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Studio Policies

Lesson Expectations

It is well known that learning to play the violin has a tremendous list of benefits.  Among them, self-discipline, problem solving skills, listening skills, sensitivity, improved attention span, sharpened memory and creativity, just to name a few.  However, these benefits will not be realized unless the student invests in themselves by putting in the necessary work to progress.  This is the basis for the following lesson expectations:

  1. Practicing.  The student should practice sufficiently each day in order to be prepared for their lesson.

  2. Practice Charts.  Practice charts should be fully completed for each lesson, including Special Listening and Poems.

  3. Specific Homework.  Specific assignments given by the instructor should be thoroughly prepared.

  4. Mindset.  The lesson is a learning environment.  The student should have a growth mindset and be teachable understanding that the instructor wants only the best for the student and his or her progress


Missed lessons

Tuition is paid to hold a time slot with a teacher in our program.  Therefore, lessons missed by a teacher at any time for any reason will be scheduled for a make-up lesson or tuition refunded at the teacher’s discretion.  However, when a student chooses to miss a scheduled lesson for any reason (including illness, required school function, or prearranged vacation), it is not possible to schedule a make-up lesson due, in part, to the heavy teaching loads of our faculty.  The options for students who must miss a lesson are:

  1. Switch lesson times with another student using the teacher schedule and studio contact list.

  2. Skype. In the case of illness or inclement weather, the lesson may be provided via Skype.  It is the responsibility of the student to have the necessary hardware and software for this remedy.


Group Class

Group class is an integral part of the Suzuki method and we do not offer the option to “opt out”, even if schedule conflicts prevent your child from participating. 

Expectations.  In order for every student to get the most benefit from group class certain expectations are necessary.


Preparation.  It is important that students arrive at least 10 minutes prior to the start time of their group class so that they have time to tune, go to the bathroom, and prepare themselves for a mindset ready to learn.


Behavior.  Each student is expected to pay attention to their instructor at all times.  There should be no talking or disrupting class.


Absences. Each student is allowed to miss only three group classes per semester within the school term.  It is required that notice be given to the teacher prior to the group class to be missed and the reason for the absence.  If a student has more than three absences per semester, the student will not be allowed to perform on the recital, but must attend the recital. 


Tardiness.  It is disrespectful to the other students in the group, when a student arrives late.  If a student is tardy more than three times, any leading roles may be taken away from the student and/or face consequences at the teacher’s discretion.


Dress Rehearsals & Recitals

A dress rehearsal is vital preparation for the performance and encompasses more than a student’s ability to play the repertoire.  It is often the only time logistical instructions can be communicated.  A recital is the culmination of a student’s hard work towards a goal and, as a performance of pedagogically important material in the presence of a large audience, offers an educational experience that can’t be replicated in any other way.  We work hard to prepare our students and want to set them up for success for this critical ensemble education.

Being late or not attending the dress rehearsal or recital is unacceptable.  It is also important that the student be at each of these functions from beginning to end.  We understand that it is not always the student who is responsible for arriving on time, but the parent bringing them.  Any punitive action against the student impedes the academic purpose of recital preparation.  Therefore, the penalty for late arrival will fall on the parent.  Our main goal is to create a successful learning environment for all students.

Summer Term

Enrollment for the summer term is mandatory, although the scheduling is more flexible.  Students are required to have a minimum of six lessons to hold their place in the program and group class is optional.  However, it is recommended that students participate in group class and take lessons if they and their teacher are both in town.  Without the burden of a school schedule and homework, many students choose to take more than one lesson per week in the summer term in order to make greater strides towards their particular goals.  Scheduling for the summer term is worked out between the teacher and student on an individual basis and is not governed by a set schedule as is the school term. 

Important Terminology

Working Piece.  A working piece is the piece the student is currently studying.

Proficiency Piece.  While the working piece challenges a student by being on the cutting edge of that student’s learning, the proficiency piece is the piece that comfortably falls within the techniques the student has mastered.  The proficiency piece is determined by which book the student is in as follows:


Book 1:                 5 pieces behind working piece

Book 2:                 4 pieces behind working piece

Book 3:                 3 pieces behind working piece

Book 4:                 2 pieces behind working piece

Book 5:                 1 pieces behind working piece

Polished Piece.  A piece may qualify as a polished piece when the student can perform all of the correct notes, bowings, rhythms, and dynamics.  In addition, the teaching-point technique of the piece must be mastered, the student must be in the correct part of the bow throughout the piece, and it must sound easy with full expression and artistry.

Performance Requirements

Recitals.  As mentioned above, recitals are a vital part of any music performance curriculum.  There are two group recitals and one solo recital throughout the school term.  Participation in recitals is required.

Group Recital Requirements.  For a student to perform a given piece on a group recital, the piece must not be beyond the Proficiency Piece and it must be a Polished Piece.

NAMTA.   The NAMTA competition offers the student a different performing experience than group recitals, solo recitals, or public performances.  It teaches the student the skills required for a judged audition experience, which is an important part of a well-rounded music curriculum.  Participation in NAMTA is required.

Public Performance.  Students are required to perform at least one hour at the Dickens of a Christmas festival in Franklin or equivalent. 

Illness Policy

In order to protect instructors and other students from contagious diseases, we request that students who have a fever, or who have had a fever within 24 hours, do not attend private lessons or group classes.  The same guidelines are suggested for students with nausea.  Teachers reserve the right to not teach lessons for students who are ill, or appear to be suffering symptoms of the flu, colds, etc.

Inclement Weather

Unfortunately, we have no control over inclement weather.  If group classes must be cancelled an announcement will be made via email and through the GroupMe app.  If you are not currently on GroupMe, please download the app and join the Music City Strings group. Please use your best judgement in regards to traveling for lessons or group classes.  If classes have not been canceled and you feel it is unsafe to drive in the conditions that exist, please inform your teacher and stay home.  Lessons will not be canceled or made-up due to weather.  Rather, the lesson may be given via Skype.       


The academic year is divided into two terms.  The school term is a 10-month term beginning in August and ending in May and is governed by the MCS Academy master calendar.  In this term, the student has a regularly scheduled weekly lesson time along with a weekly group class.  The summer term is a 2-month term running through June and July.  In this term, lesson times are more flexible and group class is optional.  The student will have six lessons in the summer term, but may request to add additional lessons depending on availability.  Total tuition is determined by the total number of lessons and group classes throughout the year as per the fee schedule.

Fees and Payment Options

Tuition may be paid in full per term or by monthly installments.  The monthly installment amount is determined by the total tuition of the term divided by the number of months in that term.  Monthly payments are due on the 1st and at least before the 7th of each month and may be accepted as follows:

Automatic Bank Draft or Mail (Preferred)

Make payable to:

Music City Strings Academy

1137 Cedarview Ln

Franklin, TN 37067

In Person

You may bring your payment to your lesson or group class.


2022 – 2023 Fee Schedule

30 Minute Lesson            $60

45 Minute Lesson            $70

60 Minute Lesson            $80

75 Minute Lesson            $95

90 Minute Lesson            $113

Group Class                       $27


Fee rates are applied on a per student basis and not combinable with additional students within a given family for a cumulative time rate.  In addition to the organizational overhead that comes with each student, shorter lesson times require foundational work that is very demanding on the instructor.   The shorter the lesson time the closer the student is to the beginning of the steep learning curve of violin playing.  With very young students, attention span and even just learning how to become a violin student are additional factors.  Families with multiple students enrolled in the program do receive a family discount as per the Family Discount policy below.


Annual Activity Fee

The Annual Activity Fee is used for recital venues, NAMTA registration fees, NAMTA theory classes and accompanist fees.   The accompanist fees cover rehearsals and performances for group recitals, the solo recital, and the NAMTA performance audition.  Because some events are optional and/or dependent upon a student’s performance at the NAMTA performance audition, the Annual Activity Fee EXCLUDES registration fees and accompanists for YAAA, State and Honors Recitals.  The Annual Activity Fee is nonrefundable.

Late fees

Monthly tuition payments are due on the 1st and at least before the 7th of each month.  If tuition is not received by the 15th of the month, a $30 late fee will be assessed.

Family Discount

In an effort to help families, we waive the group class fees for any siblings enrolled in the program.  Therefore, families with more than one student in the program are not charged group class fees for the additional students.


In the event that a student is withdrawn or is expelled from the program, tuition payment will be refunded on a pro rata basis.  Please note that the Annual Activity Fee is nonrefundable.

Photos and Videos

Music City Strings Academy reserves the right to photograph and videotape students for training and promotional purposes.

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Music City Strings Academy, LLC admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and other school-administered programs.


Student and parent/guardian will not hold Music City Strings Academy, LLC (MCSA), including its teachers, staff, interns, and volunteers, responsible for any loss or damage of personal property while attending or participating in any MCSA activity. Student and parent/guardian release, and will hold harmless and indemnify MCSA from and against any claim, demand, action, or judgment that student and parent/guardian or any other person ever had or may have against MCSA, for any loss, cost or expense (including attorney’s fees) or damage or injury known or unknown, real or personal, sustained by student and parent/guardian while in attendance or participating in any MCSA program. Student and parent/guardian willfully assume any physical injury risk to the student that is inherent to training. Student and parent/guardian grant consent for any MCSA instructor to apply physical contact to the student for the purpose of making any technical correction that is appropriate for instruction according to accepted artistic practices. Student and parent/guardian authorize MCSA to obtain any medical treatment that the student needs in connection with MCSA training. Student and parent/guardian will pay all or whatever amount that treatment costs and will also hold harmless and indemnify the MCSA from any claim, cause of action, damage, or liability arising out of or resulting from that medical treatment.

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