About the Suzuki Strings Program at CMS

The Suzuki method of instruction is based on the philosophy and teaching of the late Japanese educator Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, in which young children learn to play the violin, viola and cello the same way they learn to speak — by listening, imitating and repeating sounds. Just as children learn to read after they learn to speak, Suzuki students learn note-reading after developing aural skills and proper instrument posture.

The Suzuki method creates a partnership among teacher, parent and child. The parent attends lessons and group classes with the child, learns to play the instrument and becomes the “home teacher.” Community Music School Suzuki students listen to the recorded repertoire, attend weekly private lessons, semi-monthly group classes and spend time reviewing and polishing skills along with new material.

Violin: ages 4-6

Viola: ages 4-6

Cello: ages 4-7

Students enrolled in Suzuki instruction will need their own instrument. Because of the nature of Suzuki teaching, the parent will need his/her own violin or viola. Cello parents will use their child's instrument. To ensure proper size and quality, please do not rent or purchase an instrument until you have been placed in the program and have consulted with your child's teacher.

Semester Parent Orientation Sessions Semester Dates
Fall 2023 Sept. 16, 23 and 30, 2023 Aug. 12, 2023–Jan. 6, 2024
Spring 2024 Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3, 2024 Jan. 13–June 3, 2024
Summer 2024 No new students accepted June 15–Aug. 2, 2024

CMS only registers new students for the Suzuki Strings program in September and in January.

Step 1: Complete the CMS Inquiry Form and indicate your interest in the Suzuki String Program

Step 2: The primary adult contact will receive an email with a link to sign up for Suzuki Parent Orientation (there is a $40 fee for Orientation). The Suzuki Parent Orientation Program consists of three sessions, usually on consecutive Saturdays, and is held at the beginning of both the Fall and Spring semesters.

  • Session one includes a description of the CMS Suzuki Program, a discussion of the Suzuki philosophy and demonstration performances by our current Suzuki students.
  • Session two includes an observation of group lessons and a discussion about the parents’ role as the home teacher.
  • Session three focuses on what to expect at lessons, followed by registration in the Suzuki program.

All three sessions are for parents only and should be attended by the parent who will be the Suzuki practice partner at home. Students are encouraged to attend the group lesson observation during the second session, but childcare will need to be arranged during the parent session. Also during the three-week program, parents and their future Suzuki students are expected to observe at least one individual lesson, which gives our CMS instructors an opportunity to meet prospective students and assess their readiness to begin.

Step 3: Students are registered and begin weekly lessons with their instructor. Bills will be sent after they are registered for lessons.

Suzuki Strings program Orientation Dates:

Fall 2023 Semester Sept. 16, 2023 Sept. 23, 2023 Sept. 30, 2023
Spring 2024 Semester Jan. 20, 2024 Jan. 24, 2024 Feb. 3, 2024


Learn more about Financial Assistance.

Lesson Length Fall 2023/Spring 2024 Semester
(18 weeks)
Summer 2024
(6 weeks)
30-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month) $801/semester $210
45-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month) $1,116/semester $312
60-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month) $1,440/semester $420

Annual Registration Fee:

A non-refundable registration fee of $30 is assessed once per academic year per student upon enrollment.

Suzuki Ensemble

The Suzuki Ensemble is comprised of students who have advanced to the highest level of accomplishment in the Community Music School's Suzuki String Program. The Suzuki Ensemble has performed in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, and in 2006 toured and performed in Europe. The ensemble has performed in elementary schools, retirement communities, on television, at Powell Symphony Hall, the Fox Theatre with The Piano Guys, and with Time for Three.

Suzuki students with moms learning violin

“With the Suzuki program at CMS, not only do you get some of the most attentive, kind and methodical teachers, you get a whole incredibly supportive community that create a warm and welcoming environment for your kids. The carefully designed curriculum is outstanding but more importantly, the faculty organizes many group activities that keep the students engaged, inspired and excited.”

Suzuki students with moms learning violin
-- CMS Parent