The Northern Illinois University Suzuki Strings spent the summer playing, practicing, and performing in Wisconsin, St. Louis and DeKalb.
The group of violinists performed the national anthem at the Cubs/Cardinals game at Busch Stadium on July 22 and many attended the American Suzuki Institute, an intensive music camp in Stevens Point, Wis., in early August. A performance on Corn Fest’s community stage on Aug. 26 capped off the summer.
The Suzuki approach is a family-based program. Parents attend all lessons and help with practicing and listening throughout the week. Students begin learning as young as 4 years old. Music learning is patterned after the way we learn to speak, through repeated listening of music to be learned, breaking down skills into the smallest steps for understanding and mastery, all with parental encouragement.
Teachers are Suzuki director Ann Montzka-Smelser, Karen Weckerly and Laurie Rodriguez. All have received special training to teach using the Suzuki approach. Private and group lessons are taught in the NIU Music Building. The Suzuki program is offered by the NIU Community School of the Arts.
More information is available online at www.suzuki.niu.edu or call the community school office at 815-753-1450. Guitar, piano and cello also are taught using the Suzuki method. There are still a few spaces open for new students this fall. An orientation for the parents of registered new students is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. today and Sept. 27.