Experience with pre-twinkle class?

Barb said: Apr 5, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Hi folks,

I’m planning a (parent participation) pre-twinkle cello group class this summer as a one week, five day event in our community center. The goal is to have parents bring their young children (ages 4-6 or 3-6?) to learn some pre-twinkle skills, do some related arts and crafts, find out if they might want to start cello lessons in the fall, and to HAVE FUN!

I’m thinking of teaching these songs to sing and do actions where appropriate:

Twinkle
I Love My Cello (sitting posture)
Where are the/Here are the … (parts of cello sung as a scale)
I’m a Little Monkey/Pink Banana (scale up/down)
Ants Song (cello strings)
Up Like a Rocket (bow hold, Twinkle tune)

Doing these activities with box cellos/dowel bows:

Standing, sitting, bowing
Ski Jumps, Highway (light toy cars up and down fingerboard), Woodpeckers (finger taps)
Stop & Go, Windshield Wipers, Fishing, Stirring the Brew etc. with bow
Twinkle rhythms with dowel bow on box cello

Crafts:

Make box cello (parents tape on flattened cardboard tube neck/f/b, attach scroll, tape on bridge/bow guide and dowel endpin, kids help add F “holes”, and decorate with stickers, etc.)
Make 1-2 pages of song book each day (cut/paste, color, stickers)
Make playdough
Make cello fridge magnet (glue to clothespin which has had magnet glued to it)
Make bead counter or maybe a song spinner

Additional:

Everybody Do This—copy rhythms with rhythm instruments
Marching to music, freeze when music stops
Identify same/different higher/lower pitches
Concentration/matching game
Puzzles
Play Auto-harp, Xylophone
Have master-class like turns with real cello for some activities

Time for parents to watch To Learn with Love (or a portion of) while I have the kids.

I’m thinking of about two hour a day over the five days. I think that I’d like the class size to be no more than about 6 kids (the center has 8 kids’ chairs). I’d love to hear from some who have experience doing this kind of thing. Do I have way too many ideas? :-) Enough time? Will the kids need a juice break? Do you have some additional ideas or thoughts which have worked for you?

Thanks!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Lori Bolt said: Apr 8, 2012
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
226 posts

Hi Barb~

Sounds like a great way to introduce Suzuki to your community!
I think your class size sounds good, as does the length. I do recommend a short snack break, and maybe some outdoor time if possible. A large parachute can be used outside in a fun music activity (circling round to music, lift it high/low, etc.).

My children—now 22 & 18—took a general music class w/ a lovely woman from age 4. She had them one hr. weekly. She had a huge arsenal of activities at her disposal , so the more the better—even if you don’t use them all. The students were kept moving from one thing to another and were happy. Remember to include some singing—most children love it. And most things will take twice as long as you plan, but you can save the activities you don’t get around to doing.

I hope it works out well for you!

Lori Bolt

Barb said: Apr 11, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thank you, Lori! Yes, definitely singing! Doing some things outdoors is a great idea. The community center is 99.9% surrounded by concrete, but maybe we could do a parade or something.

Yesterday I found “Boom Balls” at a store-close-out sale—a paddle and ball set. The paddles I think sound like the Lollipop drum I saw used in the ECE Parents as Partners video! I think the kids will love having turns with one, or imitating the rhythms on their own quieter drums. It’s not as cute as the Lollipop, and I still need a mallet, but for a little over a dollar each I couldn’t pass it up!

And more good news—I found a violin teacher wanting to give away a bunch of broken bows which I can cut down into bow training aids instead of just using dowels!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Carol Gwen said: Apr 12, 2012
Carol Gwen Kiefer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Washington Crossing, PA
75 posts

My pre-twinkle and early book one kids like to bang empty plastic gallon juice bottles that have the ring around the neck (for poring). I play for them, or use the recording as they find the beat. It’s unstructured plus there’s no right or wrong way to hit a juice bottle (except on someone else!). It’s also a good way to see where the child is developmentally.

Love your ideas. Some balance with pitch and rhythm in small chunks spread throughout your lesson plan can help refocus the whole group. Some of my kids are good at singing rounds, which is fun! It’s easier to sing the round than to play it on the violin.

Play backs, or echoes are also good transitions. I use both pitch and rhythm. Start without the instrument so the ear is activated.

Great stuff you have planned! I always find to plan too much is a good thing. And that despite plans I stray depending on how the class is going. Flexibility is good!

Best,
Carol

Barb said: Apr 13, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Thanks Carol!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Apr 16, 2012
 Violin
Albuquerque, NM
19 posts

Hey Barb,

I have done similar music camps at a local community center. When I did it, I finished each day with a short 20 min. concert. The first day, I would perform for the kids, the second I brought in more advanced students of mine, then I had a students quartet play for them, etc. I scheduled at it at the very end, so that both parents and students can enjoy it. I think it is always inspirational for kids to see other kids playing. It makes them want to do it as well. Also, the conversation between the parents at the camp and my already existing parents really helped with getting new parents thinking about music lessons.

Best,
Maria

Barb said: Apr 16, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Great idea, Maria, thanks! I plan to have the parents stay, but it still sounds like a great way to end the day. As I’m only planning on two hours a day, I might rather do a shorter concert, though.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Lori Bolt said: Apr 17, 2012
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
226 posts

How about a presentation (”concert”) at the end of the week ~ for visitors as well as parents. The children can prepare a little showcase of their learning as they work through the week, and you can invite a special musical guest. You could, in this way, preserve more of the daily time for your planned learning activities.

Lori Bolt

Barb said: Apr 19, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Good idea, Lori! Thanks.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Julio Cesar Anselmo Possette said: Dec 19, 2012
 Cello, Suzuki in the Schools
10 posts

Barb,

Similar to the idea Lori, which is very good, I could live here in Brazil festival in Jaragua do Sul—SC a beautiful presentation closure of 2-week course with students who began the festival itself.

The teacher showed the audience succinctly skills that were built during the 14-day course—teaching collective—from relaxation and body positioning of the instrument and first notes on pizz, to finalize with that piece memorized using tetrachord of D major.
This was done in a very fun and enjoyable, well worth seeing.

It is suggested,

to

Emily said: Dec 4, 2013
 59 posts

What a great idea and soundslike so much fun! Being that this is an older post, I would be interested to know how it went. It sounds like a lot of funn learning to me.

Emily Christensen
Music Teacher & Writer
www.musiceducationmadness.org

Barb said: Dec 4, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Hi Emily,

We ended up only doing about half of my ideas, I think! I only had two children register. One was six and one was three and a half, but younger developmentally! That age difference was a challenge. The parents were happy, and the older one’s parents almost decided to enroll their daughter in cello lessons—though she wanted violin. The younger one waited almost another year to begin individual lessons, but the family spent that year listening to the Suzuki books 1-2 recording, and the parent got a good head start on parent-ed reading!

The kids loved most making their songbooks and rhythm instruments and doing finger rhymes. We also sang and made and used box cellos and practice bows, but they REALLY enjoyed when they got a turn with the real cello. With just two, I was able to give a lot of individual attention, and the moms got to try my cello, too. An older student came a few times as a helper for me, and at the end, three of my regular students performed in our concert. Some people on their way out the door from swimming lessons even stayed to watch.

Unfortunately, right outside our huge windows construction was happening. Often, the three year old boy was much more interested in that! :-)

I was invited to hold the class at the community centre again, but since I didn’t have a lot of room for new students this year, instead I held a similar “camp” for my current students.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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