Twinkle variations for violin and viola

February 4, 2020, 1:01 PM · Hi,

My husband (viola) and I (violin) have been asked to play/introduce the instruments at our kids school on Friday to a bunch of kids (3-6 years old)

We thought maybe a twinkle variation? Anyone has the music for that?

Star Wars duo? Again, having difficulty finding that music.

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

Replies (7)

Edited: February 4, 2020, 2:38 PM · I know you asked specifically for arrangements of popular music, but I would suggest finding a charming classical duet instead. Mozart wrote a bunch for violin and viola, for example.
This is just because I think children can enjoy art on the same level as adults, even if we don't tend to give them credit for it. If the music is good, they will like it and appreciate how it makes them feel. It's also much easier to find the scores for classical music if you don't like transcription. But that's just me.
February 4, 2020, 3:00 PM · I agree that playing some Mozart, especially lively sections, would be good. But be sure to play simple things also -- youngsters watching and listening to grownups playing complicated often can't see the connection between them and what the grownups can do.

And playing things the kids recognize will also get their attention. So Star Wars is good for that. Or something from "Frozen." Showing them that violin and viola aren't just for playing classical music is a good thing to open their minds to possibilities. Playing some fiddle tunes works wonders also -- my wife started a Violin Program at the Catholic elementary school where I teach the band program, and got a few takers for a couple of years and it fizzled. Then she started what she calls "Fiddle Squad" where they do some classical and some fiddle and it's been a great success for 8 years now.

She starts her part of the demonstration at that school by playing "taters" and it gets everybody's attention -- you could hear a pin drop!

When I demonstrate the woodwind and brass instruments to all the 5th and 6th graders in all 12 elementary schools in my city, I keep it simply, playing Mary Had A Little Lamb, and I explain that I play that because if they start on an instrument, they'll be playing that same song in just a few weeks. And every year we get an overwhelming number of young beginners on band instruments.

So in addition to whatever fancy music you want to play, playing Twinkle in the Suzuki variations is a great thing to do. And even explaining that when they start they'll be learning to manipulate the bow on open strings and show them that sort of thing. That way they'll be able to think "Gee, I can do that!"

February 4, 2020, 8:46 PM · How long do you have?

- Open with a violin/viola classical piece or shorter section. Or even a short solo and the other instrument does a light accompaniment.

Ideas for the middle if appropriate for time and setting:
- Show and tell a little about how violin and viola are similar and different, maybe about high sound/strings vs. low sound/strings, using something as knowable as Mary had a little lamb.
- Something involving reacting to music, such as louder vs. softer or a simple tune with a repeating motif or an action song they might have sung in music class.
- If showing a beginner piece: Pop Goes the Weasel in G major could be done by viola playing the melody and violin plucking the E string for the "pop" and the kids do a hop or bounce motion.
- For Suzuki Twinkle variations, you can invite them to "pretend bow" the pattern with right hand on left arm. Suzuki Twinkles are meant to be played by ear and are very straightforward; if you don't have access to a book, just find a Suzuki group on YouTube to listen to. You can also pair them with Twinkle theme, ABC song, or Baa Baa Black Sheep to show how they go together.

- End with a popular piece, if you don't find one or make one up by ear, then at least a familiar tune.

February 4, 2020, 10:32 PM · I can tell you that from my experience playing for preschoolers, nothing in the universe is better than "Let it Go" from Frozen.

Simple children's songs like "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and similar tunes go over well, too.

February 5, 2020, 7:51 AM · Some Disney Duets here if you don't feel like arranging:
For two violins, but they are easy, so it should be no problem for your husband to play on viola.
February 5, 2020, 12:23 PM · The variations on "Twinkle" are available in sheet music and it would be possible too transpose the bass clef part to alto clef for viola.{campaign_id}_&utm_source=google&popup=false&popup=false&ac=1&country_code=USA&sc_intid=5676404&scid=scplp5676404

February 5, 2020, 7:16 PM · Thank you everybody! And one last question, anybody has a Star Wars arrangement for violin and viola?

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