Suzuki Program Overview
Instruments & Ages Offered
Students may enroll in the Suzuki Program on cello, viola, or violin. Children may begin as young as 3 years old, but it is never too late to start.
Lessons & Group Classes
Students receive an individual lesson and a group lesson each week. This combination is an essential feature of the Suzuki Program.
Individual lessons provide one-on-one instruction for the child and the parent. Lesson lengths start at 30 minutes and increase to 45 minutes and 60 minutes as students progress. First year students may start in a mini-group that allows a flexible amount of individual instruction to meet students needs. Lessons are scheduled Monday through Saturday from before school through the evening hours. Lesson times are assigned by the instructor in coordination with the students. Lessons run throughout the year in three semesters: Fall (16 weeks), Spring (16 weeks), and Summer (flexible schedule).
Group classes provide children the opportunity to play music with friends on a weekly basis. In addition to reinforcing technical and musical concepts, students learn how to play with a group and elements of music theory. Most importantly, group classes are fun and motivating for both children and parents. Group classes are 45 minutes and run weekly for 14 weeks each semester during the school year. Group classes over the summer are announced in May.
Students perform in multiple events throughout the school year. Performances include group concerts like Pie Night and Suzuki Showcase, and solo concerts like Suzuki Solo Days. In addition to core program performances, community concert opportunities include pop-up concerts at local libraries and farmers’ markets. The Suzuki Program has also been invited to perform at special events like the New Hampshire Governor’s Inauguration and the New Hampshire Humanities Annual Dinner.
Parent education is an essential and on-going component of the Suzuki Program. For parents of first-year students, the first four weeks of group classes are devoted to understanding the Suzuki philosophy, how to practice successfully, and the basics of playing the instrument. Parent education continues during lessons, group classes, and yearly parent-teacher conferences.
The Suzuki program hosts workshops and events with other Suzuki programs from across the country. The program often invites guest clinicians in for one day workshops or parent classes. More information is available at the start of each school year.
Advanced Suzuki Program
The Suzuki Program for middle school and high school students reflects the needs and interests of teens. Once they reach an advanced level, students may audition for the Advanced Performance String Ensemble. This group combines the format of a college level studio class with a small conductorless performing ensemble. The ensemble performs regularly and participates in some competitions around the area.
While it is not the goal of the Suzuki Program to train students for a career in music, students have the option of training at a college preparatory level, and some students choose to pursue music after graduating from high school. For all students, their teen years offer a unique opportunity to forge their identities through the lens of their musical studies.
Dr. Suzuki’s Vision
“Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline, and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.” – Dr. Sinichi Suzuki
Dr. Suzuki’s vision was born in the aftermath of World War II, but the need for sensitivity, discipline, and endurance continues to be great. We believe that by educating children and teaching them how to play together they can in turn make the world a better place.
“It’s a welcoming community that greatly encourages parent participation.”
– A UVMC Suzuki Parent