Suzuki Talent Education Program

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Suzuki Talent Education Program

Scheduled between student and teacher
Group Classes:
Mondays and Tuesdays at 4:30 and 5:30
15 Lessons, 14 Group Classes, Semester Recital, Annual Awards Recital, Book Exams
$840-$1400/semester, $275/semester for students studying with non-NSA teachers (see below)
No Audition Required

Nevada School of the Arts offers the most comprehensive Suzuki program in Nevada. Our faculty of trained Suzuki instructors provides the highest quality private and group-class instruction. Suzuki instruction is available on violin, cello, piano, and harp.

Following World War II Dr. Shinichi Suzuki developed the theory that all children can be educated by the mother tongue method of learning.


How does Talent Education differ from other methods of teaching music to children?

Thoughtful teachers have often used some of the elements listed here, but Suzuki has formulated them in a cohesive approach. Some basic differences are:

  • Suzuki teachers believe that musical ability can be developed in all children.
  • Students begin at young ages.
  • Parents play an active role in the learning process.
  • Children become comfortable with the instrument before learning to read music.
  • Technique is taught in the context of pieces rather than through dry technical exercises.
  • Pieces are refined through constant review.
  • Students perform frequently, individually and in groups.

“The main concern for parents should be to bring up their children as noble human beings. That is sufficient. If this is not their greatest hope, in the end the child may take a road contrary to their expectations. Children can play very well. We must try to make them splendid in mind and heart also.”

-Shinichi Suzuki

Above content of this page is copyrighted publication of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. © 1998.

Program Overview

NSA Suzuki Talent Education Program starts by enrolling parents in a parent education course (included in your tuition). Suzuki students enrolled in the Nevada School of the Arts Suzuki program must attend all group workshops in addition to their weekly private lesson. The program offers opportunities for outside performances and participation in local competitions and festivals upon the instructor’s recommendation.

Enrollment in the Suzuki Talent Education Program includes:

  • Weekly private lessons
  • Weekly group classes (workshops) based on the student’s level and age
  • Graduation book exams (after completion of each book, students will be able to perform their repertoire and receive a written evaluation from Suzuki faculty members) . Students receive special trophies after their successful completion of the book repertoire and examination.
  • Annual Awards Recital
  • Participation in workshops with guest clinicians.
  • Community Performances
  • Competitions and Festivals (fees vary for each event, since they are not organized by NSA)
  • Students also have the privilege of working with highly trained staff accompanists at a nominal cost for recitals and competitions and free of charge during workshops and performances.


Suzuki Violin: 
Tanya Hambourg, Jennifer HellewellMary Straub, Ioana Weathers, Kelly Wilcock

Suzuki Cello: 
Amanda AndreasenChristian GarciaRobin Reinarz, Tony Rodriguez, Lindsey Springer

Suzuki Piano: Martha Sparks
Suzuki Piano instruction may begin as early as age 4 with instructor’s approval. The lessons are correlated with workshops throughout the semester to help stimulate learning experiences. Emphasis is on the mastery of materials and technique developed through performance and ensemble playing.

Suzuki Harp: Tara Ogden-Skousen
Suzuki harp students may start as early as age 5. During the first year of study, the student will become comfortable with correct hand position and learn about rhythms and the differences between pitches and chords. The student will also learn how to handle, tune and care for the instrument.  There are different kinds and sizes of harps available, including sizes for children.

Students studying with Suzuki Faculty and are in Violin Books I-V or Cello Books I-III and are 4-10 years of age should be enrolled in the NSA Suzuki Talent Education Program.

Violin Group Classes–

Monday 5:30-6:30 (Bk 4+)
Tuesday 4:30-5:30

Faculty: Tanya Hambourg, Jennifer Hellewell, Mary Straub, Ioana Weathers
Cello Group Classes–

Tuesday 4:30-5:30

Faculty: Robin Reinarz, Christian Garcia, Tony Rodriguez

Parent Perspective

Parents whose children are involved in a Suzuki program throughout the country are enthusiastic about the benefits for their children and their whole families. In addition to instilling a love of music, the Suzuki approach puts emphasis on the development of the child’s character.

“This is not just music education. The long-term effects on the family are positive and far-reaching,” says Pam Brasch, Executive Director of the SAA. “It teaches a child cooperation, self-esteem…so many important qualities that children are not getting otherwise.”

Students in many programs comment on the importance of friendships they develop and the chance to share musical experiences with other Suzuki students. They enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes from working at something worthwhile and doing it well.

“Perhaps it is music that will save the world.”

-Pablo Casals

Non-NSA Students

  • 14 One-hour Group Workshops
  • Awards Recital
  • Book Exams

About the Suzuki Method

More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.

As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.

The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.

Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.

Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.

As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.

In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performances at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.

Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.

Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. In the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.

Are Suzuki students musical geniuses? Are they ‘gifted’ children who have a special talent for music? Are their parents professional musicians? Fortunately, Suzuki students are normal children whose parents may have little or no musical experience. Their parents have simply chosen to introduce them to music through the Suzuki approach, a unique philosophy of music education developed by Shinichi Suzuki.

Shinichi Suzuki was a violinist, educator, philosopher and humanitarian. Born in 1898, he studied violin in Japan for some years before going to Germany in the 1920s for further study. After the end of World War II, Dr. Suzuki devoted his life to the development of the method he calls Talent Education.

Suzuki based his approach on the belief that “Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability which can be developed. Any child who is properly trained can develop musical ability, just as all children develop the ability to speak their mother tongue. The potential of every child is unlimited.”

Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not simply to develop professional musicians, but to nurture loving human beings and help develop each child’s character through the study of music.