M. Hoover: 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     

In September 2013, Elena Enrico & Marco Messina will write an article including many concrete details especially for our blog.



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.

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4 thoughts on “M. Hoover: Pre-Twinkle Exercises without Instrument

  1. Greta Hovi-Pietilä , Oulu / Finland

    I work like that in my pre twinkle groups in Finland.
    It`s easy to teach those children in private lessons after this “preparation”.

  2. Silvia Marisa, Corrientes / Argentina

    Siempre muy agradecida por todo lo compartido. ¡Precioso material!
    Always really grateful for all ideas you share here. Lovely material!

  3. Urs Fischer

    Thank your for all these great ideas! I found the following words on this website:
    They underline and express exactly what Mchael Hoover wrote:

    “Making Music Together: Building Connections in Mind, Body, and Soul

    At one point or another, we have all experienced the connection and bonding that can arise when making music or dancing with another person or in a group. Maybe it was singing in a choir or singing as a family in the car. Maybe it was dancing the “Electric Slide” at a wedding, chanting a sports anthem in a stadium, or making music in your Music Together class. In recent years, research has gained a better understanding of how and why the experience of shared music-making and movement can lead to such wonderful, and often profound, feelings of connection and unity.

    Advances in brain research have revealed that shared music-making can activate and synchronize similar neural connections in all participants, which results in feelings of togetherness and shared purpose and fosters positive social interactions and increased empathy between the adults.

    The research suggests that these benefits extend to young children as well. Preschoolers who engaged in joint music and movement activities showed greater group cohesion, cooperation, and prosocial behavior when compared to children who did not engage in the same music activities. The increased empathy and commitment (feeling of “we”) observed in the children in the music-making group was theorized to emerge from the shared intentions and collective goal of singing and dancing together. Even in infancy, adult-child music and movement interactions can lead to increased coordination and connection, both rhythmically and emotionally, between adult and child. Researchers now propose this might support infants’ earliest abilities to engage in positive social interactions with others.

    This news certainly has great implications for the fields of education, child development, and music therapy, but it also relates to our everyday lives in areas of family bonding and community-building. How wonderful that the simple and enjoyable act of making music together can lead to changes in cooperation, prosocial behavior, and emotional understanding for both young and old!”


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