Suzuki Program

The Pennsylvania Suzuki Institute is a week-long music festival modeled after the summer school Dr. Suzuki directed in Matsumoto, Japan.  The experience is designed to be the biggest motivating and inspiring musical event in a young person's year, and focuses on improving each child's musical aptitude and achievement. The Institute involves three core classes, a chamber orchestra experience, and the opportunity to take musical enrichment courses that are offered  to build each student’s musical knowledge and ability - all while having a lot of fun.

Core Curriculum Classes

Each student receives three daily classes- each lasting 50 minutes - that qualify as a "core" class.  Students in Books 2 and above are also placed in an Orchestra class.

1. Master class consists of three to four students that get individual instruction with a faculty member. Each student works on the technical and musical skills as well as the repertoire that is individually appropriate for them. While each student is getting their individual time, the other students in the class have the opportunity to observe, which is a highly valuable in Dr. Suzuki’s methodology.

2. Performing Group consists of 10-12 students that prepare a work to be performed on the Grand Concert on the final day of Institute. Students work with a faculty member to master technical, musical and ensemble skills that are applicable to the piece they are collectively learning. The Performing Group is an excellent opportunity for students to improve interpersonal and intrapersonal interaction while working for a common goal.

3. Repertoire Class consists of approximately 20-24 students. The purpose of this class is to familiarize each student with upcoming pieces and review previously learned pieces. The class focuses on musical activities and games that will further each student’s musical knowledge, aural, oral and kinesthetic abilities. Always a lot of fun (even for the parents)!!

The Orchestral Experience

Orchestra experience (for students in Books 2+) includes a placement in one of four orchestras: The Debut Orchestra, The Sinfonietta, The Philharmonia, and The Chamber Orchestra (for Young Artists). All students are placed in one of these ensembles according to their age and ability on the Instrument.  The conductors prepare each ensemble to perform a number of works on the Orchestra Concert. The faculty also teach the students ensemble-playing skills and music-reading skills.

  • Debut Orchestra - for students who are working in/have completed the "I Can Read Music" book or an equivalent music reading book. A first experience for students who know the notes in first position and easy rhythms. 
  • Sinfonietta Orchestra - for students in Books 2 and 3 who can read fluently in first position and read various rhythms.
  • Philharmonia - for students in Books 4+
  • Chamber Orchestra - for young artists in the chamber music program

Enrichment Courses

Each student's tuition includes one enrichment course. You may also pay an extra $40/week to take an extra enrichment course. The following Enrichment courses will be offered in 2018.

  • Arts and Crafts 
  • Blue Grass Band/Old-Timey Music
  • Fiddling
  • Kinderdance
  • Ukulele - Beginning
  • Visual Art


Classes for pre-Twinklers will be scheduled between 9-12 noon (some *optional electives may be in the afternoon). This offering is intended to introduce younger musicians to the joys of a week-long Institute experience, without the demands of a full-day schedule. The Pre-Twinkle session is open to students who repertoire ranges anywhere from Pre-Twinkle up through Lightly Row.  Those students at this level are also welcome to register for the full Institute if they wish. Each pre-Twinkle student will have 2-3 hours of class per day, which include the following:

  • 1 hour master class (short, semi-private lesson, 4 students per class)
  • 1 hour performing group class
  • Sign up for optional elective separately- $40 extra

Adult Suzuki Music Institute

Adult students are encouraged to take part in this fun week of playing in adult ensembles. It is an exciting way to enjoy making music with others. During the week, adult students will have a master class with other adults, play in the orchestra with the students, and have their own chamber music classes each day. Adults are also welcome to participate in electives, groups, and play-in’s with younger students. This is a wonderful way to enhance your music making capabilities and have a rewarding week at a summer camp.


All students, regardless of level, are welcome to perform on one of six student recitals held on Thursday and Friday afternoons at 4:15. Students must have a polished, memorized piece ready to perform. One 15 minute rehearsal with one of our accompanists will be available to each participant. 


Classes run from 9-4 each day, with a one hour lunch break from 12-1. All students in Books 2 and up will have one free period a day for practice or leisure. Students in Book 1 will have two free periods a day, unless they sign up for an extra elective. These free periods often fall at the beginning or end of the day, to keep the schedules as condensed as possible.