Suzuki Violin Studio

In his trailblazing book aptly titled, Nurtured by Love, world-renowned violinist and teacher Shinichi Suzuki presented the philosophy and principles of his teaching methods for developing the natural abilities of every child. Students begin violin instruction between the ages of three and six and often achieve remarkable skills at a very early age. An equally important benefit of the instruction is that it encourages deep musical bonding between parent and child. The much-acclaimed Suzuki method includes a combination of group and individual instruction, and requires a serious commitment of parental involvement.

The basic elements of the Suzuki method consist of listening, motivation, proper technique, repetition and reinforcement. The goal is to train the child in both his musical abilities as well as his overall intellectual, psychological and spiritual development.

For many decades, the Suzuki method has demonstrated that every young person can significantly develop his abilities during the absorbing and sensitive years of early childhood – far beyond what most people can imagine. The approach is that the child learns music by the same process with which he earns his own native language. The role of the parents, therefore, is vital in this learning process. The parent attends lessons with the child and helpswith practice at home, and in fact develops knowledge of the instrument andmusic along with the child.

Participation in the Suzuki violin studio

In the Institute’s Suzuki violin studio, children between ages 3-6 may begin. Older students may enroll if they have already received training in the Suzuki method elsewhere and would like to continue their studies at the Institute.

The parent must accompany the child while participating in each of the following activities, with the exception of “play-ins” which may occur during a parent meeting. Siblings and friends are encouraged to be present during lessons as observers.


In private lessons, with the parent participating, the student receives the individualized instruction so crucial to his or her development.


Each student is assigned to a group according to level of advancement. Participation in these eekly 60-minute group lessons is a vital part of the student’s development, and both student and parent are expected to attend.


The parents who make the serious commitment of time necessary for this program very quickly come to value their precious seven-day-a week investment in their children’s musical development. Generally, a beginning student requires two or three daily practice sessions of 10-15 minutes each. Then as the student progresses the daily practice time increases.


At the end of the Fall and Spring sessions, the students in the Suzuki violin studio share their music with friends and family in a public, formal concert. After an exciting program of solo and group performances, students celebrate with their guests in a reception.


The studio provides occasional meetings of Suzuki parents to share experiences, participate in problem-solving discussions and to receive helpful advice.

Parents are welcome to attend an information open house. These are offered at least twice during a session. If planning to enroll a child in the Institute’s Suzuki violin studio, the parent and child should also meet with the instructor in order to confirm the parent’s expectations and to further assure the likelihood of success.


The enrollment process for this program begins with you and your child observing group classes  for a period of 2-3 months.  Through observation, parents learn what to expect in the program, including the time commitment, the intensity of the instruction, and the financial requirements.  During this time the child already begins to learn to hum the tunes that the students are playing just by being in the environment.  More importantly, during the observation period, we build up the child's interest and desire to play the violin.  By the end of the process children usually are begging their parents to begin their own lessons!  Also, during this time, the teacher has the opportunity to observe the child's maturity and readiness to take on the intense instruction.

Following the observation period, parents attend a 4-part Parent Education Class.  The fee is $150.00 per family.  Also, the parent attends three 30-minute private lessons, at the standard rate of $40.00 per lesson.

Following the Parent Education Class, we schedule you and your child to observe individual lessons for 6 weeks, where the environment is more intimate and the focus is more intense.

Upon completion of the enrollment period, it is our hope is that you and your child, along with other families, will smoothly transition into full participation in this wonderful program as part of a new beginners’ class.

For further information or to arrange to visit and observe the Susuki violin classes, e-mail the Columbia Institute of Fine Arts or call us at 703-534-2508.