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. For more information about the Suzuki approach at NIU, click here.
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. 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.
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 in September, 7 - 8:30 p.m., in Room 200, Music Building.
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 and Susan Breitner-Hurm teach Suzuki piano. Ann Montzka-Smelser, Karen Weckerly, and Laurie Rodriguez teach Suzuki violin. Eric Schroeder teaches Suzuki guitar. Thomas Cappaert teaches Suzuki cello.
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.
Note: At this time, we do not yet have enough students to offer group cello lessons. Students registering for Suzuki cello will be charged at the associate-level rate for lessons with Thomas Cappaert, who will use the Suzuki literature and will expect parents to attend all private lessons.
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.
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.
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.
Groups meet on four Mondays in Room 103, Music Building, or the Recital Hall. Every child receives an hour of instruction, either 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. or 5 – 6 p.m. A schedule is available from teachers the week before the first group lesson.
4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Activities for students in Books 3 – up with Marilyn Montzka.
5:00 – 5:30 p.m. Recital Time for all students. Room 103 or RH.
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Activities for students in Books 1 and 2 with Susan Breitner-Hurm
Suzuki Violin and Cello Group and Graduation Concert
Spring: May 4, 10 a.m., Concert Hall
Learn more about the system for NIU Suzuki Violin Graduation.
Suzuki Violin Solo Recital
May 18, 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Recital Hall
Suzuki Cello Performances
Spring: May 4 at the Showcase Recital
Suzuki Piano Recitals
Spring: May 18, 5:30 p.m., Recital Hall
Suzuki and Traditional Guitar Recitals
Spring: May 4, 6 p.m., Recital Hall
This year's NIU Suzuki Workshop was on November 3, 2012. The clinician line-up for 2012 included Susan Reed, Scott Conklin, Oscar Soler, and Laura Knight. The NIU workshops are free for all students enrolled in the NIU Suzuki programs and to guitar students who attend The Music Academy in Rockford. In 2013, the Music Academy has invited our Suzuki piano students to participate in group activities and master classes at the January 19 workshop in Rockford for free.
|14 Private Lessons and Groups Fall Only/Spring Only
28 Private Lessons