Suzuki Program

CSA COVID-19 Update Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

We will be offering a variety of programs in person and online for the 2020-2021 school year. All in-person events will strictly adhere to the safety measures outlined by the University and the NIU School of Music. All participants must comply with these safety guidelines for CSA Events until further notice.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COIVD-19 events, we have updated our refund policy. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the changes and contact us with questions prior to registration.

Get the latest campus updates related to COVID-19.

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 Orientations 2020

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. 17 and Oct. 1, and will be held digitally on Zoom. We will send out information about how to connect prior to the meetings.

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 2020-2021

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.

*Note: Suzuki Violin groups in the fall will be held online. If we are still at stage 4 with COVID-19 and numbers are low (and weather prediction is good) we will have two socially distanced outside group lessons in both the courtyard and the Lagoon side lawn of the music building on September 24 and October 8. Attendees must follow the NIU and CSA safety guidelines for in-person meetings.

  • Fall: September 24, October 8 and 22, November 5 and 19, December 3 and 10.
  • Spring: January 28, February 11 and 25, March 11, April 1, 15 and 29.

Piano Group Schedule

Please note: Suzuki Piano Groups are canceled for Spring 2021. Private online lessons are available. Contact us for more information.


The Suzuki Program runs during the fall and spring semesters.

Registration Form


Teachers with a symbol are available to teach in-person lessons only. Teachers with a symbol are available to teach online lessons only. Teachers without a symbol can do both.


Marilyn Montzka


Ann Montzka Smelser
Laurie Rodriguez


Eric Schroeder


Thomas Cappaert

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

Contact Us

College of Visual and Performing Arts
Office of External Programs

Music Building 132

Kristin Sherman

Join Our CSA Mailing List

Online Office Hours

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
(lunch from noon – 1 p.m.)

To protect the safety of our staff, students and families, we will operate remotely until further notice. Our staff will be available at their remote offices during normal NIU business hours and can be contacted via phone or email.

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