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The Teacher Training Course

The British Suzuki Institute was founded in 1978 and is the official National Suzuki Association for Great Britain. The BSI has many roles but most importantly it is responsible for conducting the Suzuki teacher training programmes as part of the European Suzuki Association system.

All Suzuki teachers and Suzuki families are members of the BSI and participate in workshops, national concerts, summer schools, graduations, conferences and other events organised by the association. Members receive three magazines a year with articles relevant to the Suzuki method and current information on events in Britain and Europe.

Teacher members of the BSI are automatically part of the European Suzuki Association which is responsible for continuing the work of Dr Suzuki and the International Suzuki Association throughout Europe.

The BSI run centrally administered teacher training courses in Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Flute, Recorder, Guitar and ECE (Early Childhood Education) which are administered and supported by the BSI office.  Independent courses are also provided by some individual teacher trainers. For details please contact the trainer directly - details can be found on the List of UK Teacher Trainer page. 

The BSI teacher training course follows the guidelines set by the European Suzuki Association. In order to take the ESA level examinations and gain accreditation as a Suzuki teacher, all teacher trainees must complete the ESA training syllabus and pass the ESA examination at each level.

ESA Guidelines for content of teacher training courses

Excerpt from ESA Teacher Training and Examination Manual

1. Intensive study of the Suzuki philosophy.

2. Individual study of the instrument, focusing on the technique, tone production and quality of sound needed to teach young children. Candidates should have the ability to play competently outside the Suzuki repertoire.

3. Step by step mastery of teaching points in the repertoire and the psychology of teaching.

4. Structure of individual and group lessons.

5. Observation of group and individual lessons given by recognised Suzuki teachers.

6. Supervised teaching of children.

7. Lectures and discussions on child development, with particular regard to the parent/child relationship.

8. Solo performances.

9. Discussions.

Teachers will normally be expected to start taking Suzuki pupils about half way through their first year of training. Each level examination passed will be registered by the British Suzuki Institute and the European Suzuki Association.

After completing the Level 3 examination, teachers will become BSI Accredited Teachers.

At the completion of Level 5, teachers will gain the ESA Diploma of Suzuki Teaching and will be recognised as BSI Graduate Teachers.

How are courses taught?

The BSI teacher training course is a part-time, long-term course held throughout each year in London and regions throughout Britain. The major training courses take place in the Easter school holidays and during Suzuki Summer Schools in July and August. Minor courses are at weekends during term time. Each level requires attendance at an average of 18 days training.

Trainees usually take a year to complete each level. However, they may choose to take longer if they wish. Except in exceptional circumstances, a minimum of five years is required to complete all examinations and therefore achieve the ESA Diploma and Graduate Teacher status.

Who is eligible to train as a Suzuki teacher?

The training is available to musicians who wish to develop their teaching skills and undertake the rewarding career of teaching music to young children adopting the philosophy and approach of Dr Suzuki. As a specialist Suzuki teacher you will have the opportunity to change the lives of hundreds of children as they grow and develop into fine people and talented musicians through the Mother Tongue approach to education.

Entrance to the course is open to candidates over the age of 18 following an interview and performance of the required audition piece for each instrument. Previous teaching experience is desirable.

What will I learn on the course?

Trainees learn how to implement the Suzuki approach to music education while developing all aspects of their own playing and teaching.

Suzuki teachers are specially trained to work with children from the age of three or four, and learn how to foster all aspects of a child's musical growth with a positive and supportive approach and a greater understanding of the need for music in every child's life.

Trainees develop their own performance ability, musical memory, tone production, technique and musicianship, and gain the confidence to instil these skills in all their students. With great emphasis placed on observation of other teachers and practice teaching at every level, trainees have the invaluable opportunity to learn from those who have had many years of experience and can therefore provide constructive feedback on each trainee's teaching skills.

Prospectus BSI Teacher Training

Course Topics

Areas covered on training courses include:

Suzuki philosophy

Mother Tongue methodology

Observation of lessons

Instrumental study


Tone production

Musical memory

Aural perception

Developing children's listening skills

Posture and use of the body

Child development

Child psychology

Group teaching

Repertoire classes

Interpretation and awareness of style

Approaches to teaching music reading

Teaching theory skills

Dealing with learning difficulties

Parent education

Teaching pre-school age children

Establishing a Suzuki teaching practice

Business skills for music teachers

Chamber music


How do I apply to become a teacher trainee?

Anyone wishing to become a Suzuki teacher trainee should attend an open day presentation or one of the training courses, and observe classes. An interview and audition will be arranged and, if successful, the candidate will join the British Suzuki Institute and be enrolled as a trainee.

Course preparation

The course director will advise candidates what they should prepare for their first course.

Before the initial course, trainees should:

Familiarise themselves with the first books of the Suzuki repertoire for their instrument.

Listen daily to the Suzuki repertoire recordings.

Read and ponder the implications of Dr Suzuki's book Nurtured by Love .

Study all necessary books, music and recordings as advised by the teacher trainer.

Audition pieces for entrance to BSI teacher training courses


1st & 2nd movements of either HANDEL SONATA IN A major Op. 1 No. 3 HWV 361 or D major Op. 1 No. 13 HWV 371 plus ONE piece of your own choice*


Any unaccompanied BACH piece plus ONE piece of your own choice*


ONE movement from any Mozart Sonata plus ONE piece of your own choice*


Either the Mozart Concerto in D major or the Concerto in G major.


Two contrasting movements of a HANDEL SONATA plus ONE piece of your own choice*


* The own choice piece should be of at least Grade 8 standard and not from the Suzuki repertoire.

For a prospectus and further information please contact the British Suzuki Office either by
phone on 020 3176 4170 or by e-mail at