Violin and cello summer program at Vanderbilt brings world-class instruction to Nashville children

The Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt hosted its first Nashville Suzuki Institute this summer, offering children ages 4 to 13 the opportunity to study with world-class cello and violin instructors.

The program consisted of five hours of instruction for five days, including group instruction, master classes and performances. Younger students participated in a Music and Movement class, while more advanced players collaborated on chamber music. 

The institute also offered teacher development courses for both novice and expert teachers from across the country. The Suzuki method is based on the principle that all children possess ability that can be developed and enhanced through a nurturing environment, much in the same way children learn to speak their native language. 

Blair Senior Artist Teacher Zachary Ebin directs the Nashville Suzuki Institute, which is part of the Blair Academy at Vanderbilt. The academy includes pre-college and adult programs. Providing excellence in music instruction to the Nashville community has been a part of the school’s mission for the past 55 years. 

“The Blair School is committed to the belief that all children need to make music and that can take a variety of forms, from the serious musician to the casual learner,” says Pam Schneller, senior associate dean of the pre-college and adult programs. “Well over half of our faculty teach both pre-college and university students, valuing greatly their involvement with both.”

Currently there are more than700 pre-college students and 150 adults receiving music instruction by Blair faculty. Pre-college students regularly perform alongside undergraduates in joint concerts and master classes.