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 202, 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


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

Workshops and Events

Suzuki Workshop – November 2

Suzuki families are invited 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. Other Suzuki students and teachers are welcome to register as a guest for a small fee.

The clinician line-up for 2019 includes:

Violinist David Strom (VA)

David StromDavid Strom completed his B.M. in violin performance at the Hartt School where he was privileged to study under Katie Lansdale and receive coaching from the Emerson String Quartet as well as the late David Wells.

David went on to receive his M.M. from the University of Maryland in violin performance with a Suzuki Pedagogy specialization, where he first met Ronda Cole and felt immediately the synergy and spark that enliven their partnership today at the Northern Virginia Suzuki Music School.

David is in demand as a clinician and lecturer at workshops and Institutes throughout the country as a teacher and a registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer. David’s dream for all of his students is the development of higher-level functioning- sensitivity, expressiveness, persistence, communication, leadership, compassion, and empathy through the medium of the violin.

When not playing or teaching, David is also a composer and arranger in a wide variety of mediums. David’s most important job is that of father to his beloved daughter Juliet—the light of his life.

Violinist and Alexander specialist Wendy Waggener (CA)

Wendy WaggenerWendy Waggener earned degrees in Violin Performance from Oberlin Conservatory and New England Conservatory. She maintains a large private studio, in addition to coaching two youth symphonies and freelance performing. Wendy completed her Alexander Technique training through the Contemporary Alexander School with Robyn Avalon in Santa Fe and Midori Shinkai in Kyoto and has worked with musicians at Meadowmount School of Music, Montecito International Music Festival, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, La Sierra University, and the Colburn School.



Violinist Janelle Severson (WI)

Janelle SeversonJanelle Severson grew up in Stevens Point, WI as a Suzuki kid who started Talent Education in 1980. Janelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education—University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in Music Education (Suzuki Pedagogy)—University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, completing long-term training from Patricia D’Ercole. Janelle was the director of Severson Suzuki Strings in Eau Claire, WI from 2002-2014 while working as a free-lance violinist performing with local orchestras. In 2014, Janelle moved to Waunakee, Wisconsin with her family and two pups, where she has continued her program. Janelle served as the Vice President/President-Elect for the Suzuki Association of Wisconsin. In 2018, she was honored by the Suzuki Association of Wisconsin with the Sensei Award for Leadership and Caring. Janelle teaches at workshops and be a guest clinician throughout the United States and has been on faculty at the American Suzuki Institute since 2002.

Violinist/fiddler Taylor Morris (AZ)

Taylor MorrisHailed by a 2nd grade classroom as “wreely nice and kind” and “the coolest man on erth,” Taylor Morris enjoys blurring the lines between violin and fiddle. Eagerly collaborating across genres, he has performed in 48 states and 13 countries as a soloist, an alumnus of Barrage, with duo partner Tricia Park, or with chamber-folk string sextet The Sound Accord. Offstage, Taylor obtained a master's in education from Harvard University and teaches nationally as a guest educator and clinician (e.g., ASTA, NAfME, Midwest). He co-founded/co-directs the Gilbert Town Fiddlers and serves as a Guest Lecturer at Arizona State University. For more information on Taylor, please visit his website.

The registration deadline for CSA students is October 7 and for Suzuki guests the deadline is October 14.

Information and Registration

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.