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East Lansing


Suzuki Program

Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano

Suzuki Program Calendar

The Suzuki Program, or “mother tongue” method of instruction, is a well-established pedagogical method. It was developed in postwar Japan by Shinichi Suzuki, a Western-trained professional violinist, who wished to give musical instruction to the children of his war-torn country. The premise of the Suzuki method is that learning is the product of environment and any skill can be learned when broken into small, manageable steps. Suzuki’s approach was to teach music in the same way children learn to speak their mother tongue.

Children study and perform common repertoire comprising folk songs, Baroque dances, and standard works. Students listen daily to recordings of these works while learning the skills necessary to perform on their instruments. Children typically start at age 4–6 years (although older children are welcome to start with the Suzuki method). Children younger than 5 years of age must attend at least one semester of Early Childhood Music Education before enrolling in Suzuki, to ensure musical readiness.

Because the philosophy of the Suzuki method is the parent-student-teacher triangle of learning, a parent/guardian will receive education and training to help his/her child grow in this musical experience. In addition to weekly private lessons, students attend a weekly group class, as well as perform in solo recitals and participate in a yearly workshop. Parents/guardians attend each activity, take detailed notes, and are responsible for supervising at-home preparation and practice. All parents are asked to observe four lessons given by a Suzuki teacher either before or during their child’s first semester of lessons. In these observations, parents/guardians will learn about the Suzuki philosophy, the role they play in their child’s music education, effective practicing strategies, and the life-long relationship built between the teacher-parent-child.

Alumni of the CMS Suzuki Program have attended music programs such as Eastman School of Music, University of Michigan, Yale and Michigan State University. In addition, CMS Suzuki alumni have gone on to attend other schools such as Stanford and Tufts, and have studied engineering, art, social work, music, architecture, and many other subjects.

Suzuki Strings Schedule and Tuition

In addition to participating in group lessons, Suzuki students have a private lesson at an arranged time, typically over a 17-week semester. Lesson times vary from 30–60 minutes.

  • 30 minutes plus Suzuki group: $37/week; $629/semester
  • 45 minutes plus Suzuki group: $52.50/week; $892.50/semester
  • 60 minutes plus Suzuki group: $64.50/week; $1,096.50/semester
  • 45 minutes Suzuki strings group only (must take private lessons through another Suzuki teacher): $123.50 per semester

All Suzuki strings groups are on Thursdays, 5-7 p.m. Specific schedules are provided by your Suzuki instructor.

Call (517) 355-7661 or visit the CMS office to enroll.

Videos of the Suzuki Program:

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National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts MSU College of Music

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