How to Teach a Child "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on a Piano or Keyboard

By Laura Catella ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Piano or keyboard with at least 1 full octave of notes (8 white keys with 5 black keys dispersed between them)
  • Dry-erase marker

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" is a classic children's song, and it is simple to teach on a piano or keyboard. Teaching your child "Twinkle Twinkle" will be a memorable exercise for you both, and should your child play it in the future, he or she will likely recall learning it from you.

Preparing the Piano and Music

The C key precedes the group of two black keys.

Find the C key on your piano or keyboard. Observe the black keys on the piano, which are grouped in twos and threes. The C key is the white key that comes before the first black key in a set of two black keys. Find the C key in the picture to practice.

Write the numbers 1 through 6 in dry-erase marker on your piano or keyboard. Write 1 on the C key and continue left to right until you have written on six keys. The numbers correspond to the following notes: 1 - C, 2 - D, 3 - E, 4 - F, 5 - G, 6 - A.

Prepare your child's "music" by writing the following sequence of numbers onto a sheet of paper:

1 1 5 5 6 6 5

4 4 3 3 2 2 1

5 5 4 4 3 3 2

5 5 4 4 3 3 2

1 1 5 5 6 6 5

4 4 3 3 2 2 1

Teaching Your Child to Play

Give your child the music sheet and explain that each written number corresponds to the appropriately marked number on the keyboard.

Tell your child each number note to press as he or she plays the piano. Say the numbers to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" so that your child will easily understand the rhythm and timing of the piece.

Practice with your child by singing the numbers to her as she plays several times. Once she has a grasp of the piece, sing the lyrics to "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" instead of the numbers.

Invite him to sing along with you. As he remembers the piece, the music sheet and numbers on the piano will not be necessary.

Tip

This is a teaching exercise for a parent and child to share. Take it slowly. If your child has difficulty, slowly demonstrate for her by playing the piece yourself. It may also be helpful to have your child hear "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" a few times before beginning the exercise, so the rhythm is fresh in his head. If you are planning future music lessons, teach your child to translate the number notes into letter notes.

Dry-erase marker cleans off your piano easily with a washcloth.

About the Author

Laura Catella has been a professional freelance writer since 2004. She specializes in Web content and copy, and promotional emails in the home and professional services niches. She was an editor for the 2008 edition of "Inside New York." Catella holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics with a minor in creative writing from Columbia University in New York.