Why Twinkle Twinkle Matters! | Musical Play

Don't forget Twinkle Twinkle! This nursery rhyme has really stood the test of time. Here's why.



Twinkle Twinkle is so well loved and so simple – yet it is actually a clever wee piece of music. That 5th note, the one you hear when you pause at the end of the first line on “star” is the call-to-attention note, the “dominant”.

This note puts children’s brains into high alert – where is it going? This isn’t finished!

We use this note a lot as parents in our calling “where ARE you” and in our Musical Play.


It is no coincidence children can sing this early on. Children are tuned into the notes 1 and 5, as above, and this wee nursery rhyme plays on those two notes perfectly.


You hear another variation of this 5th note in the middle phrases where it pauses on “high”. For reasons we won’t explain here you also get that same “unfinished sound”. It is almost a tease!


These unfinished sounds are obvious to children and you’ll hear them all the time once you tune in. In their play, our calls, other songs – it’s everywhere.


And to really practise them and tune in is enormously helpful for laying the foundation of music for life.


Not such a simple wee nursery rhyme after all!


Make sure you’ve read our other nursery rhyme explorations on our website and Facebook page!

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