pre twinkle practice violins

Eric Davenport said: Jun 4, 2011
Eric Davenport
Suzuki Association Member
14 posts


I am organizing a pre twinkle class for students 3-5 and their parents. The class serves as an introduction to the method, so I am not requiring that they rent violins.

I have heard of the margarine box and ruler model, but is there any better or alternative way to make “violins”. What is a good “bow?” I use the thumb-on-the-frog grip, so a dowel might not be the best choice.

Any thoughts on the hardware would be appreciated. Thoughts on games and such using these sort-of-violins would be cool too.


said: Jun 5, 2011
 24 posts

Here you find hundredths of Pre-Twinkle ideas:

Free Download No. 2:

by Kerstin Wartberg

These Pre-Twinkle Songs are similar to the first songs in the Step-by-Step series. In Pack 1 you will find new songs, old ones rerecorded in a slightly slower tempo or with some other small changes.

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

Autor: Kerstin Wartberg
Download size: 12 pages, 1228 Kb

Laurel said: Jun 6, 2011
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

I’ve been getting the Cherub box violins from Shar. They come with a wooden dowel bow that has a “frog” on it already. Both are about 1/16 size, reasonably priced, and I tell the kids they can colour it or decorate it with stickers, which they usually really like.


Grace said: Jun 7, 2011
110 posts

I made practice bows for a class one time by cutting a wood dowel in half and taping a pink pearl eraser on it with black electrical tape for the frog (= less than $1 per bow).

Grace said: Jun 7, 2011
110 posts

I wanted to add: But if you have the budget for $10/student I would just get the Cherub violin set from Shar. (Much easier!)

Lauren said: Jun 7, 2011
Lauren Lamont
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Edmonds, WA
33 posts

My husband made the “box violins” out of balsa wood and we glued the chin rest and shoulder rest on each using some black foam, cut into the shapes, about 1/2 in thick. The bows were dowels with the pink pearl eraser glued on. It took us a few tries to get the dimentions correct, but they work great! Before that, I was using fiddle-faddle boxes with a ruler. These were inexpensive to make and re-usable from class to class, student to student. My students would have to “graduate” to their Real violins by having the pre-twinkle skills down.

Teresa Henrichs Hakel said: Jun 9, 2011
Teresa Henrichs Hakel
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Houston, TX
9 posts

Hey Eric,

You can also get a foamalin from young musicians. I haven’t seen them in person, but I know they come in different sizes, and with a dowel bow with a frog (but no hair, of course.)


Tiffany said: Jun 10, 2011
Tiffany Osborn
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Viola
Los Angeles, CA
41 posts

I second the Cherub violins, if you can just make it part of the materials fee when they sign up. They are cheap and easy, and fun to decorate too- I put a sticker on the back for their thumb and 4 stickers on the shoulder where their fingers go to help them hold it with the correct hand the right way. I also use the Zaret shoulder rests which are only a few dollars.

Eric Davenport said: Jun 13, 2011
Eric Davenport
Suzuki Association Member
14 posts

Thanks everyone, lots of ideas to choose from!


Monica Lacombe said: May 11, 2013
 5 posts

Please also be sure to remember that carries foam-a-lins, Twinklemats, Which Hand Tattoos, and complete starter sets for Pre-Twinklers and Twinklers. There is no better source for Twinklers’ needs. Check them out!

Celia Jones said: May 12, 2013
72 posts

For a pre-school music session I made box violins with wooden spoons taped to the top of a cereal cartons and cereal bar cartons. For the biggest students you can use jam spoons.

For teeny-tiny 2 1/2 yo kids I used the plastic saw from a toy toolkit, this is great as when they draw it straight across the spoon they make a good sound.

For bigger kids I used a second wooden spoon—I was not teaching bow hold, but by holding the bowl of the spoon it put their hand in the right shape.

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