Role of the Suzuki Mentor
Upon completion of our Suzuki mentorship course, certified SuzukiMentors are able to offer assistance to families and teachers in need of a little extra help; whether it be by aiding teachers in various educational settings, such as in private lessons or group classes, or through practice “buddy” sessions (with detailed descriptions of what to work on from each private teacher).
Although SuzukiMentors are not teachers, and should not be thought of as such, they are trained to enhance a younger student’s experiences in music by encouraging them and finding ways to help with their studies through supplementing and reinforcing what each student is already doing with their private teachers.
Teacher’s Aid: SuzukiMentors can gain valuable experience by aiding teachers in either a private or group lesson and can then count this time towards their required high school volunteer services.
Practice Buddy: SuzukiMentors can develop and maintain their own “Practice Buddy” services for which they should (deservedly) be paid. Please note that the National Capital Suzuki School of Music (NCSSM) is not involved in individual SuzukiMentors “Practice Buddy” services. Therefore, payment and specific arrangements (such as rate, travel, etc.) should be handled directly between each mentor and the families involved.
Considerations for SuzukiMentors offering services as “Practice Buddies”:
- Hourly (half-hour) rates should be slightly higher than those of a babysitter to reflect the training and years of experience each mentor has already.
- When figuring out proper rates reflective of a student’s experience, generally mentors in lower Suzuki books (Bk 4-5) should charge lower hourly rates than more advanced mentors (Bk 6+).
- The cost of travel (to and from a student’s house) should be taken into consideration when deciding on an appropriate fee to ask.
- SuzukiMentor “practice buddies” are to be paid directly from the family involved (as with babysitting), as NCSM has no involvement in this process.
- The NCSSM Cancellations/make up sessions policy is that lessons missed by the teacher be made up in due time and all lessons cancelled by the student are not made up. Since SuzukiMentors are certified and represent our school and our private teachers, it is recommended that each mentor uphold the same missed lesson policies adopted by the school.
- Advertising by SuzukiMentors for their “Practice Buddy” services should be done on an individual basis. Some ideas include advertising through SuzNews and posting signs in the lobby during group class Saturdays, or in individual private teacher’s studio.
- As a school, we will keep a record of all SuzukiMentors offering “Practice Buddy” services, and have a list of all certified practice buddies with us during each Saturday group class and in private teachers studios, to respond to parent inquiries.