Lisa Ratigan’s Music Studio

Policies and Procedures


Studio Policies: 2019-2020Academic Year

Lisa Ratigan – Violin/Viola

(702) 610-6874



I expect students in my studio to have a strong desire to learn how to play the violin or viola well.  Regardless of ability or “talent,” each student should expect to practice daily.  I understand everyone learns at different rates and in different ways.  I also understand that everyone’s schedules are very hectic during the school year.    I do however require that you get your work done.  (And please feel free to go further) The key to getting your work done is to set up a routine, and stick to it.

Weekly lessons are the student’s opportunity to:

    1.     Show the teacher what progress has been achieved during the week’s practice

    2.   Ask the teacher any questions that have come up during the week’s practice

    3.    Listen to the teacher’s instructions to guide the next week’s work.




Violin or Viola - well maintained to match your level – you will not be able to create the best sound possible if your instrument is not at your current level, or if it is not properly maintained, that means regularly checked for cracks, open seams or any other factor that may inhibit the students progress.


            Bow – also at your level, must be maintained by being re-           haired on a regular basis.


Shoulder pad – I prefer Everest, Khun, or Bon Musica, however if you have another you would like to use, please get it approved ahead of time.  The shoulder pad is a very important component of your instrument and one that fits properly can make your playing much more comfortable.


Chin Rest – as with the shoulder pad, needs to fit properly.


Strings that are in good shape - must be within 6 months old, after that they start to get a “tinny” sound and again will not let you be all that you can be musically.  You must also have a backup set of strings.  If you break a string at my house, I may or may not have one that you could replace it with.  If I do, there will be a charge as I will have to replace mine.


Music Stand


Rosin – I prefer Kaplan, Clarity, Hill Dark or Light.


Tuner – you must have a tuner and a metronome.  I prefer Cleartune, (for the tuner) which may be purchased through iTunes for approximately $3.00, or if you would like a stand alone, the Korg TM – 40 works very well.


Practice Mute - so you can practice anytime


Small cloth to wipe down your bow and instrument – needs to be lint free and soft. Also needs to be washed at least once every 1-2 weeks


Traficante Flash Cards – 1st – 7th position for violin (unfortunately they don’t make them for viola)


SmartMusic – accompanying software for home practice


Music – Including but not limited to:


Violin –

          Suzuki Book 1-10 for current level only

          Suzuki CD's for Books 1-10 for current level only

Scale Book - Wesseley Scales for Violin

  Barbara Barber - Scales for Advanced Violinists

Exercise Books - Including but not limited to:

  Kayser - level 2 only

  Wohlfahrt - level 3 and 4 only

  Mazas Op. 36, Book 1 – level 3 and above

  Kreutzer - level 3 and above

  Sevcik op. 1 - level 5 and above

  Sevcik op. 8 - level 5 and above

  Sevcik op. 9 - level 5 and above

  Thomas Filas - Upper Register Studies for Flute

  Roland Vamos - Double Stop Exercises for Violin



Suzuki Book 1-8 for current level only

Suzuki CD’s for Books 1-8 for current level only

Scale Book -

Barbara Barber Scales for Advanced Violists

Exercise Books - Including but not limited to:

Kayser - level 2 only

Wohlfahrt - level 3 and 4 only

Mazas Op. 36, Book 1 – Level 3 and above

Kreutzer - level 3 and above

Sevcik op 1 - level 5 and above

Sevcik op. 8 - level 5 and above

Sevcik op. 9 - level 5 and above 

Thomas Filas - Upper Register Studies for Flute

Roland Vamos - Double Stop Exercises for Violin


More on Music - Your student will be required to have Originals (not copies) of all their music, as this is required for all competitions they will be participating in. I will be happy to acquire any music you may need ( so I can be sure that you have the correct edition) as well as most supplies, so that you can have them as soon as possible.  You will be invoiced for these items the following month.



Worksheets - you will receive an email each week after your lesson containing the Workbook that I have created especially for you.   I will be making changes to them each week at your lesson. You will also be able to log your practice time on my web site, along with any questions you may have during the week.  I can check them and answer them so you won’t have to wait till your next lesson.



Lesson Payment

Lesson payment fees are based on the cost of the lessons, recital rehearsals, and my preparation time for all events.  Lesson fees do not include the cost of music or other special purchases, such as subscriptions, memberships, competition entry fees, extra studio events, individual accompanist fees, copies etc.

Payment in Cash or Check (made out to Lisa Ratigan) is fine, and you are always welcome to send your payment through your bank's bill pay.  My web site is also set up to accept PayPal.


Around the 15th of each month, I will be posting all of my available times for the next month.  We will talk about your schedule in your lesson, but it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure that your schedule is correct.  You may register/reschedule your lessons on the web site at your convenience.  You will be charged on a monthly basis for the lessons that you are scheduled for.   I will be emailing an invoice to you (approximately on the 20th of each month) based on all lessons scheduled within the next calendar month.  It will also include any extra known fees that may come up such as Recital fees, Accompanist fees, Music fees,  or Retirement Tour fees etc. Your payment will be due on the 1st of the month.  Any payments received on or after the 10th of the month will be considered late, and will be subject to a $25.00 late fee that will be posted on your next month's invoice.  Should a check be returned for any reason, there will be a $25.00 re-processing fee and you will be asked to pay in cash from that point on. 

Parents, please remember that although this may be a hobby for your son or daughter or for you, this is my livelihood, and my studio must be run as a business.




Scheduling will be done on a monthly basis.  You will receive a reminder email approximately 2 days before each of your scheduled lessons during the month. You will be charged for the lessons you are scheduled for.

Parental Involvement:  Parents are required to be at every lesson and are expected to participate with home practice.  I do understand if something comes up and you need to miss once in a while, but please realize that you are a vital key to your student’s success.  I also will be discussing upcoming events and answering any questions you may have. 

Late Arrivals:  If you arrive late, you will be given the time remaining of your scheduled lesson.  If the person after you is also late, your time may be extended.

Missed Lessons/ Make-ups:  If you are scheduled for a lesson and need to cancel for some reason, you must give 24 hours notice if you want a Make-up lesson.  If you call within 24 hours of your lesson, you will not receive a Make-up lesson and will be charged for the missed lesson.  If you do not call or show up for a lesson, you will not receive a Make-up lesson, and will be charged for the missed lesson. If we have scheduled a Make-up lesson for you, and you cancel for any reason, you will not receive a credit of any kind.

Occasionally I will have to cancel a lesson due to emergencies or performance engagements.  I will attempt to reschedule if possible.  If this is not possible, I will adjust your charges accordingly.  (You would be credited for that lesson) To make it easier, before attempting to reschedule a make-up lesson, please refer to the Schedule of Events page on the web site.  All of my previously scheduled dates will be listed.

Methods of Communication for Re-scheduling purposes – Please go on the web site and try to reschedule yourself first.  If there are no times available that you can make or if you have any questions, please feel free to email or text me as these are forwarded to my phone.  You are welcome to call, however I may be in the middle of a lesson and unable to take your call at that time.


Participation in Studio Events and Competitions:


Performance is an essential part of learning to play any musical instrument.  Participating in all performance events will help the students apply what they are learning each week into a real-life setting, thus, students must make these events a priority.  They require a level of commitment and perseverance that will carry into your students other areas of study as well. When these events require additional fees, the students and parents will be notified well in advance, and those fees will be included when possible on the invoice.  These events include but are not limited to pre-recital performances/rehearsals (at the same rate as your regular lesson not including accompanist fees), performance workshops ($10.00 per student), retirement tours ($25.00 per student, non refundable, and must be received prior to the posted date of the t-shirt order ), competitions, festivals, and exams (fees to be announced) etc.  These events are strongly recommended to all students, but my wish is not to over commit any student, so participation should be well thought-out, with a strong commitment to follow through.


An accompanist will be suggested for all solo performances and recitals.  Students will be required to rehearse with their accompanist before performing.  Although the selected accompanist is recommended, students may also provide their own with the teacher’s approval, and the accompanist must attend at least one lesson/rehearsal.  Please note, that professional accompanists have their own fees. I will have a phone list of professional accompanists available to students as well.


Students are encouraged to participate in Junior Festival, Musicianship Exams, CCSD Solo & Ensemble Festival, Honor Orchestra, and Viola Fest.  There are various auditions and competitions held each year in which students are entered at the discretion of the teacher.  Information on all of these events and others will be provided as it becomes available.


All events will be updated on a regular basis on my studio web site:  Please bookmark this link so that you may reference it often.

Final Note:

Involvement in private lessons indicates an involved interest in Violin or Viola development. There are a number of ways to get even more involved.  These include subscriptions to Strings Magazine, or Strad Magazine, regularly visiting web sites such as and, as well as participating in after school Orchestras, performing groups, and competitions and festivals.  More information is available upon request.  If students need to contact me between lessons, I can be reached by text, email or voice mail.  They may also post a question on the web site under the “Log Practice” section.  I have an open-door policy with parents as well and encourage an open line of communication.

Please contact me if you have any further questions.