If there was one tool that I could get everyone to try...
It would be the finger charts. If you don't have time to download anything else, get that one.
Just go to http://edwardsviolinstudio.com/downloads/ and enter password: suzuki.
The reason is, they are tested in actual lessons and they continue to get consistent results. I have been using and testing them for a few years and they ALWAYS work.
How do they work? The finger charts tell kids which finger number (1, 2, or 3) to place on which string (A or E) for Twinkle and the first half of Suzuki Book One. (You'll see a small letter A or E above the fingerings to designate the string.)
I use them as soon as a student is ready to learn Twinkle, has learned where the tapes are, and has done a week or two of initial practice on Hello 1 -2 -3 and Monkey Song. (All of this is covered in Practice Tip #17 - Find The Right Address.)
I found that with the finger charts, learning and memorization of these pieces goes faster with less frustration at home, AND they function as a pre-note reading exercise. Little eyes have a hard time reading a music staff, but they CAN read large numbers and letters.
I'm always careful to explain that the reason we use finger charts is not to need them anymore! As soon as possible we turn away from the charts and play from memory. (Later we will do the same thing with actual notes.)
Coupled with listening and memory work, the finger charts are just enough of a prompt to enable students to move forward. They create frustration-free practicing, because they gives beginning parents and kids an understandable system to use.
There are two sets of charts, and each comes with a set of instructions on how to use them. You can get them here: Just go to http://edwardsviolinstudio.com/downloads/ and enter password: suzuki.
If you have used the finger charts, please add a comment here. Your honest feedback helps everyone understand how to use the tools more effectively.