Hoover, Mike: Pre-Twinkle Exercises without Instrument

Category: Articles for Parents (English & Spanish)

Hoover, Mike: Pre-Twinkle Exercises without Instrument

Dear Colleagues,

In the following I would like to give you some ideas of Pre-Twinkle exercises without instrument.

I am currently completing a teacher training course for level 1 of “Children’s Musical Garden”. This comprehensive program has been developed by Elena Enrico in conjunction with the Italian Suzuki Institute.

Since it is intended for children who are not yet playing an instrument, it is full of exactly those activities that are extremly helpful for young children and their parents as they prepare for future study.

Please have a look at the first six minutes of this film. You will see many short examples of the pre-school program. You find exercises for

- fine motor skills directed towards instrumental playing
- coordination
- discipline
- development of the melodic, harmonic and rhythmic ears
- vocal expression
- memorisation and orientation

The Role of the Parents
Elena Enrico describes it: “The course, in which the parents participate in a “semi-direct” way, is collective and carries out a project of “preliminary education”. 
Let me explain; to begin with I define “semi-direct” as being the participation of the parents,  as it occurs, in various moments during the lesson which goes from observation (and consequent understanding of the techniques) to direct participation (with the children) and actual practicing of the first daily teaching sessions with one‘s own child.” 

Concrete aims 
– familiarization with the pieces that make up the instrument repertoire;
– use of spacial and motor functions with relation to music;
– internalization of phrasing, timing and dynamics;  
– the developement of fine motor skills used on specific instruments;
– the developement of intonation, vocalization and expression;
– increasing the memory;                                               
– internalization of a specific disciplinary habit;
– practicing the educational-disciplinary relationship with one’s own parent;
– making music with others and therefore using, together with the other children and adults who participate in the lesson, this newly acquired language, this new ability.

The six most important elements  
– rhythmic stimuli (that will then be applied to other elements)      
– melodic stimuli and consequent learning of the songs in the repertoire      
– manuality both free-hand and with the use of small preparation instruments     
– equilibrium and self-control (use of the body)     
– developement of the memory
– autonomy and self-confidence    


MICHAEL HOOVER was introduced to the Suzuki Method in 1964 at the age of 5 in Oregon, USA. He studied music at Oregon State University, the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, and Michigan State University. After medical studies, his medical career took him back to Germany where he returned to music and discovered his love for teaching.
Since 2012 he is an ESA Suzuki Violin Teacher Trainer. Convinced that “every child has been born with high potentialities (S. Suzuki),” he is constantly searching for better ways to help children develop their true potential.

Download of all PDF files