As previously mentioned, I spoke as a Suzuki Teacher Trainer to the String Pedagogy class at Colorado State University, about the progression through the Suzuki Violin School Books. One of the topics I covered was intonation.
Intonation needs to stay on the instinctive, intuitive level, so I watch for the first sign that the child hears when the notes sound better or worse. Most children do hear this difference and also subtly let us know that they do and are not quite sure what to do about it. Here is our chance to teach the appropriate basics, which would be, move your finger.
Nine times out of ten, they instinctively move the finger in the right direction and to the best ringing sound. If they do move it the wrong direction, a simple question is:
“Did it sound better or worse?”
In the case of worse, move it the other way. Sometimes I ask the child if the finger needs to move a little more. They very soon get the idea that they can get the pitch/sound that they want.
Finger pattern exercises and scales continue the process as far as pitch is concerned and also note learning on the instrument, which makes note learning on the page pertinent and make sense. For students who are further along in the repertoire, shifting the violin hand into the upper positions follows in line with these basics.