Learning to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star is the rite of passage for all new pianists it is also a popular English nursery rhyme by 19th-century English poet Jane Taylor and was published in 1806 as “The Star.” but sometime later the poem was set to the melody of “Ah, vous dirai-je, Maman.”  Here’s how to teach yourself to play it right now.

There are 52 white keys on a modern piano– 6 of those keys will produce the melody for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

6 keys doesn’t sound too difficult, right? It’s not!

We get it. You are learning how to play a beginner piano. You’re staring at 88 keys wondering how to make sense of what notes come from which keys and how to properly move your fingers from key to key.

Learning how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the piano is a good place to start. It’s a melody you already know by heart. You can even tell your friends you’ve learned a variation of Mozart.

This particular piece of music also uses 6 of the 7 keys used to create a scale, making it a great first introduction to piano.

Some related nursery rhyme/children’s songs are baa baa black sheep, happy birthday, and London bridge which are great for young beginners and have free piano sheet music.

What is a Tab?

Piano Tabs

A tab on the piano lays out the groundwork for which white keys correlate with which note they play. For this piano lesson, we will only be discussing the C Major Scale.

Once you become more advanced you will learn more about the difference between major and minor scales.

While learning how to play Twinkle, Twinkle you will need to know this basic scale on your piano: C, D, E, F, G, A, B.

Looking down at your piano you will notice the black keys change from sets of 2 to sets of 3. The C key is the white key located directly to the left hand of the set of 2 black keys. From there it follows the scale above and repeats.

Twinkle, Twinkle uses Middle C. This is the C key located nearest to the center of your piano keyboard.

(A helpful tip for beginners is to label each key with a sticker to its corresponding note!)

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on Piano


Now that you know where your keys are– it’s time to learn how to turn those notes into a melody!

For the tune of this easy piano music, you will use keys C, D, E, F, G, and A.

For the very first verse of the song, we will be using Middle C, G, and A.

Remember, C is located to the left hand of the 2 black keys, G is located 4 keys to the right of C and A is the key directly to the right of G.

Using your right hand, place your fingers over these keys:

  • C: Thumb
  • G: Ring Finger
  • A: Pinkie Finger

Perfect! You’re ready to start playing!

For the first line, you will play CC, GG, AA, G. Start slow and don’t be afraid to sing along if it helps you remember the melody!

1st Line

How I Wonder What You Are

You’re doing great! Once you’re comfortable with the first line, let’s move on to the second.

For the second line, we will be using keys C, D, E, and F. Just like it looks, D, E, and F are the first, second and third keys to the right of the C key.

Using your right hand again, move your fingers over these keys:

  • F: Ring Finger
  • E: Middle Finger
  • D: Index Finger
  • C: Thumb

Our second line goes like this: FF, EE, DD, C.

2nd Line

Can you hear that? Now you’re playing!

Practice this line a few times before moving onto the next, if you’re comfortable try to play the first and second line together!

Up Above The World So High

You’ve already played 2 of 6 lines! Didn’t we tell you this was going to be a piece of cake?

The next two lines each use the same key progression.

For the third and fourth lines of the song, we use the D, E, F, and G keys.

Still using your right hand, place your fingers over:

  • G: Pinkie Finger
  • F: Ring Finger
  • E: Middle Finger
  • D: Index Finger

Playing two times in a row, the third and fourth line goes like this: GG, FF, EE, D.

3rd Line

Getting the hang of it? Try starting from the top and slowly play the first 4 lines of the song together.

Now Repeat

Got those lines down? Now we repeat! The fifth line of the song is identical to the first.

  • C: Thumb
  • G: Ring finger
  • A: Pinkie finger

Follow the same pattern as the first line: CC, GG, AA, G.

4th Line

For the last line you repeat the second line:

  • F: Ring finger
  • E: Middle finger
  • D: Index finger
  • C: Thumb

End the song with FF, EE, DD, C.

5th Line

All Together Now

Can you believe how easy piano music that was? Let’s break it down into one fluid song.

Using your right hand and left hand with the same finger technique:

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

CC GG AA G

How I Wonder What You Are

FF EE DD C

Up Above The World So High

GG FF EE D

Like A Diamond In The Sky

GG FF EE D

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

CC GG AA G

How I Wonder What You Are

FF EE DD C

Try starting slow and work towards a faster pace.

Where Do I Go From Here?

You did it! You’re playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the piano! Not as difficult as you expected, was it?

But where do you go from here?

We know it takes a lot of work to go from little tykes piano songs to playing in a symphony. Work that has been shown to have more benefits than impressing your family at holiday dinners. Some of these benefits are hand-eye coordination, advanced language skills, and stress relief.

Once you’ve made the decision to start playing or have a child who is eager to learn, it all begins with the right instrument. A piano book that fits your style and needs.

If you want to learn more about choosing the right piano, the difference between a Grand and a Digital, or simply want to fine-tune your skills contact us here at Merriam Pianos.