the material and skills covered and incorporate them into the home practice.
  • Arrive 10 minutes before class starts so we can tune and be ready to start on time.
  • Students in Book 3 and higher should bring a music stand and pencil.
  • Please turn off all electric devices during group class, and demonstrate to your child that this class is valuable by being attentive, and keeping the noise level down.
  • Discuss the material covered in the group lesson on the way home. This will help your child to internalize the material covered.

Performances

The goal of any musical performance is to allow one's heart to be touched by the music. It is the same goal for the performer and the audience. In addition to learning to become dynamic performers, it is important that students learn to become attentive and open audience members. In other words, they should practice receiving as well as giving. It is required that students attend the entirety of any performance they take part in.

  • At Solo Recitals students play solo pieces accompanied by piano. Each student will be involved in two recital events during the school year; an informal recital or master class in December, and a formal recital (with dress rehearsal) in May. Because of the size of the studio, there will be two dates for each of these performances. Each child performs only once. Attendance at the other performance is greatly encouraged.
  • At Group Concerts students play the common repertoire together, and also perform harmonies and special projects with multiple parts. There are 2 group concerts per year. One in November (which usually takes place at a hospital so that patients can enjoy the performance in addition to students' families), and one in June (an outdoor concert on the Bedford town common followed by the year-end party.)
  • Students must attend the dress rehearsal in order to take part in the corresponding concert.
  • Seeking out other opportunities for performance is highly encouraged. Some good ideas are: parties to celebrate the completion of a book; performance for family members, and performances at nursing homes, churches, temples and other community sites.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

In the last week of January each of the parent partners in the studio signs up for a conference. (Students who attend their lessons independently come to the conference along with their parents.) Discussion topics include the child’s (or children's) course of study, goals, and progress. This is an excellent opportunity for us to make sure we are working together effectively to provide the best education possible for each child.

  • Parents with one child in the studio will sign up for a 30 minute conference.
  • Those with two children in the studio will sign up for a 45 minute conference.
  • Those with three children in the studio will sign up for a 60 minute conference.

Tuition

Crescendo Suzuki's violin studio operates on a semester payment schedule. The semesters run from September through January, and February through June. Tuition covers all private and group lessons, recitals, concerts, and parent conferences. Tuition schedule for the 2011-12 school year is as follows:

30 min.            45 min.            60 min.           75 min.                    

Deposit

(due June 8, 2018)

$269.00 

$348.00 

$427.00

$506.00

Fall Balance

(due Sept. 8, 2018)

$917.00 

$1,230.00 

$1,547.00

$1,865.00

Spring Tuition

(due Jan. 5, 2019)

$1,146.00 

$1,538.00

$1,934.00

$2,331.00

  • Registration for the following school year takes place in June, a nonrefundable deposit which includes a $40.00 registration fee per student is due at that time. The registration fee will also be charged to students entering the program at any point mid-year.


  • There will be a $20 late fee for any tuition payment that is more than a week late.


  • Tuition is nonrefundable if you choose to withdraw from the studio mid-semester.

Missed Lessons

  • If you are unable to attend a lesson, you can try to arrange to switch lesson times with another student. The schedule and a contact list will be provided to you for this purpose. Missed lessons will not be made up or refunded.


  • If you are late to your lesson, the lesson will still end at the scheduled time.


  • The instructor is allowed two sick days per year. They do not transfer to future years if unused inside of a school year.


  • Any lessons the instructor misses for reasons other than illness will be made up withing the semester.


  • Lessons will go on in spite of inclement weather. If you are unable to make it to the studio, skype is an excellent way to have the lesson go on as planned.


  • Any extended absences due to illness will be discussed on an individual basis.

Summer Study

During July and August, students sign up on a per-lesson basis. Continuing to take violin lessons if you are in town during the summer is strongly advised. Too much time away causes much frustration when trying to regain lost skill level. The maximum recommended hiatus is three weeks. Skype is a good option for those families who are away for extended periods.

  • In the summer, lessons that have been previously agreed upon are considered a commitment. There is flexibility to reschedule within the same week, but lessons are not transferable from one week to another.


  • There will be no refunds for canceled lessons.


  • The week long summer festivals sponsored by the Suzuki Association of the Americas are a wonderful opportunity for inspiration and renewal for both student and parent. The motivation gained at these events can carry a student through the entire school year. There is more information at the Suzuki Association of the Americas website.


  • Students in Book 5 and above can also greatly benefit from chamber music and orchestral camps. There are a wide variety of opportunities at varying intensity levels. 

Questions

Please contact Carlough Faulkner-Carroll with any questions, or to set up an observation.