Suzuki Program

The Suzuki approach was created by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese educator. He believed that children are able to excel in music when they learn it in the same, natural way they learned how to speak. Read more about the Suzuki method.

Our Suzuki program includes daily practice, private lessons and group lessons. As a parent, you'll attend lessons to observe and interact with other families. You'll also work with your child on daily practice and listening.

Children may begin Suzuki lessons at about age 4, usually in the fall semester. Before registering, we recommend that you observe a Suzuki lesson and that your child attend our early education class. Admission may also require a brief meeting with you, your child and the teacher to see if the program is a good fit. Contact us to request a meeting.

Parent Orientation

At the beginning of the fall semester, you'll attend two orientation sessions. The sessions are open only to parents of children who will start lessons in the fall or who started the previous summer or spring.

Orientation will teach you how to work with your child and what to do during lessons.

Parent Orientation meetings take place Sept. 12 and Sept. 26, Music Building Room 200, 7–8:30 p.m.

Private Lessons

There are 14 lessons in the fall and spring semesters and six in the summer. The teacher will work with your child on listening skills, posture, rhythm and tone, while you watch and take notes. You may want to use a practice planner (PDF) to keep track of assignments.

Group Lessons

At these one-hour lessons, parents and students enjoy interacting while working on repertoire, technique, reading, theory, music history and ensemble skills. Group lessons take place in the fall and spring semesters. There are four group lessons for piano and seven for violin, cello and guitar.

Violin, Cello and Guitar Group Schedule

Groups meet Thursdays. Every student attends a group class for one hour between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Fall: September 19, October 3 and 17, November 7 and 21, December 5 and 12.

Spring: January 30, February 13 and 27, March 19, April 2, 16 and 30.

First-night picnic: On September 19, violin, cello, and guitar families are invited to a group play-in and picnic.
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.: Play in MB 171 (violins), MB 103 (cellos), and MB 101 (guitars); 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 Group Schedule

Groups meet Mondays in the Recital Hall. Every child receives an hour of instruction from 6 – 7 p.m.

Fall: September 16, October 7, November 4, December 9

Spring: January 27, February 17, March 16, April 20


Each year, we hold a workshop for Suzuki students. It is free for students enrolled in the NIU Suzuki program. Other Suzuki students may attend for a small fee. The workshop includes master classes, musical activities and a performance.

Suzuki Workshop – November 2

Suzuki students are invited to join their friends for an inspiring day of playing, master classes, musical activities, and a recital. This workshop is free for all students enrolled in the NIU Suzuki programs. Others are welcome to attend for a small fee. Look for a flyer and registration form online in early fall. The registration deadline for CSA students is October 7 and for Suzuki guests the deadline is October 14.

Other Events

  • Strings first-night picnic: Violin, cello and guitar families are invited to a fall picnic and group play-in.
  • Recitals: Students may participate in end-of-the-semester recitals. Check our calendar for upcoming dates.


The Suzuki Program runs during the fall and spring semesters.

Registration Form

Your fee includes the cost of private and group lessons. For violin and cello students, the fee also includes the cost of piano accompanists at group lessons and recitals.

Fall Only/Spring Only
14 Private Lessons and Groups

Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Associate Violin/Guitar/Cello $528 $732 $936
Associate Piano $478 $682 $886
Faculty Violin $622 $873 $1,124

Fall and Spring Semesters
28 Private Lessons and Groups

Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Associate Violin/Guitar/Cello $1,056 $1,464 $1,872
Associate Piano $956 $1,364 $1,772
Faculty Violin $1,244 $1,746 $2,248