I get this question from both students and teachers. Students want to know what they will learn (or should be learning) in Book 1, while teachers want to compare their curriculum to Suzuki violin book 1 standards.
It’s pretty straightforward: Suzuki Violin Book 1 is for total beginners. The early songs in the book teach skills you will need for songs later in the book, so you get a cumulative, building effect. Your teacher should spend as much time as necessary to teach you the very basics starting with how to get your violin out of its case, how to tighten your bow, and other fundamental skills.
Then, throughout Book 1, you should learn:
• How to hold the violin in a relaxed way
• How to hold the bow in a relaxed way
• How to position your left hand
• How to curve your fingers
• How to play with “Straight Bow”
• How to stay on the “sounding point” (Highway)
• How to create good tone
• Dynamics, or how to play loud and soft
• Ear training
• 1 octave scales and arpeggios
• Use of finger glue
• Block fingers versus independent fingers
• Legato vs. Staccato (detache’ lance’)
• Crossing strings properly
• Bow speed control
• Dolce, ritard, fermata
• Downbeat versus Upbeat (pick-ups)
• How to give a cue
• Pinky development
If you are not learning these skills, ask your teacher to help you with them. You can also come check out my online Suzuki Violin Book 1 lessons at RedDesertViolin.com. I have many adult beginner students who supplement their private lessons with my online lessons, and teachers love it because it helps their students to do better.