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Nashville Suzuki Institute

Suzuki class

The Nashville Suzuki Institute is an exciting 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 2020.


Registration will open in February, and instructions will be posted at that time.

Student program

Dates: July 12-17, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fees: $50 registration (waived if you register before March 15); $515 tuition

NSI will kick-off with a Welcome Play-In on the afternoon of Sunday July 12. Institute programming will run from Monday, July 12 through Friday, July 17.

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.

At 4 p.m. each day there is a concert, play-in or other fun activity.


  • 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 11 Every Child Can, with Andrea Yun. Cost: $140

July 12-19 Violin Unit 1, with Cathryn Lee. Cost: $665

July 12-19 Cello Unit 1, with Andrea Yun. Cost: $665

July 13-17 Violin Unit 2, with Libby Armour. Cost: $465

July 13-17 Cello Unit 2, with Avi Friedlander. Cost: $465

July 13-17 Violin Unit 5, with Amanda Schubert. Cost: $465

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, Nicoletto's Italian Kitchen 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)

Libby Armour, violin (Memphis, Tenn.)

Ellen Kogut, violin (Montreal, Quebec)

Carmen Evans, violin (Guelph, Ontario)

Cathryn Lee, violin (San Francisco, Calif.)

Crystal Plohman, fiddle (Nashville, Tenn.)

Andrea Yun, cello (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

Avi Friedlander, cello (Wilmette, Ill.)