Pre Twinkle Activities

Listen to your Suzuki CD 

Print out the Twinkle Listneing Chart and cross out a star each time you listen to the entire Twinkle Variations. The more you listen, the sooner you’ll be able to memorize the piece. The CD has a lot of beautiful music that your child will be playing soon.

 

Simon Says

 

 

We always hold the violin in our left hands and the bow in our right hands. You can play a silly game of Simon Says to learn which side is which. For example: “Put your bow hand on top of your head.” or “Simon says ‘Put your violin hand on your knee.'” Once students get really good at identifying the sides, you can combine it. For example: “Put your bow elbow on you violin foot.”

 

Rest Position Song

(to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Rest position, feet in line,
Scrolls in front, it’s mighty fine,
Check your bridge ‘cuz it should be,
Peeking out at you and me,
Now it’s time to take a bow,
Ichi, Ni, and Sun is how!

 

Bow Grip Bunny on Pencil

Have student race to see how quickly they can get a good bow bunny set on the pencil. Remember, the two most important parts of the bow bunny are the bumpy thumb and curved pinky.

 

Bow Poem
(to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)

Up like a rocket, down like the rain,
Back and forth like a choo choo train.
Round your face like the big red sun,
Land on your hand curved pinky, bent thumb.
Up like a rocket, down like the rain,
Back and forth like a choo choo train.

 

Wheels on the Bus
(with proper bow grip)

The wheels on the bus go round and round,
round and round, round and round.
The wheels on the bus go round and round,
all through the town.
(move bow in circles with tip to the ceiling)

The people on the bus go up and down,
up and down, up and down.
The people on the bus go up and down,
all through the town.
(move bow up and down with tip to the ceiling)

The doors on the bus go squeak, squeak, squeak,
squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak squeak.
The doors on the bus go squeak, squeak, squeak,
all through the town.
(move bow back and forth with tip to ceiling and make a squeak sound.)

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish,
swish, swish, swish, swish, swish, swish.
The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish,
all through the town.
(move bow like a windshield wiper keeping the thumb bent and pinky curved)

 

Violin Feet

1. Feet Together
2. V for Violin (toes out)
3. Step to shoulder width

 

Parts of the instrument song
(sing using the scale)

Where is the bridge? (parent/teacher asks)
Here is the bridge. (student responds and points)
Where is the scroll? (parent/teacher asks)
Here is the scroll. (student responds and points)
(Continue doing this with all of the parts of the violin.)
Parts of the violin on WikiPedia

 

Look Ma No Hands
(This can be done with the box violin or a real instrument.)

Violin or viola is placed on the left shoulder with the jaw on the chinrest. Left hand should reach across to the right shoulder. (Once this is demonstrated, put left hand with “muffin top” or “table top” fingers on the shoulder of the violin.)

Cello sits with three points of contact and can “take a nap.”

 

The Ant Song (Violins)

Each, Each, Each, Each and every
Ant, Ant, Ant
Digging in the Dirt, Dirt, Dirt
Going under Ground, Ground, Ground

 

The Ant Song (Violas and Cellos)

Ant, Ant, Ant
Digging in the Dirt, Dirt, Dirt
Going under Ground, Ground, Ground
All the way to China, China, China

 

Helicopter Landings

Bow should land at starting point on the skinny string, halfway between the bridge and the fingerboard. Do several repetitions to see how quiet you can be!

 

Rhythms to Tap, Clap and Play

Mississippi Stop, Stop or Pepperoni Pizza
Ice Cream (slurp) Cone
Mississippi Mississippi
Run Pony, Run Pony or Grandmother Grandfather
Strawberry, Blueberry

Suggestions:

  1. Tap with finger tips
  2. Clap the rhythm (hold one hand still and clap with other)
  3. Shake bow hands while saying the rhythm
  4. Move hands with palms touching to the rhythm
  5. Put palms a few inches away and have child move to the motion with you.
  6. Hold the bow or pencil vertically and do the rhythm.
  7. Scrub forearm starting at elbow to the rhythm.
  8. Use the bow and a “silent practicer” on the shoulder.
  9. Play the rhythm on the violin.

 

Chicken on a Fence Post

Chicken on a fence post, (student plays open A)
Can’t dance, Josie! (parent or teacher plays or sings)

Chicken on a fence post, (student plays open A)
Can’t dance, Josie! (parent or teacher plays or sings)

Chicken on a fence post, (student plays open A)
Can’t dance, Josie! (parent or teacher plays or sings)

Hello Susan (parent or teacher plays or sings)
Brown-e-o! (student plays on open A)

(At more advanced stages, other rhythms can be used in place of “Chicken on a fence post.”)

Learn the Finger Numbers

Students can learn the finger numbers for each finger of the left hand. (This is how we will change the pitch of the string.)

Pointer Finger is 1.
Middle Finger is 2.
Ring Finger is 3.
Pinky is 4.

Students can tap their thumbs as parents call out a random finger number.

The word “Open” will be used to mean no fingers on a string.

Monkey Song (Violin/Viola)
(can be played on A or E strings)

See the little monkey (no fingers, ready play)
Climbing up the ladder (drop 1 ready play)
Climbing way up high to (drop 2 ready play)
Pick the green banana (drop 3 ready play)

See the little monkey (keep 3 ready play)
Climbing down the ladder (lift 3 ready play)
Climbing way down low to (lift 2 ready play)
Eat the green banana (lift 1 ready play)

 

The Flower Song (Violin)

See the pretty flowers (Open E, ready play)
Blooming in the garden (Drop 1, ready play)
See the pretty flowers (Lift 1, ready play)
Red and green and purple (Rock to A, Ready Play)

 

The Flower Song (Viola/Cello)

See the pretty flowers (Open A, ready play)
Blooming in the garden (Drop 1, ready play)
See the pretty flowers (Lift 1, ready play)
Red and green and purple (Rock to D, Ready Play)

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