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NIU Community School of the Arts - Suzuki Lessons in Violin, Cello, Guitar, Piano

Suzuki Violin
Suzuki Cello
Suzuki Guitar
Suzuki Piano

SUZUKI LESSONS

Violin, Cello, Piano, Guitar

About the Suzuki Approach

The Suzuki approach was created by Japanese educator, Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in the mid-1900's. Suzuki's basic principle is that all children are capable of achieving a high level of artistry if music is learned in the same and natural way in which their native language is acquired.  Parents are responsible for creating an environment that includes daily listening, postiive reinforcement, creative repetition in daily practice, and attendance at weekly lessons and monthly (piano) or bi-monthly (violin, cello, guitar) group lessons. More information about Dr. Suzuki's inspiration.

Teachers are trained specifically for this method. The community school offers lessons using the Suzuki approach on the violin, piano,  guitar, and cello. In the fall and spring semesters, students participate in 14 private and 7 group (violin, cello, and guitar) or 4 group (piano) lessons each semester. Parents attend all private and group lessons and work with the child daily. 

Our Suzuki teachers recommend that parents observe at least one Suzuki lesson and that children attend a semester of one of our early education classes before registering for Suzuki lessons. Children may begin Suzuki lessons at about age four and generally begin lessons in the fall semester, although there are exceptions to this. Admission into the program may require a short meeting of the parent, child, and teacher to determine whether the program is right for the child. Call the office to request this.

Resources for Parents

Hear a performance from the spring 2014 group violin recital: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOAbcTFXILk&feature=youtu.be

Suzuki Guide for those who would like to know more about the Suzuki approach to lessons at NIU
The Parent Guide with tips for children starting music lessons
Music Resource Guide with area and web sources for instruments, music, and services

Classes for All New Suzuki Students

At the beginning of the fall semester, parents of all Suzuki students starting lessons in fall (or who started the previous summer or spring) attend two parent-only orientation sessions with Suzuki violin director Ann Montzka-Smelser. Learn more about the Suzuki philosophy, discuss the best ways to work with your child, and learn what to do during your child’s lessons.  The sessions are scheduled for September 18 and October 2, 7:30 - 9 p.m., in Room 200, Music Building.  Note that private and group lessons take place concurrently with these orientation sessions.

Private Lessons

The teacher, student, and parent meet each week for a private lesson. There are a total of 14 private lessons in fall and in spring, and 6 lessons in summer.  During lessons, the teacher works on listening skills, posture, rhythm, and tone with the student, while the parent observes and takes notes. The parent works with the child on daily practice and listening throughout the week. A practice planner may be used so that all assignments can be worked on at home for optimal progress. Marilyn Montzka teaches piano. Ann Montzka-SmelserLaurie Rodriguez, and Kara Eubanks teach violin. Eric Schroeder teaches guitar. Thomas Cappaert teaches cello.

Group Lessons

Group lessons are essential to the Suzuki approach. This is a time for parents and students to interact musically and socially while working on repertoire, technique, reading, theory, music history, and ensemble skills. Fees include the cost of both private and group lessons, and, for violin and cello, the cost of piano accompanists’ fees at group lessons and recitals. Attendance at group lessons is required for both parent and child.  Group lessons are scheduled in fall and spring, not summer.

Group Lesson Schedule

Guitar
Groups meet on seven Thursdays. Every child receives an hour of instruction, either 5 – 5:55 p.m. or 6 –6:55 p.m. A schedule is available from the teacher the week before the first group lesson. 
Schedule
Fall:  September 25, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20, December 4 and 11
Spring:  February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, April 9 and 23, May 7

Violin 

Groups meet on Thursdays. Every child receives an hour of instruction, either 5 – 5:55 p.m. or 6 – 6:55 p.m. A schedule is available from teachers the week before the first group lesson. 
Schedule
Fall:  September 25, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20, December 4 and 11
Spring:  February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, April 9 and 23, May 7

Cello
Groups meet on Thursdays. Every child receives an hour of instruction from 6 – 6:55 p.m. A schedule is available from teachers the week before the first group lesson. 
Schedule
Fall:  September 25, October 9 and 23, November 6 and 20, December 4 and 11
Spring:  February 5 and 19, March 5 and 19, April 9 and 23, May 7

* First Night Picnic
On September 25, violin, cello, and guitar families are invited to a group play-in and picnic.
5:30 - 6:30  Violins play in courtyard; cellos in Room 103, and guitars in the Recital Hall.
6:30 - 7:30 p.m.  Picnic.  Bring a dish to pass to the CH lobby and eat in either the lobby or the courtyard.

Piano  
Groups meet on four Mondays in Room 103, Music Building, or the Recital Hall from 5 - 6 p.m.
Schedule
Fall:  September 15, October 13, November 10, December 8
Spring:  January 26, February 16, March 16, April 13

Recital Schedule - all recitals in the Recital Hall, except where noted

Suzuki Violin Solo Recitals
Fall:  December 13, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Spring: May 16, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
Learn more about the system for NIU Suzuki Violin Graduation.
Suzuki Violin Groups and Graduation Solos
May 2, 10:00 a.m., Concert Hall

Suzuki Cello Performances, Recital Hall
Fall:  December 7, 3 p.m.
Spring:  May 3, 3 p.m.

Suzuki Piano Recitals, Recital Hall 
Fall: December 8, 5 p.m.
Spring: May 16, 5:30 p.m.

Suzuki and Traditional Guitar Recitals, Recital Hall
Fall:  December 6, 5 p.m.
Spring:  May 2, 5 p.m.

Suzuki Workshop - November 1

Suzuki students are invited to join their friends for an inspiring day of playing, master classes, musical activities, and a performance. This workshop is free for all students enrolled in the NIU Suzuki programs. Other Suzuki students are welcome to attend for a small fee.  The clinician line-up for 2014 is violin teacher Wendy Tangen-Foster, violin and enrichment teacher Sarah Bylander Montzka and guitar teacher Carolina Folmer.  The registration deadline for the workshop for CSA students is in October 10. Flyer and registration form

Available later in fall:
Workshop Schedule
Violin Repertoire List 

Suzuki Teeshirt:  Order a Suzuki teeshirt by October 24; shirts will be available for pickup at the workshop. These shirts are not required, but are worn occasionally for public performances.

Suzuki Lesson Fees 

  14 Private Lessons and Groups  Fall Only/Spring Only
28 Private Lessons 
and Groups 
Fall and Spring Semesters
Level 30
Min
45
Min
60 
Min
30 
Min
45
Min
60
Min
Associate Violin/Guitar/Cello $488 $676 $864 $976 $1,354 $1,728
Associate Piano $440 $628 $816 $880 $1,258 $1,632
Faculty Violin $576 $808 $1,040 $1,152 $1,616 $2,080