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What does “pre-twinkle” mean?

Shannon Levine, BSS Cello Instructor
I signed my child up for lessons and went to the introductory meeting, and I keep hearing the term “pre-twinkle” —what does that mean?

 

It’s secret Suzuki teacher code 🙂

Joking aside, it’s a category label for young students who are just learning how to play their instrument. The first piece in each instrument’s repertoire is a set of variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, so students who are still learning things like how to act in a lesson, to cooperate in a group class, hold their instrument and bow, and how to make a sound are in the pre-Twinkle stage of learning.

It’s like baby steps: your child (probably) didn’t go from newborn stage to running around the house, right? Somewhere along the way, your child learned to sit, creep, crawl, kneel, stand, climb, stumble, walk, and run. Just like every child doesn’t spend the same amount of time on each step of learning to be mobile, every student develops the skills to play their first “real piece” at their own pace. It may seem like your child’s teacher is just playing games during lesson time, but those games have specific goals and require physical actions that develop individual skills before they are combined to play the first Twinkle variation – like learning to recognize and draw individual letters before reading and writing words.

 

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