Tuition is due according to the following schedule:

  • Fall and Spring Semesters:  Payment may be made at first lesson of each month or at the beginning of the semester.
  • Checks should be made out to Carey Rasmussen
  • Late payments will assess a fee of $20.



¯ Each family is encouraged to become a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas (www.suzukiassociation.org), which provides many benefits including the quarterly American Suzuki Journal. Annual membership is $30 per family.


¯ Students under 14 must have a parent present at all lessons in order to take notes and effectively help the student with home practice.


¯ Group Class is a vital part of the student’s development and is REQUIRED for all students and their “lesson parent”. Low attendance (less than 75% each semester) will constitute grounds for dismissal from the Academy. Parents are requested to bring notebook and pen in order to take notes during Group Class.


¯ There will be two Studio Recitals per year, one in May and one in December. Student participation is REQUIRED at these two recitals. Absence from either of these recitals, aside from illness or emergency, will constitute grounds for dismissal from the studio


¯ Student must bring instrument, shoulder rest, instruction materials and any other required materials to all lessons. Parent must bring notebook and pen to all lessons.



¯ Daily practice is essential to playing a musical instrument, and is expected of all students. Consistently unprepared students will be dismissed from the Academy.


Student must also keep fingernails clipped short at all times.


¯ All lessons are taught in my private home; please respect it.  Please arrive at least 5 minutes early in order to unpack your instrument and help your child prepare mentally for his or her lesson. Students and parents are always welcome to quietly observe any other student’s lesson. Full attention at lessons is necessary from student AND parent (i.e. no texting or cell phone calls during lessons!), so if young siblings are brought along, please bring something to occupy the siblings (i.e. coloring books, quiet toys, etc.). 



¯ ILLNESS: In the case of illness, please make every attempt to notify me at least 24 hours in advance. If a student, parent or sibling arrives at the studio ill, they will be sent home. In the event of illness, the following options will be available for makeup lessons: 1) makeup week at the end of May; 2) switch with another student; or 3) forfeit the lesson. There are NO REFUNDS or CREDITS given in the event of illness.


NOTE: MVA considers “illness” to include fever or diarrhea/vomiting within the previous 24 hours, and/or excessive “productive” coughing/sneezing/sniffling at the time of the lesson. Additionally, if the student has had chicken pox or a similar breakout, sores must be completely “crusted over” for at least 24 hours. In the case of lice, the student must be completely free of both lice and nits for at least 24 hours. Please note that all of the above guidelines also apply to parents and siblings attending lessons.


¯ INCLEMENT WEATHER: If the Berkeley School District is closed for the day, Private Lessons and/or Group Classes will also be cancelled for the day. In the event that this happens, the following options will be available for makeup lessons: 1) “Snow Day” to be scheduled by Miss Carey; 2) makeup week during group class week; 3) switch with another student; or 4) forfeit the lesson. There are NO REFUNDS or CREDITS given in the event of inclement weather.


¯ FAMILY TRAVEL: It is understandable that some families (particularly those with pre-school or homeschooled children) prefer to travel at times other than the scheduled semester breaks. However, please note that except in the case of emergency (i.e. death in the family), there will be NO REFUNDS or CREDITS if a student must miss a lesson due to travel. The following options will be available for makeup lessons: 1) makeup week at the end of May; 2) switch with another student; or 3) forfeit the lesson.


¯ MAKEUP LESSONS WILL NOT BE GIVEN (with the exception of the scheduled make-up week or a “Snow Day”). However, if the lesson must be cancelled due to Miss Carey’s illness or absence, every attempt will be made to schedule a makeup lesson at a mutually convenient time. Parents will receive a studio roster with all lesson times, student names and phone numbers, and may switch lesson times with another student if they must miss a lesson.


¯ Refunds for discontinuation of lessons will be considered on a case by case basis, depending on the situation. Otherwise, there are NO REFUNDS.


¯ These policies may be modified and redistributed at any time by Miss Carey.


*I accept students of age 4 and above.  I also welcome older students and experienced players.  I will not take children who are not potty trained yet.  If you are interested in having a 2 or3 year old start lessons, I suggest start now by having them listen to the Suzuki CD daily. 


*I am in this for the long haul!  I fully expect to take most of my students all the way through high school.  The Suzuki Method is a life altering decision for everyone involved.   It can be the most rewarding and inspiring aspect of a child's life and is probably not the right choice for someone simply looking to try it out for a year. 


*Please read about the Suzuki Method here on my site and go to the official site:


There will also be parent meetings and Suzuki handouts to further understand the philosophies.


*This method, not only requires student committment, but also parent committment.  The parent is encouraged to learn along with the student in the beginning so that they can be the best "At-home-Teacher" they can be.  I expect parents to attend lessons with the student, not simply drop them off and pick them up.


Parent Education:


Parents of new students must take the Parent Education course which will be held at the beginning of each semester as needed.  Please see the Happenings page for more information.


Just as the instructor continually expands her education to be the best teacher she can be, so should the parent continue his/her eduation of the Suzuki Method so that they can be the best Home teachers they can be.  Other books which will be read later include:


Nurtured by Love by Dr. Suzuki


Teaching from the Balance Point by Edward Kreitman


To Learn with Love by William and Constance Starr


They're Rarely Too Young...and Never Too Old to Twinkle by Kay Collier Slone


A Suzuki Parent's Diary or How I Survived My First 10,000 Twinkles by Carroll Morris


Helping Parents Practice, Ideas for Making it Easier by Edmund Sprunger




Expecations of Teacher:

Individualize lesson materials and teaching style to suit each student’s needs.

Provide an understanding and nurturing environment for learning.

 Continually praise and challenge each student to fulfill their potential.

Provide performance opportunities.

Continue Professional Education.

Expectations of Student:

Develop sense of personal responsibility for self.

Attend all classes, events, and private instruction.

Share a love of music.

Practice DAILY even if you don’t want to.

Work to achieve your own maximum potential.

Be cooperative and do your best.

Be respectful to others including parent, teacher and other students.

Learn to focus and concentrate.

Learn that it is possible and rewarding to overcome struggles.


Expectations of Parents:

Become a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas ($30/year per family).

Accept the Suzuki Method as a way of life and have a “no quitting” policy.

Attend all lessons, group classes, and recitals (except 15 and older).

Bring notebook to all lessons and group classes and take effective notes for home practice.

Notes should include date, scales and techniques to use with them, Etude (if applicable), Review, Current piece, New Piece.

            Include specific measure numbers or sections assigned for practice.

Include reminders about posture (straight wrist, bent thumb, feet position) and bow arm (mtns and valleys, right elbow).

Include any other info that is necessary to ensure effective and accurate practice sessions at home.

Practice with or guide the students home practice.  You are the Home Teacher and use the notes taken at lessons. 

Find a time each and every day that you can spend (30 minutes) with your child for practicing. 

Encourage students to push past frustrating moments and overcome struggles.

Ensure the student is listening to their Suzuki CD and other classical music 3-5 hours per week.

Continue their own Suzuki Education: Nurtured by Love by Dr. Suzuki, Ability Development from age Zero by Dr. Suzuki, To Learn with Love by William and Constance Starr, etc.

Remember that practice must be consistent to be effective.  Five or Ten minutes is better than none. 

Remember what a great gift it is to share time, effort, and accomplishment with our children.



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