T h e  V i o l i n  &  V i o l a  S t u d i o

The Studio is currently full! Please check back periodically to inquire about space in the studio, or about being placed on a waiting list.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are a great way to build technique and work toward achieving short and long term goals! They are also wonderful settings in which to build confidence and self-esteem, explore creative problem-solving skills, and grow as musicians. In private lessons, I work one-on-one with the student, allowing me to meet each student where they are and offer a custom-tailored teaching approach that works best with their learning style. Parents are expected to be present for lessons, especially for very young students, so that they are equipped with the tools necessary to be the "home teacher", and so that they can ask questions that help keep everyone on the same page. (As students get older, parents are invited to remain in lessons, but is no longer required after a certain point.)

Lessons are offered in 30, 45, and 60 minute time blocks. The ability level (and sometimes age) of the student determines the appropriate length for the lesson. I am happy to discuss with you what would be best for your child!

All private lessons take place in my home studio, near the University of Michigan North Campus.

Group Classes
In addition to private lessons, my students also take part in a weekly group class, where they play alongside fellow students of similar ages and/or ability levels. Group class is important for reinforcing the concepts covered in lessons and for building community within the studio. I consider group class to be an absolutely essential part of my students' development, and love seeing them progress when they have the benefit of both one-on-one instruction and the opportunity to play often alongside their peers. 
Group classes take place on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons, and students are assigned to group classes based on age and/or ability level. 

Violin or Viola?

I'm so glad you asked! Everyone's different: some students really love the brilliance of a violin sound, while others prefer the richness and depth of the viola. If your child is unsure, I'm always willing to demonstrate both instruments in lessons! But for now, some key differences:

  • Size: The violin is a bit smaller than the viola, with full size violins being no longer than 14 inches in the body (not including the neck and scroll). Violas can come in much bigger sizes, the most common "full" sizes being around 15.5-16.5 inches. While that may not seem like much of a difference, it is! (Please note that depending on many factors regarding size, your child may start on a smaller instrument.)

  • Sound: Violins and violas have three strings in common -- A, D, and G. In addition, the violin has an E string, one fifth higher than the A string, and the viola has a C string, one fifth lower than G.

  • Repertoire: While the first few Suzuki books tend to stick to the same pieces for both violin and viola (with a couple of exceptions), we start to see some differences in Book 4 (and especially in Book 5) to start celebrating the differences in sound between the two instruments.

So, which one? Well, there are some logistical aspects to keep in mind, mostly having to do with the size of the student. I am happy to discuss this further with you and your child in our lessons, so that we find the instrument that is best suited to them!

2019-2020 Term Dates

When you sign up to take lessons, you are making a commitment to attend weekly lessons and group classes for the entire year. Your lesson time is determined prior to the first lesson and is considered permanent. (If space in the schedule allows, there may be an option to switch to another time mid-year to accommodate for other activities. This is not guaranteed, but I understand that circumstances can change and would be glad to work with you if possible to find an agreeable solution!)

Please note that recitals and other performances will be scheduled throughout the year. I will always give advanced notice when such events are added to the calendar!

Semester 1: September 2, 2019 - February 2, 2020 (18 weeks)

No classes or lessons during the week of November 25 - December 1 (Thanksgiving holiday) or December 21, 2019 - January 5, 2020 (Winter holiday)

I WILL be teaching on Labor Day (September 2), Columbus Day (October 14), Election Day (November 5), and Martin Luther King Day (January 20)

There will be no group classes held in December, Private lessons will be held as normal through December 15, with make-up Week being held between December 16 - December 20.

Semester 2: February 3, 2020 - June 14, 2020 (18 weeks)

No classes or lessons during the week of March 30, 2020 - April 5, 2020 (Ann Arbor Public Schools Spring Break)

I WILL be teaching on Presidents’ Day (February 17) and Easter Sunday (April 12).

There will be no group classes held in June or on April 12 (Easter) or May 10 (Mother's Day). Private lessons will be held s normal on these days, through June 14. 

Summer Session: July & August, 2020. Exact dates TBD.

Due to varying schedules of all involved, no group classes will be held during the summer session.

Lessons will be scheduled on Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays during the summer session.

Enrollment forms for the summer session will be available on May 1. Four lessons are required to reserve a spot for the 2020-2021 school year.

Questions?

Please visit the Contact page to get in touch with me. I look forward to hearing from you!

© 2019 by Courtney Bonifant