Suzuki Program

The Suzuki approach was created by Shinichi Suzuki, a Japanese educator. He believed that children can 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. Parents 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 2023-2024

At the beginning of the fall semester, you'll attend two orientation sessions. The sessions are designed for 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.

Hybrid parent orientation meetings take place Sept. 14 and Sept. 28 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in MB room 202 and on Zoom.

Private Lessons

Suzuki students attend 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 2023-2024

At these 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 seven group lessons for violin, cello and guitar.

Violin, Cello and Guitar Group Schedule

Groups meet Thursdays. Every student attends a group class between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

  • Fall: Sept. 21, Oct. 5 and 19, Nov. 2, 16 and 30, Dec. 14.
  • Spring: Feb. 1, 15, 29, March 14, April 4, 18 and May 2.


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.


Courtney Hanna-McNamara (associate)
Ann Montzka Smelser (faculty)
Laurie Rodriguez (associate)


Eric Schroeder (associate)


Thomas Cappaert (associate)

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 - Suzuki Violin, Suzuki Guitar, Suzuki Cello $590 $818 $1,044
Faculty* (Ann Montzka) - Suzuki Violin $717 $1,008 $1,298

Fall and Spring Semesters
28 Private Lessons and Groups

Level 30 Min 45 Min 60 Min
Associate - Suzuki Violin, Suzuki Guitar, Suzuki Cello $1,180 $1,636 $2,088
Faculty* (Ann Montzka) - Suzuki Violin $1,434 $2,015 $2,596

Suzuki Workshop

Suzuki workshop and master class, Nov. 11, 2023

9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Suzuki families are invited for an inspiring day of musicmaking through master classes, group lessons, parent talks and a clinician’s recital. This workshop is free for all students enrolled in the NIU Suzuki programs. Other Suzuki students and teachers are welcome to register as guests for a fee.


Workshop Fees:

  • CSA Suzuki student - free
  • Guest Student - $55
  • Guest teacher with student - free
  • Guest teacher without student - $40
  • Additional price for participating in master class - $40

Master Classes

Master classes are available for violin. Because of space limitations, students may not request a specific teacher for a master class. All those attending the workshop are welcome to observe any master class. Three or four students are assigned to each master class session, which lasts for one hour. Students are asked to stay for the entire session. CSA students: Be sure to register for your master class as soon as possible.

Guest Students

We welcome Suzuki students from other programs to attend the workshop and, if space is available, to register for a master class. Register as soon as possible for both the workshop and the master class. We will contact you if we are not able to offer you a time for a master class.

Guest Teachers

Teachers who have participating students may observe the workshop gratis. Teachers who do not have students participating and would like to observe may do so for a fee.


Students are responsible for reviewing all Suzuki pieces learned to date. A selected repertoire list is available below and will be available at the CSA group classes.

Repertoire List

Below is the Suzuki repertoire list for the 2023 workshop and fall semester. Pieces will be selected from this list for workshops, group lessons and performances.

Book One

  • Twinkle through Perpetual Motion
  • Minuet 1, J.S. Bach
  • Happy Farmer, R. Schumann

Book 2

  • Chorus from "Judas Maccabaeus," G. F Handel
  • Hunters Chorus, C. M von Weber
  • Bourree, G. F. Handel
  • The Two Grenadiers, R. Schumann
  • Witches’ Dance, N. Paganini
  • Gavotte, P. Lully

Book 3

  • Gavotte in G Minor, J.S. Bach
  • Humoresque, A. Dvorak
  • Bourree, J. S. Bach

Book 4

  • Concerto No. 2, Mvt. 3,  F. Seitz
  • Concerto in A Minor, 1st mvt.,  A. Vivaldi

Book 5

  • Largo from Concerto in A Minor, A. Vivaldi
  • Country Dance, C.M von Weber

Book 6

  • Allegro Fiocco 
  • Gavotte, Rameau

Supplementary Pieces for High School Group

  • Moon Over Ruined Castle, Japanese Folk Song
  • Dance of the Tumblers from "The Snow Maiden", N. Rimsky-Korsakov
  • Oror "Lullaby", A. Hovhaness