Book 2 students

Nora Friedman said: Mar 18, 2013
Nora Friedman
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools
Brooklyn, NY
34 posts

Dear all,

I think I am failing terribly at review during lessons with my book 2 and up students. Here are my questions:
How do you pack it all in when you’re considering working on scales, bow-hold exercises, and sight-reading as well?
How long are your lessons typically with a book 2 student?
How many review pieces would you get to in a typical lesson?
Do you review all the book 2 songs and a few of the book 1 songs?


Barb said: Mar 20, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
678 posts

I am with you in not getting to a lot of review in lessons. I am not a long-time experienced teacher, and haven’t even had book 2 training yet, so I hope some of the more experienced will share with us.

I like to teach book 2 students for 45 minutes, but some can only do 30 minutes—that makes doing all I would like very difficult. Often my students warm up with a piece of their choice, and we end the lesson by fishing for a review piece (fishing rod with magnet catches a “fish” on a paperclip with the name of a piece on it). I also do some review pieces at group lessons.

I love Paula Bird’s idea of a review lesson once a month. I have only managed this once so far this year, but plan to do more! It really helped to see that even though review was checked off at every practice time, there were certain things falling by the wayside!

Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Paula Bird said: Mar 21, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Viola
Wimberley, TX
386 posts

Thanks for the mention Barb. One teacher I know starts at the beginning of whatever book the student is in and then continues piece by piece until they reach the part where the student is currently working. They do this in every lesson. I have used this trick in book 2. At some point I start a little further into the book.

If we use Sue Hunt’s ideas, whenever we are working on a piece, there are natural review song possibilities that go hand-in-hand with the piece the student is studying. I still like my once a month idea, because it reminds me to check in on the review status. The same goes for doing twinkles monthly. It really makes a difference, and now my students even remember to do twinkles on the first lesson of the month.

Paula E. Bird
TX State University
Wildflower Suzuki Studio (blog) (podcast)

Laura said: Mar 21, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Palm City, FL
105 posts

I have tried a “review check” where I get to pick any piece (only one from each book per lesson) and it just encourages review at home since they don’t know which piece I might pick. I make it a game where I “try to stump them” and if I choose a piece that is troublesome it goes on the practice list for that week (to be played every day). And I hear it again next week.


Sharon Neufeld said: Mar 21, 2013
Sharon Neufeld
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Greenfield, IN
14 posts

I use review cards… index cards with the name of the piece written on it & laminated. Each book is on a different color card (i.e. pink cards for bk 2, blue cards for bk 3, etc).

When we do review in the lesson, they get to “pick a card, any card” & then they play that piece. It makes it totally random. Of course, they only pick cards from the books that they know, and I take out the pieces that they haven’t learned yet.

Phankao said: Mar 21, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

Ah, thanks for the review tips.

Nora Friedman said: Mar 25, 2013
Nora Friedman
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools
Brooklyn, NY
34 posts

So helpful! I love the idea of cards, and also am in admiration of planning backwards with care and thought for which songs from book 1 and 2 go with each other naturally. I actually went through book one tracing skills backwards and it would be a fun project to do that with books 2 and 3. Thanks everyone!


Eleanor Bennett said: Mar 26, 2013
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Villa Rica, GA
62 posts

Which pieces go together naturally? I missed that Post

Eleanor Bennett

Sue Hunt said: Mar 27, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
391 posts

Off the top of my head, the last two pieces focus on broadening the use of the bow. Beethoven minuet opens up the heel half and Boccherini Minuet uses a lot of upper half. The first 6 pieces are full of ringing notes and super for working on tonalisation.

There are review cards for all pieces in the first 3 books in Review—Making it Fun Gets the Job Done. One of the points of review, is to link pieces with similar technical and musical points. This reinforces the neural pathways, that are used in performing them correctly and provides a solid foundation for growth.

Ian Salmon said: Apr 3, 2013
Ian Salmon
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Addison, TX
21 posts

In my studio: if they’re in book 1, they usually play every piece. Book 2 and beyond, with the exception of Chorus (like Sue said, it’s all about tonalization!), which I hear just about every lesson, I change it up.

Book 2 and beyond— I have flash cards which aid us. I separate them into piles. Early book 1, late book 1, early bk 2, etc. The kid pick 4-5 of these each lesson (book 2-3 student). I decide which pile to let them pick from. Then we get to the most recent 4 pieces, which they play every lesson. I’m a fan of the “layering” approach. So it’s not just review, it’s where I teach all of my musicality and bow distribution.

Book 2, 45 minute lessons in my studio.

Ian Salmon
Violin and Viola Instructor
Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas

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