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School of Music

  • Suzuki cello students with teacher
  • Suzuki Guitar students at Moore School
  • Suzuki Students at the Big Easy Festival
  • Suzuki guitar student and teacher
  • Suzuki Strings recital at Richland County Library

Suzuki Strings at USC

Suzuki Strings at USC offers private and group lessons in the Suzuki method for violin, viola, cello, and guitar for children ages three and above.

Information Sessions (for families interested in joining our program):

Sat, June 11, 9:30–10:30 a.m. 
Sat, August 6, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
Location: String Project Building Room 206 (851 Park St)

Spring 2016 Special Dates and Performances*

(updated 3/8/16)

Mon., Jan. 11
Private lessons resume

Fri., Jan. 15 and Sat., Jan. 16
Group classes and Theory classes resume

Fri., Jan. 29 and Sat., Jan. 30
Guest teacher Ms. Betsy Fee will give master classes and parent talks.

Sat., Feb. 6, 2:00 p.m.
Free Family Concert with the Columbia Baroque Ensemble
Johnson Performance Hall, Darla Moore School of Business, level 1

Sat., Feb. 13, 9:30 a.m.
Saturday violin groups perform at the Richland Library, downtown Columbia

Sat., Feb. 20, 9:30 a.m.
Saturday cellos and all guitars perform at the Richland Library, downtown Columbia

Sun., Feb. 21, 3:00 p.m.
Darla Moore School of Business, Johnson Performance Hall
Suzuki Strings at USC faculty family concert

Fri., Feb. 26, 5:45 p.m. and Sat., Feb. 27, 10:30 a.m.
Parent Time! Note Taking with Michael King

Sat., March 5, 1:00 p.m.
"Share Concert" in Greenville (Singing Strings only)

Sat., March 12, 9:00 a.m.
School of Music Recital Hall
Graduation recitals     

Fri., April 8, 5:30 p.m. and Sat., April 9, 10:00 a.m. 
School of Music, room 213
Parent Time! Summer Institutes with Steve Sloan and Julia Long

Sun., April 17, at 6:00 p.m.
Park Street Baptist Church performance (all Friday groups)

Sat., April 23
Johnson Performance Hall, Darla Moore School of Business
9:00 a.m. Violin Group Classes Concert  
11:00 a.m. Viola, Cello, and Guitar Group Classes Concert    

Fri., May 6, 6:00 p.m.
Noye's Fludde concert, First Presbyterian Church (all Friday groups)     

Sat., May 7, 10:00 a.m.
Saturday Market performance (Saturday group classes only)

Fri., May 20, 3:00–7:30 p.m. and Sat., May 21, 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. 
Suzuki Association of South Carolina Suzuki Festival (sponsored by SASC Midlands and Suzuki  Strings at USC)          

*Unless noted, group classes meet with the regular schedule every Friday and Saturday. Please print out the calendar under Current and New Students for additional details.

What is the Suzuki Method?

One of the key concepts of the Suzuki Method is the Suzuki Triangle. The teacher and the parent create the foundation of the triangle; they work together to create a positive and successful experience for the child. The respect and commitment between the teacher and parent is vital for the child's success.

A second key component of the Suzuki Method is that the instrument is learned using the "Mother-Tongue" language learning principles. Dr. Suzuki observed that "all Japanese children speak Japanese" merely by being surrounded by the language in their environment. Similarly, by surrounding children with a musical environment and using language learning principle, children can be taught the skills to play an instrument at very young ages.

Some key components of the Suzuki Method include:

  • Early Beginnings: Language centers are developed in the brain between ages 3-5. These years of development are also crucial for body coordination. 
  • Listening: Just as one learns to speak before one learns to read/write, so to does the Suzuki student learn to play and produce sounds on the instrument before reading music. Listening daily to the recordings is essential for not only learning the tunes, but to also develop a sense of beautiful tone, dynamics, phrasing, and overall musicianship.
  • Parent Involvement: The parent will learn to play the Twinkle variations and be the home teacher. During the private lesson the parent will take notes for home practice assignments. The parent is also our number one cheerleader! 
  • Step-by-Step: Skills are broken down into small segments so that they are easily mastered by the student. Each step is securely learned before moving on; old skills are used as building blocks for new skills.
  • Improvement & Refinement: "Old" or review pieces are continually practiced and played to provide a means of refinement in the child's skills.
  • Encouragement and positive reinforcement fosters confidence and ensures that your child feels successful along the way. Since each child is an individual and treated as such, your child successfully progresses at his or her own pace.
  • Repetition: Skills are mastered through creative repetition, positive encouragement,  and daily practice.
  • Environment: It is important to create a positive, nurturing, and musical environment, both in lessons and at home. Children will flourish if they are provided such surroundings!

The ultimate goal of the Suzuki Method is not to create excellent violinists, but as Dr. Suzuki said "create beautiful human beings." Children who learn music through the Suzuki Method are not only instilled with the value of dedication and patience, but also acquire confidence and strong self-esteem.

Suzuki Strings at USC

Suzuki Strings at USC, directed by Dr. Samara Humbert-Hughes, provides private and group lessons in the Suzuki method for violin, viola, cello, and guitar, to children ages three and above. Brand new beginners are accepted ages three through seven years old.

Suzuki students participate in both a weekly private lesson and a group class. Group classes take place for all students on Friday evenings (advanced students) in the School of Music Building (Assembly & College) and on Saturday mornings (beginning to intermediate students) in the String Project Building (Park & College). Private lesson times are scheduled by the parent and teacher throughout the week.

Suzuki Strings at USC has two terms that include a weekly private lesson and group class for the students. The fall term is September through December (13 weeks) and spring term is January through May (17 weeks).

Parents are considered the “home teacher” and are required to attend the weekly private lessons with their children. They are responsible for helping establish their child's daily practice routine and working with them on reinforcing the concepts and exercises assigned by the instructor. During the private lesson, the parent is asked to take notes to ensure they fully understand the assignments. If the parent's questions have not been answered during the lesson, we encourage them to contact the teacher at a later time to address their questions.

Group classes motivate, inspire, and provide students with the opportunity to create music with their peers. Group classes often include students of a variety of ages and skills - much like the Montessori system. Younger students are inspired by older students and older students have the chance to work on their leadership skills and ensemble playing. Group class teachers use a variety of games and activities to review and introduce string skills in each class. 

Interested families are invited to observe our Saturday morning group classes and attend our free concerts.

Please email if you are interested in joining the Suzuki Strings at USC program.