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students' area : twinkle, twinkle little star

Your first song! Here's a hint to successfully navigating the stars...be sure to place all three fingers down carefully on the A string when coming back down, stop if you need to, set up the fingers, then continue...if you do this, all you have to do is peel them off one at a time. TRIVIA BONUS: What French folk song was Twinkle based on? Also who later used this song in 12 variations for piano? (It's somebody famous that you've heard of, with the initials W. A. M.) Answers Here....


preparation / review

A Major Scale

Twinkle Variations


warm up

Try the A Major scale in Twinkle Variation rhythms to get started. Keep an eye on your left hand wrist (not pointed outward or touching the violin body, but for the most part, flat wrist.) Try singing the song before playing it.

Also practice placing all three fingers simultaneously on the A string and then be sure to double check for accurate placement. This can be done without use of the bow, fingers only.

Other things you can do (when away from the instrument) is practice forming the bow hold with a pencil or pen, also strengthen your fingers by tapping them individually then in different pairs. Or give someone a massage, this is a good way to build the muscles of the fingers while making your favorite person happy.


All three fingers should be placed on the fingerboard when going down the scale or when descending in Twinkle, so that all you have to do is peel off the fingers one at a time (the next one is already set up).

When playing Twinkle Theme (longer bow Twinkle, sounding just like the song Twinkle), use straight bows and keep the right wrist flexible to keep the bow straight. When doing any variation with Mississippis, be sure to start just above the middle of the bow and use very short strokes for the Mississippis. Using too much bow as you try to play faster can destabilize your right arm, so less is more as you try to increase your tempo. Also as you strive to play faster, take a moment to breath and relax the shoulders, be flexible in the wrist and a bit loose in the arm.

The HOT DOG (in Mississippi Hot Dog) is with a longer stroke than the Mississippi. Be careful not to remove the bow from the string, pretend that the violin is a magnet and the bow is attached to it always (do not pick up the bow).

Practice this song in the region of the mid point to the tip of the bow in general, or the upper half of the bow.


Fingering Key

Twinkle Variation Rhythms

Mississippi Hot Dog (one Mississippi Hot Dog on each note)
Mississippi Mississippi, or you can also call this one "VeryTinyMotorCycle" (two Mississippi's on each note or one VeryTinyMotorCycle.)
Run- Puppy Run- Puppy (two on each note, "puppies" are short bows, the "run" is a longer stroke)
Pea nuts___and Pop corn___and Pea nuts___and Pop corn___and... (Switch notes on the "Pea" or "Pop". And if you have allergies, this alternately can be called Pop corn___and Pop corn___and Pop... :)

Variation Fingering:
* Set up all three fingers (1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers down) before going on. Practice accurately placing all three fingers at the same time.

0a 0e 1e 0e *3a 2a 1a 0a
0e *3a 2a 1a
0e *3a 2a 1a (two repetitions of the same notes)
0a 0e 1e 0e *3a 2a 1a 0a (this line is the same as the first line)

Twinkle Theme:

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (0a 0a 0e 0e 1e 1e 0e-)
How I wonder what you are (*3a 3a 2a 2a 1a 1a 0a-)
Up above the world so high (Oe Oe *3a 3a 2a 2a 1a-)
Like a diamond in the sky (Oe Oe *3a 3a 2a 2a 1a-)
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (0a 0a 0e 0e 1e 1e 0e-)
How I wonder what you are (*3a 3a 2a 2a 1a 1a 0a-)