Group Classes and Individual Lessons


Our Suzuki program offers private instruction with the very essential dimension of group classes as Dr. Suzuki intended. All students in our program must attend group classes, we do not allow students to miss group classes due to extracurricular activities. The group class is a key ingredient in motivating students as well as providing a chance to review old repertoire. Students in CSS may not leave the program and study with a CSS teacher. Students who continue through high school often way that the many years of a peer support group, concerts, solo recitals and workshops offered through the CSS helped keep them interested. For families who do not want the twice a week contact, it is recommended that they find a local private teacher instead of joining the CSS.

Music Literacy Classes

Music Theory

This class utilizes fun games and materials designed by Michiki Yurko in her book No-H-in-Snake. Children learn basic rhythms, note values, note names, dynamics, etc. The skills are taught through the use of bingo cards, “jell-o” sticks, beanbag notes, “musopoly,” and various other games. The basic music skills are a prerequisite for participation in the Beginning Orchestra or “Beginning Note-Reading Class.”

Reading Class

This is the first group where the students use their instruments to read music, all instruments playing in unison. The reading class develops music literacy in a creative setting including composition and improvisation too.

Elementary Orchestra and Intermediate Orchestra

Elementary Orchestra is the first experience for playing in an orchestra. Intermediate Orchestra involves those who have had note-reading exposure and are ready to further develop their reading abilities in a small orchestra situation. Usually, Elementary orchestras have 2nd to 4th graders and Intermediate Orchestra involves students from 5th to 8th graders.

Chamber Orchestra

This involves students, usually 8th grade and above who are ready for more advanced music that is in the upper positions and utilizes more complex rhythms.

Reading Class

Elementary Orchestra

Repertoire Classes

On Tuesdays afternoon, we offer 11 different group classes and the student placement is based on their current Suzuki repertoire level during the beginning of the year. Students will remain in the same group classes until the end of the school year.

The main purposes of the group classes are: to work and reinforce technique, to become musically flexible, to improve direction-following skills, to instill discipline, to become a better audience, to work together as a team, to offer and receive constructive criticism, and to prepare for performances.


Advanced Groups

Strad Class

This is for our violin students who have finished Book 8. Challenging violin ensembles and show pieces are performed. Students are often in high school, although there are exceptions with those who have reached these levels earlier.

Cello Choir — “Casals Class”

This group allows our most advanced cellists (Books 6 and above) the opportunity to play interesting music arranged for multiple cellos, ranging from Bach, country, Hebrew, Irish, etc.

Viola Choir

This is for our most advanced violists and allows for pieces played in 3 or 4-part harmony.

Summer Lessons

Summer is a great time to progress since there is no school or homework!  In order to maintain all the work accomplished this year, keep a routine going by taking regularly scheduled private lessons over the break.  Please email or call your teacher to check their availability.  If your teacher is gone much or all of the summer, several other teachers are available to give additional lessons. We urge you to study with your normal teacher, supplementing with other teachers as needed. Summer lesson forms will be available through your private teacher beginning in May and must be paid through the CSS office by June 1st for payroll.


An important requirement is that one parent must be in attendance at all lessons for his or her child. The parent should take notes at lessons, so please bring your practice book, and of course your Suzuki Book.  Through these notes, you will be able to supervise at home. With our youngest students, we ask that parents be willing to learn how to play the “Twinkle Variations” also! Some parents simply use the child’s violin, while others actually decide to rent a full-sized violin.


Lessons will start and end on time, so please be 5 minutes early so that this can happen. It would be helpful to have the instrument out of the case with bow rosined.

Missed Lesson Policy

Due to the full teaching schedules maintained, when a student misses a lesson, the teacher is not required to give a make-up. If the student gives the teacher 24 hours’ notice, the student will be put on a make-up list to call when and if there is an opening. We plan to provide you with the teacher’s lesson schedule and student phone numbers so you may swap with a student on another day if you have a conflict or if you see your child developing an illness, etc. This has proven successful in the past. If the teacher has to miss the lesson, it will be made up at a time convenient to both parties.

Inclement Weather Policy

In the case of an impending hurricane, ice, or any other harmful storm, the Centenary Suzuki School only cancels group or private lessons if Centenary College/and Caddo Parish closes.  If that happens, please check Emails for particulars as both institutions are not always in agreement. Lessons missed due to weather issues will be rescheduled.

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