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Climb your way to the top with Monkey Song!

Confession time.

I remember seeing the Twinkle A rhythm as a youngster, and thinking that it looked SO HARD! 16th notes, 8th notes, string crossings, all together--this was supposed to be the first piece in Book 1?

Fast forward to when I started teaching. Before I did my first Suzuki teacher training, I thought it was crazy for a beginner to start off with Twinkle.

Turns out, I was right.

You have to have confidence in your bow hold, feel the balance in open string rhythms, and master the coordination of the first position finger patterns first. That's where the Monkey Song comes in.

If your Monkey Song is solid, you're on your way to Twinkle. Go get that banana!


Neil Fong Gilfillan is a cello teacher in Frisco, Texas, and loves to talk about anything cello. You can reach him at

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