Frequently asked questions

Where do I get a violin?

First have your teacher measure your child for the right size, then get your teacher’s advice in choosing an instrument. Some sources for renting or purchasing a violin include:

  • Suzuki School, limited rentals are available, or from other parents who are selling used instruments.
  • Former student Tom Weisgerber (507-351-6820), former national fiddle champ, fixes violins, sells mostly full size.
  • SHARmusic.com has new and used violins for rent or sale.
  • A specialty string instrument shop in St. Louis Park, the House of Note, has a large selection of instruments for rent or sale. An appointment is advised so you can get help in choosing an instrument.
  • Music Mart in Mankato has string instruments for rent or sale. Get your teacher’s advice in selecting a used violin or ordering a new one. Their prices are competitive with online offerings.
  • If you try ebay please get your teacher’s advice. A “good deal” on a violin can lead to expensive adjustments just to make it playable.

How do I get my child to practice willingly?

There are books written in response to this question and you are welcome to check them out! But here are a few suggestions:

  • Find a time to practice when your child is usually alert and when you are unhurried. Find a non-distracting environment. After a few weeks you will settle on the best time and place for practice.
  • Be kind, have fun, be humble. If you’re tired, admit “I’m not feeling up to it, but let’s do this anyway!” Try practicing 30 days in a row. Figure out a fun reward. Even on extra busy days, there’s time for a short practice. Learn that you really can find the time.
  • Dr Suzuki says, “Make eager.” What does your child like to do? Put on concerts for favorite stuffed animals. Send a video to grandparents. Let the child make some decisions, like rolling the dice for how many times to play the hard part. Design a personal practice chart for your teacher to hang up at school. Agree to do 10 pushups every time your child plays the hard part correctly. Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight on the perfect bow hold. Improvise!
  • Go to group lessons and make some practice buddies. Fiddle friends. Musical teammates.
  • If dad complains about Twinkle, tell him to dust off his guitar or buy a ukulele and learn the A, D and E chords and start strumming along. Start a family band. Don’t be so serious, learn Boil the Cabbage. Go to concerts and fiddle contests. Dance. Sing. Improvise.


What happens when my teacher misses a scheduled lesson?
Do I still pay my full monthly tuition?

You can pay the yearly tuition in monthly installments September through May. Each teacher has her own calendar for the year and is required to provide 33 lessons during those 39 weeks. If you reach June and your teacher has been unable to provide the 33 lesson times due to snow days, or personal reasons, then you can either make up those missed lessons during the summer or request a refund for the teacher’s missed lessons.

What happens if I miss a lesson?

Teachers are not required to make up lessons missed by students. If notified in advance, he or she might be able to reschedule.