The next two songs in the Suzuki piano repertoire are Lightly Row and Honeybee. Lightly Row introduces third skips into the repertoire (i.e. from G to E and from F to D) as well as half notes. Though students may be taught to count two beats for half notes, they are highly encouraged to be familiar enough with the melody from listening to the recording to be able to hear the difference between quarter notes and half notes. Honeybee introduces rests, specifically half rests. With both songs, students are taught R hand first and then L hand, which consists of the same notes only an octave lower. After the student can successfully play each hand independently, he is then taught to play both hands together in unison.
Up to this point, students still are learning by imitation of their teacher without reading music. Some musical notation elements may be introduced in games periodically, but students are primarily playing by ear still at this point. Because of this, hearing the recording is crucial for students. Keep in mind that listening need only be passive and can therefore be put on in the background and heard in the car, while getting ready for school or while completing homework. A prime time to put the recording on would be before bed! Your child can be lulled to sleep to the sound of classical music while helping them secure the melodies that they will be learning to play at future lessons.
Complaints that children do not listen to the recording will fall on deaf ears with me, particularly if the child is under the age of ten because I highly encourage parents to take responsibility for putting the recording on for their children. Putting the recording on a simple task that we can do to help our children be successful in the Suzuki method. Granted, simple and easy are not the same thing. As a Suzuki parent myself, (my eight-year-old son plays Suzuki violin) I will admit that sometimes remembering to put the recording on can be challenging, but when he enters his lesson confident of the melodies that he is attempting to master, I realize it was well worth it!