Frequently Asked Questions


About Lessons

Everyone Can Learn 

How much do lessons cost?

Because we design each program to fit your needs, we don’t have a “one size fits all” approach. Total cost depends on the program we design for you and your child’s age. For adults, your availability and goals greatly impact the cost.  

Do you have a monthly payment plan?

After a year in the program, you can sign up for a monthly payment plan. 

Are there any additional costs?

The cost of materials varies by program. Typically the materials for a beginner cost less than $100. These are yours to keep forever and will last a long time if well taken care of. We will provide a list. 

Do you rent violins/violas/cellos? If not, where can I rent one? How much does it cost?

Although we do not rent violins, violas or cellos for beginners, we can recommend several shops that have  good quality instruments.  Costs vary depending on the quality of the instrument but a typical range is $15-25/month.  We recommend renting an instrument after your first lesson. Your teacher will discuss options with you, take the proper measurements and make recommendations based on your budget. 

We can’t do group classes on Saturdays. Do you offer them any other day?

To allow our teachers to teach private lessons during the week and provide them with a balanced work schedule on the weekends, we schedule group classes for children only on Saturdays. These are held roughly once a month between October and April. We will work with each family to design a program that fits with their schedule and needs. 

Can you come to my house for lessons?

No. We believe that a studio environment makes for more productive lessons, without the potential distractions that can happen at home.  

What is required of parents?

Parents will actively practice with their child and attend lessons. No previous musical experience is necessary, expected or required.  

Parents of young beginners will take 4 -6 lessons on their own before their child begins the program. The lessons introduce parents to the Suzuki Philosophy, the basic principles of violin playing and instrument tuning and show them how to help their child at home. The parent and teacher will decide when the child is ready to begin lessons.   

Do you have uniforms?

Yes. For certain activities and concerts, we require the SVWNY youthful and casual uniform, chosen by our students. Twice a year we offer a trade-in for families who need to change sizes, without the expense of a brand new uniform. 

Do you offer private lessons on weekends?

Not at this time. Our teachers teach throughout the week and at group classes on selected Saturdays. We value a balanced approach that allows teachers to rest on the weekends pursue careers as performers in the many local groups with whom they perform.  

Do you offer classes for babies or toddlers?

Yes. Our director Eloisa Raffel was the first teacher in WNY to develop the Suzuki Early Childhood Education Program. With a vast knowledge and research in this area, we do occasionally offer classes for infants/toddlers based on demand. Please “contact us” if you are interested in learning more. 

Do you teach children with special needs?

Although we are not Special Ed Certified we believe every child can learn. Our teachers will work together with parents to develop a plan for the student. 

Do you teach adults?

Absolutely, why should only the kids have all the fun ? We will design a program to best fit your availability and goals. This can include virtual lessons as well. Please click here for more information.  Click here for more information. 

What’s the difference between a violin and viola?

As many will say it’s a bigger violin! Yes indeed. A full size violin measures 14” and a full size viola can be anywhere between 15”-18.

Both instruments have four strings, however the viola doesn’t have the E string (the highest string on the violin). The viola has a C string which makes the instrument have a much lower, deep and mellow sound closer to the cello.

So my child can’t play the viola unless he/she are much older?

Just as with violins, violas do also come in fractional sizes, allow any child at any child begin to learn.