Suzuki Strings Program | Webster University

Suzuki Strings Program


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.

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. 

Instrument Youngest Beginning Age
Violin age 4-6
 Viola  age 4-6
 Cello  age 5-7



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. 

How to Get Started:

Complete the CMS Enrollment Form


Attend the Suzuki Parent Orientation

Once we receive the enrollment form, staff will send an email with more information on how to sign up for our Suzuki Parent Orientation.  The Suzuki Parent Orientation Program consists of three sessions, usually on consecutive Saturdays held at the beginning of both the Fall and Spring Semesters.  The first session includes a description of the CMS Suzuki Program, a discussion of the Suzuki philosophy, and demonstration performances by our current Suzuki students.  The second session includes an observation of group lessons and a discussion about the parents’ role as the home teacher.  The third session focuses on what to expect at lessons, followed by registration into 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.  Fee:  $40.00

Session Dates:

Semester New Parent Orientation Dates Session Dates
Fall 2020 September 19, 26 & October 3, 2020  August 15, 2020 - January 9, 2021
Spring 2021   January 16, 23 & 30, 2021 January 19 - May 28, June 5 & 7
Summer 2021 No new students accepted  


Tuition and Fees

Lesson Length Fall 2020 (18 weeks) Summer (6 weeks)
30-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month) $783/semester $207
45-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month)  $1089/semester  $309
60-minute lesson/week (plus group classes twice per month)  $1404/semester  $414


Annual Registration Fee:

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

Find out more:

Resources for Current Students: