Sarah Westwick began studying the violin at age three at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in performance from U.B.C. She has also studied music in London England, at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and at the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in Prague. She is a member of the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, is a freelance violinist and enjoys playing chamber music. She has teacher training qualifications and experience in both the Suzuki violin and viola methods. She is on faculty at the Delta Community Music School and teaches at her studio in East Vancouver for the East Vancouver Community Music School.
Bachelor of Music, Performance
University of British Columbia
Violin Unit 1, Violin Foundation 1A, Violin Unit 2, Violin Unit 3, Viola Unit 3
Suzuki Association of the Americas
Taking violin lessons requires commitment from both the student and the parent. Progress is made when students attend lessons regularly and practice regularly at home. When you are booking lessons with a teacher you are reserving that time slot for a whole term. As such, here are my studio policies.
Lessons must be paid for in advance, either with post-dated monthly cheques handed in one week before the first lesson of the term, or with an e-transfer paid per term.
There is a 3-week notice required if you choose to withdraw, and you will be refunded the pro-rated amount for the remainder of the term.
If you or a member of your household is ill please do not come for a lesson in person. Contact me ahead of time and I will set up for an online lesson using Zoom. If you are too ill for an online lesson then we can find a time to reschedule the lesson.
If an unavoidable conflict arises in your schedule, I may be able to switch your lesson time with another student if you give me at least one week’s notice.
You may have a maximum 3 lessons per year rescheduled due to student illness or a family emergency. You will be given the opportunity to have these lessons rescheduled during the holidays if we can’t find a mutually agreed upon time during the term. Lessons cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are not eligible for rescheduling.
There are no refunds for cancelled or missed lessons.
Any lessons cancelled by me for illness or professional reasons will be rescheduled at a mutually agreeable time or refunded.
If your child has a condition that might affect learning a musical instrument (such as tubes in the ears, autism, tourettes, dyslexia etc.) I would appreciate knowing about this in advance so I can adequately prepare. I have taught students with these conditions before and am happy to do so again. Any disclosures made will be kept absolutely confidential.
I encourage my students to take part in the EVCMS recitals. We usually have a Hallowe’en recital (with costumes!), and celebration of Canadian music in November, a performance at a long-term care facility in February, a recital of music by women composers in April, and two end-of-year recitals in June.
I strongly encourage students to attend at least one concert per term of professional musicians and to listen to recordings of violin repertoire as well as the Suzuki CD at home every week.
While in-person lessons are preferable, due to COVID-19 I am now teaching online, using the Zoom platform. Here are some guidelines for online lessons to help everything run smoothly.
Some things are the same as they would be with a regular in-person lesson - for instance, you need to make sure you are ready in time for your lesson, you have clipped your fingernails, you have all your books ready, you have used the washroom and your hands are clean.
Some extra things you need to consider - please make sure the device you are going to use is fully charged (or plugged in) and that everyone else in your home knows that while you are in a lesson no-one else can use the internet! The sound cuts out and does weird things when other people are using the internet at the same time. Make sure the device is set up so that you can see it while you are playing the violin and that I can see you AND YOUR VIOLIN! Also check that there are no loud machines running in the same room while you are having a lesson. Please tune your violin every day, and also tune it within 30 minutes of your lesson. Here are a couple videos to help if you are having trouble tuning your violin.
These settings can be adjusted using the desktop application and may not appear in the phone or tablet versions of their app.