Suzuki Academy
Ages three to eighteen years

Suzuki Academy

New to the Music Center and interested in Private Lessons (Suzuki or Traditional)? Please fill out our Student Profile Form.


Music Center of the Northwest offers a Suzuki Academy within our programs. The Suzuki faculty are specially certified in Suzuki instruction and have passed the standards set by the Suzuki Association of the Americas to teach this method.

The Suzuki Philosophy

Dr. Suzuki, a violinist and teacher in Japan, marveled that all children learn to speak their native language (a complex and sophisticated skill even for adults) and began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music and called it his mother-tongue approach. He felt that the concept of inborn talent was artificial and limiting. He believed that given the right set of circumstances, all children could learn to play music and learn to play well. One of those circumstances is starting early, thus Suzuki students often begin taking lessons at 3 or 4 years of age.

The most common misconception of Suzuki study is that children do not learn to read music. This is completely false.  Music reading is delayed while specifics of good tone and making beautiful music are emphasized. Then music reading is introduced at a natural time and comes easily for the student.

Two core principles of Suzuki study are the Suzuki Triangle; teacher/parent/child, and learning structured around the weekly individual lesson supported by regular group lessons.  In the weekly lesson the parent plays an active role attending the lesson and taking careful notes to instruct the student's practice during the week.  Often the parent will take the first few lessons and learn enough about playing the instrument not only to help the student's learning, but also to create a co-op learning experience with their child.  This intimate relationship with your child's learning process carries over into all areas of your child's learning and development.  At our Suzuki Academy the group lesson is scheduled about every two weeks and is an important element to students' progress generating motivation to practice, providing a forum for parents to share ideas, and is a fun and positive performance experience for everyone.

Students develop musical skills as they advance through the carefully laid out Suzuki repertoire for that instrument. Early pieces are learned by ear and played together in group classes and recitals. Suzuki students regularly join junior orchestras or ensemble groups as they mature musically and many progress to become excellent players in symphony orchestras.

Suzuki Instruction Information

If you are not familiar with the Suzuki method of music study and would like more information about it, visit the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) website and the Suzuki Association of Washington State (SAWS) website and then call the Music Center to schedule an appointment to talk to one of our Suzuki Faculty. They will be happy to talk with you and answer your questions over the phone, in person, and, if desired, arrange for you to observe a lesson. All our Suzuki faculty are active members of SAA and MCNW is proud to be an organizational member.

Suzuki Faculty

Lauren Lamont, violin, viola, Suzuki Program Coordinator
Allison Bengfort, violin
Kerry Bollinger, violin/viola
Jal Feldman, piano
Anna Doak, double bass
Leslie McMichael, harp
Les Martin, piano
Douglas Aaron Nation, cello

Suzuki Academy Tuition

(Times & lengths vary by instructor & student preference. Prior to starting lessons, parents will be asked to participate in a one-time 60-minute parent orientation for a fee of $50)

September 6, 2017 - June 25, 2018
20 minute $1,273
30 minute $1,767
45 minute $2,470
60 minute $3,211

Tuition is prorated for students who enroll after the term begins. Group lessons are included. Summer Lessons are available with most instructors. Please contact the office for more information!

Each family who signs up for lessons pays an annual non-refundable $75 registration fee. Need-based tuition assistance is available.

Download the 2017-18 Private Lesson Calendarpdf icon.


Questions? Contact the office at (206) 526-8443 or studentservices@mcnw.org.

Administrative Office Hours
Mon - Fri: 10 am - 8 pm
Sat & Sun:          Closed

901 North 96th Street, Seattle, WA 98103
Mailing address: PO Box 30757, Seattle, WA 98113
(206) 526-8443 phone
office@mcnw.org email