At its most basic definition, a Suzuki Institute is an event lasting four full consecutive days or longer where the program’s emphasis centers on the Suzuki repertoire. All Suzuki Institutes must follow the class and teacher guidelines provided by their regional association. The goal of a summer institute is to provide a positive and inspiring experience for young musicians. Being able to interact with other young musicians and learn from new teachers is a vital part of any aspiring artists' career.
Class schedules will vary between institutes but students may generally expect to have several different types of repertoire and technique classes, orchestra or ensemble class and concert performance or attendance. Many institutes also offer a "masterclass" style of lesson. These classes usually have three to four children in them, each receiving a ten to fifteen minute mini private lesson. In the Suzuki Method, observation is seen as something just as important as participation.
Since the class structures are sanctioned by the regional association, many institutes here in the USA use the events as a means of offering short-term teacher training. Teacher participants attend separate classes hosted by a Suzuki teacher trainer and use the institute classes as a means of observing other teachers at work.