Twinkle, twinkle, little star
Teaching music in the urban classroom
edited by Carol Frierson-Campbell.
Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006-
Frierson-Campbell (music education and graduate research, William Paterson U.) compiles 14 essays on topics of cultural responsivity, teaching strategies, alternative teaching models, and stories of music teachers in urban schools. Contributors discuss motivation, choral rehearsals, building an instrumental music program, string chorales, the impact of music education, challenges in teaching, English-language learners, using the music of all cultures, and white teachers working with students of color. Contributors are music teachers, arts administrators, and academics in music education, from the US and Canada. No index is provided. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Music lessons : guide your child to play a musical instrument (and enjoy it!)
Stephanie Stein Crease.
Chicago, Ill. : Chicago Review Press, c2006.
What do you do when your three-year-old child says, "I really want to play the violin"? Or when your 13-year-old announces, "I want to quit guitar lessons"? This book is the definitive hands-on guide to helping your child learn to play a musical instrument. As budget cuts and other factors take a toll on music programs in school curriculums, parents need to have the tools for their children's musical education.

Often beginning with a 1/16th violin-shaped cardboard box, a sponge affixed by rubber-band to its corner as a chin rest, children as young as three years of age are able to embark on a lifelong journey embracing music.  After a brief period learning posture and correct instrument position, the imitation is replaced and the melodies begin.

The Suzuki method is founded on a "mother tongue" philosophy recognizing how individuals learn to speak their native language by hearing it spoken around them.  In the same way, children learn to play the violin, or other instruments, through a natural process of listening.

The Suzuki method is slightly different for each instrument studied


The familiar theme of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star" provides the first piece of music. It is expanded upon to teach variations in rhythm using the same notes from the original theme.  Rhythms such as triplets, sung by the student as "blueberry blueberry" or sixteenth notes, sung as "peanut butter alligator" impart critical musical theory, but with an irreverence that creates giggles.  Group classes and regular performances develop friendships, discipline, memory and confidence.

Lessons generally include a trio of support: Teacher, student and parent.  In a typical lesson, the teacher may work with the student for the first half, then teach the parent, who will in turn work with the student until the next lesson.  Dr. Shinichi Suzuki recommended a reasonable regimen in which students only practice on the days they eat. 

From Twinkle theme to concert hall concertos, the Suzuki method recognizes that every child has talent that simply awaits nurturing.

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff