Kennesaw State hosts Atlanta Suzuki Institute

The idea of a three−year−old with a violin might strike terror into the hearts of many…

Georgia (Jun 19, 2002) — Kennesaw State hosts Atlanta Suzuki Institute

Cheryl Anderson Brown


The idea of a three−year−old with a violin might strike terror into the hearts of many −− will he smack his brother over the head with it or‚ worse‚ will she draw the bow across the strings creating a sound ten times worse than fingernails on a chalkboard?

Adherents of the Suzuki Method‚ however‚ willingly give young children violins without fear. When the Atlanta Suzuki Institute convenes on the campus of Kennesaw State University the week of June 23‚ more than 160 students‚ ages 3−17 from six states‚ will demonstrate their musical skills and study their instruments with master teachers from around the country while their parents sit in on every lesson.

"The Suzuki Method brings parents‚ teachers and students together‚" says institute Director Janalyn Lindley. "The parents are active participants in the child's training."

During the weeklong session‚ students will attend daily semi−private lessons and classes in repertoire‚ technique‚ movement and improvisation. They also will benefit from performances by their teachers‚ peers and special guests like the Amati Trio. More advanced students may also participate in one of three orchestras. Meanwhile teachers may attend a teacher−training seminar. Parents‚ in addition to observing their children's lessons and classes‚ will have sessions with the teachers to learn how to help advance their children's musical training.

Lindley‚ who has taught using the Suzuki Method for 30 years‚ says parents view the week as a family holiday. "Although the schedule is very intensive‚ it really offers them the opportunity to be together as a family and to be involved with an activity they all enjoy."

The Suzuki Method of Talent Training was developed by Shinichi Suzuki in Japan in the mid−20th century as an alternative to "traditional" violin instruction. The method is based partially on the idea that children should learn music the same way they learn language − a combination of total immersion and learning to speak before learning to read. Suzuki students begin training at a very early age‚ even as young as two. Often‚ Suzuki students listen to music recordings and observe other student's lessons before they are given an instrument. Then‚ they are taught techniques and memorize entire songs‚ even concertos‚ before they ever see a sheet of written music. In traditional music training‚ students usually are given their instruments and sheet music at the same time. Learning to read music is delayed in Suzuki training‚ although it is still a priority‚ according to Lindley.

"The Suzuki method frees young children from the written notes‚" Lindley says. "It allows them to learn in a more natural manner. It also helps develop their memorization and tonal skills. It is great training for the brain and the mind."

Although Suzuki techniques are now used for piano and flute training‚ the institute at Kennesaw State will focus only on violin‚ viola and cello. The institute begins with a group session at 6 p.m. on Sunday‚ June 23 in Howard Logan Stillwell Theater. Classes‚ lessons and recitals occur daily throughout the week. During the Final Festival Concert at 3:30 p.m. on Friday‚ June 28‚ several student ensembles will perform in Stillwell Theater.


Kennesaw State University‚ a progressive‚ comprehensive institution with a growing student population of 14‚100 from 118 countries‚ offers more than 50 degree programs. Out of 34 institutions‚ KSU is the sixth largest in the University System of Georgia.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit