Pre-Twinkle Group Activities and Games

Tiffany said: Mar 19, 2011
Tiffany Osborn
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Los Angeles, CA
41 posts

Hi Everyone!

I’m starting two new pre twinkle groups, and I’m looking for more ideas!

I use Music Mind Games materials a lot, and I also have a good arsenal of songs/poems that go to Book 1, but I always need more! I’m also going to set up “listening stations” with headphones, we’ll do some clapping/bongo drumming rhythms, what else?

They are going to be wee three and four year olds with cardboard violins and bows. Any ideas to hold their interest week after week?


Irene said: Mar 19, 2011
Irene YeongViolin
160 posts

there is a good book by William Starr, The Suzuki Violinist. It has lots of ideas about playing with really young children.

Laurel said: Mar 20, 2011
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

Maybe some pitch-recognition things? I’ve played a game where I play/pluck the G string—kids touch their toes. D string—knees, A string—shoulders, and E string—reach up high!

Some groups really don’t get it, especially D and A… in that case I keep it to just 2 strings for “low” and “high” at the beginning, adding the other pitches as they get better.

I’ll let you know if I think of more!


Sara said: Mar 20, 2011
191 posts

Pop goes the weasel. They pluck E string at the pop part. Old McDonald…. they play tucca tucca stop stop at the everywhere a moomoo part. You can have them choose what animal and do that sound.

Life saver game at the end is a popular one. Place a lifesaver on the tip of their bow and if they keep it on the bow while they do up like a rocket down like the rain, they get to eat it.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

said: Mar 20, 2011
 24 posts

Here you find some good suggestions:

**FREE Download No. 4:
The first 10 teaching steps for a young violin student**

Short description: Introductory Lessons for Pre-Twinklers
1. Positioning the feet and bowing
2. Holding the bow
3. Holding the violin
4. First Twinkle Rhythm
5. String crossing from E to A & Rhythm on A
6. Left hand posture & positioning the fingers
7. Preparation technique & the rhythm with three fingers
8. Expanding the tonal range
9. The first Twinkle variation
10. We all play the Twinkle variation and the theme

Author: Kerstin Wartberg
Language: English
Download size: 12 pages, 1228 Kb

Pia said: Mar 27, 2011
34 posts

Some more suggestions: children sits on the flor in a circle with the bows in front of them, we take turns on showing the bowdivision on every rhythm and singing the melody to it (step by step CD 1A Nr: 3,12,16,20, 24—these are quite fast though.. I use a computer programm to slow them down..). One can invent a special movement for every rhythm and do this togheter—use the same CD Tracks as above or use only the one with Drum accompaniement ( CD Step by Step 1A Nr: 2,11,15,19,23). Teacher bows a rhythm in the air, children have to say wich one. Use cards with pictures of the rhythms: one child picks a card, looks at it and turns it upside down then plays, clap or bow in the air- the other children have to find out wich rhythm, the child that said first turns the card that lies on the floor—was it the correct rhythm? Take turns picking cards. Let the children sit on a line and do “telephone”, they clap the rhytm on the back of the person sitting in front of them. This can be hard for children age 3, teacher can help to clap the rhythm clearly (direct the hand of the child). Pass on paper cups with bows. Spread the Fingers of the left hand, tap a finger with the bow and say the fingernumber. Childrens stands opposite each other and shake hands to the rhythm. (For the young ones, not everyone at the same time, just let two children stand up and shake hands with each other)
or- teacher plays a rhythm, the two children standing up has to agree wich rhythm and then together shake hands with this rhythm—take turns.

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