About the Suzuki Academy of Columbia

Our History ...

Although the Suzuki Method was present at the University of South Carolina in various forms all the way back to the early 1990s, The Suzuki Academy of Columbia & USC began in 2010 as a community program of the School of Music.  It was known as the Suzuki Strings at USC and was started by violin professor, Dr. Rebecca Hunter.  In 2017 Dr. Samara Humbert-Hughes (Director 2015-2020) and her team of seven teachers decided to begin a nonprofit so that they could adequately manage the growing program.  The Suzuki Academy of Columbia has a continued affiliation with the University of South Carolina School of Music to support its Master of Violin/Viola Pedagogy program while allowing the Suzuki students to perform in the University’s excellent concert facilities.

Our Philosophy and Methodology …

Our teaching and learning philosophies are based on the Shin’ichi Suzuki Method.  This “mother-tongue” method is described in detail on subsequent pages.  We believe that “every child can learn,” and that each student can achieve excellence when given the proper learning environment and nurture.  Unlike the traditional learning systems, Suzuki students begin their studies at a very young age, and learn completely by ear at the earliest stage.  Our beginners are generally between the ages of three and seven years old, and they can continue their studies in the program through high school.  We are one of many, many Suzuki programs in the world, and are provided with many resources through the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA).

Our Teachers …

All of our teachers have achieved university music degrees of study on their instrument(s).  Additionally they have undergone special training to learn to teach using the Suzuki Method.  This teacher training is governed by the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and you’ll find that each teacher will often have different levels of training.  However, all Suzuki teachers agree to be life-long learners, and we enjoy taking classes in the summer to sharpen our teaching skills!  We have two types of teachers in our program, “core” and “neighborhood” teachers.  Our “core” teachers teach both private lessons and group classes regularly for the Suzuki Academy.  Our “neighborhood” teachers are other local teachers who have been trained in the Suzuki Method and are invited to send their students to the Suzuki Academy for group classes.

Our Community …

The Suzuki Academy of Columbia is the only organized Suzuki program in the state of South Carolina!  We offer a high-quality comprehensive string education (violin, viola, cello, or classical guitar) that includes private lessons, group classes, theory, and chamber music.  We have a variety of performance opportunities for our students, both formal and informal, and we take pride in being able to share our music with the Columbia community each year.

Building Character, Confidence and Community

OFFICE HOURS (Calling Hours)

Mon - Fri

9am - 5pm





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River District Church

400 State Street

West Columbia, SC 29169


P.O. Box 564

Columbia, SC 29202

The Suzuki Academy is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donate here to support our program. 
The Suzuki Academy of Columbia & USC abides by the South Carolina statutes that forbid discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, gender, marital status, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.

© 2018 by Suzuki Academy of Columbia.

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