My Responsibilities

    I will use my expertise to teach your child how to play the violin, and in turn, how to express him or herself with the language of music in a joyful, warm and enthusiastic environment. I will tailor the curriculum to match your child’s specific learning needs in order to help them succeed in every way possible. I will nurture your both your child's character and musical abilities by cultivating discipline, attention to detail, honesty, hard work and a love of the arts. I will continually develop my skills so as to set an example and be the best teacher I can for your son or daughter. 

Student & Family Responsibilities

    Students and parents agree to arrive at each lesson on time, well-prepared, with their assignment books and music. To make good progress, daily quality practice is necessary. It is so important that you understand your assignments. Please ask questions!

    If something is happening at home or school that is affecting your child please let me know so that I can be sensitive to his or her needs. A quick text or email on the way to your lesson can make the difference between a great lesson and a difficult one. (Did your family pet just pass away? Did something happen at school? Let me know!)

    All students are encouraged to play at the two yearly studio recitals: the Holiday Recital and the Spring Recital. In addition to their private lessons, each student is also encouraged to attend all of the Master Classes and group classes during the school year.

Students must have an acoustic violin to use at home every day for practicing.

Parental Responsibility

In order to fully nurture your child's musical development, parents agree to

  • Obtaining a properly sized instrument
  • Purchasing appropriate music instruction books and recordings
  • Supervising your child's daily practice and listening
  • Attending all lessons, taking notes and asking for clarification when necessary.
  • Attending the appropriate parent education classes and discussions
  • Familiarizing yourself with the Suzuki philosophy by reading such books as Dr. Suzuki's Ability Development from Age Zero and Nurtured By Love as well as William Starr's To Learn With Love.


When students enrol, they are reserving their place in the studio for the entire year. 


Tuition covers not only the actual lesson time spent with the student and parent in individual lessons, group lessons and workshops, but time preparing for each student to ensure the best music education possible. It includes:

  • 32 lessons from mid-September to mid-June
  • Student practice book
  • Parent guide
  • An individualized plan for each student's course of study
  • Written progress reports for each child at least once a year
  • Development of teaching materials, often including pieces composed specifically for your child
  • Repertoire planning
  • Recital, exam, competition and festival preparation
  • Professional organization memberships
  • Continuing education
  • Music lending library     

Material and Masterclass Fee

Each student pays a Material and Masterclass Fee each year. This offsets the cost of group master classes and parent seminars as well as the music and materials used during the entire course of the semester.

This includes:

  • Literature books
  • Sheet Music for ensemble sessions
  • Theory workbooks
  • Printing costs
  • Teaching materials
  • Masterclass space rental
  • Piano tuning for recitals
  • Guest clinician honorariums
  • Parent seminar costs


Payment may be made monthly, by term or in one lump-sum payment and may be paid by post-dated cheque, Interac E-transfer or PayPal. All cheques should be made out to Mary-Elizabeth Brown.

The tuition fees remain the same from month to month (or term to term), regardless of the number of lessons or activities. 

Missed Lessons & Make-Up Lesson Policy

    Try to choose a lesson time in which you feel confident. Please understand that the tuition you pay reserves an exclusive weekly time in my schedule for your child. Unlike a doctor or a hairdresser, I cannot resell that time nor can I create extra teaching time in which to give lessons. As such, missed lessons will not be made-up, nor will a refund be issued. Each student is welcome to one make-up lesson per term, provided 24 hours notice is given.  Refunds will not be given. 

    To help accommodate an occasional unavoidable change in student's schedules, you can choose to be part of the email Swap List. (Please let me know if you do not want to be included in the list.) Most parents receive only a few requests a year from someone who'd like to switch lesson times. Please let me know if you have made a swap so I can plan accordingly. It's easiest to just cc me on the final email between two parents confirming that a switch will be happening.

     Any applicable make-up lessons from the fall terms must be completed before December 23, and lessons from the winter and spring terms must be made up by one week after the end of normal academic year lessons. 

     If a student arrives late for a lesson, he or she will receive instruction for the remainder of the scheduled lesson only, out of respect to those whose lessons follow.

Studying with a teacher who is also an active performer has many benefits. It also means the occasional re-scheduled lesson to accommodate rehearsal, concert and travel schedules. Rest assured that you will receive all of your lessons throughout the year, and know that your flexibility is appreciated!

School Holidays

As students come from many school districts, are home schooled, or are not yet in school, the studio will not follow any particular school calendar. Please refer to your studio schedule for details. 

Snow Days

If the school board cancels classes due to inclement weather, lessons will be cancelled as well. Students may participate in their lessons via Skype, or elect to have a make-up lesson.

Illness Policy

Please do not bring sick children to lessons or arrive ill yourself. If a student is too ill for school, he/she is too ill for his/her music lesson. In the event of an ill parent, lessons may be conducted by Skype.

Lesson Termination

If you elect to end lessons after the month of September, you will not receive a tuition refund.  One of the ways we teach respect, responsibility and follow-through is to teach our children how to end well. Please keep this in mind should you elect to end your lessons.

Lesson Dismissal 

A student may be dismissed under the following exceptional circumstances:

  • Failure to pay tuition (without making alternate arrangements)
  • Lack of progress due to persistent insufficient practice or repeated failure to prepare assigned material.
  • An uncooperative attitude and/or a pattern of disruptive, disrespectful or violent behaviour

No student will be dismissed without multiple warnings, a 6-week probationary period and parental involvement. 

Open Doors

Exposure to good music, and to the sight and sound of the instruments the children are studying is an important part of a child’s music education. Children are encouraged to arrive early or stay late to quietly visit other lessons or classes.

In the studio schedule, you will find a listing of concerts and musical activities in the Laval/ Montreal area suitable for families and children of all ages.