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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 is a concept of learning to play an instrument that was designed in the early 1900's by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Japanese educator and violin teacher. 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

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. Following these sessions, private lessons begin. The sessions are scheduled for September 19 and October 3, 7 - 8:30 p.m., in Room 200, Music Building.

Private Lessons

The teacher, student, and parent meet each week for a private lesson. There are a total of 14 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-SmelserKaren Weckerly, and Laurie Rodriguez 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
Spring:  February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 17, May 1

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
Spring:  February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 17, May 1

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
Spring:  February 6 and 20, March 6 and 20, April 3 and 17, May 1

* First Night Picnic
In September, 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
Spring:  January 27, February 17, March 17, April 14

Recital Schedule

Suzuki Violin Solo Recitals
Spring: May 17, 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., Recital Hall
Learn more about the system for NIU Suzuki Violin Graduation.
Suzuki Violin Groups and Graduation Solos
May 3, 10:00 a.m., Concert Hall

Suzuki Cello Performances, Recital Hall
Spring:  May 3, time tba, at the Showcase Recital

Suzuki Piano Recitals, Recital Hall 
Spring: May 17, 5:30 p.m.

Suzuki and Traditional Guitar Recitals, 5 p.m., Recital Hall
Spring:  May 3

Suzuki Workshop - November 

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 2013 was mimes Eliot Monaco and Amanda Brown, violin teachers Nicolette Solomon and Mark Mutter, cello teacher Sally Gross, and guitar teacher Julia Miller.  The registration deadline for the workshop for CSA students is in October. Flyer and registration form

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 - not yet updated for 2014/2015

  14 Private Lessons and Groups  Fall Only/Spring Only
28 Private Lessons 
and Groups 
Fall and Spring Semesters
Level 30
Minutes
45
Minutes
60 
Minutes
30 
Minutes
45
Minutes
60
Minutes
Apprentice 2 $344 $460 $576 $688 $922 $1,154
Associate Violin/Guitar/Cello $476 $658 $840 $952 $1,316 $1,678
Associate Piano $428 $610 $792 $856 $1,220 $1,582
Faculty Violin $564 $790 $1,016 $1,128 $1,580 $2,032