Suzuki Early Childhood Education 

at the

Knoxville Suzuki Academy

Suzuki Early Childhood Education is a weekly program for children from birth to age 4. The program uses music as a vehicle to help the whole child’s development. In additional to developing musical skills, the program fosters social, emotional, cognitive, and kinesthetic abilities in children participants. Parents attend these classes with their child, and serve a critically important role in the efficacy of the course as their child’s primary teacher. Children, parents, and instructors work cooperatively in SECE classes, which provide extraordinary enrichment and growth in myriad skills for life.  

Suzuki ECE starts with children’s natural pleasure in learning and exploring. Nourishing that enjoyment and stimulating young children through music and rhyme in SECE classes strengthens pathways for life-long learning. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, who developed the Suzuki Method and Philosophy, aimed to create a pressure-free environment for children in which to gain skills, develop character, acquire purpose and discipline, and grow an appreciation of aesthetic beauty. The ultimate goal of the Suzuki Method is to create people of integrity who are responsible and happy citizens. SECE classes can help start your very young child or baby down this road. 


What is the age range of the children who enroll in SECE?

SECE training is available for children from birth to age four. If your child is old enough to leave the house for an hour, they are ready to start an SECE program. By the time a child reaches age four, SECE training will naturally flow into private instrumental Suzuki lessons.

Is there any benefit for my baby to be involved in SECE?

Ample research demonstrates that babies are taking in and learning from their first moments of life. While very young children and babies may not be demonstrating learned skills, babies who participate in SECE training are bonding more deeply with their parent in classes as they absorb and participate in creating music, and learn to count. Through their joyful experience interacting with music in SECE classes babies and young children are also learning and developing socialization skills, self-control, language skills, body awareness, and self confidence.

To see some of the research on the amazing benefits of very early music education for infants and toddlers, you are invited to explore some of these links:

What is the parental involvement in SECE?

In both the classes and at the home, the parent’s involvement with their child’s SECE program is central. The child’s parent must be in attendance and participating for their child to attend a class.

Do parents of SECE children need a musical background or special skills for their child to be enrolled?

Parents need to make the commitment to be present and engaged in SECE class with their child, and to regularly listen to the class recordings at home with their child. No musical skills or background, however, are required of the parent.

What takes place in an SECE class?

The class combines songs, rhymes, and movement. It also incorporates a large number of diverse musical instruments, from rain sticks to wood blocks to triangles to Orff glockenspiels, and everything in between. Different songs are associated with specific instruments and/or specific props. The class operates on a two-week rotation. Songs visited in one class will be revisited two weeks later. Through such reinforcing repetition very young children will develop confidence and eventual mastery over the songs, rhythms, and games in the SECE course. The pace of the class is designed to keep very young children engaged. Thus, the pace of the class will move quickly. Young children also get the opportunity in SECE classes to practice waiting and taking turns.

What is the tuition for SECE at the Knoxville Suzuki Academy?

Tuition for the 16-week fall term is $384 for each child with their parent. Babies under the age of 6 months may register for and attend SECE courses free of charge. Late registrants will have their tuition prorated. 

What materials will I need to buy to participate in SECE?

All families participating will need to buy a CD of recordings and accompanying pamphlet, called “Lullabies, Action Songs, and Rhymes. ” These can be purchased here:

Mp3s of these recordings can be purchased here:

When do classes take place?

Weekly Knoxville Suzuki Academy SECE classes take place on Fridays at 1 pm. The fall semester will start August 30. The course finishes on December 13. This is a 16-week course in the fall term. Please note: we do accept registrations after the term has started, and prorate tuition for such families. 

Where do classes take place?

All the SECE classes will take place at the Parish House of the First United Methodist Church, 3316 Kingston Pike.

How do I enroll my child?

Send an email to expressing your interest in enrolling. Please include your child’s age and birthdate, and the day of the week you would prefer. We will communicate about class availability, and can then send you an online packet for signing up for the course.

I just found out about these SECE classes and the fall term has already started. Can I still enroll?

On a space-available basis, yes. We will prorate the tuition for children signing up after the course has begun.

Are there additional links with good information about the benefits and parameters of SECE?

Yes. There are many. Here are a few more: 


International Suzuki Association SECE framework document:


An article about a presentation by SECE trainer and McMaster’s University professor David Gerry on his research comparing a parent-involved course like SECE with some other popular, but fundamentally passive, childhood music courses

Who teaches the KSA SECE course?

The Knoxville Suzuki Academy SECE course is led by primary teacher and beloved KSA violin and viola instructor Cameron Rehberg, who did his SECE training under Lynn McCall. Each SECE course will also have an assistant teacher from KSA engaged in the teaching.