December 31, 2016

Hand Book

Mission Statement

The foundation of the Suzuki method is that all students are capable of developing musical ability. This is possible with excellent instruction and consistent, nurturing discipline and guidance at home. Parents receive information and
support in achieving these goals. Instruction is provided in a manner that values the student’s emotional needs, inspires creativity and a sense of compassion for others and  as s/he develops confidence and excellence on the violin or viola. Moral, spiritual, physical, emotional, social and intellectual development is stressed.


Friday Group Class times are subject to change based on the amount of students and attendance at a given level/age:

3:30-4:15 Pre-Twinklers — Perpetual Motion —  Dr. Suzuki Group

4:15-5:00 Late Book 1–Book 2.5 — Bach Group

5:00-6:00 Late Book 2–4.5–Vivaldi Group

6:00-7:15 Late Book 4 and beyond — Colorado Springs Ensemble, by invitation

The Suzuki, Bach and Vivaldi group classes are open to all students.  Please attend your level of class as much as possible for maximum benefit, but come to the other class if you have a conflict.   The 6:00 class is only open to students at mid Book 4 level who commit to attending every rehearsal.  I have the groups separated for reasons of space, for your child to get the maximum amount of group participation and to build friendships with peers!  Vanessa’s Violin Studio has a policy of participation in group lessons. Group lessons are an integral part of my Instruction so please make them a priority!

                                                                                2018 Calendar

Although I intend to notify you right away if changes have to be made, please check out the calendar once a month either online or in our studio to make sure nothing is missed.  Students are encouraged to participate in many performances from service projects and back ground music to competitions, big stages and even private performance opportunities.  Although many opportunities are provided, students need to participate in at least one performance per year for greater study, experience and FUN!  Here is a link to our studio calendar:   You can also print out each calendar month from our website.  Besides the online calendar, below is a one page sheet with the next lesson dates that might make it easier to organized violin dates:)


January Lessons





February Lessons



Wednesdays——————— 7,14,28


March Lessons



Wednesdays———————- 7,14,21


April Lessons





May Lessons





June Lessons

Mondays————————-25, special schedule

Tuesdays————————-26, special schedule

Wednesdays———————27, special schedule

Thursdays————————28, special schedule

July Lessons



Wednesdays———————-6th (Friday), 25


August Lessons





September Lessons





October Lessons


Tuesdays————————————2,9,16, 30








December Lessons






                                                                                     LESSON TIME

Since the lesson schedule is currently full, it is expected that  students will take lessons for the year.  If you need to withdraw from the program, I appreciate the curtesy of a months notice or more.  Withdrawal from the program will be considered permanent unless there are very unusual circumstances such as an extended illness.

Tuition is still expected for missed lessons.  Summer lessons are provided for maximum progress!  There are no make-up lessons. If a lesson can be rescheduled at a time that works for both the student and the teacher, this option will be considered, especially with advance notice. Additionally, online lessons are available when the student is on vacation or ill, but “well enough” to take a lesson from home.

Students are invited to longer lesson times for maximum progress based on their age, ability and home practice demonstration.  Generally students between mid Book 2-3 need 45 minute lessons.  Longer and more frequent lessons are offered to advanced students who are exceptional home practicers.  I work with parents to find a great balance.  Please continue to give me lots of notice if your child’s school schedule is changing and you’ll need a new lesson time.  6 months is not too early to let me know! 


                                                                              DAY TIME LESSONS

I have seen really positive outcomes from families who have decided to come for lessons during the school day, even given the coordination it can take with the teachers and the school.  Most children are “checked out” of school during electives (non-core classes), lunch time and/or “off” periods (high school ages). Younger children are generally more energetic in the earlier hours of the day, and I’ve had parents comment that they feel more rested and attentive themselves during the lesson. I have parents in the studio who are willing to visit with you regarding their experiences, if day time lessons would be helpful for you.

                                                                            BOOK GRADUATIONS

Students are encouraged to have a recital at the end of each volume of the Suzuki Repertoire. This is done both to encourage polishing of the entire book and to celebrate the accomplishment of graduating to the next level. Due to limited rehearsal and group instruction time, we moved book graduations out of group classes last year.  I have enjoyed this change and have been in many of your homes or other venues to celebrate these achievements!  The graduation recital may take place at my home, the student’s home or another venue like your church building or retirement home.  Friends and family are invited by the student’s family.  Book 2 and above graduations should have a piano accompanist and a rehearsals with their accompanist, one of which should have the teacher present.

                                                                                 STUDIO RULES

  1. Play violin on the days you eat!
  2. Listen to fine artists daily including your Suzuki CD’s and appropriate supplement pieces!
  3. Children are to speak with kindness and respect toward parents during the lesson and Parents are to speck with kindness and respect toward their children during the lesson.
  4. Children should generally ask permission to leave the teaching area during a lesson or group lesson.


100 Day Club is a studio contest that never expires.  100 Day Clubers must practice and listen in the same day in order to mark a day on their club chart.  Listening includes your specific listening assignment and/or any fine string artist.  This can be done while doing another silent activity. It’s the Home Coach (parents) job to make sure the Suzuki recordings are on for your children.  Practice is defined here as a session of any length that results in accomplishing one or more goals.  Many parents have added ‘attitude’ as part of 100 Day Club achievement.  Charles Swindoll is famous for saying “…We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”


                                                                     RULES FOR 100 DAY CLUB

ADDED RULE : 100 Day Club Members must practice and listen in the same day in order to mark a day on their club chart.  Listening includes your specific listening assignment and/or any fine string artist.  This can be done while doing another silent activity.  it’s the Home Coach (parents) job to make sure the Suzuki CD’s are on for your children.  


1.     For each day of practice AND LISTENING, mark the date in a    your club chart.  Practice is a session of any length that

results in accomplishing one or more goals.

2.    Every day counts as a possible practice day:

Holidays, Saturdays and Sundays

3.     Excused days are:

    a.    A recital day

    b.   A sick day

    c.   A day on the road during vacation when it’s just too

        impractical to practice.

4.     Unexcused days are:

    a.    A day at home when there was time for practice,

        but it didn’t happen.

    b. A day visiting family or friends when time for practice

        could have been fitted in.

5.  The count returns to zero after an unexcused day. 

6.  The count does not increase or return to zero after an

     excused day. 

7.  The reward for 100 days of practice and listening is an

     Invitation to my Ice Cream Social Party.  Ice cream for both hard 

     working student and parent is on me! 

Advanced students – to qualify for 100 Day club, it is also expected that you have 6 quality practice days per week, and one “lite” day.   It’s essential that students this level are listening to their current working piece 5x per day, and their next working piece 5x per day.


                                                                           UPCOMMING EVENTS!

*January 6th and 7th is the big money fiddle contest (Texas style, bluegrass) in Denver.   I hate the timing of this one, but will be a fun family event if you can make it to be entertained or participate!  This competition will be in lieu of the celtic fiddle contest in Estes Park. 

*January 13th is the annual Young Artist Solo Competition open to students book 5 and up who participate in the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. 

*February 17th is the annual Concerto Competition sponsored by the Pikes Peak Phil at Graner Music.  Students book 5 and up to strongly consider preparation for this!


                                                                     SUZUKI INSTITUTES/CAMPS

I want to encourage ALL families to consider and start planning now for a Suzuki Institute or other string camp this summer! These are CHALLENGING, FUN and LIFE CHANGING experiences for our children.  My girls and I are planning to attend ISSI in Salt Lake this summer and hope to take some of you with us!

  • Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, ISSI is in Draper, Utah June 18th-23th.  Families get discounts if they register by March 1st.  For more information, their website is:
  • Advanced String Camp – June 18th-24, Draper
  • Peaks to Plains Suzuki Institute in north Denver is July 16th-20th.  Registration isn’t usually due until the end of May.  For more information, their website is:
  • Suzuki Institute in Anchorage, Alaska – June 4th-8th
  • Lamont Summer Academy June 17th-July 1st
  • Camp Electric – Nashville (so popular, they added another camp this year)! Yes, bring electric   violin June 25th-29th or July 1st -5th



Sometimes student teachers come in to observe lessons.  I require interested families to observe a lesson or group lesson before committing to Home Coach classes.  Please don’t feel that you are being judged if we have a visitor, instead lessons should carry on an usual.  If you have a friend who is interested in lessons, I am happy to have them visit your lesson. When the lesson schedule is full,  I still keep a waiting list of those who are interested and have observed a lesson.



It’s never too late to write out and share your personal music goals with me!  It’s become a tradition in our studio to write out goals at the beginning of each calendar year and post them in your home and in the studio.  My goal is to motivate more consistency on daily listening at home for all students by adding this tracking to your home practice sheets!!  The simple decision to LISTEN to fine artists and music at home makes the difference between moving though book levels 80% faster and more importantly, kids will enjoy the journey toward advanced playing even more if we as parents are intentional about playing the music for our kids!  Many wise parents have also discovered that children are motivated to play what they are listening to 🙂