New Student Information

New student are welcome at the Studio in Ballwin MOPotential new students are of all ages are always welcome.

New students/parents are required to read and agree to the following studio policies prior to the first lesson.

You can download a .pdf of the policies here.


In a 30-minute lesson, two-thirds of the time is devoted to the Suzuki method. This follows the child’s natural way of learning his or her language, through imitation and listening. All the music learned at the lesson is regularly heard at home. Before the student begins a piece at the lesson, he’s familiar with it because he’s heard it so much.  This method develops playing-by-ear; skills needed to produce fluid melodies and balanced accompaniments. What the child plays on the piano is not limited by what he or she can read.

Ten minutes or so is focused on note-reading skills.  The Alfred series is currently being used. This reading method incorporates many different styles in its instruction (jazz, boogie, pop and classical), both educating as well as entertaining. By the time the student has reached the 2nd volume of Suzuki music, he will be reading and playing by ear.

All mastered pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are considered reviews and practiced regularly. They provide the student with a sense of accomplishment and songs to play at any time. The reviews also serve as a time of exercise in practice.


Tuition is based on a month of four lessons. An occasional fifth is a freebie.  It’s a flat, non-refundable monthly rate. It’s paid on the third lesson of the month for the following month.

The client is reserving a thirty-minute space a week. Missed lessons are forfeited. However, other clients can be contacted and asked to switch appointment times to avoid missing a lesson. Clients appreciate this option and will help out if possible.
Holidays are observed. There is no lesson the last two weeks of the year and a two-week holiday during the last two weeks of August until after Labor Day.


RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE TEACHER: Cori provides a comfortable room for a full session of piano study as well as area for waiting younger siblings to play. She does her best to motivate her students, directing them to be the best that they can be. She makes a personal commitment to each student. When the student has achieved a level of note reading, Cori tries to branch out the music selection according to the student’s own taste. Piano recital and performance opportunities are provided to develop the student’s stage presence and build self-esteem. The Suzuki method develops memorizing skills that benefit the student in his or her academic life as well. This studio endeavors to bring a full education to the study by developing the skill of playing by ear and the benefit of note reading.

Cori Wescott with Students after a Piano RecitalRESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PARENT: The parent must provide a tuned, sound instrument in a properly lighted room away from the hustle and noise of the household. The Suzuki method requires a music environment, not solely the piano repertoire but other music as well. In order for the student to play with beauty and tone, he or she must have a sense of it in his head and heart. The playing of the Suzuki piano music regularly is a responsibility of the parent, not the child. This is especially true for the very young student. Remember, the more the music is heard, the easier the learning. A stool for feet that do not yet reach the ground is required. Lavish upon your child the encouragement and praise for accomplishment you would for any other activity or learning experience. Attend each practice and lesson. This is again especially true for the very young. Be prompt for the reserved lesson time. If more than five minutes early, please wait outside. If you must be away, pick-up the student promptly. Younger children are welcome to wait in the studio. Refrain from bringing food or drink into the studio (with the exception of a parent’s cup of coffee). Remember that if I’m distracted, it’s not good for your child’s lesson. Keep the other children relatively quiet. Do not allow their feet on the furniture. Do not allow their hands to grab the curtains. I have gone to much expense to provide a lovely, comfortable room and pianos. Do not put book bags on the sofa. Put book bags on the floor and hang up coats on the hooks behind the door. Wet shoes on the towel I set down on snowy or rainy days. Please appreciate the furniture so they’ll endure.

RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE STUDENT: Obviously, the same responsibilities wouldn’t be expected of a sixteen year-old as a three year-old. What wouldn’t be expected of the very young again, becomes more responsibility for the parent. For the beginning to early intermediate student, a minimum of twenty minutes at least five times a week are required. Thirty minutes and beyond are required for the advanced. If the student has not fulfilled the assignments for an indefinite period of time, Cori will suggest termination of his or her study. She will not continue with a belligerent or otherwise disruptive student either.

ATTENDENCE: Regular attendance is paramount to successful progress. Attendance is expected through the summer months. Lengthy absence requires many weeks of retroactive work that discourages the student and wreaks havoc upon his or her confidence level. A phone call is always appreciated if the student is going to miss.

MISSED LESSONS: There are no make-up lessons. There are exceptions and this is up to the teacher’s discretion. There will be no refunds. The time is reserved exclusively for you and is no good to anyone else. Extended illness and extreme weather are a couple of the extenuating circumstances that Cori will make exceptions for. Cori may try to make-up when she is sick; otherwise she will credit your next payment.

LESSON SWAP: Schedules of the studio and phone numbers of all clients provide a welcomed opportunity to swap a lesson instead of simply missing and forfeiting. My clients often use this chance to get a lesson otherwise lost and they will be happy to help if at all possible. Be sure the time you’re asking about is like yours (i.e. an hour-long lesson cannot swap with a thirty minute lesson).

TUITION FEES: Tuition is due on the third lesson of the month as payment in advance for the following month. Currently, the cost is $100.00 per month.*  If tuition is not paid by the first of the next month, a five-dollar late fee will be applied. A twenty-dollar fee is applied to any bounced check. Repeat offenders will be asked to pay in cash. As stated before, summer attendance is required. If more than four consecutive lessons are missed (because of lengthy out of town trips), Cori expects half the tuition of the missed time in order to reserve the students lesson time. Clients who simply drop out in the spring may not have a place reserved for them in the fall.

HOLIDAYS AND VACATIONS: Memorial Day, Labor Day and the Fourth of July are observed as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are no classes the last two weeks of summer until after Labor Day and the last two weeks of the year. Any other times off will be credited to your account.

TERMINATION OF STUDY:    Most studios require a full month’s notice. I am happy with a two-week notice. Therefore, if you should decide in the middle of a month’s paid tuition that you are quitting, please do not expect a refund.

PARKING: This is a narrow street. Please use my driveway. If you can park close to one side, the next client should be able to park beside you. (Unless of course, you have a van.) Otherwise, park on the street. Please be respectful of the neighbors’ yards. Do not run the tires on the grass. Please keep the children from cutting through the neighbor’s yard. The neighbor directly across the street does not mind if you need to pull into her driveway to switch around. Other neighbors DO MIND. So, please be careful.

LESSON ARRIVAL: A few minutes early is almost preferred unless you are the first student of the day. Please wait until everyone is ready to come in and enter all together. Remember that someone else is still trying to concentrate. Several arrivals can distract even the most focused student. Remember to shut the door behind you. On a cold day, if a child comes in quite ahead of the parent and leaves the door open, it can get cold in a hurry. If you are more than 5 minutes early, please wait outside and first students should wait until their lesson time.

THESE GUIDELINES MAKE THE STUDIO WORK AT ITS BEST FOR YOUR LESSON AND OTHERS! *$5.00 rate change every two years. Last change: 2015