Studio Policy


Parents and students who wish to be a part of Ms. Deborah’s studio must commit to the following:



"The fate of a child is in the hands of his parents... What does not exist in the environment will not exist in the child."  - Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

1.   Instilling in your child a desire to learn. Be positive, enthusiastic, encouraging, supportive, and loving as your child embarks on this new adventure. Believe in your child; appreciate each step in the journey, no matter the size; discipline with love; foster cooperation, not competition; and be sensitive to your child’s response to praise.  As Dr. Suzuki said, “Where love is deep, much can be accomplished.” Students and families are also encouraged to attend musical concerts, recitals, and programs regularly of all genres of music—classical, jazz, orchestral, solo, string, voice, wind, piano, you name it! Observing other fine performances will expand the student’s vision and increase their motivation.

2.  Attending all lessons and taking thorough notes. Please bring a notebook and write down anything you think might be helpful to either you or your child while practicing together at home. I will do my best to jot down key points on the student’s weekly lesson sheet, but because I teach many of my lessons back-to-back, I will not have time at the end of the lesson to write down everything we covered. This is where you come in! If you need a task explained again in order to jot it down correctly, please ask me! I am here to make things as easy and as clear as possible. On the same note, however, parents should remain quiet at lessons, unless asked or called upon to speak. It is the child’s lesson for which he or she is learning to take responsibility.

3.  Practicing with your child at home. This includes overseeing review and ensuring the student listens to their CD daily. Consistent and efficient practicing is essential to your child’s progress. It is your responsibility to make sure your child follows through with daily and weekly assignments. Do not tell me in front of the child things such as how terrible practicing is going or explanations for lack of practice. Instead I ask that you please e-mail or text me in advance of the lesson if you feel there are things going on that I should know about. 


1.  Attend all scheduled lessons, group lessons, and recitals.

2.  Bring all books and materials needed to the lesson.  There is no excuse for forgotten foot charts, Suzuki books, note reading books, flash cards, or lesson sheets, etc. The most successful students have a designated music bag where they can keep all their materials together to ensure they do not get lost or left at home on lesson day or group day.

3.  Listen to your CD daily. Research has shown that listening to the CD not only cuts learning time of a new piece in half, but also helps improve pitch and musical interpretation and puts into the child’s ear a model of fine tone and bow control. “Listening until we remember is not enough.  We must listen until we cannot forget.” –Suzuki

4.  Practice 6 days per week and review daily. Consistent and efficient practicing is key to your progression as a violinist. Daily practice and review is expected in order to receive the full benefit of instruction. Practice sessions should cover everything we covered in the lesson, plus review, and lots and lots of repetition. Remember, “Ability equals knowledge plus 10,000 times.” – Suzuki

Twinklers should be practicing a minimum of 20-30 minutes daily as their attention spans allow. You may even break the practice time up in several different sessions if helpful.

Students beyond the Twinkles in Book 1 should be reviewing all of the Twinkles and all other pieces they know everyday, as well as working on any new techniques and pieces they have been assigned.

Students in Book 2 - Book 4 should be doing at least 20-30 minutes of review a day, and practicing a minimum of one and a half times the length of their regular lesson time.  All pieces in their current book should be reviewed everyday, and the previous book pieces should be done on a review schedule.

If I hear a review piece in the lesson that has not been maintained, I will spend the lesson on the review piece before hearing the new piece. If you are having a busy day, choose to practice review songs, not the current study piece.

5.  Memorization. I expect all music to be memorized, even if the student can read music.



1.  Be on time, every week, no excuses.  Please plan enough time for traffic and the never-ending construction of Cambridge in order to arrive at your scheduled lesson time at least five minutes early. This will ensure we can begin on time.  If you do happen to arrive late, please be aware that your lesson will still end at its scheduled time. If I am late, then I will either extend the lesson or reschedule the lost time.

2.  Please have students eat a snack, get a drink of water, use the restroom in the downstairs lobby, wash their hands, and trim their nails before they come to the lesson.  

3.  Please come in through the front door as quietly as possible in order to not disturb the lesson before yours.  Remove your shoes, hang up your coat, unpack your violin and music, and wait in the entryway until I am finished with the previous student. If you are the first lesson of the day, please ring the doorbell, otherwise, just walk in. I will begin the lesson when I see that the student is unpacked and ready to begin.

4.  Please make every effort to leave other siblings at home who are not taking a lesson. This ensures less confusion and allows the parent to take better notes during the student’s lesson with fewer distractions.  

5.  Please avoid answering or using your cell phone in any way during your child’s lesson.  You are welcome, however, and even encouraged to video record all or parts of your child's lesson or to take pictures of concepts taught that week (i.e. correct bow hold, left hand position, etc.).

6.  If you have any musical questions regarding your child, please ask them at the beginning of the lesson rather than at the end, thus avoiding infringement upon the next student’s lesson time. This is all in an effort to make your financial sacrifices and time committed worth it.  Please be as polite and respectful to other parents and students as possible.



I will order and pick up most supplies that you will need. You can reimburse me for these supplies and I will let you know ahead of time when you are ready to begin a new book. The initial cost for supplies to begin lessons is around $50.00. This includes a Suzuki Book, CD, Flashcards and a note-reading book.


Fall 2018 Tuition rates are as follows:

  • Book 1 (30-minute lessons) + monthly group lesson: $150/month

  • Book 2 (45-minute lessons) + monthly group lesson: $210/month

  • Book 3 and above (1-hour lessons) + monthly group lesson: $270/month


1.  Private lessons are billed at a rate of $70/hour and group lessons at a rate of $25/student per class.

2.  This year’s tuition is based on the 35 private lessons and 10 group lessons taught between the months of September and June. The total cost of these lessons and groups is divided equally across 10 months. Thus, the monthly tuition amount is the same regardless of the number of weeks taught in the month.

3.  Tuition is due the first week of each month. Please make checks payable to Deborah Palmer, or you may deposit your tuition into my Venmo account (@Deborah-Palmer).

4.  Tuition fees do not include any expenses related to studio recitals (i.e. venue rental or accompanist fees) or books and materials.


1.  I will allow ONE make up lesson only per student, per semester, unless the student is sick during their regularly scheduled lesson time or an extenuating circumstance arises. If one of these circumstances does arise, please give me as much prior notice as possible so we can reschedule. I have planned time at Thanksgiving Break, February Break, Spring Break, and the last week of school for make up lessons if needed.

2.  There are no makeup lessons or tuition refunds for missed group lessons.  

3.  If you have a conflict with a lesson, check the “master schedule” and make a trade with another student for the same amount of time as your lesson slot. If such a swap is made, please call or e-mail me to let me know.

4.  If for some reason I am unable to teach my projected schedule, I will do my best to reschedule that lesson. If such a time cannot be found during the Fall and Spring semesters, you will receive a credit on your summer tuition. However, to encourage your strong commitment to lessons and practice, I will not alter the monthly fee if your child misses a lesson, except in unusual circumstances.

5.  All new students who begin violin training must be committed for one school year of study (September through June). This means that full payment of tuition is expected for the first year regardless if lessons are taken or not. After the school year is over, then lessons can be discontinued without any financial obligations.

6.  I am willing to work with any student who desires to play the violin and regularly practices and attends all private and group lessons. Any other arrangement is very discouraging for the student and me.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to teach your child!  If you have any other questions regarding my studio policy or lesson procedures, please feel free to call or email me anytime.

I have read and agree to the above Fall 2018 policy and procedures.

Parent’s signature:_______________________________