I am a Suzuki violin teacher of three years just about to move my program to a local school where I'm really hoping it will take off. I would like to speak up for the Suzuki method because I grew up in both methods, traditional piano, and Suzuki violin. Also, I currently teach Suzuki and I do so in a balanced way. The theory of Suzuki is that we teach music using the mother tongue method. When one learns to speak, one does not learn to read, then learn to speak. Rather, a child hears his parents talking and copies those sounds. Does this mean we never teach how to read notes??? Absolutely not. I introduce reading by the end of book one. By the time my kids are at the end of book three, they are learning all their songs by the written music. They still listen to the recordings however because I find that very important.
At what age should you start Suzuki? I would say between 4 and 6 if possible. I would for sure try to get the little ones in a Kindermusik program though! I am also in the process of getting my license to teach that as well. Musical training at a young age does wonders on the ever-developing brain of a child. Kindermusik is also a wonderful bonding time for you and your child, and brings a whole new side of music into the home!
I know that I am biased because I'm a music educator. However, I do believe that music is deeply emotional. Most people love music in one form or another. By playing music with your children, or attending classes with your children, you are greatly enriching their little lives.