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Nashville Suzuki Institute

Suzuki class

The Nashville Suzuki Institute is an exciting new summer Suzuki program offering students and teachers the opportunity to study with world-class teachers from across the globe. The Institute will take place at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt in July 2019.

How to register

Go to our PACE registration portal to register.

Students and teachers new to Blair will need to create and save a new user account. If you are a parent creating an account for your student, please make sure the account information (name and birth date) reflect your student’s information. Contact information can be the parent’s. If you are a parent registering multiple students, each student needs his or her own account.

Once you have created a new user account, select "Courses" toward the top of the page:

PACE header

Then search for Suzuki Institute. Add the appropriate course to your cart and proceed through the checkout process.

All tuition must be paid by the first day of class.

If you’d like to pay with check or cash, or if you have any registration question please contact the registrar, Rachel Hobbs: 615-322-7655 or

Student program

Dates: July 14-19, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fees: $50 registration (waived if you register before March 15); $500 tuition

NSI will kick-off with a Welcome Play-In on the afternoon of Sunday July 14. Institute programming will run from Monday, July 15 through Friday, July 19.

A day at the institute will consist of five hours of instruction with breaks for snack, lunch, practicing, and down time. Instruction will be a mix of master class, group class, technique class, and fiddling. Younger students will participate in a Music and Movement class while the more advanced players will join together for chamber music.

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday there will be concerts and performance opportunities at 4:30 p.m.


  • To attend the institute, students must be studying the Suzuki method and be able to play at least one "Twinkle" variation.
  • Students must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • Students should have all the Suzuki repertoire memorized up to their current piece.
  • Students should have a piece prepared and polished for their master class and to play on a student recital.

Teacher development

The Nashville Suzuki Institute offers teacher development courses for both novice and expert teachers. All courses run 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Registration is $50 per person, but this fee will be waived if you register before March 15.

July 13 Every Child Can, with Joanne Melvin. Cost: $135

July 13-14 Enriching Your Suzuki Teaching with Fiddle and Controlled Improvisation, with Crystal Plohman. Cost: $300

July 14-21 Violin Unit 1, with Joanne Melvin. Cost: $650

July 14-21 Cello Unit 1, with Andrea Yun. Cost: $650

July 15-19 Violin Unit 4, with Amanda Schubert. Cost: $450

July 15-19 Violin Practicum, with Pat D’Ercole. Cost: $450

About the fiddling workshop

Nashville Suzuki Institute will include a two-day (July 13-14) enrichment workshop with Suzuki teacher and fiddler Crystal Plohman Wiegman to learn how to incorporate various fiddle styles and repertoire into your Suzuki teaching. Using the carefully sequenced and correlated “Fiddle and Song” curriculum plus additional materials, this hands-on exploration will include tips and techniques to play each style authentically (Irish, bluegrass, etc.).

The course will study how to use tunes to reinforce teaching points throughout Suzuki books 1-4 and support technical and musical goals while having fun. Introduction to controlled improvisation, back-up techniques and chords and variation will be covered, as well as presenting ideas for supporting skills and creativity for multi-level group class and performances.  

Additionally, teacher trainees will have the opportunity to observe these teaching techniques in action during fiddle classes for Suzuki students at the institute from July 15-19. Teachers must have completed Every Child Can or Filosofia and Unit 1 and must be active members of the Suzuki Association of the Americas to register for this course.

Suzuki Association of the Americas teacher training requirements for unit training and practicum courses

Training Prerequisites and Course Order

To take Suzuki teacher training, teachers must be active members of the SAA. Every Child Can! (ECC) is required prior to taking Unit 1. Courses must be taken in order through Unit 3: ECC, Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3. Once this sequence has been completed, taking units in order is highly recommended but not required.

Audition Requirement

To qualify as a participant in SAA Teacher Workshop unit courses, applicants must upload a video audition to the SAA, preferably well in advance of taking the course. Videos submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the course start date will receive a discounted audition fee. If they are submitted later than 8 weeks before the course, the regular audition fee will be required. Auditions for Unit 1 courses must be received no later than 10 days prior to the course start date. Auditions for all other units must be submitted and approved by the course start.

Auditions submitted early have the advantage of an optional retry (with fees) within the stated deadlines if initial audition was not accepted. If auditions are not accepted, course work will not be eligible for SAA registration. For further information, please visit the SAA website to view the teacher video audition application form and instructions, or call the SAA at 1-888-378-9854.

Required Course Preparation

All teacher training participants are asked to prepare and memorize the repertoire to be studied to the point of fluent performance. Additionally, participants should be conversant with the ideas presented in Dr. Suzuki’s book Nurtured by Love.

All participants will be performing Suzuki repertoire and other materials in class. Strings and woodwinds are expected to provide their own instruments. One-hundred percent attendance is required for registering the course, along with any other course requirements set by the teacher trainer.

Each participant enrolled in a Unit 1 course will receive a letter from the SAA stating the preparation expectations and basic course components. Letters are emailed directly to each participant as they are added to the institute’s online roster. Each letter is instrument-specific and covers information such as reading material, Suzuki books and CDs, piece preparation, and items to bring to the course.


Nashville has become a major tourist center, and numerous hotels and short-term rentals are available close to the Vanderbilt campus, including the Homewood Suites, Holiday Inn, Marriott, Loews Vanderbilt and more. 


Numerous food options are available to institute attendees.

Across the street from the Blair School of Music is the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, which houses a large food court with varied options for eating.

About a seven-minute walk from Blair is the trendy Nashville neighborhood called Hillsboro Village. Hillsboro Village boasts an abundance of traditional and unique dining options. Popular amongst locals and tourists is the Pancake Pantry, famous for its flapjacks and its long lines. It's worth the wait, we promise! Also popular are Biscuit Love, Cabana, McDougal's, Sushi 88, Meet Noodles and Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams, among others.


Dr. Zachary Ebin, director (Nashville, Tenn.)

Carole Bestvater violin (St. Johns, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada)

Amanda Schubert, violin (Waco, Texas)

Joanne Melvin, violin (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

Andrea Yun, cello (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Wayne Krigger, cello (Louisville, Ky.)

Rachel Fabulich, violin and viola (Framingham, Mass.)

Pat D’Ercole, violin (Stevens Point, Wis.)

Crystal Plohman, flddle (Nashville, Tenn.)