Yowie Music: Frequently Asked Questions
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Getting Started

The following information provides much of the information that should be considered when choosing to commence private music lessons. Applications for enrolment with [an error occurred while processing this directive] may be submitted at any time, although lesson times may only become available from time to time.


To commence lessons, you will need the following equipment:

  • a violin or a cello (including a shoulder rest in the case of violins). See below for advice on selecting and obtaining your instrument.

  • sheet music or books. Beginners will usually be asked to purchase a copy of Volume 1 of either the Suzuki or AMEB books. The accompanying CD should be purchased alongside the book.

  • a music stand.

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  • practice diaries.

  • progress and graduation certificates as appropriate.

Selecting your instrument

There is a rather frightening range of student cellos that are priced from approximately $900 to $5500. Violins are somewhat more reasonable: a very nice instrument will cost around $500. Of the various brands and models, I encourage prospective students to avoid the absolute cheapest. They are poorly made, with inferior materials that make it very hard to produce a nice sound. This can cause significant frustration for any student.

I am always happy to provide advice to assist students in selecting the right instrument. Although I am very sensitive to the initial costs of setting a student up with an instrument and lessons, I will only ever directly recommend instruments that I believe will be both relatively easy to play and pleasant to listen to. Therefore, you can presume that in most cases, I will not recommend particular low-end, so-called "entry level" instruments.

You can purchase your selected instrument and any necessary books and accessories directly from [an error occurred while processing this directive] . Prices are identical to those of the major retailers here in Canberra (and occasionally, a touch cheaper). Prices are NOT marked: The service is offered simply to make life easier when commencing lessons. Many people enjoy the convenience of knowing that everything they need to get started will be ready for them at the first lesson.

Leasing or purchasing instruments on a payment plan

New and continuing students may lease or purchase instruments on a payment plan through [an error occurred while processing this directive]. For further information, please download a copy of the standard Musical instrument lease agreement or repayment plan.


I currently do most of my teaching from my studio in Richardson, about 20 minutes south of Civic in the ACT. Generally, I don’t travel to private residences to conduct lessons, principally because my numerous teaching resources are not easily moved from the studio. Where in-home lessons are preferred, I charge for travel time on either side of the lesson(s) at the same rate as the lessons themselves. I understand that this significantly increases the costs of lessons and is not a suitable option for most families. Having noted that, if it is your preference to have lessons at your home, then arrangements can be made.

The [an error occurred while processing this directive] studio is located at: 75 Deamer Crescent, Richardson, ACT.


Cello and violin lessons are billed at $33 per half hour lesson. Invoices are usually issued for the school term (or that part of the school term that remains at the time of making the arrangement). Under normal circumstances, the invoice is to be settled by the third week of the term, unless alternative arrangements are agreed. I accept cash, cheques, direct bank deposit and PayPal (including credit card if paying online). Cheques must be written in favour of "Bryson Hawkins" (NOT "Yowie Music").

Lesson times

Where there are vacancies in the teaching schedule, lessons may commence at any time, whether or not the school term has commenced. Lessons are generally booked for the whole of a school term. Unless there is a particular need, lesson times will not be changed for the remainder of the teaching year. When re-enroling for the new year, where possible, students will always be offered the same day and time that they have become accustomed to, unless they request a change. Having noted that general policy, there are occasions when students may need to have their lessons moved to an alternative day or time. Disruptions will always be kept to an absolute minimum. Where there is an irreconcilable conflict between the needs of different students, priority will usually be granted to those families that have maintained excellent attendance and payment records.

Meeting the teacher & visiting the [an error occurred while processing this directive] studio

If you think it would be beneficial, prospective students and their families are welcome to visit my studio before making any commitment to commence lessons. On such occasions, I like to spend at least 20 minutes (sometimes more if there are multiple students in the family) introducing the student and their support group to the instruments and the kinds of activities that we would encounter during the formal lessons. It is often also an excellent opportunity to take the time to determine the correct size instrument for the student. I usually have at least one of each size of both cellos and violins with me to make things much easier. There is never a charge or a fee of any sort for these introductory sessions.

Standard conditions for private music tuition



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