Updated: Oct 2, 2019
It's been a few months since the release of TWINKLE ARCADE in D, which gives us plenty of time to review how it's going...and you know Suzuki teachers love review, so let's go!
The idea for this album came from years of accompanying our own students in lessons. We noticed that when we got creative with the accompaniment, it would often get them more engaged with what they were doing. For a lot of them, using a looper or having a beat to play to really raised their attention level. After requests from parents to have a way for their kids to practice at a slow but steady tempo, we got our gear out and started the quest to create these tracks.
We've received some great feedback so far from parents, teachers and students. Here are some of the ways we've seen it used:
1) Practicing Twinkle variations at home to get more repetitions and add some variety to their daily practice routine
2) In private lessons for listening and playing along in tempo. For the ones who haven't twinkled yet, we've used it as a focus game for them to listen or watch us play along
3) In the classroom with lots of kids playing at once. Violinists join in on the fun by playing down a string!
One creative teacher we know even mixed different melodies along with the accompaniment tracks, making new mashups. Pretty cool, and an easy way to get kids to find the groove and keep time with their current piece.
Violinists will have their own album in A, expected in the first quarter of 2019. (Edit: TWINKLE FACTORY for violinists has been released!) The goal was to start with something that everybody can easily play together (and the tables will turn when cello and viola kids shift up for that one).
Special thanks to our bass playing friends who confirmed that the album in D works well for them, too!
This album is available on our website with a quick link below, as well as on Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play. We had a blast creating these tracks with our strings, synthesizers, and turntables, and we hope you find them useful too.
Neil Fong Gilfillan is a Suzuki cello teacher in Frisco Texas. He and his wife Rachel Samson on viola/violin run Chili Dog Strings, the only string studio in Frisco named after a dog.