Pre-Twinkle Checklist

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Left Hand

This is a checklist to assist parents monitoring new student progress.

Bowing (feet together, lean over look at toes, 5 count- hippopotamus)

Bow Hold

  • connecting dots on fingers to dots on bow
  • check for bent thumb
  • curved pinkie

Shaking hands

  • Mississippi Hot Dog (or Dirty Doggie Scrub Scrub)
  • Run Pony, Run Pony
  • Tricycle, Tricycle
  • Motorcycle, Motorcycle (or Alligator, Alligator)
  • Tony, likes ice cream, and peanuts, and choclit, and….

Driving bow on shoulder

  • Mississippi Hot Dog (or Dirty Doggie Scrub Scrub)
  • Run Pony, Run Pony
  • Tricycle, Tricycle
  • Motorcycle, Motorcycle (or Alligator, Alligator)
  • Tony likes ice cream and peanuts and choclit, and….


  • Singing twinkle little star

Up like a rocket

  • Up like a rocket, down like the rain, back and forth like a choo choo train.  Round and round like a great big sun. Top of your head, check pinkie and thumb.
  • Bow stays straight and perpendicular to floor
  • Bow hold stays intact

Learning finger numbers and building left hand finger coordination and structure

  • finger pops
  • hot stove game

Introduction of violin

  • Rest Position (feet together, violin bridge side out in crook of right hand, bow dangling from right pointer finger)
  • Bowing holding violin in rest position
  • Violin Hold Setup (teacher helps fit violin for student) shoulder pads, chin rest fitting, etc.
  • Violin Hold Setup (parent places violin)
  • Child builds strength to hold violin for one minute (or listening to two Twinkle Variation As)
  • Child learns to hold instrument


  • feet unzipped to V shape, then to \ / shape
  • hand on bout of violin
  • instrument to body
  • turn head
  • violin out and on shoulder
  • nose towards finger board
  • shoulders over hips over feet (no body twisting)
  • child holds with no hands

Left Hand Set up

  • cupcakes on body of violin
  • dumping games on body of violin
  • cupcakes on neck of instrument
  • dumping games on neck of instrument on finger tapes


  • Staccato:  with each sound or note sharply detached or separated from the others.
  • Clearly identifiable attack, sustain and release — beginning, middle and end of note
    • My turn, your turn Twinkle variation rhythms
    • Teacher / Parent alternates driving with student
    • Call and response with teacher or parent
    • Single Rhythms on open strings
    • Multiple times of rhythms
    • E to A string consecutive rhythms
    • A to E string consecutive rhythms
    • Backwards scale Teacher / Parent Drives
    • Backwards scale Student Drives
    • Twinkle Bread Teacher / Parent Drives
    • Twinkle Bread Student Drives
    • Twinkle Cheese Teacher / Parent Drives
    • Twinkle Cheese Student Drives

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