What do you charge?
$60/1 hr lesson
What ages do you teach?
Ages 5 and up (including adults)
What level students do you teach?/Can I study with you if I've never played/sung before?
Absolutely! Dr. Rojas teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced level lessons.
There are many high school, college, and adult beginners out there - you're not alone!
* For violin, Dr. Rojas is certified in Suzuki Book 1 and teaches a modified Suzuki method
for beginners, but can also teach high level material such as concertos, shifting, vibrato,
and other advanced techniques. Read on to find out more about the Suzuki method.
General Info & Studio Policy
Typical lessons are either 30 minutes or 1 hour long and can be taken either in-person or over zoom. The duration of regular lessons may be tailored to fit each individual student’s needs (for example, for a child age 4, a weekly 15-minute lesson may be the norm). Depending on the age and level of independence of the student, parents may sit in on lessons or leave and return at the end of the lesson time. It is imperative that the same parent attend each lesson (except in extenuating circumstances), as each successive lesson will utilize and build upon the knowledge acquired in the previous lessons.
*NOTE: Dr. Rojas has three cats. If you have allergies, please consult with Dr. Rojas about your lesson arrangements. Parents who are allergic can wait outside during lessons or can opt to do lessons virtually.
The student is expected to practice every day for the same length of time as the weekly lesson and is required to keep a practice log throughout the week. All assignments must be practiced daily. Parents who attend their child’s lessons are expected to set aside a practice time every day (which may vary due to the parent’s personal schedule) for the student, as well as assist in his or her practice. At home the parent is the teacher. It is important to pay close attention to the student’s technique and make corrections and adjustments where necessary. If a problem arises that the parent is unable to solve, he or she may notify the teacher at the beginning of the next lesson or ask by phone if necessary.
Payment for the whole month is due on the first lesson day of the month every month. Barring extenuating circumstances, if the student comes to the lesson without the monthly payment, no lesson will be given. If the parent knows in advance that the student will be unable to attend on a regular lesson day during the month, he or she may choose to schedule that week’s lesson for a different day or not schedule a lesson for that week and pay only for the amount of lessons that will be received (this means the teacher must be notified of any scheduling abnormalities at the beginning of the month when the payment is made).
Dr. Rojas currently only accepts cash or personal check. If you live out of state, please be sure to ask about making other payment arrangements.
If the student is late to a lesson, the lesson may be cut short in duration due to other scheduled engagements. If this is the case, the time will not be made up later, nor will payment be refunded. However, if the teacher does not have any other engagements after the scheduled end time of the lesson, the student will receive the full duration.
If the parent knows in advance that the student will be unable to attend a previously scheduled lesson, that week’s lesson may be rescheduled (this requires at least 48 hours’ notice). If the parent chooses not to reschedule that week’s lesson or fails to do so more than 48 hours in advance, payment will not be refunded.
If the student becomes ill and is unable to attend a lesson, the parent is expected to call or text as soon as possible. In this case, the lesson may also be rescheduled or rolled over to the next month.
If the student fails to show up for a lesson without notice, the lesson for that week will not be rescheduled. The payment for that lesson time will not be refunded.
IF YOU CAN DREAM IT...
YOU CAN DO IT!
No materials are needed for your first voice lesson. First lessons for beginner students will always focus on proper breathing technique and vocal warm-up exercises. Each student will be assigned a song based on his or her skill level. The assigned piece will be used to further practice the skills and techniques on which he or she needs to focus.
As the student progresses, he or she will have the ability to explore music utilizing different languages from various genres, including classical, musical theater, pop, mariachi, etc.
As you begin your journey in Suzuki violin, it will be helpful to know a little bit about the Suzuki method. The Suzuki method was developed by Shinichi Suzuki and was based on the premesis that "every child can" - even though Japanese is a difficult language, all Japanese were able to speak it well. The Suzuki method is, therefore, a "mother tongue" approach. Just as we learn to speak our primary language before we begin reading and writing, we must learn to speak and understand music as a language before we learn to read it.
The focus at the beginning of the Suzuki method is on learning the mechanics of the instrument in very small steps, adding a new skill with each new song. Students typically do not learn to read music until late in the first book or at the beginning of the second book. As the parent of a Suzuki child, you will be his or her teacher at home and therefore must supervise practice. The teacher will assign an appropriate length of time for practice each day, as well as music listening and specific technical aspects to focus on for the week. Please note that the student will not be able to move on from one song to the next until the skills in the current song are mastered.
Another aspect of the Suzuki method is positive reinforcement. Some students may become frustrated when unable to complete a task correctly the first time. It is our job to help them understand that no one can do everything correctly the first time - we must repeat the specific spots where we have trouble multiple times. Practice does not make perfect; it makes permanent. If we practice bad habits, they will become an integrated part of our playing and will make advancing more difficult. Our goal is to instill good habits without developing any bad habits which will have to be reversed later. Patience is an important part of learning. You may need to develop a reward system to help your child stick to practicing when things get frustrating for them.
WHERE DO I START?
I want lessons... What do I do first?
Take a look at Dr. Rojas' availability or text (216) 262-8497 to get the most up-to-date scheduling information and set up a first lesson time.
Dr. Rojas generally only teaches on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the afternoon and evening. Weekend times are possible, but would be inconsistent due to Dr. Rojas' touring schedule. If you are only available on weekends, please check in with Dr. Rojas via email, phone, or text to find out whether she has availability for you.
I don't have an instrument. Where do I get one?
If you do not already have an instrument, you will need to purchase or rent a violin. Dr. Rojas recommends renting to start out, whether the student is a child or an adult, in case you later decide that violin is not for you. Additionally, children grow *very* quickly, and having to sell an instrument before buying the next size up is difficult and highly inconvenient.
Where can I rent a violin?
Many music stores offer violin rentals with a rent-to-own option. If you are in Lubbock, Dr. Rojas prefers to schedule a time to meet with you at either Tarpley Music or George Robinson Violins prior to your first lesson. this allows her to make sure you get sized correctly and have all the accessories you need (either in hand or on order) before your first lesson.
If you are taking remote lessons and do not live in the Lubbock area, please look up a reputable violin shop or music store to source your instrument. Instruments off of craigslist or ebay are a gamble when you don't know what to look for. Dr. Rojas has had students end up with unusable instruments (or even violas instead of violins!) in the past because they were trying to find something cheaper from an unverified source. Plus, if you get your rental from a local store, your contract often comes with free repairs and tuning, and they make it extremely easy to trade up to the next size for no additional cost.
If you are a beginner, all instruments should come with a case and a bow for no extra charge.
Do I need to buy a Suzuki book?
No, you will not need to purchase any sheet music as a beginner. Dr. Rojas provides handouts here on her website and via a dropbox link that will show you the string name and finger number for each note. This let's you focus on playing a lot faster than trying to figure out how to read music. *wink*
Do I need any other equipment besides the violin?
Your violin will come with a case and a bow already, but yes, you will need a couple other things by your second lesson...
All these items will be available at Tarpley Music in Lubbock. If you are a remote student, please ask Dr. Rojas where to get these items and to show you what you're looking for.
You will also need a metronome later on as you become more advanced. This one is Dr. Rojas' favorite because it has a lot of useful settings - you'll never outgrow it! You can also get a 9-volt adapter for it so that you don't need to worry about batteries.
If you end up using a Kun shoulder rest and you have a longer neck, you may need to order the extra-long Kun feet if you're on a full-size instrument, or experiment with a wash cloth or two around your shoulder rest.
If you have roommates or family members who say your practicing is too loud, you may need a mute.
Is there anything else I should bring with me?
Yes. You will need a binder or a folder to keep your handouts in, a notebook to write down your practice assignments and any important information you need to remember, a pencil or a pen, and a bag to put all of these items in.
Note: Some items (like your shoulder rest) may not fit in your violin case. Having a bag makes it easier to keep all your important items in one place!
If you have a question that isn't answered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch!